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Ask a Diaper Junkie: What Gives With Laundry Soap?

Posted by Valerie on 5/20/2015 to Cloth Diaper How-To
Diaper Junction Ask a Diaper Junkie

Dear Diaper Junkie,

Why all the hard feelings over laundry soap? It seems if you go mainstream detergent like Tide, half the diapering community gives dirty looks. If you choose a cloth safe detergent like Rockin Green, the mainstream users treat you like you're using dirty diapers! What gives? How do I pick?

Loni, Greensburg, PA

Hi, Loni!

I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t understand the hard feelings. Most detergents are “cloth diaper safe”, some of them will just do a better job getting things clean. Mainstream detergents are highly effective at removing soil, which is something of utmost importance when cleaning cloth diapers. And I certainly understand why some families may choose a more environmentally-friendly detergent. In my opinion, your laundry choices need to be based on what your family values, and nobody else has the right to judge you for that. Here are the washing basics you should consider when making cloth diaper laundry decisions:

  • Use the correct amount of detergent. (pssst, we made a chart for that)
  • Avoid fabric softeners and additives such as borax and oxygen bleach.
  • Limit bleach use to instances of illness or infection.
  • Air drying is best for longevity, but tumble drying on low is just fine for most diapers.

My personal recommendation is to use a fragrance-free detergent. Plenty of people love their scents, BUT sometimes those heavenly fragrances can mask the odor of residual soil left behind on your diapers. Eco-friendly detergents tend to be lightly scented and aren’t quite as much of a problem as some of our favorite mainstream brands.

With all that said, based on customer conversations, most of our shoppers use Tide. The most common washing problem is not using enough detergent (this is true for eco and mainstream brands). So what should you choose? Simple—choose what you feel gets your diapers clean and fits your family’s budget.

Happy Diapering!
The Diaper Junkie

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