Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers

Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers

Bright white prefolds after washing with Iron Out* & prefolds browned by rust deposits

*NOTE: Before following this or any wash routine, please remember to check with the manufacturer of your diapers to determine if the product you are using has been approved and will not VOID your warranty. Here are the generally accepted washing procedures and detergents.*

About a year ago, before I had even tried it out, I almost gave up cloth diapering. While prepping our stash of cloth diapers, something went wrong. I had followed all the instructions I’d been given by manufacturers and other mamas I’d met on “green” message boards – wash with no soap, dry, wash with a bit of soap, repeat, repeat, repeat – and was so excited to join the legions of others who were bringing cloth diapering back to mainstream America. Imagine my horror when I flung the washer lid open and saw that chocolate milk looking mess. Two dozen brand new infant prefolds had gone from bright white to a dingy brown. I was heartbroken, confused, and steaming mad. What had I done wrong?

It turns out I hadn’t done anything wrong – but my hard water had.

Hard water is defined by Princeton as water containing mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium ions that limit the formation of lather with soap. It can be a cloth diapering nightmare. You might recognize your hard water by its metallic or earthy taste; having to use lots of soap to get a lather; or white or brownish deposits in your sinks and bathtubs.

Thanks to the varying quality of water coming from wells and even cisterns, cloth diapering mamas and dads who pull their home’s water from these sources need to do some additional homework before the first load of fluffy laundry is done.

You should have your water tested. It’s not a bad idea to do this periodically anyhow, since it’s free! and especially before bringing home a new baby. Our local water treatment company does this for free, and I’ve seen similar test kits, also free, at our local Home Depot. You just collect some water in a little vial and mail it in. The “Culligan Man” or someone from your local water company will call and go over the results with you. It’s valuable to find out whether your water has any contaminants in it, is extra-hard, or is A-OK for the whole family to drink or bathe in. We just did this recently, and found our water is extra-hard and has high concentrations of iron. Knowing this lets us choose detergents that are best for our water, and reminds us to watch our laundry carefully. Even if your water isn’t as bad as ours, your hard water can lead to mineral deposits on your diapers, which can result in repelling or smells horrible enough to peel paint off walls. Trust me on this.

If your water turns out to be hard, don’t despair – there are tips and tricks to get around this.

1. Use care with bleach or any oxygen-based cleaning additives!

If your water test shows you have high concentrations of iron, like mine, never never use bleach or oxygen-based cleaning additives. This goes for all your household laundry, not just diapers. Dig back to your high school chemistry days – when metal (or metal ions in water) oxidize, what do you get? RUST! Adding OxyClean or bleach to high-iron water will cause the rust to precipitate from the water and settle on whatever you are washing. The day my diapers turned brown, I had used a tablespoon of OxyClean to get the manufacturer’s oily residue out of my prefolds. Lesson learned!

2. Know your detergent & how much to use.
Before you choose a detergent, check with your manufacturer and make sure it isn’t going to void your warranty. Then, a good rule of thumb is to use half to one-quarter of the recommended amount on the label. Sometimes this is only a couple teaspoons. Start with a small amount of detergent and build until you feel your diapers are clean. Hard water does call for more detergent than soft water, so experiment.

There are several detergents out there formulated as clean-rinsing specifically for cloth diapers – they’re developed for a reason, so use them! Some I have heard of or used myself include CrunchyClean, Rockin’ Green, Charlie’s, Planet, and ones made specifically by diaper makers like BumGenius or Thirsties.

Of the “non-diaper” detergents, I have heard some mamas have success with very small amounts of Purex Free and Clear (F&C) and Tide Free powder. We’re currently using Tide Free powder in our laundry with great success.

3. CALGON, take me away!
Use Calgon water softener additive in your laundry. You can buy this in the detergent aisle at your grocery or big-box retailer. Follow label directions. This product helps suspend any minerals in your water instead of letting them settle onto your diapers or clothes, and lets them rinse away.

4. Strip.
If you get mineral buildup on your diapers – they hold onto ammonia smells or even start repelling, and sometimes you can even see or feel that the diapers aren’t the same as they used to be – strip them. You can strip with several products including Rockin’ Green, RLR, OxyClean(see above before use!), or Tiny Bubbles.

To strip with Tiny Bubbles or RLR, follow the label directions and use the hottest water you’ve got. Turn up your hot water heater about an hour before filling the washer, or add a pot of boiling water to the wash tub for best results.

To get rid of funk with Rockin’ Green, or OxyClean, fill the wash tub with hot water and add about ¼ to ½ cup of Oxy or a few Tablespoons of Rockin’ Green to the water. Agitate slightly, then add the diapers and let soak. This works best if you can soak overnight. Then rinse, re-wash and double rinse.

We have also found that a product call Iron Out works wonders for us to make our diapers bright white again. However, I do not know if this voids any diaper warranties with manufacturers, and would encourage you to research that before using the product. I do not wash covers or pockets in it, as I don’t know how Iron Out can affect PUL long-term

5. Keep a close eye on your diapers. If you notice a problem, fix it sooner rather than later.

Hard water can be a real headache for cloth diapering families, but it doesn’t have to. Experiment to find the detergent and washing routine that works best for you – and keeps your fluff clean and hardworking!

For more information on hard water, check out:

http://water.usgs.gov/owq/hardness-alkalinity.html

By Andrea Zippay, guest contributor

@andreazippay on Twitter

GIVEAWAY!! We are giving away a BAG OF HARD Rockin’ Green. Please comment below to enter by  telling us about your laundry concerns and solutions!! Entries close at midnight on 3/31/10. Contest open to North American residents only.

Share/Bookmark

GIVEAWAY winner – “Becky” who commented on March 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Tags: Cloth Diapers, Washing Cloth Diapers

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  71. Kathleen says:

    We use Rockin’ Green and love it, never have any problems with our cloth diapers’ repelling, etc. We have fairly hard water. Calgon has really helped in the past as well. Thanks for the link on hard water!

  72. The Jacobsen Family says:

    We have a water softener, but living in Arizona (hard water bad!), I worry that it’s not ‘soft’ enough. Baby will be born in September and I want to be sure the diapers get clean as can be! =)

  73. Andrea says:

    We love Rockin Green, but have hard hard hard water. We still get the ammonia stinkies and have to do a lot of overnight soaking. I think Hard Rock will help and can’t wait to try some!!!!!

  74. Jennifer H says:

    I just started cloth diapering the other day and I am soo addicted to it! Since I’m new at it, I have tried my best at finding out which detergent would work for our water. I bought the free & clear detergent based on some online recommendations, but I would definitely love to try out this detergent!!

  75. Patty says:

    I am starting to get stink in my inserts and would love to try some Hard Rockin’ Green to see if that will do the trick!

  76. I feel lucky we don’t have hard water here with all the cloth diapers we go through daily! Love the blog and the info it provides!!!

  77. Melissa M says:

    Can’t believe I’m excited over laundry detergent! But then again….it DOES have to do with diapers….so that explains it :)

  78. Laura says:

    We have only been cloth diapering for 3 months (that how old my son is!), and already I have had to strip and have tried three different detergents. I’m now using classic rock but I’m sure Hard rock will be even better.

  79. Samantha says:

    I just spent all day stripping my diapers for the first time. We’ve been in cloth for a little over a year, but haven’t started having problems with stink until recently. I put all my microfiber inserts in the sink with some hot water and was amazed to see so many suds and nasties, in just water!! I’m waiting till payday to get some RG to try out, but a free bag would be nice too…. ;)

  80. Becky says:

    I am commenting on this because I would do anything to get some of this Rockin Green!!!! I have just started using the regular Rockin Green, but we have horrible hard water, and I know that kind will work better for me!! Here’s hoping I get lucky!!!

  81. Robin says:

    I’ve actually resorted to a rinse cycle, small amount of bleach cycle, detergent cycle, extra rinse for our cloth diapers. We have very hard water here. I’m using prefolds/covers so while I know it is harder on the prefolds/covers, it has been the easiest way to keep the diapers stink free. I have ordered two samples of Hard Rock but would love a giant bag so I can give RG a long trial (along with using it for our clothes too!)

  82. Jennifer says:

    We’ve got pretty hard water and have been using the regular formula without any problems, but I can’t help but wondering if hard rock would work even better!! Hopefully I get to find out soon!!!

  83. Marcie says:

    I’m on well water, and its not too hard and not too soft… starting to have to deal with stink on my mf inserts.. Would love to try Rockin Green, I’m about to try RLR.. Right now I’m using Allens Naturally..

  84. Anna E. says:

    I live in the great lakes region with hard water. After 2 months of cloth diapering, my microfiber is starting to stnk and my prefolds smell like sour milk! Im currently researching options, so nice and timely post.

  85. Dani says:

    I think that over the past 2 years, I have tried at least a dozen detergents with limited success. I have a Bosch FL which uses a very small amount of water and makes laundering diapers a nightmare! Out of curiosity, I checked out the RnG website and was so excited to see a wash routine designed for my specific machine – I had to order! I love RnG and so happy to have found it.

  86. Our problem is hard water combined with a kid who has super sensitive skin. It’s been hard to get a detergent that works for us. The thing that has helped the most is doing a cold rinse before washing. I wasn’t doing that at first, and I wish I had!

  87. carla says:

    I tend to use bleach as my “fix all” when having laundry issues. With diapers, if I get stink, I pull out the bleach., i would love to see how rockin green does on my diapers!

  88. Bethany says:

    We have hard water indeed! I’ve grown up with it, so I haven’t known anything else. We’ve just been using extra detergent, and it helps keep the smells away, but I’ve noticed a soapy feeling to the wet diapers. Ick! I’d love to find a better solution!

  89. Amanda says:

    I am also new to cloth diapering. I have 2 boys in diapers and have been using just plain old baking soda and vinegar it has been working like a charm. I would love to try Rockin green, I just love trying new things ;)

  90. Wendy says:

    We have used cloth for almost 2 years and have only recently started to have stink issues. Thanks for the idea of getting our water tested…that might help me come up with a way to treat the smells. Thanks. I would also love to try some new laundry detergent that might help…thanks.

  91. Erin says:

    Please comment below to enter by telling us about your laundry concerns and solutions!!

    We haven’t started cloth diapering yet (we are expecting in a few weeks). I have, however, pre-washed all of our cloth diapers with a sample I had of RG and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. We will be moving very soon, and I’d love to have some Hard Rock, so I can wash those diapers right AND just in case the new place has hard water! :)

  92. Evelyn Masters says:

    I would love to try out Rockin Green. I cloth diaper but am looking for a detergent that gets the icky smell out of them as well as any clothes that might get leaked on!

  93. Caroline says:

    I had an issue with my pocket inserts repelling, I did a 30 min soak in rockin green then washed like normal and fixed em right up. I love this stuff, glad I found it early on in my cloth diapering expereince rather than down the road.

  94. Jeni says:

    looks like awesome stuff!!!!!!!!!

  95. Trina says:

    We had horrible stink issues before switching to Rockin’ Green. Whenever I start to notice the stink returning, I just do an overnight soak and the problem is solved.

  96. Nicole says:

    We also have hard water. I’ve had trouble prepping diapers, the softeners just don’t seem to come out. I’ve also had trouble with some staining, the sun has lightened them, but they are still there. The stains kinda bug me, I’m a little neurotic I guess.

  97. Mickie says:

    We had some serious issues with stickies after over a year of diapering. We had tried all the RLR, oxyclean & even dawn ideas with no luck. Finally I went back over the basic research & decided to just wash on hot with lots of rinses. We were shocked at the amount of detergent bubbles (practically a foam layer) on top of the wash that was supposedly ‘clean’ after one hot cycle on high agitation! About 9-10 hot washes later we finally saw no more bubbles. Now I do this regularly so we don’t get that kind of buildup again!

  98. Melissa says:

    We have hard water and LOVE Rockin’ Green!!!!

  99. Meagan says:

    I want my diapers to last as long as they can. I launder with that in mind and would love to try this soap.

  100. Kate F. says:

    We have hard water and I’ve been using Tide but am concerned about the enzymes. Would love to try Hard Rock!

  101. Katie Melody says:

    I have HARD water and would LOVE to try this. We have 6 kids and do a TON of laundry.

  102. anna says:

    My 3 month old has been rashy for a while now and seems to clear up with sposies. I’m going to have to start trying new wash routines/detergent to help his poor bummy out!

  103. Sarah A (micasgirl) says:

    Rockin’ Green seriously saved me from throwing my BGs in the TRASH! I would be out some serious cash if it weren’t for that detergent! Our other pockets never got any detergent build-up, but that suedecloth was something else! I think our water supply here on base (stationed in Turkey with the Air Force) is a little harder. I am noticing more of a smell with the diaper pail since we moved. Could this be a combination of harder water and my son becoming a super-soaker? lol Maybe Hard Rock would do the trick!

  104. Krystal says:

    I have tried regular rockin’ green and would really like to try hard rock. I want my baby to have the cleanest diapers possible!

  105. Angela says:

    I will be trying cloth diapering when my baby is born in May. I am very adamant about using cloth diapers but am nervous on the wash and care of them. I am glad for articles such as this to help better inform me on taking care of my cloth diaper investment.

  106. Linda Jenkins says:

    Would love t try it out sometimes. Still new to the whole cloth diapering… so anything i can try out would be great.

  107. Sarah says:

    I had some terrible stinky leaky diapers before I bought some Classic Rockin’ Green. My diapers feel so much softer and don’t smell right out of the dryer like they used to. I’ve been debating on trying Hard Rock and seeing if my diapers will get even better and brighter. The do look a little browned.

  108. Hannah says:

    Great post. Thanks! Any suggestions on how to strip with Oxyclean in a front loader? I was thinking I could pour in extra water and then stop it and let it sit over night. Has anyone tried that?

    I’d love to try the Rockin’ Green. Sounds great!

  109. Julie says:

    I’m just getting started with cloth diapering. In fact I am waiting on my first order to arrive. In that order I also ordered the sample pack of detergent cause I wasn’t sure what to use. It is great that there are so many people out there that have done the research and the trial and error of perfecting their laundry. I am hoping that I will figure out what works best and then swap all of my laundry over to something more natural. I also know that our towels don’t absorb water as well and don’t always smell the best even after washing so I am going to try the Rockin’ Green RLR and see how that works. I also never would have thought about oxy clean and hard water. Makes perfect sense…just not something I would have ever thought about. Good to know

  110. Audra says:

    I think we have pretty hard water, we have tried RnG and love it so far I wonder if Hard Rock would work also would love to try it. I just hope it is as easy on the skin as the other I have tried.

  111. Jennie says:

    we have hard water and i had no idea i shouldnt be using oxyclean. i use it with every load of diapers! im stopping as of today

  112. shannon says:

    we have hard water and see the results in the laundry. We would love to win some Hard Rock!!!

  113. Kelly says:

    I was having some stink issues with my pocket inserts. I tried stripping, Oxy Clean, all with extra rinses. It wasn’t helping!!! Then my eyes were opened to Rockin’ Green. It saved my inserts! No extra rinses needed either!

  114. Lisa R. says:

    We have semi-hard water. I would LOVE to try this!!
    :)

  115. Alecia says:

    we have very hard water. We still, after over a year of cloth diapering, have not found a good solution. I would love to try the Hard Rock… hopefully it would do the trick!!!

  116. Nora says:

    I LOVE the cherry almond scent :)

  117. Tenaya says:

    Ive never tried Rockin green, but have been wanting to try it!

  118. Tamara says:

    I really would love to try some hard rock we just got some used diapers and they need a good hard soak!

  119. I still have the occasional stinky diaper and we’d love to try the hard rock on all of our cloth diapers. I’m hoping that the hard rock will get rid of all the stains that just don’t seem to come out even with the sun!

  120. Melissa says:

    We have hard water for sure here in the Arizona desert! I haven’t started cloth diapering yet b/c my baby will not be here until May. Thanks for all the tips and I will definitely be trying some of these out to fix any problems we may have.

  121. Jacqueline says:

    Great article! I’ve been meaning to try out that detergent!

  122. Jess says:

    I used Rockin Green to strip just recently. It worked! I felt SO much better about using it than other ways to strip.

  123. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  124. Devin says:

    I’ve got crazy hard water in TX, and have been struggling with 7th Generation and Country Save. They worked great in MO, but not so much here. Maybe a little Hard Rockin’ Green would work :)!

  125. Rosie says:

    Thanks so much for this article! Love it!

  126. Angela says:

    My laundry savior has been the sun! Smell issues or stain issues and some sun makes them go away :D

  127. Kat Williams says:

    I can’t seem to get microfiber clean, or the fleece in my pocket dipers. Rockin Green “classic” got the stink out of my meos and I can’t wait to see if “hard” rock will do even better!

  128. Erica K. says:

    We’re still searching for the perfect cloth diaper detergent. I had a little success with “Ecos Free & Clear” and a little more success with Classic Rock. We live in a rental apartment, and have well water. It is filtered or sort of treated or something (I was told by another momma in the building), but it has made laundering more complicated than I’m used to! I’m excited to see if Hard Rock will be an improvement for us!

  129. anpnek says:

    I have hard water & I have somewhat of a routine now that works, but every once in a while, I do need to strip as there is build-up. I would love to try some hard rock!

  130. Michelle R says:

    I am having issues with rashes but I think they are yeast rashes. How do I “sterelize” with out bleaching and other harsh chemicals? Any ideas?

  131. Tara says:

    We use Rockin’ Green and LOVE IT!!! I have switched over to using it for all of our laundry. We have VERY hard water and it works so well. I only have to strip every other month instead of every 3 weeks now!

  132. Rockin’ Green has done wonders for our diapers! I’m looking forward to trying the hard rock.

  133. heather says:

    thank you for this post. I have been cding for almost two years and am just now realizing differences in water and detergents and how important they are. I currently have the classic rock formula from rockin green soap and it works well but i’m excited to try the hard rock formula. I am having trouble with my diapers being stiff after drying on the clothes line. do you have any tips for that? I have tried vinegar in an extra rinse cycle.
    thanks agaim!

  134. Thanks for the blog post! I have had such difficulties with my hard water. I have well water and have tried everything imaginable. I have tried the classic rock of rockin green, but not the hard water formula yet. I’ve tried Crunchy Clean hard water formula too. I’m still having to strip every month though, even using these detergents. Calgon has helped significantly but I would love to try the hard rock rockin’ green detergent to see if it does us well.

  135. Mama Kalila says:

    We have hard water too… Adding washing soda helps, but I’m still banging my head against a wall here so I’m really excited to see this post. New things to try… Thanks!

  136. Melissa J. says:

    We have to use a laundromat to wash diapers – whether the one across the street or the one downstairs. That is the price we pay for cloth diapering in an apartment. It’s 100% worth it! Granted, the water coming out of my tap is almost pure white so it wreaks havoc on our diapers but with a combination of RLR, Rockin’ Green (soon to be hard rock instead of classic!), and drying on our back porch we’re able to keep the stinkies and stains at bay. We tried the baby OxiClean once (because I used it on her clothes) and our little one broke out in the most horrible of horrible diaper rashes! Learned our lesson the hard way. Thank you MMB for sharing the awesome information!!!!

  137. Lane Hege says:

    Neat blog, some interesting details. I believe 8 of days ago, I have found a similar post. Does anyone know how to track future posts?

  138. Sandra MIneros says:

    Great article! We have hard water here so I’m just now trying to find something that works.

  139. Sarah says:

    Dawn works great for me! A squirt in the wash every once in a while gets rid of build-up – fantastic, and cheap.

  140. Brooke says:

    Thanks for the article. I use my homemade laundry detergent of Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha soap on my diapers and haven’t had any problems. The homemade stuff is much more economical. I also use RLR to strip my diapers.

  141. Andrea Smith says:

    When my BumGenius 3.0 OS diapers started to leak (I use them for nights double stuffed) and my fitteds (most were used) developed a strong ammonia smell. I knew I needed to strip my diapers. I tried Rockin’ Green, but it just wasn’t strong enough. So I followed the directions on Cotton Babies blog, using a tablespoon of Dawn and less than a half cup of bleach (my first time using either). I threw in all of my pockets and fitteds (I kept back my clotheeze prefolds and BG organics) and then washed, washed, and washed. It worked! I was very disturbed when one of my thicker fitted diapers smelled like bleach the first time it was used (!), but that was the only negative side effect. Bonus, all of my bleached diapers no longer had any stains!

    Now, I just want to know what natural detergent will clean the socks and knees of my baby crawler’s clothes. It seems no matter HOW often I wash or use oxiclean, they just stay brown. :( I’m about to give up and use Tide, at least once in a while. They have NEVER seen regular detergents (since they have been in my possession). It is very frustrating to have dingy “clean” clothes. Any suggestions?

    BTW, I like Rockin’ Green, it just didn’t solve the two above problems. I just ordered two bags of it and would love more!

  142. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  143. Nicole says:

    I have BG diapers and they recommend stripping with Dawn. Except, I have a front loading washing machine so i can’t strip with dawn. I know they are to the point that they need to be stripped (i have only stripped once about 1 year ago when i had a top loader). I need to go to my moms and use her washer; however, i am scared of her water hurting my diapers. Plus, it takes all day to strip and entertaining a toddler away from home all day can be difficult. I have had good success with country save laundry detergent. I also liked planet before we switched to a HE machine.

  144. This really helped me out. My prefolds are all different shades of unbleached and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I know! I’m going to get some RLR and do all of them.

  145. Joanne says:

    OMG! I don’t have hard water but find it amazing how the slightest thing can “ruin” your diapers so to speak. When my daughter started eating solids-because the diapers seemed dirtier, I assumed I should use more soap. Long story short, my diapers started to stink. After many different stripping methods, I started over with the original amount of soap and all has been well. Crazy how such a small change can do something like that.

  146. I have a ton of stained prefolds from when DS was a baby and we had lots of iron in our water. Now that we are moved I really need to sun them.

    I use RG and love it! Mango Sorbet is my favorite!!!

  147. I’ve been using Crunchy Clean and love it. It works fairly well for our hard water, but I still have to use RLR occasionally to really get my diapers clean.

  148. Amber says:

    My daughter just got a rash and think it might be due build up. (2nd rash in 1 month of cloth diapering compared to 1 she got in over a year of disposables!) Anyway, I just washed in water with no detergent and saw lots of suds! I’m guessing that was irritating my poor little one’s bum. Better diapering detergent would be fabulous.

  149. Kellista says:

    So glad you posted this. I discovered a while ago that we had hard water and remembered my mom using Calgon as a kid so we started adding that with our Charlies and I love it. I tell people this all the time but they don’t always get it. Now I can point them to this blog!

  150. April says:

    I have found that anytime our diapers start to smell strange, if you “sun” them it takes the smell right out. It also bleaches out stains!

  151. Jennifer Phillips says:

    I was having stain issues on my BSRBs but the RnG has been helping with this!

  152. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  153. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  154. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  155. Michelle says:

    I just wonder if the homemade detergents are safe on cloth diapers.

  156. Nancy says:

    This was a great article! So informative and helpful as we’ve only been at this for 6 weeks and still trying to figure out a good routine!

  157. LesLee says:

    I had no idea about the oxy-clean! Thanks for writing this, I really learned a lot!

  158. Lyndsay says:

    Trying to get all the laundry done!! That’s my biggest problem!

  159. Karen B says:

    I have a problem with Microfiber stink only after I put them in the dryer. I also use Purex Free and Clear and Bac Out by Bio Kleen. I do a vinegar rinse first and then a hot wash with Purex. I worry if I don’t get my dipes clean enough that it will breed nasty bacteria.

  160. Jamie says:

    This was a great read! In AZ, we have super hard water, so even with a soft water system, you get hard water. Finding something to cut through it is tough!

  161. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  162. [...] Making hard water 'play nice' with cloth diapers « Breastfeed … [...]

  163. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  164. Amy B. says:

    I don’t have hard water but I do have a great friend that is expecting her first baby soon and she wants to cloth diaper. I would love for her to have a bag of Hard Rock to use on her diapers so she can avoid stink issues from the beginning. I don’t want her to get frustrated and give up!

  165. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  166. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  167. [...] M&#1072k&#1110&#1495&#609 hard fill up 'play nice' w&#1110t&#1211 cloth diapers « Breastfee… [...]

  168. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  169. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  170. Katy says:

    We have very old plumbing that is pretty well calcified. We had our water tested and it is on the hard side. My husband got sold on a water softening system (royal pain in the you-know-what) which helps a bit, but it’s work in itself. It does nothing to remove the mineral build up in our super old pipes. We’re in the midwest so there is a lot of lime in the water. You can see the residual mineral build up on sink basins and in the toilets that don’t get used often… it’s a lovely brown/yellow. Yuck! I’ve tried a lot of the washing tips above, but would love a new detergent to try and help too. Thankfully my diapers haven’t changed colors yet so maybe the water softener is doing it’s job after all.

  171. This is my first time i visit blog. I collected so many interesting stuff in your site especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I think I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.Regards

  172. Melissa says:

    We had the stinkies really bad despite stripping them & trying all kinds of detergents. If one thing got rid of the stinkies then it would break out my son’s sensitive skin. The only thing that worked for both my son’s skin & keeps the stinkies away is Rockin’ Green. Love that stuff! I can’t wait to try Hard Rock!

  173. Anna E. says:

    I recently had to strip my prefolds as I used some to catch my milk that would overflow and leak. These diapers had the worst sour milk smell! To strip, I used a full amount of gain detergent, then I used Dawn original. Then I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed using calgon in each rinse as I live by the great lakes and have very hard water. The stripping worked! Now I do not use prefolds to catch milk. I think something in the hard water reacted with the milk proteins. TO wash my dipes now I use planet detergent and add oxyclean.

  174. rachael says:

    Wee have calcium rich hard water – yuck. I strip my dipes every other week, at least, because they start to get stinky (but don’t repell, so that’s good!) I would love to try some Hard Rock! I’ve heard it’s really awesome!

  175. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrea Zippay, Andrea Zippay. Andrea Zippay said: Check out this guest blog entry I wrote about #clothdiapers http://bit.ly/bIBcdO [...]

  176. Christy says:

    We’ve been experimenting with detergents from the beginning of our cd experience. . . We started with Gerber prefolds using dreft. What a big mistake! Then, we had tried all free & clear, which worked ok. We’ve just started using the classic Rockin Green with better results, but I’d love to try the Hard Rock. I’m stripping diapers as we speak using some dawn and multiple hot rinses. Hopefully something will work soon!

  177. Mekayla says:

    Im still baddling amonia smells with my diapers…but I did do a soak overnight in the tub with Rockin Green and it helped enormously….some of the Motherease still have the ammonia smell(they are my nighttime diapers) but during the days Im not having the smell problems anymore. I use Crunchy clean and have found it awesome!

  178. Beth says:

    We have hard water but have a softener. I’m only about 2 weeks into CD’ing. I use All Free & Clear and it seems to work fine. I’d love to try some Rockin’ Green though!!

  179. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  180. Beth E. says:

    I have a front load washer and its been difficult at times to get my diapers clean. I have to do a couple of cycles and an extra rinse every time I wash. We also have pretty hard water. I can just tell from the water spots on our sinks and faucets. So I’ve found that Calgon works really well for us. I have stink issues if I go without it. I currently use Charlie’s but I’ve been wanting to try Hard Rockin’ Green. Thanks so much for your post!

  181. Andrea Z says:

    Glad so many of you can relate to this. The issue of hard water is one that I think forces many mamas to stop CDing and should be looked at closer before they do!
    I want to win some RnG, too!!

  182. carrie says:

    we use arm & hammer free, seems to work just fine for now. our well does change from time to time. thanks for the info, I think I will try some of the ideas.

  183. Heather says:

    I’ve heard about the effect of hard water on the diapers. We have hard water, but we also have a water softener. Do I have to take the same precautions? My hubby is very good about making sure the softener is working well. My little one isn’t here yet and my stash is waiting to be washed for the first time.

  184. Elizabeth C says:

    I am so glad to see someone talking about hard water. I have tried every detergent and every wash routine under the sun and yet we get ammonia strong enough to curl your hair. I only recently found Calgon and it doesn’t seem to be helping but we keep trying.

    We actually just bought a second washing machine as I think part of the problem is our HE frontload doesn’t get enough water through the diapers to get the buildup out. I am crossing my fingers that it helps! I don’t know what else to try at this point!

  185. Mary M. says:

    I’m only a week into cloth diapering, and knew enough to start off with a cloth-diaper-friendly detergent (thankfully!)… but I didn’t know that about iron & oxiclean. I need to get this water tested!

  186. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  187. Jenica says:

    I hope hope hope I win this. I’m going to have to try it after my Allens is gone anyway! We have hard water. It leaves white residue anywhere water evaporates. One time we left the bathtub full of water over night and in the morning we were each blaming each other for forgetting to flush a flusher (if you kwim) but it was just the well water stinking! ugh. As if stinky diapers wasn’t enough now I was trying to figure out what to do with stinky water. So far copious use of Calgon and monthly RLR is saving me but I’m hope hope hoping that Hard Rock will simplify my washing routine.

  188. Ashley says:

    I have heard so many wonderful things about this detergent, and I would love to give it a try! We just had our water tested and it def. confirmed that we have hard water! I’ve tried several detergents and we always found the diapers stunk of ammonia, no matter how carefully I rinsed, washed, etc. Right now we’re using Tide Original powder, which has helped but I’ve heard Rockin’ Green is the best!

  189. Kelly says:

    I just started cloth diapering. We have hard water, and it leaves a white build up on EVERYTHING! I never thought about how it would affect my diapers! Yikes! I’ll have to keep an eye on them. Right now I’m using Purex Free & Clear, but just because that is what we were using on our clothes already! I had a friend recommend the Hard Rockin detergent, so I’d love to try it!

  190. Jen says:

    I’ve been using Rockin’ Green for a couple months now and it works well, but I still get the stinkies a lot. I’m thinking that the Hard rock will help since I do have hard water. We have a water softener for the whole house, but our water still seems pretty hard, so I think that’s why the stink is not going away.

  191. Sarah says:

    I can’t wait to start cloth diapering my baby who is due in June! I am worried about what detergent to use in our water, though. We supposedly have “city water” but I find that I still have a lot of rust and hard water build-up on our appliances and sinks and bathtubs. I am concerned that this will cause problems with washing the cloth diapers in our machine. I am determined to figure it out though, and I would LOVE to try Hard Rock. I have heard such great things about Rockin’ Green!

  192. Sara K says:

    We moved (within the same town) about 18 months ago, and I couldn’t get my diapers to stay fresh after that! We used Purex F&C and Calgon before, but nothing was working at our new place. I am finally using Tide Free (after NOT CD’ing at all for about 6 months) and it seems to be working for us! I would like to try Rockin’ Green though – I would feel happier about using a “safer” detergent, if it worked!

  193. Amanda M says:

    When we purchased a home we decided to “go green” and buy a HE washer. The only issue was that I didn’t feel enough water was coming through, plus with hard water and toddler pee, I was seeing a nightmare in front of me! I was a bit worried since we strip with RLR but I didn’t want to have to strip with every wash!
    Our solution has been to select the “quick wash” first, then do a sanitize cycle iwth an extra rinse. Since we have better weather now, drying on the line helps sanitize and we’re not having the build up we did before.

  194. Laurie M says:

    I am only cd part time right now as i still am overwhelmed with the newest little person in my life’s feeding issues. Pumping, wasing etc takes up loads of my time and leaves little time for fluffy laundry. Hoping things settle down so I can put these tips to use.

  195. Jodi says:

    I just realized that we have hard water and that is why the diapers all look dingy. I haven’t really found a permanent solution yet, but I soaked my prefolds in hot bleach water with lots of detergent and used baking soda to help keep the minerals from setting on the diapers and they look whiter. Of course, I can’t use bleach all the time and not at all on my pocket diapers, fitteds, and covers. I’m thinking of trying the Hard Rock to see if it will take care of my problems.

  196. [...] Making hard water ‘play nice’ with cloth diapers « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Natural… [...]

  197. Lindsay says:

    I’ve never tried this detergent before but I am always looking for something that works on cloth diapers.

  198. Yay! I have been waiting for the Hard Rock to come out! We have been cloth diapering since Sept. 2009. We have our 19 month old and 3 month old both in cloth diapers! I was having TERRIBLE ammonia smells and burnsn (ouch!) using regular laundry soap. I discovered Rockin’ Green and it has gotten better. But because of our hard water, I think the Hard Rock could be the answer! Pick me! Pick me! (shamless plug over)

  199. Corinne W. says:

    I am new to the cloth diapering world. About 4 years ago, I tried Fuzibunz for a month or 2 and they were supposed to be WONDERFUL, but they kept my baby wet and he developed rashes. We stopped cding and went back to sposies for that son and my next son. I really think it was our water that was causing our problems as I had tried everything else that Fuzibunz suggested. We have moved since and I am hoping that our water here won’t give us problems and will definitely go get it tested before I try cding again!!!

  200. stephanie says:

    I have been using a homemade soap but am planning on getting our water tested so I can find the best soap to use. We recently moved and even though it was only a few miles away from where we were living I have noticed a difference in how well the laundry soap works (or doesnt!)… I cant wait until payday so I can order some samples of rockin green and hard rock!

  201. Michelle says:

    I just ordered some Hard Rock a couple days ago to try and get rid of the ammonia smell in our night time diapers. I’ve tried stripping and using different detergents, but no luck so far so I am really hoping the Hard Rock comes through for us! I would love to win some more!

  202. Laura says:

    Before getting a water softener, I used Calgon, and that stuff is like magic! Now, with soft water, plain old Country Save works great.

  203. Melissa says:

    After reading this it makes me think my stink and dingy looking diapers are from our hard water. I just bought Rockin Green the other day and I’m going to see if our local store carries Tiny Bubbles as you mentioned. Thanks so much for the article and info!

  204. Kaylyn Buckner says:

    Right now we have really hard water. I have tried Calgon with the rinse, but it gets expensive and doesn’t work, I’ve tried vinegar and oxy clean, I’ve tried baking soda. You name it and I feel like I have tried it! I had really bad stinky diapers. I finally tried Yoreganics Soap Nuts. Those work really well. I haven’t had stinky diapers since!

  205. Sarah Gainey says:

    We are still waiting for our little one to arrive in June. I’ve read a ton of articles on wash routines and am definitely still feeling a little overwhelmed. However, I’ve compiled all the advice I hear over and over again into a document I call my “bag of tricks” for getting cloth dipes clean. I’m hoping that this will save me research later if it turns out we have problems. So far it includes a list of detergents lots of mom’s love (of course rockin green is on there), a reminder not to soak PUL (or it gets stinky) and a few different methods of stripping, just in case : ) I’d love to have some hard rock on hand in case the going gets rough though!

  206. Anne says:

    I have heard that the Thirsties wash is good for hard water too. I have spring water and everything gets brown. I have used RoVer Rust Remover on my clothes, but it’s an acid and I’ve been afraid to use it on the diapers. I’m going to have to try the Iron Out and some of the RG. I used RLR a bunch of times and I thought I was doing something wrong because my washer got FULL of suds. We can’t get good detergent locally either. I was excited to find a bar of fels naptha!

  207. Tamara Sz says:

    We use soap nuts and we haven’t had many problems, except with some ammonia stink. Our water is pretty hard here in our town. Every couple of weeks I do a load with Calgon and this seems to really help. I would love to try Rockin’ Green, though, especially the Hard Rock version!

  208. Jennifer F. says:

    We have tried many detergents, and so far, classic rockin green has come the closest to solving our hard water woes… I would love to try hard rock. We live in southern california and have very hard water.

  209. Alanna says:

    I’m using Purex free and clear and it seems to be working OK but am wondering now about residue build up. My 5 month old has a weird rash that I’m trying to figure out. I’ve started stripping some of the diapers but its hard to keep up with which ones I’ve done. I’d LOVE to try Rockn’ Green!

  210. Holli says:

    Rockin’ Green is the only thing I’ve found that even comes close to working for our diapers. We have spring water & live where there is pretty much nothing but limestone. So, our water is full of minerals & lime. We recently replaced the water heater in our new house & it weighed at least 3 times what it should have b/c it was soooo full of lime buildup. I live in an itty-bitty rural town, so there’s nowhere to buy good detergents. Ordering online is the ONLY way to do it.
    I’m soooo ready to try Hard Rock! If the Classic did as well as it did, I can only imagine how well the Hard Rock will work.