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Do cloth diapers need to be washed in special laundry soap?
 

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Yes. Nothing with a fabric softener or any type of bleach, including optical whiteners.<br><br>
The cloth diapering store near me recommends Allen's Naturally, but their website lists some others that work well also.<br><br><a href="http://www.treecitydiapers.com/store/content/54/Diaper-Care/" target="_blank">The Little Seedling</a>
 

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The mamas I know all use <a href="http://rockingreensoap.com/" target="_blank">Rockin' Green</a>, <a href="http://www.countrysave.com/" target="_blank">Country Save</a>, or <a href="http://www.charliesoap.com/" target="_blank">Charlie's</a>.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pacifica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15369798"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do cloth diapers need to be washed in special laundry soap?</div>
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<a href="http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html" target="_blank">http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html</a><br><br>
Love that chart.<br><br>
I just use "All Free and Clear", it's not the absolute best, but I can use it for all of the laundry, not just diaper laundry, and it's super cheap.
 

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In this vein, if I have a detergent already purchased, what should I look for in ingredients? It's an HE Free & Clear but an off-brand, so it's not on those charts. I'm thinking it would be okay since we're planning to use prefolds rather than AIOs, but I want to check.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just talked to a friend who uses All Free and Clear mostly for her diapers, but about once a month uses bio-kleen citrus as well. She also said she puts a few drops of tea tree oil in the laundry to kill anything funky. I'll check out prices for these other brands mentioned.<br><br>
Thanks Mamas! I just bought the cutest lot of barely used cloth diapers and I'm super stoked to try cloth diapering when baby is born. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I wouldn't say you need a "special" detergent. We use prefolds and Bummis and use just about any kind of soap from Biokleen powder to regular Tide. We have never had problems with our diapers.
 

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PinkBunch - You can look up your ingredients on this chart:<br><br><a href="http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-ingredients-glossary.html" target="_blank">http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergen...-glossary.html</a><br><br>
The effect of using any old detergent is that bleach and whitening agents (in addition to being potentially irritating to baby's skin) will break down the diaper fabric faster than detergent without them. When you're washing any item of clothing every other day for 3 years you're already giving it a LOT of wear and tear, so any additional caused by your detergent just reduces the diapers' life span that much further.<br><br>
The problem with fabric softeners (this applies to liquid softener that you add to your wash, softeneres already in detergents, and softener sheets) is that they reduce the absorbency of fabric, so your diapers will eventually begin to repel moisture, which is definitely not what you want.<br><br>
If you prefer to use regular detergents, it's not like the world will end or your diapers will spontaneously combust. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You just might see lower performance and shorter lifespan than if you chose a different detergent. As an example of cost, the Allen's Naturally recommended here costs, I believe, $46 per bottle, which will last more than a year for top-loading washing machines and more than 2 years for front-loaders. Like cloth diapers, it's a larger up-front investment, but pays for itself in time.
 

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I've cloth diapered two children and I NEVER used a special detergent regularly. I've tried them all and I didn't feel they got my diapers clean. I used Tide with a few drops of tea tree oil with the most success. Now, I did use almost half the recommended amount. And I did do a strip every 3 months with Sportswash ( find it in the Hunting section at Walmart). I didn't use any fabric softeners and tried to line dry as much as possible.
 

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<span>I use SA8 for all our clothes, including diapers. Our diapers are on our 3rd child now (MotherEase), so they've held up pretty well, and only a bit of the SA8 is needed per load--one box lasts me over a year and I do at least a load of laundry/day.</span>
 

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We have tried lots of different detergents and for us the type of diaper depends on the detergent. We use mostly hemp and like oxyprime. Cotton prefolds seem to do fine with anything, but I never found a way to wash microfiber, it always stunk!<br>
ETA: we also use vinegar in the rinse cycle and then run one extra rinse.
 

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This subject is my least favorite part of my business b/c there is so much misinformation and outright fantasy out there.<br><br>
If you just use cotton diapers, it doesn't matter as much what you use. Anything stay-dry, though, it does matter, b/c the extra additives in most detergents will build up on the stay-dry fabric and make it repel instead of absorb (which makes them leak.) I can tell this right away, b/c the diapers will feel waxy.<br><br>
Diapers are dirty and full of bacteria. Many people want to use a tiny amount of a natural detergent and then wonder why their diapers stink or have stains. After years of experimenting and counseling people, this is what really matters:<br><br>
1. If you are using anything other than prefolds, use a cloth diaper-safe detergent. They are cheaper per load than store brands and you know that there is nothing in it that will clog your diapers. All powdered diaper detergents are basically exactly the same, so don't fuss too much over which one.<br><br>
2. Liquid detergents can be harder to rinse and are more likely to contain oils that will coat the diapers. When in doubt, choose a powder. Esp. avoid most natural liquids from whole foods which list several oils on the label. Excepts are Mountain Green and Vaska. These are both excellent and natural.<br><br>
3. "Free" oxygen bleach is your friend. I use it in every hot wash with a liquid detergent. If you are using a powdered diaper detergent, it probably already includes it (oxygen percarbonate or perborate.)<br><br>
4. Tea tree oil makes a nice smell but does nothing. Tea tree oil needs to be at a 5% concentration to kill anything - the oil you can buy is usually only 2%, and then you are putting it into AN ENTIRE DRUM OF WATER, thus diluting it down to nothing. All microbicidal ability is now lost. It smells clean, but it isn't doing anything else.<br><br>
5. Killing bacteria is important, b/c that is what makes the bad smells. Most diapers have multiple layers of fabric sewn together, and poop is going on them. This is the perfect place for bacteria to grow. The only thing that will really kill the bacteria effectively is regular old chlorine bleach. Yes, I know lots of companies say no bleach, but I have used bleach for years with no effect on my diapers' longevity. I use 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach in my main hot wash twice a month. My diapers smell and look beautiful.<br><br>
6. Ammonia smell is caused by urine drying in the diapers. Night diapers are often the worst. To prevent it, rinse all night diapers in fresh water in the morning. Add 1/2 - 1 cup white vinegar to every cold PRE-wash.<br><br>
7. Washing diapers should not be hard. Really. Quit reading all those horror story threads that end up sounding like potions class. It doesn't have to be that way.<br><br>
8. Yes, some people use Tide and love it. (I use it on all our clothes, actually, and none of us have problems with that, baby included.) But for some babies, it causes a chemical-burn rash over their whole diaper area b/c of the enzymes. If you want to try it, wash only one diaper and put it on the baby several times before committing to it for all the diapers. Once you have used it on the diapers, it is very hard to get it out if it causes a rash, and you often end up having to buy a whole new set of diapers.<br><br>
9. An annoying and persistent broken-open rash can often be caused by bacterial buildup, and a wash with bleach will fix it.<br><br>
10. A rough, bumpy, peely rash is usually yeast. Get some Lotrimin AF cream and apply it to baby twice a day. Don't fuss over sanitizing the diapers, b/c we all have yeast on our skin all the time, and it is only the overgrowth that causes a problem, and the cream will take care of that.<br><br>
11. It is better to use more detergent and do two hot washes than to use not enough and only one hot wash.<br><br>
12. Lots of people say "don't worry about stains," but this is nonsense. A stained diaper is dirty. Stains are preventable in most situations by spraying off all poopy diapers, using oxygen and/or chlorine bleach, and using enough detergent. Yes, some foods will always make stains, like blueberries, but you should not be getting stains on every diaper. If your diapers are stained, feel greasy, and are leaky, it is not normal and needs to be addressed.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Galatea</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15377823"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">12. Lots of people say "don't worry about stains," but this is nonsense. A stained diaper is dirty. Stains are preventable in most situations by spraying off all poopy diapers, using oxygen and/or chlorine bleach, and using enough detergent. Yes, some foods will always make stains, like blueberries, but you should not be getting stains on every diaper. If your diapers are stained, feel greasy, and are leaky, it is not normal and needs to be addressed.</div>
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*perks up*<br><br><br>
THANK YOU.<br><br><br>
I had zero problems with stains when she was EBF because the sun would take them right out.<br><br>
But now that she's only mostly solids the stains are getting bad and it's distressing me. I post in the CD forum and everyone was like "oh, why are you stressed about stains, they're diapers."<br><br>
The Thirsties fitteds aren't getting stains at all. The BumGenius bamboo fitteds are HORRIBLE. My GMD prefolds (bleached cotton) are getting bad.<br><br>
Can I bleach them? What would be the method of that?
 

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Bamboo stains pretty bad so I am not surprised.<br><br>
-Spray the poop off thoroughly and immediately.<br>
-Use "free" oxygen bleach in every hot wash.<br>
-Try soaking them overnight after the first hot wash in the washer in 3 scoops oxygen bleach.<br>
-You can totally bleach this stuff if that doesn't work. It can lighten dyed cottons, but since your pfs are already white, it won't matter. I let the washer fill for the hot wash with detergent, and once it is full, I add 1 tablespoon bleach diluted in a glass of water.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Galatea</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15377874"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Bamboo stains pretty bad so I am not surprised.<br><br>
-Spray the poop off thoroughly and immediately.<br>
-Use "free" oxygen bleach in every hot wash.<br>
-Try soaking them overnight after the first hot wash in the washer in 3 scoops oxygen bleach.<br>
-You can totally bleach this stuff if that doesn't work. It can lighten dyed cottons, but since your pfs are already white, it won't matter. I let the washer fill for the hot wash with detergent, and once it is full, I add 1 tablespoon bleach diluted in a glass of water.</div>
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Awesome! Thanks so much, I'm going to try this... she's about to move out of this size anyway but I want to pass them on to this new baby, and can't stand the thought of passing stained diapers on to him.
 

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Galetea! That was an awesome post! Thanks!
 

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Another question:<br><br>
(I'm a laundry idiot, I use my one detergent and that's basically it)<br><br>
By "free oxygen bleach", like, what is that? Like Oxyclean? What am I looking for in the store?
 

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Hope it's okay to ask another cloth diapering question on here, I didn't want to start a whole new thread.<br><br>
For all you experienced cloth diapering mamas, do you use cloth from the moment baby arrives? Or do you use sposies for the meconium poops? Or perhaps cloth with a disposable liner? Please inform me as I've heard some bad things about meconium staining and don't want to ruin my cloth diapers right away.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Just1More</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380120"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Galetea! That was an awesome post! Thanks!</div>
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Thank you!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kelly1101</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380209"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Another question:<br><br>
(I'm a laundry idiot, I use my one detergent and that's basically it)<br><br>
By "free oxygen bleach", like, what is that? Like Oxyclean? What am I looking for in the store?</div>
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Oxi Clean Free. My grocery's generic happens to also be free.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>louis</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15406042"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hope it's okay to ask another cloth diapering question on here, I didn't want to start a whole new thread.<br><br>
For all you experienced cloth diapering mamas, do you use cloth from the moment baby arrives? Or do you use sposies for the meconium poops? Or perhaps cloth with a disposable liner? Please inform me as I've heard some bad things about meconium staining and don't want to ruin my cloth diapers right away.<br><br>
Thanks!</div>
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I've never had it stain. You can lay a cloth wipe inside the diaper to prevent any staining if you are worried. There are only 2-3 meconium poops so it is not a big deal and not worth buying sposies for. The important thing is to oil baby's butt before diapering them (cloth or sposie) b/c the meconium is sticky and very hard to wipe off a bare bum. Oil helps it wipe off quickly without scrubbing their tender skin.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Galatea</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15406174"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've never had it stain. You can lay a cloth wipe inside the diaper to prevent any staining if you are worried. There are only 2-3 meconium poops so it is not a big deal and not worth buying sposies for. The important thing is to oil baby's butt before diapering them (cloth or sposie) b/c the meconium is sticky and very hard to wipe off a bare bum. Oil helps it wipe off quickly without scrubbing their tender skin.</div>
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Well theres a tip I could have used with the first two! LOL thanks Ill try to remember that for this one<br><br>
and thank you for answering, I was wondering the same.
 
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