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New to CD...question about detergent? Confused! :-)

566 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  amandapanda9
Hi everyone! I am pretty new to CDing. I am the mother of three children and was always interested in using cloth dipes but was nervous, I suppose, so I never did it. My youngest is now 5 months old and for the past month, I have been researching CDing a LOT. I bought a few things and tried them out and now have a CDing stash that will last me about 3 days in between washing but I plan to wash every other day so it doesn't get ahead of me. I just got the last of my CDing stash in the mail last week but haven't washed it all up yet because I can't decide what type of detergent to use. I have read contradicting info on different sites and am utterly confused now. I normally use All brand Free and Clear liquid because we all sensitive skin in our family. I read that you shouldn't use liquid detergent on fleece products and I have some fleece covers as well as some dipes that have fleece inside so I tried to find the same type I use only in powder....but they don't make it (at least I can't find it), so I bought some Dreft Powder because I know it's good for sensitive skin but I have read that some CDing sites recommend that you don't use Dreft at all or any type of Free and Clear detergent on cloth dipes because they can leave a residue and interfere with absorbancy I am assuming. I have NO idea what to use now! I need something that is good for sensitive skin but I also would like my dipes to last since I do plan to have at least one more child (maybe more). Does anyone have any suggestions they can offer or maybe know if what I read about Dreft and free and clear products is not so? I have hard water (well water) if that makes any difference in the recommendations. Thanks so much!
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i use liquid Tide with all of our diapers and have never had a problem. I strip them once every three months as a preventative measure, and that's all. =)
I use Charlie's Soap, the liquid version. There is nothing wrong with using the liquid version on fleece (we use Fuzzi Bunz). At 1/8c per large load, it's WAY cheaper in the longrun than both mainstream detergents and Allens Naturally.

Also Charlie's is 100% water soluble, natural, earth-friendly, works great and has no added softeners nor brighteners (ALL the mainstream detergents, even the "free and clear" ones have added brighteners now -- they are not required by law to put all their ingredients on the label), as these things coat dipes and affect absorbancy.

Coated dipes require stripping, which can cause them to break down faster and not last as long. Plus it's a PITA.

We use a dry pail and wash cold soak with 1/8c Charlie's, followed by hot wash with 1/8c, followed by cold rinse.

Any inserts that sat poopified for too long and retain a stain, I squirt Charlie's directly on, then toss back in the pail to sit until next wash. (We have backup inserts for this.)

Works like a charm.

Dry on low with dryer balls if you like -- NO sheets.

And wash like with like. If you're using fleece products, don't wash any natural fibers with them else you'll get pilling. If anything, using a powder on fleece can cause minor pilling, but it's more an issue of other fibers being washed with it. Make sense?

And for what it's worth -- I have very sensitive skin and used All F&C on my clothes. Now I use Charlie's. On everything. It's outstanding.


ETA: Don't use the "natural" detergents on dipes either. While they may be great for clothes (I like 7th Gen personally), they have natural plant oils that can coat dipes. Stick with water soluble detergents like Charlie's, Allens, SportsWash or BioKleen (haven't used the last two but hear they are okay to use).
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i used the sports wash and the biokleen, in my experience Charlies is the best... we use the poweder, and its only one TBSP! it rocks.
the sportswash (also called sensiclean) worked well but it took forever to get the suds out. so i was using like 5 rinse cycles just to get all the soap out of the load. or DD would get a rash.
the biokleen completely coated my diapers, even the "free n clear" kind. its because of the plant oils.

Charlies is the best in my eyes.

also if we have a BIG nasty poop that needs either swishing or lots of wiping off of the diaper we use some Bac-out by bio kleen. that works great. does leave more suds in the wash tho so if i have used any bac-out i will also need an extra rinse.
Thanks for all the replies! This has helped so much! The link that explains the different detergents was great! I used to use Tide on our clothes before we had kids...but I switched to Dreft once I had my first baby and just more recently switched to All F&C since it was cheaper to wash ALL our clothes in that rather than in Dreft. My skin actually stopped getting rashes too once I stopped the I'm kind of afraid to try that one with the dipes. Charlies Soap and Allen's Naturally were two that I was considering though...but a few sites said it wasn't as effective with hard water and we have well water....not sure HOW hard it is but I think I'm going to order the Charlier's Soap and give it a shot.

nighten----Thanks for all the info! I really didn't realize you could use liquid detergent on fleece products....everything I've ever read says not to....but I think I will give it a shot since you said that the powder can cause slight piling on fleece. I'm going to order the Charlie's Soap tonight and try it out. What is a dryer ball? Never heard of that before? Of course, I've never been big on fabric sheets because I hate the feel they leave on my hands so I don't ever use those anyway...maybe some of my other laundry would look better if I did though, huh?
Anyway...thanks for all the not only gives me an idea of what detergent to use but also an idea of the washing technique I could try.

ANyone know if I should try stripping the four or five dipes that I did wash with All F&C and Dreft Powder? I washed a few (the ones I bought to test out to see what I liked) maybe 6 times or so....should I try using some Dawn on those in the sink and rewash with the Charlie's Soap once I receive it?
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AddysMama---Thanks! That reinforces my decision to try the Charlie's....what is Bac-out? Seems like I read something about that in a handout that Green Mountain Diapers sent me and I was curious...
You're welcome! Dryer Balls. I got mine at the Bed Bath and Beyond store.

Call the Charlie's people and ask about well water. They are SUPER helpful folks! Tell them Renee from TN told you to call hehe.
oh yes i second calling them, they are so helpful in answering most anything you enquire about. they rock!

Bac-Out is a product made my BioKleen, its WONDERFUL.
i use it when the animals or kids pee/poo on the floor, especially the carpets, its great on poopy diapers, works good on vomit... its just wonderful. its all natural and has an enzyme that eats the bacteria that causes the stink and yucky germiness in afore mentioned bodily fluids. and it has a nice mild citrusy smell.
I will definitely call Charlie's Soap before I order it to see what they say about the well water....and I'm SOLD on those dryer balls! I had to read no further than the part about how it reduces wrinkling and therefore reduces ironing needs....woohoo! Enough said!

I will search for the Bac-out too....sounds like good stuff!

Thanks again everyone!
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