Friday, November 23, 2012

Importance of Choosing a Cloth Diaper Safe Detergent

When I first began researching cloth diapers, I was slightly overwhelmed with all the information and
opinions there are on the web about detergents for cloth. You will read over and over again that you
must choose a detergent that is cloth diaper safe…but what defines cloth diaper safe?
You should use a detergent that is free of dyes, enzymes, perfumes, softeners, whiteners and
brighteners. The detergent should be free of soaps too, such as castille soap, fels naptha, or zote soap.
Some of the no-no additives in detergent are for the safety of your little one’s bum. Many babies will
have negative reactions to certain additives causing diaper rash. These additives include dyes, enzymes, and perfumes. Enzymes are proteins used in detergents to remove stains, but if not thoroughly rinsed out, the enzymes can attack the proteins on baby’s skin and cause rashes. Enzymes will not harm your diapers, but they are one of the biggest contributors to skin irritation. Some recommended detergents by cloth diaper manufacturers, including Tide, use enzymes in their ingredients. If you do choose a detergent with enzymes, be sure to watch your baby for rashes. Dyes in detergent are solely used to color the liquid or powder and have no actual use for cleaning. Dyes are best to avoid since they can cause skin irritation. Fragrances, natural or artificial, are not necessary for cleaning cloth diapers. Not only because they can cause skin irritation, but because you  don’t want scented detergent masking any unpleasant odors coming from your diaper. Your  diapers should smell fresh [as I would call it] or odorless after being washed to ensure they are clean and ammonia free. Scents in detergent can mask the appearance of ammonia build up.
You should avoid whiteners and brighteners because these additives leave chemical residue on fabrics. This residue on your cloth diapers can cause buildup that will lead to absorbency/repelling/stink/leaking issues and/or skin irritation.
Soap as an ingredient should be avoided altogether, because it will cause build up on your precious
cloth resulting in leaks. If you have used soap on your diapers, you will need to do a real good strip to rid your diapers of the soap build up.
Please remember, the most important thing when it comes to washing your cloth diapers is to use the
CORRECT amount of detergent on your diapers. Using too much or even too little can cause issues. Too much detergent can result in buildup and repelling issues, while using too little can cause stink.
Smartipants recommends using no more than ¼ [for HE washers] to ½ [for top loaders] of the
detergent’s recommended amount per load. It is also recommended to wash no more than 16-18
diapers at a time and to use as much water as possible in the wash.
Choosing a cloth diaper detergent doesn’t need to be stressful. Many cloth diaper companies
recommend main stream laundry detergents for washing their diapers in. When using these detergents, or any detergent for that matter, it is essential to keep an eye out for any redness or irritation on your baby’s skin. This can be a sign that one of the additives in the detergent is bothering your child. Try your best to follow the recommendations and instructions from your cloth diaper manufacturer and washing should be a breeze!
Contributed by: Alex
I live in Idaho. I am a wife of 4.5 years and a mother of 2 beautiful daughers who are 2.5yrs and 2 months. I have been cloth diapering for 2.5years now. I am a stay at home mom and I will admit I am addicted to crocheting

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