Using a good detergent in the correct amount is critical to success with cloth diapers. Use the right detergent and you’ll enjoy easy washing and fresh clean diapers. Use the wrong detergent or not enough and you may experience leaking diapers, rashes, excessive staining, odor issues and an overall bad experience using cloth.
What’s the big deal with detergent? Well there used to be a lot of hype about using ‘proper’ cloth diaper specific detergent. There was a lot of talk about how commercial detergents were bad and how they had brighteners and whiteners and enzymes that would eat your diapers alive. There used to be a conception that you should only use 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent and lots of other talk that made washing diapers seem like rocket science.
Luckily common sense seems to have prevailed and even many of the main diaper manufacturers are now recommending readily available mainstream detergents such as Tide.
There is however, still a place for traditional cloth diaper friendly detergents like Charlie’s Soap and Rockn’ Green. We carry these detergents specifically because they are hypoallergenic, natural, environmentally friendly and safe. We know what is put in them and they have proved to work well on cloth diapers. We also love to support small, independent, family run companies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use a detergent found in a grocery store aisle.
But if your baby isn’t sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients or scents, you can use a great many of the detergents commonly available at any store. WITH ONE EXCEPTION: do not use anything with synthetic fabric softener. So, for example. Tide is okay, Tide with Downy is not (synthetic fabric softener is meant to stay on fabric and will cause repelling). Got it? Easy right?
And you know what’s even easier? No more guessing at the amount to use either. Just follow the amount specified on the back of the package for the size of load you are doing. No more, no less. If you increase the amount of water you are using in your load, increase the detergent too to maintain the proper ratio for your detergent to work properly and not be diluted and you’re good to go. Use common sense. Diapers are dirty laundry. Treat them accordingly and use good detergent in a proper amount and let your washing machine handle the rest.
Ask us! We have an extensive listing of recommended detergents as well as the specific ingredients that might cause problems for the majority of commercial detergents.
Most detergents used in moderation with thorough rinsing shouldn’t cause problems. However a detergent that works for one family may not work for the next depending on water conditions, your specific washing machine etc.
What do we recommend most? Tide Free & Gentle and Charlie’s Soap are our personal favorites. You can’t go wrong with either one. Although we lean towards our #1 favorite…Charlie’s Soap – which is also fantastic for all loads of laundry, not just diapers.