My Favorite Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapers

December 18, 2008

Reviews, WAHMs, Washing Cloth Diapers

When it comes to cloth diapering, washing is the number one sand trap.  I’ve seen moms who’ve been cloth diapering for years suddenly panic over their washing routine.

If I had a dime for every washing combination out there I’d certainly be able to afford an entire stash of Goodmamas!

After 3 years of washing cloth diapers I have found a system that works best for my family.  You have to remember that there are many factors that come into play when choosing a detergent for your cloth diapers.

1) Do you want to use the same detergent for your cloth diapers and clothes?

2) Is anyone in the family sensitive to scents?

3) Do you have hard, soft, or in between water?

4) What type of diapering system are you using?

5) Are you on a tight budget?

All of these answers affect each other.  For example, you are using Tide for your clothes and would like to wash your diapers in it.  If your baby has sensitive skin they may develop a rash even if their clothes never caused one.  If you have soft water and use fitteds it will be necessary to do extra rinses, especially using a strong detergent like Tide.  If your budget is tight the extra rinses (sometimes 2 or 3) can add up fast.

Tide works great for many families.  The key is finding the right amount necessary to get the diapers clean and yet not create a nasty buildup monster.

We have soft water and I prefer to use one detergent for all my laundry.  My husband is sensitive to scents and we prefer a natural detergent.  Although my budget isn’t that tight I don’t want to be running to the store every 3 weeks for another $11 bottle of detergent.

So what is our solution(s)?

Here are my requirements:

*cost effective
*light-meaning rinses out of clothes easily
*smell: me-strong, husband-natural and light
*actually cleans ;)

Crunchy Clean meets all of these requirements.  I had gotten away from using Crunchy Clean and adopted Mrs. Meyers.  I love Mrs. Meyers for every reason except that it is pricey and only lasts about 3 weeks.  Since receiving my new order of Crunchy Clean I’ve been kicking myself for all the money I’ve wasted!

My husband’s sensitive nose did get overlooked when I chose my scent choices.  I purchased Peppermint Eucalyptus and Gardenia.  When I die please sprinkle me with Gardenias and Gardenia scented Crunchy Clean!  This is what heaven has to smell like!

Crunchy Clean is owned and operated by Ashley Brummer.  She is an extremely busy and devoted WAHM.  Often times we think when ordering from a WAHM that the product is just sitting there waiting to be shipped.

On the contrary, many WAHMs custom make each order.  As is customary in other businesses (like my mom’s beaded cross business) expect at least a week before shipping occurs.

If you would like to try Crunchy Clean detergent visit



About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

View all posts by Autumn Beck

39 Responses to “My Favorite Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapers”

  1. Sarah Says:


    I have had major stinky problems and since my little Zoe has started eating food, the diapers are staining from her poop. What is this “Bac-out” you are speaking of?



  2. Kerri Says:

    Has anyone tried using Dreft with cloth diapers?


    • Madison Says:

      Don’t do it!!! You can’t use regular detergents with cloth diapers because it causes build up. I used Dreft a couple times when I was new to cloth diapering and had awful build up.


  3. MINDY Says:



  4. Meenu Says:

    Have you heard of or used the Ecos brand from costco? its is 100% biodegradable and the price seems nominal…


  5. Emily Says:

    Hi Autumn! I am trying to decide between Rockin’ Green and Crunchy Clean. I know you like Rockin’ Green now, but has your opinion about Crunchy Clean from this post (i know it was a couple years ago!) changed now that you use Rockin’ Green? Also, have you ever used Country Save? I heard good and bad things about it and cloth diapers. THANKS!


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I loved Crunchy Clean initially but after a few weeks I started seeing problems. I liken it to how your hair is fabulous when you switch detergents then after a week or so it goes back to “normal”. Crunchy Clean does not contain surfactants whereas Rockin Green does. Therefore, with Rockin Green the diapers are *truly* getting a cleaning.

      I have never used Country Save.


  6. Lisa Says:

    A health food/supply store recently opened up in our town and are selling goat milk products. They do have a powered laundry detergent made with Borax, Washing soda, goats milk (and maybe 1 or 2 other things, I can’t quite remember). She said that she had heard it was good and ok to use for cloth diapers. I can’t seem to find anything on the internet talking about using goats milk laundry soap and cloth diapers. Have you ran into anything like this or have you heard of anyone trying this and having good (or bad) luck?
    Thanks so much ~ Lisa


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      From the quick research I did, when using Borax and Washing soda you need to fully dissolve it in warm water BEFORE adding it to your laundry. There probably isn’t going to be any information to be found about cloth diapers and goat milk. I’d give it a try (your cloth diaper warranties might be voided) and watch for any repelling or stink issues.


  7. Kristina Says:

    I am trying to figure out this scent thing with cloth diapers. So, scented store bought detergent is bad and the diapers shouldn’t have any scent when clean?Does crunchy clean’s scent stay on the diaper? What is the best way to get a “clean smell” on diapers?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      @kristina, sounds confusing doesn’t it!? when you buy from wahms like rockin green and crunchy clean they are using essential oils and fragrance oils. fragrance oils are not recommended if you have sensitive skin. when i used rockin green and crunchy clean there was no scent on the diapers when they came out of the dryer. others may have different results. the best way to get “clean smell” on diapers is the thoroughly clean them. many cloth diaper users don’t use enough detergent when washing their diapers. naturally, they won’t smell clean if they aren’t really clean. store bought detergents scent their product with chemicals.


  8. Jen Fischer Says:

    I bought some crunchy clean and so far, i love it!

    My son’s dipes smell so good and they came out so soft!!!

    thanks for letting us know about this- I am definitely getting more!!!


  9. Sierra Says:

    Have you tried soap nuts yet (Maggies brand usually gets the most attention)? The are very light and often help people who have detergent stinkies, with the possible exception of REALLY hard water.

    The work best in warm or hot water and for diapers ,2 nuts in a front loader and 3 nuts in a top loader. Use nuts 2-4 times until the start to break down. :)


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I have tried soap nuts but didn’t like them. I didn’t feel like anything got cleaned…the clothes never smelled clean.


  10. sonja lange Says:

    I love this soap for my diapers, I already mentioned that, but I just used some in my carpet cleaner and it did a great job for the same reason it works on diapers, no bubbles and clean rinse – now my carpet looks and smells great.


  11. Cheri S. Says:

    Autumn, have you heard or had any problems with the borax in diaper detergents such as crunchy clean? I read recently in a diaper company’s literature that it could result in burns of the baby skin. I have a terrible time keeping rashes and burn like reddness away from my little ones bums. I have been using crunchy clean but also have issues with stink build up in my baby behinds. That goes away with dawn stripping and sun. Just curious if the borax could be the problem. Thanks for your blog, it great!


  12. Lisa Says:

    I have been using Nellie’s Laundry Soda & Nature Clean Laundry Liquid and LOVE both. The only mistake I made when first using Nature Clean was adding more than I should have. The 3X concentrate formula only requires about 3/4 of a teaspoon.
    Once in a while I do a pre soak with a little baking soda and add about 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar to the rinse.
    I have seen very good reviews for Bac-out Stain and Odor remover and look forward to trying it in the near future.


  13. Dawn Says:

    Here’s the vaska website.

    I just ordered some crunchy clean. I might have to order some vaska too if this cc does not work.

    The only way I can get my diapers to stop smelling and causing redness is by running them through the dishwasher 4 or 5 times. Usually it takes 2 days. I have to do that about once a month. Yeah, gets a little expensive.


  14. Alicia Says:

    I have major stinkies w/ my Happy Heinys and BumGenius. I never have any problem with my cotton fitteds or pre-folds. I’m going to try Bac-Out. Thanks for the posts about it and the video.
    If I could just convince the daycare to use the cottons, I’d get rid of the synthetics altogether – though I do think both are great products. Also, wish I had kept my top-loader just to do dipes in!


  15. Michelle Thomas-George Says:

    I have used baking soda and vinegar once in a great while. (which I learned from a friend for pet urine odors)


  16. Kerrie Says:

    i’ve been cloth diapering for almost 8 years and have been looking for something decent to wash them in all this time. so glad i found your site … a friend rec’d you from facebook!


  17. Carrie Says:

    Michelle–how much baking soda do you use for a load?


  18. Rochelle Says:

    I’m so glad you posted about this! I showed it to my husband so he sees that it’s not just me. LOL

    I have a tougher time here in India, because there’s so much less available. When we were hand-washing diapers daily, Sun with oxygen bleach from the 99-rupee store (owned by the Dollar Store) worked great. Occasionally I would add vinegar to the rinse, and never had any stinkies. But we recently bought a front-loader, and the Sun is just too sudsy for it. )-:

    I tried a product called Henko with O2 bleach, and it’s just *way* too perfumy. You can’t get it out. Surf for front-loaders works okay, but after using it for a couple of months I’ve noticed a slight bit of stinkiness. Using vinegar in the rinse helps, but here you can’t get a bottle of vinegar any larger than soda-bottle sized, so I run out after only 3 loads. Nobody here uses it as a cleaner.

    I just tried importing a bottle of Bac-Out and a bag of Charlie’s Soap. Unfortunately, the Bac-Out bottle leaked on the way, and only 1/4 of it is left. I still haven’t figured out how–I can’t get anything to leak out of the bottle. Customs may have opened it to inspect it and didn’t close it properly.

    I’m just going to try Bac-out in the prewash with the Charlie’s Soap in the regular wash and see what happens. If after some time the dipes remain the same or get worse, I may go back to Surf.


  19. Stacy Says:

    I have been using Crunchy Clean for a few months now on our clothes AND diapers (different formulas). I really liked it at first… But then I noticed lots of STINKIES as well as staining on my diapers. I feel like my diapers weren’t getting clean enough- I used about 1-1/2 T in my front-loader. I switched to Tide HE and all my stains and stinks came out. I *LOVE* the Crunchy Clean, and I have 4 big bags of it now, but I’m afraid to keep using it because I want my diapers clean and stink-free. :)


  20. Jenna Says:

    I have MAJOR stinky problems! I just ordered some of this because I am desperate – almost ready to give up on cloth because of it. I even sold off some of my stash. =( Keep fingers crossed that this works. And I just may have to take Michelle’s advice and try baking soda. *sigh* Any advice?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Jenna, ((((HUGS)))). The best and most consistent killer of stink for me has been Bac-out. I freak out when I run out lol. What type of detergent were you using? Have you tried Dawn yet?


  21. Michelle Says:

    I tried many things in the beginning and just couldn’t get the smell out. I tried an all natural detergent and that’s when my Sofie got the worst I just use good old baking soda. I do a prewash in cold to make sure no stains set in then I wash with baking soda and vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser and then I do a rinse in hot. I don’t know about my water bill but we never have any stinkies, NONE! :)


  22. Michelle Thomas-George Says:

    I use Melaleuca laundry detergent for all my clothes and diapers. One regular wash cycle and rinse cycle usually works for my AIO diapers made by a on ebay. I check each one before hanging to dry and once in a while there is a stinky one so I rewash it in another regular load and its fine. Keep in mind it rinse each diaper out by hand in the bathroom sink and presoak a few at a time before I wash them. Works for us and my water bill hasn’t changed but maybe $5/mth from pre-cloth diaper prices.


  23. rebecca Says:

    I just started using Simplicity from Wal-Mart. It has a very light, clean scent. My 2 lo’s have very sensitive skin, and break out very easily. Since switching to this about 2 months ago, we have had no problems. It is about $11 for a 64-load bottle, but I use less and still have a little under half a bottle left. I do at least 10 loads of laundry a weeek including diapers, so it is also a great deal.


  24. Jessica Says:

    I am loving Vaska for Fuzzi Bunz on all my diapers. Even used Goodmamas feel just like brand new after being washed in this stuff! It’s the one thing that gets our diapers clean and stink free without giving our son a rash. Crunchy Clean did NOT work in our hard water and FLer, though i do love the smell, making it a great smelling laundry booster for us.


  25. Kerrin Says:

    I have used Charlies soap for my cloth diapers for a while now. I am starting to use it for everything, now. But i am going to try out “Crunchy Clean”.


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I have heard many many reviews for Charlies soap. Due to Paisley’s off and on sensitivities I have avoided it because of stories I have heard about major rashes forming. I’m all for experimenting with different detergents but have learned to not get my hopes to high!


  26. Heather Says:

    Although I LOVED the smell of my Crunchy Clean detergent, it did not work well at all for our diapers OR our regular laundry. Not even the full 2 tbsp would get any of our laundry even close to clean. I had strong stinkies on all my diapers, and deodorant smells on all my husbands shirts. The smell buildup on my laundry was too much, and I had to find a better detergent for us. I would have had to use much more Crunch Clean per load than would have been cost effective at all. I know many moms swear by CC, but I’ve switched back to Gain for my regular laundry and Country Save for my diapers. Now I’m sticking with what works!! :)


  27. Kelly Says:

    I love Charlie’s Soap. I use it for all my laundry. It has no scent, it pretty good cost wise, and is great for my family’s sensitive skin needs. Also, since switching to it, I have had no “stinkies” problems. I would recommend it.


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