Dear Natural Detergent Makers,
Thank you for the countless hours you have spent testing and retesting different detergent formulas all in an effort to produce a product safe for family and environment. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.
As a matter of fact, the market seems to be inundated with amateur chemists cranking out their unique combination of ingredients.
However, your efforts, although noble, have created a very large area of concern seen mostly by cloth diaper manufacturers and those of us in the information sector.
Every day I receive comments and emails going into great depth about the problems they are having.
Some look like this:
Problem two: diapers are starting to stink. This started about 3 weeks ago. I was storing them in an open pail to let air in and now I have to close the pail because of the smell. Not ammonia (thank goodness), but more the dead animal kind of stink. Two weeks ago I took the diapers with me on vacation and washed them in a standard top loader and hung them out in the sun and they were getting better, but as soon as I came home and washed them in my FL washer again, the stink came back with a vengeance. I use ##### detergent. I was using the recommended amount of 1 scoop in FL, but have increased to 1.5 scoops to try to kill the bacteria. I do a cold wash no detergent on a “delicate” cycle with more water. Then a normal hot wash with the ##### detergent and an extra rinse. Last time I added in some Calgon which didn’t seem to help just yet. Then I do one more delicate cycle with cold water to really rinse them out.
The stressed out parents are at their wit’s end, ready to give up cloth all together. I want to recommend another “green” detergent but the truth is the problems still remain.
How do we reach a compromise between harsh chemicals and natural detergent?
Is there a balance to be found? Is there a detergent out there that is heavy on the cleaning power and low on the additives?
What’s a girl like me to do when these parents reach out in desperation?
My standard advice is to use a mainstream detergent for a few washes then switch back to the natural detergent they were using.
Feedback shows that this works wonderfully. But, I would love for cloth diapering parents to be able to use one detergent all the time.
Perhaps I’m dreaming. I realize that there is never going to be one detergent that will work in all water types with all machines.
Another concern I have with the majority (I’d say every but someone would prove me wrong) of green detergents is the recommended usage amount.
Can 1 tablespoon really clean a load of 20 poop and pee laden cloth diapers?
Economically, this sounds like a fantastic idea. But, are we setting ourselves up for failure by using this method?
Personally, I have not had success using 1 tablespoon of detergent in the long run.
I’d love to have the exact set up that you have because I know that if you recommend 1 TB it does work in certain conditions.
This letter is a plea, an encouragement to spur on new formulas that clean deeply and don’t cause buildup. Your success leads to our happy cloth diapering days!
All About Cloth Diapers
P.S. (this is an edited addition) There are many fantastic natural detergents out there. This is not an attack on all natural detergent makers this is simply a plea to help cloth diaper users understand how to successfully clean filthy diapers and not have to resort to harsh chemicals. Much love to all my friends in the detergent business ;)