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How I Wash My Diapers – New and Improved

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My old washing routine was giving me some stink issues and rash issues, so I had to search for a new one.  And, by gum, I think I’ve got it.

My old routine involved 1/4 cup free-and-clear detergent.  (My bumGenius tags told me to.)  Then I found a site that told me NEVER USE FREE & CLEAR DETERGENTS.  Oh, how I hate contradictions.

The colors and dyes may irritate my baby’s bottom, but the free & clear detergents leave residue behind, which builds up, leading to leaky, stinky diapers.

Why, then, didn’t I have stink-and-rash issues until I moved here?!

I can only conclude that line-drying my inserts must have helped somehow.  They definately got more sun than they do here in this Valley of Shade.  Also, we gained a water softener when we moved, which increases the effectivenes of soap.  Which probably means I should have been using less.  But it’s so difficult to put less in, when everything is 2x concentrated. And, according to Kelly, I shouldn’t be using free-and-clear to begin with.

But even when I switched to a dyed, scented detergent (risking more rashes), the stink did not disappear.  I started bleaching the diapers, perhaps once every week or two.  That took care of the stink AND the rashes… but destroyed the elastic in my Mommy’s Touch diapers.  And the stink always.came.back.

So my new rules:

  1. No free & clear detergents
  2. No dyed & scented detergents
  3. No bleach

Which leaves me with those specialty detergents.  They’re usually the kind you can only buy online.  So you have to pay shipping.  And they’re not the cheapest to begin with.  So if your detergent is working fine for you, then keep with it! Good for you!  :-)  I was you once!

Luckily, a friend had given me a small supply of Allen’s Naturally powder detergent.  She, um, kind of gave it to me with the expectation that I would use it on the diapers she had let me borrow for Olivia.  And I, um, stubbornly refused to give up the routine that had worked for me so well in the old apartment.  And then I forgot all about that detergent until a week ago.

And after just one wash with only two teaspoons of Allen’s Naturally, the stink was considerably less!  You could still *kind of* smell it if you knew what you were looking for.  I then, following the advice at KellysCloset.com, used OxyClean (without detergent) in a load to strip the diapers (get rid of residue), then did another run-through with Allen’s, and the smell was GONE.

When my supply runs out, I’m going to try some Country Save detergent.  It’s on all the “safe for cloth diapers” lists and there’s a store not too far away that sells it – I drive out that way once a week for the local Aldi’s anyway. Even if I didn’t have a store near-by, Amazon sells it, with free shipping on orders over $25!  It’s even cheaper, load-for-load than most commercial brands.

So, in conclusion, I’m switching detergents.  I know Allen’s works, but I don’t want to pay the shipping.  When it runs out, I’m going to try Country Save.  I’ll let you know if it’s as good as I hope it is.

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