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Tell me about Charlie's Soap

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I learn so much here! I never even heard of Charlie's Soap before checking out the diapering forum. We have always used Dreft (where's the baggy over the head icon?). Please tell me more about Charlie's. Where do you buy it? Do you use it on all your laundry or just diapers? Does it get stains out or do you need something separate for that? Anything else I should know? Thanks!!!
post #2 of 37
We use liquid Charlie's Soap. We order it in gallon size (get the pump dispenser -- it helps a lot) so we always have some on hand. It's a lot cheaper than most other detergents, per load. It's 100% water soluble so NO residue (unlike Dreft).

It works pretty well on stains -- if you're using pocket CDs be sure to pull inserts out after changing a poopy diaper. Otherwise the wet insert will pull the stain from the pocket. If a stain does get through, I wash normally then squirt Charlie's on the stain directly and toss back in pail damp until next wash.

It has gotten out every stain except mold and rust (we have an old washer and sometimes have tiny rust spots on the inserts). Nothing I'm aware of gets out rust stains though. But the liquid detergent works better on stains than their designated stain stuff, strangely enough.

The only negative about Charlie's is that some people are sensitive to something in it, so I'd start with a small bottle and try it out first then if it works okay get the gallon size.

I have super sensitive skin and no problems at all with Charlie's. Initially we used it only for diapers (used 7th Gen for clothing), then I used it to wash a dog bed cover -- and it got the smell out easily. I was hooked. We've used Charlie's on everything ever since.

Another good thing about Charlie's it is will eventually pull out residue left from previous detergents on towels and clothing, which can help prevent mildew or ammonia smells from reoccurring.

We order it directly online here: www.charliesoap.com. They are very nice and deliver really fast.
post #3 of 37
I used charlies initially but my DS was sensitive to it. Then I started to use Allens and I love that. I used the powdered charlies so I don't know if that makes a difference but I found that it was not great at getting my clothes clean enough. And there is the issue that charlies does not disinfect your dipes so you need to use high heat in your wash. If charlies works for you thats great though cause its cheap and free ship! HTH
post #4 of 37
I love charlies and have no problems with it. I use the recommended amount and it gets all of our clothes clean. I do prewash the dipes with bacout and double rinse. Then use charlies on hot and double rinse. No problems. I also do a hot rinse once in a while to strip dipes. Just regular maintenance.

I think I remember reading on the charlies site the the rash problems stemmed from using different detergent for other loads and/or not using enough of Charlies to get clothes clean and then not rinsing. But, if I really wanted to know, I would call them.

I don't think there are detergents that disinfect other than bleach so I am not sure why that is an issue. Why do you even need to disinfect unless there is serious illness. If that were the case, I would do a dollop of bleach in a load and then rewash and rinse a bunch.
post #5 of 37
Why not use Charlie's Soap? (Or Sportswash, same thing)

You have to pre-wash your machine and use something to disinfect your dipes every wash?

It can burn your child's bottom..

"Until you have actually experienced the severity of these burns it is hard to imagine it. My children are not sensitive and never had a rash. But when we used sportwash (this was developed by Charlie and sold to to the atsko owner and is the same as charlies with the exception of 1 ingredient) both of my children were severely burned and to this day have scars from the burns."

"I have about 10 costumers in the last year that had children with serious chemical burns from Charlies. I too have seen the photos. Each costumer was given a different reason by the company as to why Charlie's wash didn't work and left the blisters. Some of these moms were told it was a fleece allergy or that that it is their water or their wash routine.... When the mom's switched to a different detergent the rashes went away 100% and they all claimed that their diapers are cleaner. 2 or 3 of these costumers are moms on here."


A few things to read before trying Charlie's soap.
post #6 of 37
post #7 of 37
we have charlies and it makes my DD's butt flaming red!! So we use plain ol' off brand free and clear detergent w/ no problems.
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all of the great information. I had no idea! If we do try it, I'll definitely go for the suggestion to just buy a little at first to see whether it works for us.

Any idea what ingredient causes the sensitivity? Do they disclose the ingredients on the product packaging? I couldn't find a complete ingredients list on the Charlie's web site.
post #9 of 37
After reading all this, I realize my son must have had a reaction to Charlies! I am so sad because I nixed my diapers all together and started back on poisies. I should have come here for advice .
post #10 of 37
Originally Posted by Etay005 View Post
After reading all this, I realize my son must have had a reaction to Charlies! I am so sad because I nixed my diapers all together and started back on poisies. I should have come here for advice .
Sorry to hear that.
post #11 of 37
Originally Posted by JeDeeLenae View Post
Sorry to hear that.
So I am going shopping right now to start over!!!
post #12 of 37
The Charlie's people have done research to figure out what the rash problem was about. I emailed Charlie and his son Taylor and have asked them to make some comments here. They do belong but just lurk a lot.

post #13 of 37
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
Why not use Charlie's Soap? (Or Sportswash, same thing)

You have to pre-wash your machine and use something to disinfect your dipes every wash?

It can burn your child's bottom..
I think one of the problems people have with Charlies is that they use a different detergent on other clothes. You do have to prewash you machine for a few cycles to rid it of residue and then only use Charlies. I am not sure about disinfecting. Do other detergents disinfect? I prewash my dipes with bacout and then use charlies so that is supposed to disinfect.

Also, I have heard that regardless of which detergent you use you need to strip your dipes every so often as regular maintenance. So, I have also heard that some of the charlie's users, and this repeats if you read the threads linked here, do not do this. If you strip and start over again, perhaps this rash will not happen.

And, if you read the happy heiny's posts linked above, she says her customers switched to other detergents. I think it is also important to remember that not every diaper, nor every detergent, is going to work for everyone. For example, I hate 7th gen products with a passion but a lot of people love their wipes and other products. Their wipes give my dd's rashes. Does not mean there is something wrong with them nor do I need to file a complaint. I just needed to use a different brand. Same goes for soaps of all kinds and all products that come into contact with our skin. Alba products also give us rashes. Our problem not Albas.

I can understand the pain and frustration you get from seeing your baby with a rash but geez, it is not worth all the anger. Just switch brands.

phew, cloth dipes are a lot of work
post #14 of 37
Another mama chiming in about Charlie's Soap burning my lo's bum . . . horrible burns but man did that stuff get the diapers clean.

We use it on all our other laundry though and it does well. I'll have to find another natural detergent when we finally finish this gallon tub we bought before I realized that it was the cause of those awful burns. Charlie's soap may have worked better for use if we had our own machine but we share it so there's always some other types of detergent being used in the machine.
post #15 of 37
I use Charlie's soap for all my regular laundry and sometimes my dipes - I also use Simple Green and washing soda for my dipes. I have not had any problems with rash on my lo's but I do seem to have a problem with residual odor - both in my dipes and in my DH's shirts (underarms ...). The SG/WS seems to do better with the odor issue for my dipes. I tried just using Charlie's all around for well over a month but the odor kept bugging me. Maybe it's something to do with my water? Maybe I need to run a load with bleach to kill off whatever buildup or bacteria is in there? I have no idea, but I haven't found a detergent yet that takes care of DH's shirts. He doesn't stink but I can always smell his "smell" in his shirts even after washing them ...
post #16 of 37

try Biokleen Bacout for BO and stink
post #17 of 37
I am so glad I saw this thread. I recently posted here about my son's sensitive skin/issue with FB. We use Charlie's and I'm going to stop ASAP! He gets a red bum and has an area that blistered and seems to be scarred (this just breaks my heart). I even did research on here first, but I guess I didn't do enough.

Allen's Naturally was recommended..before I buy, I better do some more thorough searching here. I would hate to have this happen twice.

Since I have been using Charlie's, does anyone have an idea how many washes with another soap before I get all the Charlie's out?
post #18 of 37

Charlie's and diapers


I would be MORE than happy to talk to everyone about the fact and fiction about Charlie's Soap. I think there are many things that people are missing and I would really like to help out. If anyone would like, I can respond to concerns here in this forum.

Thank you for letting us answer questions, if we can.
post #19 of 37


I just started using cloth diapers two days ago and washed with Charlie's soap. My daughter has hives all over her middle and just a little on her bottom and face. Is that how an allergic reaction to a diaper or the detergent would show up? Charlie's isn't on the rest of her clothing and I thought an allergy might show up mostly on her bottom. It certainly isn't a chemical burn. I'll try washing the diapers again and see if it goes away, but does anyone have any more info on how allergies manifest themselves? Could it be the detergent?
post #20 of 37
has she had any new foods lately? or new soap?
hives on her middle and her face and bottom doesnt sound like a reaction to a detergent used in only her diapers...
but really Charlies is sooooo cheap that washing all laundry in it is your best bet, that way you arent washing residue from your machine of other detergents into your diapers.
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