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Has anyone changed their wash routine even if it works?

417 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Mama8
All the reading I've done about laundry brighteners, etc. has left me
: about the junk that they're adding to detergents. I was thinking of changing my washing routine to washing soda/simple green BUT my wash routine (I use Tide) has worked for 5 years, through 3 babies in cloth. I'm not excited about jacking with my routine because it works- clean, fresh smelling dipes that don't wear out prematurely, etc. Has anyone changed their working routine because of the junk in laundry detergents?
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Well, I did, but I don't have near as much experience washing dipes as you do. DS is 8 months. I had been using a "free and clear" detergent and a vinegar rinse. Everything seemed fine with the dipes (I use mostly pf's and have just two pockets). But when my last bottle of detergent ran out I started using the SG/WS combo. They smell different (not in a bad way) and they seem a wee bit brighter to me. But other than that - no real difference. Although I don't think we really know any long term effects of the SG/WS, so if I were you, I might stick to what you've been doing since it's tried-and-true.
I used to use Purex and it cleaned them fine, but when I bought a bunch of pockets I decided to switch to Allen's Naturally. I loved it so much I decided to keep using it even after I sold all the pockets and went back to fitteds/prefolds! The diapers smell CLEAN, not like detergent.

I'm not sure what to tell you. If your diapers are getting clean and there's no rashes from the junk in the detergent, then you certainly don't need to change anything. But I personally like knowing the diapers that will be on my childrens' bottoms were washed in the Allen's Naturally!
I did. I had been washing CDs for 2 years, with little issue. I use PFs only, basically. I have 2 pocket dipes and 2 pocket fitteds with inserts.

I had been using various free and clear type detergents, sometimes with vinegar rinse, sometimes not. Sometimes DA, sometimes not. Maybe I didn't hesitate to change my routine because I didn't have any loyalty to any particular detergent. I had stinkies sometimes but I just zapped them with a little bleach once in awhile.

A little over a month ago, I switched to WS/SG for all our laundry. Love it so far - I guess if everything falls apart in two more months then I'll feel stupid but for now it works SO well. I love knowing that there's no weird optical brightening crap and God only knows what else lurking in our laundry. Everything smells awesome (not like detergent, yk, just CLEAN) and my husband hasn't said anything. I keep him as far out of my laundry business as I can because if it was up to him we'd use a cup of bleach and three dryer sheets for every load.

I also ditched our fabric softener sheets (although they were unscented
) and got those dryer balls. DH hasn't said anything about static cling either so looks like I'm off the hook!
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We did.
We washed for a year in hot water for diapers and cold for anything pul with Dreft. Never had a problem, no stink, no hard dipes, no build up, nothing.
Last year when we moved we switched to washing everything together on cold with baking soda and tea tree oil to save money.
July will be a year with this washing method and I love it.
I did. I am using sg and bs right now until I get my washing soda and so far it works. i'm going to use the rest of the all free and clear on our clothes until it is gone and then use the sg/ws on everything.

it is nice knowing that if his diapers wick it will be because they aren't the right size rather than wondering if it is the laundry soap.
Thanks ladies, you've given me something to think about. I just don't like the idea of all sorts of brightening crap and chemicals lingering on his dipes, or my clothes, for that matter. I dread having to tweak my routine, though, because it's just something I don't even think about now- when it's time to wash dipes, I wash them, and that's it. No thinking required
I bought some Simple Green, haven't found washing soda yet, but I think I'll try it and see how it works. I can always go back to Tide I guess, if it doesn't work for us. The weather is getting nice and I want my clean dipes to be out in the sun, getting naturally white, not because of some make-you-think-they're-white chemical gunk!
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Originally Posted by trini
I don't think we really know any long term effects of the SG/WS, so if I were you, I might stick to what you've been doing since it's tried-and-true.

I laughed reading your post because I'm considering switching to Tide on the basis of one of your previous posts saying how successful it's been for you. Allen's worked well when we had all cotton dipes but isn't getting my pockets as clean as I'd like.

I totally understand not wanting a bunch of mysterious things in your laundry detergent. However, my understanding from various posts is that optical brighteners are just dyes and they don't make fleece repel. Given that most of my clothing is dyed, that doesn't freak me out too much. One thing you may want to consider is that carbonate-based detergents can sometimes cause build-up in hard water (, and I believe WS is carbonate-based. Also, many sources (Consumer Reports, my midwife, lots of moms here) agree that Tide is great for getting out organic yuckies (like poop & bacteria) because of the enzymes in it. Ammonia stink is due to bacteria reacting with pee, so if SG/WS doesn't kill/digest bacteria as effectively as Tide, you might be more likely to get stink. If your kids are sensitive to the enzymes and getting rashy, using enzymes are bad. But if your kids aren't reacting to the enzymes, they do in fact get out organic yuckies very effectively - that's why they're the main ingredient in things like Bac-Out. Anyway, if I were you I wouldn't fix a system that has worked well for a long time, but it's up to you...
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It seems that a lot of people have used Tide without problems. It seems to work well for so many people. Normally I'd say don't change anything that's been working!

But it sounds like your beef is more about them adding stuff - more schloppity schlop, as the Lorax would say - to the environment. The brighteners, in fact, stay in the environment so long, and it's in nearly everyone's household wastewater, that it's now used as an indicator to test if household water is leaking into creek systems or there's illegal dumping (they use a blacklight to detect traces of it in the water). Some sources say it's toxic to aquatic life. But I haven't seen enough evidence to personally be afraid or start labeling using it as horrible for the environment - mainly just offended that there's yet another chemical out there going into the environment by the gallons without good reason.

In that case, if it's a question of not liking the trend toward adding more stuff to an already overtoxified planet, it makes sense to try something else.

But if your main concern is finding a system that works (for, I might add, the cloth diapers that are doing so much good for the environment) I'd say don't feel like you have to switch! It doesn't sound like they're doing your diapers any harm!
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Oh, and like wawoof said, if repelling fleece is the problem, it's not likely brighteners.

Brighteners affect waterproofing (like covers and outers), not fleece. Sounds like you have neither problem, but since I've participated in a lot of these discussions, I wanted to clarify that. The people who have wicking covers or outers may want to suspect brighteners (or hold it under a blacklight like I did with my Bummis and see if the glowing spots match the wicking spots...)
Great points Brenda! ITA about not adding a bunch of extra chemicals to the envt for no good reason. I just hate to see someone change a wash routine that is resulting in stink-free diapers!

I've been washing in Allen's but it's not doing a good enough job at removing poo (even breastfed
: ) from my BumGenius pockets. I'm going to try mini-showering all poo, fastening the pockets inside out, soaking in bac-out (which is enzyme-based, just like Tide), and then washing in Allen's before I resort to Tide. Brenda, do you happen to know if there's an HE detergent with enzymes that doesn't have optical brighteners?
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Uh oh, all the talk about making my non-repelling fleece repel and losing the enzymatic benefits of my beloved Tide is making me wary of changing anything! Honestly, before I learned about the chemical brighteners, I didn't think twice about keeping my routine the way it is. I really really don't want to cause issues with my dipes, and now I'm afraid that if I change over to something else, that might happen.
I want clean dipes and I don't want lots of chemical junk on them, or in the water. Maybe I'm being too demanding?
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Sadly, I know very little of HE detergents. The only one I've heard much about is.... Tide! A lot of HE/FL users swear by it... The only thing I could recommend, not being a FL user myself, is a simpler, gunk-free detergent like Charlie's (Charlie's says it's low-sudsing and can be used in a FL) along with some bac-out added by you.

You don't have to be an environmental martyr! You're doing good things for this planet by enjoying your cloth - you don't have to do it all.
Kaylee don't feel bad! I wouldn't have switched probably if my diapers hadn't been leaky and not very absorbent. I did strip them and they've been doing better so i didn't want to repeat past mistakes. plus i bought a whole stash of new diapers so didn't want to end up in the same boat!
I thought mine was working until I used the Calgon water soften.
I literally used up 3 bottles of Calgon getting all the bubbles out.But they are finally bubble free. I am now using the washing soda and Simple green method. My diapers are a lot softer. Now I know use little very little detergent
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