I’m not afraid to say I use Tide and OxiClean

I recently brought up OxiClean on the All About Cloth Diapers Facebook page. And oh boy, did we get a big response. I wanted to know how people felt about using it. Is it a big no no? Or do many moms secretly get their cloth diapers squeaky clean by using it?

There was an overwhelming response in favor of using what works. And for many, OxyClean is where it is at!

I recently had a struggle with my wash routine. I have an old school top loader and semi-hard water. Brace yourself ….I use TIDE.

I had no problems at all up until Tide switched their formula. You know the one that now includes the little blue flecks. After that, things started to go awry. Everything seemed clean. I didn’t have any stink problems or leaks. There was, however, one major problem. My daughter’s bottom seemed to be red all the time.

At first I thought it might be an ammonia problem. It wasn’t. I thought maybe the detergent wasn’t rinsing out. I did what seemed like a million rinses. Still red. I tried Calgon. Didn’t help.

Next, I soaked all my diapers in bleach. Guess what? No redness!!

There was some bad news about the bleach. I had faded 2 or 3 of my favorite WAHM diapers. It was a sad day. I didn’t really want to use bleach on my daughters diapers and I REALLY didn’t want to fade any more of them! I had to find something *like* bleach, but not bleach.

Then I tried OxyClean. It was the solution to all my problems. Do I think it is ok to use it? Yes, I do. May it shorten the life of my cloth diapers ever so slightly? Maybe…but my newly clean cloth diapers and my daughter’s clear bottom was way more important.

There are also a few other greener OxyClean alternatives on the market. One of Autumn’s favorites that she uses occasionally in her own wash routine is Grab Green Bleach Alternative.

Here is how I now wash my diapers:

-I usually wash cloth diapers the night of the third day. (I used to do it the morning of the forth day, but I think that was just too long to go).

-Warm pre-rinse

-Hot wash; Tide to the 2 line, OxyClean to the 2 line

-Cold rinse

-Additional Hot rinse

-Sometimes I still have bubbles so I will do another cold rinse. Usually it’s all clear after the 2nd rinse.

Just in case you are wondering, I line dry my shells and dry the inserts and wipes in the dryer. I have been including the OxyClean for about 2 months now and it seems to be working.

As we all know, things can change at the drop of a hat with a wash routine. What works for one, may not work for another. If you are having problems with your cloth diapers and you can’t seem to figure it out. Reach out!!!

There are many reputable sites that you can consult…like allaboutclothdiapers.com! ;)

Just don’t give up!

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About Jennifer Reinhardt

Jenn is a WAHM to two beautiful little girls. Sophia (4.5 years old) and Norah (4 months). She closed her business, Curves, when she found out she was pregnant so she could stay home with her first daughter. Now Jenn spends her time spreading the love of fluff and sharing common sense answers that help to make cloth diapers easy for everyone.

View all posts by Jennifer Reinhardt

55 Responses to “I’m not afraid to say I use Tide and OxiClean”

  1. JOE BURKE Says:

    Your readers need to know that anything other than bleach or hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide needs high dose) will NOT kill germs in clothing.

    Whether its vinegar, OXyClean borax, etc., these products do very little in killing germs.

    I recommend that you go to Dr. Annie’s Experiments, Facebook page. She actually tests all these products and many more.

    You will discover as I did, that unless its bleach, the only thing you are doing is giving bacteria a washing. They live right through it.

    With the MRSA epidemic killing hundreds of thousands of people and surging, there does need to be a better way to SANITIZE CLOTHING.


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Joe, I’m sorry but I don’t see where I was saying that I bleached to kill germs. The goal is to have clean, ammonia free (not sterilized) diapers. I do appreciate you commenting though. Thank you!


  2. Kelsey Says:

    does anyone have a whirlpool cabrio washer? I don’t know how to rinse my diapers without doing a cycle! I have no idea if I am washing these diapers correctly… ?


  3. Rachel Says:

    Oxyclean ruined my diapers. It didn’t happen over night. I was using Oxyclean in my prewash and Tide for the regular cycle, with a second rinse. After about 8 months all my diapers began to delaminate. I mostly use Best Bottoms and BumGenius. I was devistated, not to mention the huge expense! Just a warning, I will never use it again and my diapers get clean just fine without it.


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      As with anything even the actual washing fabric wears out. Different detergents and booster such as oxiclean can speed that process slightly. I have used it for three years no issues. But I need to use it. If you don’t that is a bonus for your diapers and your wallet. <3


  4. Vie Turner Says:

    I absolutely positively love Tide Oxi paired with Tide Detergent and Calgon. My diapers come out fluffly, stain free and smell amazing. My children laugh at me when I sniff the diapers but it’s awesome how the diapers get really clean after 1 pre-rinse and a regular wash cycle. I’m very pleased with my wash routine and all of the help I received early on regarding my wash routine. I know that what works for me does not work for everyone else. Now, originally I was going to purchase OxiClean but I had coupons for Tide Oxi that made them practically free. I purchased two large containers. So I sort of stumbled upon an amazing deal and tried it on a whim. I’ve been using it ever since. This was a great post!


  5. Kenny Says:

    Tide is a Proctor and Gamble product. I will not buy ANYTHING from them. They test on thousands of animals a year. I choose the eco friendly stuff to also not add bad chemicals to the environment and water shed, but for the sake of not supporting the torturing of animals. Plus, it takes such a tiny amount of detergent.

    I follow the same routine, sometimes even go as far as 4 days till I wash.

    1 rinse with 1/2 cup white vinegar

    Bioklean Free and Clear laundry liquid (teeny tiny half recommended amount) I have gone 14 months with only 4 bottles gone through. I toss in another 1/4 cup Vinegar. This is the Heavy setting wash with HOT, and 2 cold rinses.

    That does it.

    Only 1 time I had ammonia smell ((this last week)), and all I did was the same with a few added washes:

    1. Same cold soak with a little more white vinegar, 2 cups.

    2. I put full recommended detergent instead do the usual half amount. Added another 1/2 cup vinegar. Heavy HOT wash as usual, with the 2 cold rinses.

    3. Followed by another regular wash routine with the 1/2 recommended detergent and heavy HOT wash with 2 cold rinses.

    3. Final cold rinse ONLY

    No more amonia.

    I put my covers on a rack inside if raining, outside if nice. All my prefolds and inserts in the dryer, but on occasion I dry them on racks outside. Even though the prefolds get a little rough.

    Never used bleach. Never used a national chain conventional detergent. Just Eco detergents like my current fave. I had done fine with Charlies, Ecover when he was first born, and the Bioklean. All great!


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      When you have a routine that works for you that is so important. Glad you found your happy laundry place and thank you so much for sharing! :)


  6. Holly Says:

    Would oxyclean work as a stripping agent so you didn’t have to do every load with it? I’m on my 2nd kid and I want these diapers to last through this diapering phase too!


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Holly, oxiclean is a booster. You could do periodic oxiclean soaks instead and just use your detergent during each wash. Not everyone needs a booster in the first place. Try just your detergent and see how it works. :)


  7. Vicki h Says:

    Have you tried the Tide Oxy yet ? I use it on our clothes and seems not as hard on them as Oxy Clean


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      I haven’t tried it yet Vicki. I’m waiting to finish my container of OxiClean first and then I will grab that one. I’ve heard good things!


      • virginia Says:

        Have u tried it yet? How did it work out?


        • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

          I did, I didn’t find that it worked as well as doing it separate. Probably because I add more oxi than is mixed in the pre-made.


          • Megan Says:

            Tide Oxy isn’t tide detergent plus oxi clean, it’s Tide Brand oxy booster. You still need to use detergent.


            • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

              I’m sorry Megan. I don’t understand your comment. The post says I used Tide to the two line and oxiclean. The tide being the detergent.


  8. Amanda Says:

    My washer doesn’t seem to have anything but a cold rinse. Is this ok? I was told to try cold rinse – hot wash – cold rinse. I just started to try CD and I know nothing! I am scared to screw it up


  9. Suzanne Says:

    Do you use tide and oxy clean on bamboo too ?


  10. ally Says:

    Do you have a good hand wash routine? I dont have a washer + dryer in my apartment and having to pay per load will get pricey…especially cuz water is included in my rent so its free other than the hot water heater to hand wash them. Thanks!


  11. Kat Says:

    Adding about a half dropper of oil of oregano to the rinse cycle has mostly solved our stink problems. It is a powerful germ killer. It kills germs whereas diluted tea tree oil just maims them.


  12. Kim Says:

    We gave up on cloth after almost 8 years after moving to a house with really hard water and a front loader. Even after replacing the washer with a new front loader we still had issues. Switched to Tide Free and Clear HE. Still issues. Tried Tide Ultra HE powder after reading front loaders get less gunky with powders. The powder F and Clear or whatever doesn’t come in an HE version that I have seen. :( We were using mostly prefolds and some worn Mother-ease fitteds.

    I finally figured out a routine that involved the Sanitary cycle (super long hot cycle) but we constantly had issues with bubbles. I have the same issues with towels sometimes. Extra rinses often lead to more bubbles sitting in the bottom of the rubber seal and a very noticeable snap, crackle, pop sound in the washer drum. How can there be more bubbles after extra rinsing/cycles! I got so frustrated and couldn’t afford to spend so much time washing one load since we have four kids and more than enough laundry already! So I gave up. :( I hate sposies but it was just too much. I am hoping to potty train my toddler soon, and I am expecting again this summer. I would really like to go back to cloth, but I am a germaphobe now and can’t handle them not being clean. Even if it seems like just bubbles, logically that means other stuff isn’t rinsing out either. :(


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Kim, I’m sorry you are having issues! Have you tried to manually add more water to the washer. I have heard of people with FL and wash problems having that help. You just take a jug of water and manually pour it into the soap dispenser at the beginning of cycles. I even did this myself while on vacation and a FL was the only thing available. More water may help get them cleaner and rinse a little easier.


  13. Tierney Says:

    Amen sister! I have so much more respect for cloth diaper users who don’t spread the myth that you should only use a “cloth diaper safe” detergent to wash your diapers. It only causes headaches and frustration!!! Thank you for being a public voice of reason!!!


  14. Katie Says:

    how many diapers do you wash when you use tide and oxy clean to the 2nd line?


  15. Bree Says:

    Can anyone please settle a dispute my friend and I are having over our diapers!?!? I have been cloth diapering for 4 yrs and two kiddos. I only dry my inserts and wipes in the dryer and line dry my shells because back in the day :) when I first started CD I did dry my shells in the dryer and the PUL on several shells started to separate and get the crinkly thing. My girlfriend just bought her first stash of CD and she went to a class on diapering where she was told to machine dry her shells. The class instructor said that it was perfectly fine to do since PUL is medical grade, and hospitals dry their PUL on high heat to sanitize it. I told her not to do this in fear that she’s going to destroy her diapers.

    Anyone have any knowledge on this???


    • Kristi Potts Says:

      Both are and are not correct. ;) -helpful, right? lol. PUL was developed to be an autoclavible (super high-heat sanitizing!) water-proof medical product. PUL that we routinely get in our diapers or buy from a fabric store is NOT normally made to those same standards. There are also a few different processes that makers use to actually connect the laminate layer with the polyester knit layer which combined is what makes PUL. Either by a chemical reaction where it essentially melts the two pieces together, or using by using glue. With some of these products if heated to too high of a degree will melt the glue that binds them together and allow the two pieces to start pulling apart… And once they start there is no stopping it!
      Now on the other hand, if they told her that she could machine dry on low or medium, that is commonly suggested by cloth diapers makers and is generally just fine. Machine drying ANYTHING will shorten the life-span of the article of clothing, but generally isn’t enough of a difference for people to truly worry about.
      As a WAHM who makes diapers I do wash AND DRY all of my diapers on HIGH HEAT at least once after making. This allows the laminate to melt slightly to help seal the pin holes created from sewing. And I do put on my care tags that regular machine dry on low is just fine. Personally I prefer to hang dry to extend the life of my diapers (been CDing for over 4 years here, too! And aside from adding trainers and a few random cute diapers I am still using the same stash I started with) but we do also occasionally dry them in the dryer when we are in a hurry (or if hubby gets to the diaper laundry before I do… and that man puts them on HOT! lol)


  16. Lucy L Says:

    Has anyone tried homemade laundry detergent (washing soda, borax, and Fels Naptha) for CDs? I currently use homemade for washing clothes, but have not tried it on my CDs. There are lots of conflicting information and would like to hear more if there are any personal experiences to share.


  17. Sheila Says:

    Are we talking about diapers that are AIO, or ones that you can separate the PUL cover? I will cloth diapering our 2nd child in the spring and I believe I really shortened the life of my AIO’s by my wash routine with baby number one (didn’t find this blog right away) My AIO’s were shot by 18 mo, even though I had plenty in my stash. I am terrified of ruining the PUL this time.


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Sheila, I do wash my aio’s and shells like this too. Some ways to help your diapers last longer include making sure the water temp isn’t too high. Usually 120-125 degrees is ok. Also, using bleach often can harm fabrics and PUL. I also try to line dry my shells and AIO’s. I hope your next stash lasts much longer! Jenn


  18. Anne Sweden Says:

    Autumn, I’ve always used LIQUID Tide Original because my local store never carries the powder. The liquid doesn’t seem to have the same problems as the new “Acti Lift” formula, so I’m sticking with the liquid for now!


  19. Krista C Says:

    I’ve had 0 results with adding oxi-clean to the wash cycle. I tried pre-soaking in oxi-clean and that made my diapers keep their stink! Then I tried soaking the diapers AFTER washing them, and voila! When my diapers seem to have build up I use it, not every time. I do my normal wash routine a rinse and a hot wash, then I add oxi-clean to warm water and soak the diapers overnight or for a few hours. Then I run one more warm wash to make sure the oxi-clean is out, and the diapers are fresh and clean!


  20. Laurie Says:

    I’ve always used Tide Free & Gentle and it has worked great for me in my top-loader for almost two years now. As far as I can tell they haven’t changed the formula for the F & G — no blue flecks!


  21. Jami Says:

    :( I wont use tide .. if you ever do the research, it is TOXIC to your lo bums… rates an F on the ewg website… I love Shaklee detergent for my dipes and wipes… it really is amazing and safe!


  22. Carolyn Says:

    We’ve also had trouble with the new Tide formula and have been trying all kinds of different routines, but now maybe this is the one to do next! :) Thanks for the recommendation!


  23. Samantha S Says:

    I used Ecos to half the one line, and Oxi clean to the 2-3 line depending on how bad the diapers were. I pre rinse cold, wash hot, rinse cold. Never had problems with stinky diapers or repelling. We have extremely hard water too and a top loader.


  24. Stacey Says:

    I’ve been cloth diapering since 2000, and am on kid #5, and the same top loader since 2004. I spent mid-2006 to early 2010 trying every wash routine to rid my dipes of stink on the planet. Nothing worked for more than a few months, or when baby turned 18 months (every baby, without fail! What’s up with that??) Early 2010, I found RnG. It was *perfect*! I had no issues, even when baby turned 18 months. FF to early 2013. Baby #5 had never had any soap but RnG. Not even 1 yet, and the stink started….and eventually it started to irritate him. Frustrated, I threw in the towel and tossed 1 Tide Pod into the washer (If it can take the smell of cat pee out of a towel better than RnG, well, worth a shot!) I did one small load, and waited til he went through the diapers. A little stink. Upped it to 2 pods for a diaper pail full. No rash, ever. A little tweak to my wash routine, and we’ve surpassed the 18 month mark with no stink :) Pail of dipes, 2 Tide Pods (the purple ones work best for us) hot wash, 2nd hot wash, and sometimes an extra cold rinse. :) I never ever thought I’d be using Tide…but it works for us!


  25. Bobbie Says:

    I have always had great luck with Tide until they changed their formula. Now I have to use so much of it to get rid of stinkies. Why did they miss with it? Maybe I will try some oxi clean.


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