Anyone use Arm & Hammer Essentials for cloth diapering?? Other laundering questions.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm new to this scene and am just in my first week cloth diapering. We went out today and bought 7th Generation Sensitive Skin to use on our cloth diapers (which, don't get me wrong, seems to work great), and were shell-shocked at the cost. We're CD'ing, obviously for health/environmental reasons, but also to be a little more frugal...unfortunately, the $0.87 per load that it costs to buy the 7th Generation doesn't fit in. While at Meijer's, though, I noticed Arm & Hammer Essentials and noticed it fits a lot of the prereq's for cloth diaper detergent as well as a good price. More like $0.09 per load. A little more reasonable. Has anyone else used this and found success with cloth diaper loads??

My wash routine has become a cold rinse/soak, a hot wash with 1/4-1/2 normal detergent amount as well as 1/4 cup baking soda, then a cold rinse. Does this sound right?? Any tweaks from anyone that I should consider (just Gerber cotton prefolds).

Also, if I switch to A & H, can I still use the baking soda, or should I nix that stage? Should I be using vinegar anyways??

So new and sooooo many questions!!

~Jennifer Proud SAHM to Benjamin Michael 07-29-05: and awaiting William Alexander 10-16-07 , married to my best friend :


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#2 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 03:45 AM
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I've never used the detergent you mention. I do use Purex F&C and it's wonderful! It's so cheap I bought it for all of my clothes (then remembered I was trying to be green so I switched back to Biokleen). I don't know what the cost per load breaks down to though... I'd have to look that up or calculate it.

You're probably going to tweak your washing method many times before you settle on something that works for you. You'll run into little snags along the way and find that changing things up can really make a difference.

here is what I do:
Throw wet diapers in the pail, rinse (w/sprayer) poopy ones, cold wash w/detergent (or a soak w/Bacout if there are previous stains), hot wash w/o detergent, line dry w/stained diapers in the sun. Then I toss all the diapers in the dryer when they're almost dry so they can fluff up and get soft.
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#3 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 08:45 AM
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I use A&H Essentials and have been for close to two months now. I really like it. I haven't had any issues with repelling or other things that affect the performance of the diaper. The only problem that I have had is that, despite their claims, there seems to be some residue left over. Now it could be that I'm just putting in too much, I'm still tweaking things. For now what I do (I wash every day) is once a week I run all of the dipes through a hot wash with no detergent. This takes care of any residue.

Are you adding the baking soda to soften the water? If so then you wouldn't need it, as A&H E contains a natural water softener. It does a great job softening the water (we have very hard water).

Hope that helps!
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#4 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 10:28 AM
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It works great. However, I hate the smell, but I just try to deal with it! But it is a cheap alternative.
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#5 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 10:34 AM
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I've been wondering about this...We found the essentials around here after looking a bit, but what we found is Mountain Rain scent or something. Is that The right stuff, or is there an unscented version I should be looking for? We've been using the A&H sensitive skin instead, and although it's not supposed to be as good, we haven't had any problems (yet)
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#6 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 10:59 AM
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I've been using Purex F&C and it seems to work well. I do a hot wash with detergent (approx. 2 tablespoons), and then 2 cold rinses, then hang to dry. I may have to start once a week doing a hot wash with no detergent if I notice I am getting residue but so far so good.


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#7 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 01:03 PM
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I don't think there is an unscented Essentials yet, but I've found that the scent doesn't really stick to the clothes like other scented detergents. Really, the only time I notice it is when I put too much in, and even then the only way I can tell is by holding it right up to my nose and taking a deep breath.
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#8 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 04:57 PM
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I have been using A&M Essentials for a month now and so far so good. Yes, the scent is not the best but it's a small thing overall.
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#9 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 09:23 PM
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I don't know about the detergents you're asking about, but I thought I'd tell you my routine...

I do a short cold cycle with about 1/8 cup detergent, then a hot regular cycle - again wabout 1/8 c. , then dry in dryer.

I use the giant container of Costco's F&C. I use it for all laundry. It's cheap - I think about $10 for 2 1/3 gallons. And I only have to buy once a year!

I use baking soda no more than every 4th load.

I've been washing Fuzzi Bunz for over a year now and have NEVER had build up. I ocassionally get the "swamp" smell (DH's phrase) and run an extra wash cycle or throw a wet washcloth in the dryer that has a few drops of lavendar oil on it.

Hope this helps.
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