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Detergents, Free&Clears, and Purex - Page 3

post #41 of 224
I odn't know about the homemade detergent, sorry. When I PMd Brenda she was very nice about replying...

Arm & Hammer washing soda. Found it right in plain sight at the local Fred Meyer (which is Kroger, I believe).
post #42 of 224
Ok, as I'm dealing with Fuzzi Bunz fleece that smells like POOP, yet I often get buildup easily (I have soft water), I'm wanting to try this Simple Green/Washing Soda thing. I don't have any Washing Soda though, so maybe I'll try Baking Soda today and use Washing Soda later. I just want SOMETHING that will work!

Will the Simple Green get the brighteners out from previous washes? Or is there something else we need to do to get them out?

I thought it was interesting about the black light showing clothes having the brighteners. I used to use All F&C, and one time when we went bowling, I noticed that we had HUGE spots on our clean jeans - showing up really well under the blacklights!!! I was highly embarrassed, as no one else with us had these spots on their clothing. I guess they were using cheapo detergents that didn't have brighteners yet!!!
post #43 of 224
Originally Posted by amberthesugarcat
Well, I was inspired to try the Simple Green / washing soda after reading these posts. I have softened well water, and my diapers almost always have a faint odor after washing / before drying.

Well, my ds has the rotavirus, which has the most nasty smelling diarrhea ever. I was going to use sposies, but I just could not do it, especially when his little bum is so tender. (BTW, Malox and Aquaphor combo really does work miracles). Anyway, if I could get these diapers fresh smelling with SG and WS then it would work for the day to day situation.

The first set of nasty diapers were washed with my normal ritual of cold wash and then hot wash with sportwash, and I had to wash them a total of 4 times to get the reek out. The second set had vinegar/BS in the cold wash, then WS in the hot wash. These actually smelled pretty good (acceptable) coming from the washing machine. The third set had a cold wash with nothing, and a hot wash with the SG/WS combo. And OMG, they smell so fresh and clean! The only time they have ever smelled this good was when I added a tbsp of bleach to my wash, but that can discolor my fitted dipes. I was a bit concerned because when I added the SG to my wash water it combined with the rotavirus stench and I almost threw up! But by the end of the wash they were odor free and so clean.

So try it, it works! I got the SG and WS from Walmart. Wow, I am so impressed!!! And it is cheap. If you can't get the SG then try baking soda/vinegar in the first cold wash, and Washing Soda in the second hot wash. That also seems to work pretty good.
Just a quick question since I also have softened well water - did you use the Simple Green full strength or diluted per instructions? Also since you have soft water did you use 1/2 the amount indicated by Brenda?
post #44 of 224
So am I to understand that because I have hard water I'm better off? I've just noticed a lot of you talking about the difficulties of having soft water....am I actually in a good position with my hard water? Please explain it to me. I've always been bummed about having hard water.

And this is a serious question, I'm not trying to be cutsie...I just didn't know if it would be taken that way so I wanted to be clear! LOL

post #45 of 224
"you use the Simple Green full strength or diluted per instructions? "

I know nothing of hard vs soft water, but it's only 2 tablespoons into a huge amount of water...that's pretty diluted, yes? I wondered the same thing, until I noticed just how much water was diluting the SG.
post #46 of 224
Update... I tried using Simple Green with baking soda and a dab (just barely covering the bottom of the cap) of Sportswash. After a hot wash and 2 rinses, my diapers smelled like... Simple Green! So I ran another short hot wash with nothing and one more rinse. That did the trick, and most of the diapers have no smell, which is GOOD. I saw a TON of suds, so I definitely had some buildup going on.

My Fuzzi Bunz fleece still smells a little poopy, but not nearly as bad as it was. So maybe after doing this method a few times, they might be de-poop-smelled. I just hate microfleece and suedecloth. They're the only ones that pick up this poopy smell. My hemp is easier to keep non-stinky!

To the PP asking if she's better off with hard water - I doubt it. I think water problems aren't always hard vs. soft. Sometimes they're related to what other minerals are in there, how much chlorine (if any) is in the water, etc, etc. I think hard water people usually have more trouble than soft water people, but soft water people aren't without our problems.
post #47 of 224
I bet once you get the washing soda combo going, it will be different.
post #48 of 224
I hope so! I'll have to hit a grocery store to find the washing soda. Walmart didn't have it.

Btw, I used 1 tbsp SG today in a load of regular clothes, and I didn't have the SG smell.
post #49 of 224
OK, I am really tired, but I went through the posts and did not see anything that might answer my question. I want to try the SG & washing soda combo. HOWEVER, how much of the SG and washing soda do I use if I have a front loader AND soft water?

Thanks. I had tried the SG by itself about 2 months ago, b/c someone on another forum had mentioned it. It did not cut it for me back then, b/c it left BF poo stains on my FBs (sportswash alone also leaves BF poo stains on my FBs), it must need the washing soda to help it work better.
post #50 of 224
I have no clue. I've mentioned that Brenda, the originator of this thread, was very kind when I PM'd her with more questions....
post #51 of 224
For folks like me, who refuse to shop at Walmart, but can't find the A&H washing soda anywhere nearby, you can call this number: 1-800-524-1328. It's the Arm & Hammer number and they should be able to tell you where the closest place is that you can find it.

If it's still not available anywhere close to you, there are several places on the web where you can order it, including this place:


post #52 of 224
Thread Starter 
Hello, it's me, Brenda. You guys make me think I should go back and get a chemistry degree so I can really answer everything.

(I'm not a regular on any boards, so I don't come back and check things here. I got some private emails, so I thought I'd pop back in here.)

1. Homemade detergent: That's actually what I was trying to mimic. That's what I used before I started cloth diapering, and since real soap is not to be used on cloth diapers (it leaves a waxy coating that's not as difficult to remove as the industrial additives, but it does stay on there) I wanted another "recipe" that left out the soap. But what did the soap do? What needed to replace it? After talking to other chemists and textile people, that recipe seemed to have all the basics it needed. I tried it for 6 months before recommending it. But this is meant to be a more diaper-friendly *replacement* for that home-made formula. And easier to make, frankly!

2. Front loaders: I'm depending on people with front loaders to report back. I'm still in the top loading age. I was afraid the simple green would be too sudsy for FL, but the two people I've heard from so far said it went okay. I'd cut the amounts in the same proportion that you normally cut other detergent amounts. I'd like to hear from front loader users, though.

3. Simple green: full strength or diluted? Full strength. I never understood why they put it in a spray bottle if it was meant to be diluted! But I use it straight from the full strength spray bottle and put about 4 sprays in.

4. The brand of Washing Soda doesn't matter. It's all sodium carbonate. But Arm&Hammer is usually what you see. You can even buy sodium carbonate in bulk, $10 for 10lb, from thechemistrystore.com, but I honestly don't know if it's worth it after shipping. (you can also buy sodium percarbonate in bulk there, which is oxyclean, but again I don't know if you come out ahead after shipping.)

5. Hard water/soft water is something I know very very little about. I do know that Washing Soda acts as a mild water softener, which is why it's used in most detergents. But how this will work in soft water vs hard water I'm not certain. For the record I have city water, which I assume is soft.

6. I use this on my regular laundry, too. I have a sample that Charlie's sent me long ago, and a bucket of Sam's club, and I can't tell the difference when I use one or the other or my own recipe. I'm sure something like sensi-clean or Charlie's or Allen's Naturally is better since it was formulated by chemists who know what they are doing, but this does seem to work, even if you only have it as a back-up for when you're waiting on your other stuff to come in. For the record, Charlie's may come out to cost not much more, as one person pointed out in a private email. You get 80 washes for $12, and that includes shipping.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a private message. I don't return here much, and I'll answer those quickly.
post #53 of 224
THANK YOU! Great info! I had just stocked up on some PUREx free and clear. i will just use it for my regular clothes. i just got some new dipes and i'm glad i found this out now! i'm going to use simple green and washing soda. you mean borax, right? i have both already.
post #54 of 224
Originally Posted by mom2alicia
THANK YOU! Great info! I had just stocked up on some PUREx free and clear. i will just use it for my regular clothes. i just got some new dipes and i'm glad i found this out now! i'm going to use simple green and washing soda. you mean borax, right? i have both already.

Borax isn't washing soda. (Read the whole thread for details )

This is washing soda: http://www.soapsgonebuy.com/product_p/ah1001.htm
post #55 of 224

Any chemist want to weigh in on this?

Sooooo....washing soda is sodium carbonate. sodium carbonate is also soda ash that you put in your swimming pool to regulate ph. Are they one in the same?
post #56 of 224
"Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda is made of Sodium Carbonate the main washing ingredient in most powdered detergents. If you wanted to buy sodium carbonate from a local chemical supply house, it would also be the same compound and would totally work for washing diapers. Sodium Carbonate is a naturally occurring compound; in natural detergents it is often called Soda Ash."

From here.
post #57 of 224
OK, I am back and I have used the WS/SG in my frontloader. And I have hard well water which is softened by salt, but still contains all types of minerals that somehow escape the softener. Like a PP said, all water is so different, and each well water has so many different amounts and types of minerals that no washing routine will be the same. And even though my water is "softened" I still get some (a tiny bit) mineral build-up on my faucets and such, so minerals are still present, just not as badly if I did not have a softener.

So my ds has the rotavirus and his poops are the stinkiest every. I am using cotton pockets with microfiber or PF stuffins. My last few loads still had a bit of smell after the cold wash, then hot wash with 1/4 cup WS and 2 tbsps SG. Darn it! But I have had more success with one cold wash with 1/4 cup BS and 1/4 cup vinegar, then a hot wash with 1/4 cup WS and 2 tbsp SG, with 1/4 cup vinegar in the fabric softener thingie. After this I had not detectable odor.

I can't tell whether I will always have to do so much since I am having a special circumstance (anyone who has ever had their baby have rotavirus will know how much it stinks...), so I hope the WS/SG will work alone in the future. I can tell you that I did not have much suds at all with using those concentrations.

I also wanted to say I have tried washing these diapers with Sportwash and Purex F&C and you would not imagine how much they still stunk... It was like they were not washed. Tide would probably work and I have had great success with that in the past, but my ds is very allergic to it and breaks out in a horrid rash!

It seems like when you have something that works, it stops working down the road. It is funny but I had hard nasty city water for 7 months of my CDing and I NEVER had any problems. I am convinced that the tiny bit of bleach added to city water kept my diapers smelling fresh and clean. I think I might just have to add a tsp or so every once in a while... I was so hoping to eliminate all bleach, but it might not be possible with my water.
post #58 of 224
I'm glad you tried out the front loading method. We have city water and it's neither hard nor soft. I'm thinking maybe I'll try this, although we've had much success with sportswash. But I got my sportswash from my friend and I only have 2.5 bottles left. So if this works, it would be an excellent alternative!

I do have a question--when Brenda posted the instructions, she said that you should add the Soda Ash and Simply Green after the water has filled. But I can't really do that with a front loader. Did you just add the Soda Ash and Simply green in the detergent loader at the beginning? Also SG is a liquid and Soda Ash is a solid. Did you add them both in the dispenser and set the dispenser for solid?


post #59 of 224
I wonder if you could add a bit of water to the SG, mix the SG/water up with the washing soda, which would then make it a liquid?

Front loaders sound confusing!
post #60 of 224
Hmm...I never thought about that. I have used powdered detergents before, but stopped because it was annoying how it would land on the clothes as powder and I was afraid it wouldn't dissolve well enough in the front loader. But making a solution out of the powder--that's an interesting idea. Sodium carbonate is not the most soluble of solids, but it's not bad, and probably dissolves better than the detergents with all those additives in them! Okay, I think I may try it out. Now all I need to do is locate SG and Soda Wash.

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