We started cloth diapering full time when we moved to a rural community in Northern BC and realized that diapers do not go on sale here like they do in the city.
I didn’t know anything about “approved wash routines.” As my mom has cloth diapered us kids in the 80s I just went with her recommendations of 2 washes with detergent.
A couple months in we started have stink issues. I decided to Google it, as one does, and came across Fluff Love Uniersity. I read through the website, joined the Facebook group and discovered “approved wash routines and detergents.”
I tested my water, and discovered our water is very soft, 0ppm.
We live on a lake, which is our water source, and it goes through a very complex water filtration system that includes a water softener. I did some troubleshooting with an advisor, and although I seemed to be doing everything right, it just wasn’t getting rid of the hot poop smell out of the dryer and the peed in barnyard.
Somewhere I found allaboutclothdiapers.com and their Facebook group was so much more helpful and less condescending (as you know.)
Through the posts in the group I learned about detergent buildup. Jessica and Laura from Thirsties (love the Groupies!) also helped confirm this was my issue and I started experimenting with detergent amounts, lengths and number of washes and load size.
It took over 10 heavy duty cycles to wash all the detergent out from FLU’s recommended amounts. I have a picture of suds coming out of the top of my machine.
This resulted in a few months of testing out different variables and a lot of sniffing wet washed diapers and sticking my head in a hot dryer and sniffing.
After thinking I had figured it out, had a solid wash routine, everything went south again. After weeks of me being frustrated and ready to quit cloth, we learned our washing machine was broken – it wasn’t agitating correctly.
My Wash Routine for Cloth Diapers in Soft Water:
A couple weeks after we got our new machine and some more experimenting I figured out my new routine:
- First wash: extra heavy soiled, heavy duty wash, warm water, deep fill with an extra spin, line 1 of detergent (I currently use Percil Proclean)
- Second wash: the same as above but with hot water, second rinse with extra spin and only 2 tablespoons of detergent.
With my machine I don’t need to be too careful with load size, but I do still try to make sure the second wash is bulked to at least half a load. Although, to be honest, sometimes I only have a quarter load and it washes fine.
Thanks to you I also attempted and was successful with using Sapadilla laundry detergent for several months. 3 Tablespoons in the first wash and 1 in the second.
It was awesome! I’ll be switching back once I get a chance to go to the refillery again.
Cloth Diaper Podcast is located in Northern BC, Canada on the traditional territories of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nations.
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About the Cloth Diaper Podcast
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a somewhat regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world.
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is not affiliated with any school of thought of diaper laundry but instead focus on the power of peer-to-peer story telling to empower you to make your own cloth diaper journey.
Cloth Diapering is not this or that, but rather many different experiences.