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Old 10-12-2008, 09:15 AM   #1
EcoTykesMama
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Norwex review is in... My detergent exploration... ALL DONE! (:

So far this is my opinion on the best detergents for diapers, based on my experiences with my washing methods, my municipal water supply and my particular machine:

1. Washing soda: It works well and is really affordable. What's not to like?
2. Country Save
3. Allen's Naturally.

What would I NOT recommend? Soap nuts. Apparently there are various grade soapnuts available on the market and I would like to clarify that I had the higher grade sold by Ecoideas. I also disliked Norwex.

Reviews linked below - read on for more details!

****
Well, I'm about 3 months into this process and have changed my washing routine as I've discovered everything I use so far has a habit of building up in the fabric to some degree. The only thing that has guaranteed me stink-free diapers is WATER. Yup, adding about 5 gallons (or two big pots) full of water to the FL has made the biggest difference overall. Except with soapnuts...

**original post**
I need someone to cheer me on! I am in the process of testing out my detergents on my cloth dipes to try and find the perfect one without needing to overly change my routine.

Essentially, I am a cubicle dwelling working mom with two little ones. Life is busy and dipes only get washed 1x per week and they tend to sit around without being rinsed for about as long. Between the dipes that sit at the caregivers in a plastic bag all day and what we use at home, its a lot to clean. We usually split it into two loads and we use a mix of pockets stuffed with home-made doublers made from sports socks or hemp. Prefolds are a favourite too. Pockets go to daycare and prefolds are for home use.

DS2 has been a treasure and a challenge. He's one of those LOs who's allergic to half the planet and his skin is really reactive. Plus I find since switching to the front-loader things don't wash nearly as clean. We have a Whirlpool Duet.

We're trying / have tried the following without really using it long enough to compare and see if it's the best thing for us. So now I'm doing a more systemic test, using the detergents for at least 30 days and testing out different strategies.... 'cause I don't want to buy any more soap! I made each of my entries linkable for easier reading!

Country Save
Nature Clean
Plain old 100% natural washing soda
Soap nuts
Allen's Naturally
Norwex detergent.

I've already finished with the Country Save and Nature Clean. See below for my experiences with these. Our water here is pretty soft at 55mg/L.

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Last edited by EcoTykesMama; 05-26-2009 at 01:34 PM. Reason: new reviews
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:21 AM   #2
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Re: My detergent exploration

I think it is great to test different options! If I had the patience, I would totally try something like this
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: My detergent exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoTykesMama View Post
I've already finished with the Country Save and Nature Clean. See below for my experiences with these. Our water here is pretty soft at 55mg/L.

I'm interested in what you find with the plain old Washing Soda. I primarily use that, but I tried a sample pack of Country Save and I think that worked a little better. We have really hard water though, so that might have something to do with it (?).
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: My detergent exploration

Country Save

I got this while out in BC. Yup, brought it home in my suitcase 'cause all the buzz here got me really excited about it. So I decided that this was going to be the first detergent that I ever tried as I did get it special.

One of the first things I noticed about it was that it is very very very strong. As little as a teaspoon was enough to clean the diapers. I had a miserable time knowing when it had properly rinsed out. I would run each load through its own separate cycle after washing as that seemed to be the only way to guarantee most of the soap would be gone. On average, there were 3-6 diapers weekly that just stank after ds2 peed in them.

Since this is the first detergent I tried, I can't say at this point whether its the best one given my particular machine and the softness of my local water supply.

Last edited by EcoTykesMama; 10-12-2008 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:54 AM   #5
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Re: My detergent exploration

Nature Clean - powdered laundry detergent

I had high hopes for this detergent, partially for the reason that I think we all would like to be able to support home-made product. But this one DOES not win with my diapers and my situation in my books.

For starters, I had a really hard time figuring out what amount of detergent I should put in. There were no clear directions for front loaders on the box. I started off with one tablespoon (tbsp) and that was far too much. Then I moved to two teaspoons (tsp) and then just one. One tablespoon cleaned the dipes, but the detergent was just impossible to remove from both the prefolds and the diapers. It was extremely frustrating for me to have to rewash everything in a third wash and it happened to many times for words.

When I reduced the detergent to 1 tsp, the diapers just weren't coming out clean at all. A lot of them actually still mildly smelled right out of both wash cycles, so in they would go for a third. Right now, especially since I just finished up testing Nature Clean last week, I don't even want to look at the box. Everyweek there were serious problems and ds2 developed an on-going rash that I just couldn't get rid of at all.

It works okay for clothes but I will never use this on my dipes again. It was horrible!!

I wonder if part of the reason it performed so badly for me was because this detergent was never really designed specifically for front loaders? Any thoughts?

Last edited by EcoTykesMama; 10-26-2008 at 08:26 AM. Reason: thoughts...
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: My detergent exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by singer74 View Post
I'm interested in what you find with the plain old Washing Soda. I primarily use that, but I tried a sample pack of Country Save and I think that worked a little better. We have really hard water though, so that might have something to do with it (?).
Maybe. I only started with the washing soda last week. I have high hopes for it, but we'll see. What kind of washing machine are you using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuehners21 View Post
I think it is great to test different options! If I had the patience, I would totally try something like this
I think that's what led me to this point. I was always trying to test different detergents and then one day, I looked at my laundry room and its full of all these different brands. So I took all the ones I know are supposed to be suitable for dipes and decided, that's it! Let's do this properly rather than trying to spend more money on something else.

Plus, I know my laundering habits (washing only 1x weekly, albeit in two separate loads), my particular machine and my water would have an impact on the results I am going to get at the end of all this.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:24 PM   #7
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Re: My detergent exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoTykesMama View Post
What kind of washing machine are you using?
It's a top-loading KitchenAid that generally beats the cr*p out of everything. Pardon the pun.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: My detergent exploration

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Originally Posted by singer74 View Post
It's a top-loading KitchenAid that generally beats the cr*p out of everything. Pardon the pun.
That's what we used to have until we got the FL this year. I used it and it was a great machine for the dipes and I'm just shocked at how difficult things get with a FL once they start eating solids.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:25 AM   #9
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Re: My detergent exploration

I had someone suggest throwing in a towel with the diapers to weigh it down so that the machine would use more water.

Has anyone tried this? Does it work?

Right now, I'm 1/2 way through using the washing soda. I'd say it's performing as well as the country save... which means it's better than Nature Clean for the dipes.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:15 AM   #10
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Re: My detergent exploration

Have you tried Fuzzi Bunz new detergent?
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