Three Totally Unscientific Findings about OxiClean and Cloth Diapers

I’m Not Afraid to say I use Tide and OxiClean was one of the first cloth diaper washing posts I wrote. I can’t even remember where I had first heard about using OxiClean on cloth diapers. But I do remember quite clearly why I started doing it. I had been struggling with an angry red rash on Sophia that…would…not…go…away! It was either from ammonia buildup or just plain not getting clean in the wash. Either way, it had to STOP!

I had tried doing a bleach soak because I had read that would clear our problems right up. I properly diluted the bleach and only soaked for about 45 minutes. Two things happened. First, Sophia got one wearing out of the diapers and right after the next wash cycle her butt was back to red. The other thing that happened was that I had faded 3 of my favorite WAHM cloth diapers…waah.

While I know that bleach works for some people, I clearly wasn’t one of them. It was obvious I needed to find a solution and fast!

I started adding OxiClean to every wash and I haven’t looked back! My wash routine stayed exactly the same: warm pre-rinse, longest cycle HOT wash with detergent PLUS OxiClean to the two line, cold rinse and one additional HOT rinse. If you are curious, you can check here and get the full details of my wash routine.

That was over a year ago. We thankfully haven’t had any redness or rashes since. Also, I haven’t had to strip. I haven’t really noticed any additional wear that the OxiClean might have caused. All the elastics are still going strong and there is just the normal wearing you’d expect on a cloth diaper after over 1.5-2 years of use.

Unscientific Finding Number One…

Even if you are a Tide user…or any other detergent for that matter…if you are having issues with your cloth diapers not getting clean in the wash (ex. stink, rashes or ammonia burns) try adding OxiClean to the wash cycle and see if it helps.


I prefer to use the OxiClean Free and Versatile but I was running low and the regular one was on sale. I figured what the heck…and grabbed the industrial sized regular version. I got most of the way through the container and finally reached…

Unscientific Finding Number Two…

I concluded that the Free and Versatile version of OxiClean seemed to rinse out WAAAY easier than the regular version. Once I started using my sale box of the regular stuff I often found myself added one or even two addition rinses to my regular routine (which already included one extra rinse). And I’m not talking about doing it because I saw a few little bubbles in there. I’m talking about you could open up the lid on my top loader and hear the soapy bubbles popping and still covering the whole surface of the water. I switched back and now I can just do the one extra rinse and we are all good.

Recently, now that I had been lulled into an easy wash routine slumber, I decided that maybe I would try something a little greener in place of the OxiClean. After all, isn’t the grass always green…er on the other side, lol.

I am a big lover of Buncha Farmers Stain Sticks. I have amassed a pretty large stockpile of them and I use it not only on cloth diapers but also my regular clothes. I have the Bunch Farmers melted into a spray solution and I also keep an old tooth brush near the sticks to rub directly on stains when necessary. For me, rubbing some Buncha Farmers onto a stain and scrubbing a little with the tooth brush has so far removed every cloth diaper stain we’ve had and almost every stain on our clothing.

I thought maybe I would just slice up part of a stick into the hot wash cycle in place of the OxiClean and I would be good to go. As much as I love Buncha Farmers, it didn’t perform the same in this instance. Leading me to…

Unscientific Finding Number Three…

Adding Buncha Farmers, even though it is seriously amazing, did not rock my wash the same or anywhere nearly as good as adding OxiClean did.

There you have it! I have unscientifically proved that my hard water and old school top loader work best with Tide and OxiClean Free and Versatile. It works for me, but that is no guarantee that it will work for you.

What have you tried to change in your wash routine when things aren’t getting clean?

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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

27 Responses to “Three Totally Unscientific Findings about OxiClean and Cloth Diapers”

  1. Lorie Says:

    Hi! I’m not sure what to do. For the last 2 months we had gone from cloth diapers to disposable because I was sick and just didn’t want the extra hassle. So now that I am feeling better I wanted to go back to cloth. The diapers (BumGenius 4.0) had been sitting around and I remember that they had a strong ammonia odor the last time we used them. I did some research and found your blog! I stripped them yesterday using the Dawn soap. Then I bought Tide and oxyclean and calgon and washed them the way you describe in this post. I did a few extra rinses because there were still soapy bubbles. All day today it has been cloth diapers, as the day has gone on, her bottom was getting more and more red. For the 2 months of using disposables she did not have one rash. I change her diaper every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I don’t know what went wrong. I know it is the cloth diapers but the first 14 months of using them there were no rash problems. Any advice? I really don’t want to go back to disposables.


  2. Ragan Says:

    I’ve been searching through the website to find an answer for my son’s rash which won’t go away! In another post you asked my wash cycle: I do cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse. I use country save and add GSE to the cycle. Also we have hard water here. Oh, and my machine does cold rinses only which is frustrating. I’m worried I’m stuck in a rut :( advice? I am buying some oxiclean tomorrow…. Thanks for your help!



    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Ragan, It’s very hard to troubleshoot here as communication like this can be slow. I still need more info about your routine to give more specific help. Can you please join our chat so I can help?


      • Ragan Says:

        I don’t have FB :( it’s okay, I will keep reading and troubleshooting from what I’m learning on the website. This is such a great resource and an awesome website :) I have learned so much alread!



  3. Sarah I Says:


    So my wash routine is: rinse warm/cold, wash on hot/cold setting w/ 2 scoops of rockin’ green and finally extra rinse on cold. I wish there was only a hot/hot setting on my washer but unfortunately there is none (bummer). I am having ammonia burn on my son only at night too and it sucks and i really love not using sposies and we also have hard water and the rockin’ green works great other than that with combatting the hard water normally. I love this tip for oxiclean though…so how would i go about adding it to my wash routine? When should I add it? Should I add oxiclean at the same time as my rockin green? Or at a seperate time?

    We also use Rumparooz with the inserts by Rumparooz as well :) also, could you let me know if there is something i’m doing wrong before my wash routine? So when my son makes a mess in the dipes, I spray the dipes when there’s poo on them. If it’s just pee, sometimes I’ll just throw it in the pail with a wetbag (wetbag has no water in it) OR i have a bucket in my bathroom with cold water i change out daily that i’ll throw the dipes in that have just been urinated in (i do this after i spray the poopie ones too). Thanks! We’ve never had issues with ammonia burn otherwise so this just stinks (literally)

    Thank you!


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Sarah, If you are only have the ammonia issues in your night diapers I would first suggest that you rinse those out in the morning with HOT water and then wring out before storing. If you are washing a full load of diapers (approx 24 changes) then you might use a scoop of the oxi to the 2 or three line. You would add it in the main hot wash cycle at the same time as the RNG. If that does not work there are two options. Either also add more of the RNG or perhaps try a different detergent. Some people also find that adding Calgon helps with washing in hard water because it allows the detergents to be more effective. Good Luck and let me know how it works out or if you need more help. :)


  4. Lorelle Demont Says:

    Good morning! I have been a big Oxi-Clean fan for many years, after I saw what it could do on a red wine stain without damaging the garment’s colour. However, a new mommy friend recently told me about the EWG’s findings with regards to standard Oxi-Clean. I looked it up. Standard Ox-clean scores an F. That’s the bad news. The good news….Baby Oxi-clean scores an A! Oxi-Clean Free scores a B.

    We are happily using the Baby Oxi-clean now, and it works beautifully.

    For more information, please visit


  5. virginia Says:

    Have you tried tide with oxyclean. I buy them sperate already and wanted to know since its cheaper to buy the one already mixed if it works the same. TIA


    • 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.


  6. Beth Heystek Says:

    Ok. We have had a problem with redness. This makes me think I might want to try oxy clean in our wash routine. Thanks for the info.


  7. Tenáj Says:

    I forgot to mention I also use a capful for Calgon in the wash cycle.


  8. Tenáj Says:

    We have hard water and a front loader. Can we say bad combo? My washer uses minimal amounts of water. I have made attempts to add water into the cycle, to no avail. It just doesn’t work. We are battling with ammonia stink and rashes. Currently using Bac Out in warm pre-rinse, Ecos in longest hot wash with extra rinse, and finally a Quick Wash cycle as an extra rinse. The diapers smell clean. But as soon as they’re peed on… Ammonia! I’m gonna try the Oxi-Clean. I am really hoping it works. I may try the Tide as well. Thanks for sharing!


  9. katrina Says:

    I have an he front loader. Rash and strong stinks showed up then I bought calgon water softener (in live in Edmonton ab) since I recently found out we have slightly hard water here! I put it in hot wash cycle with ecos detergent. I also added two soaked with water towels to the wash (after cold rinse&spin), to fill machine with more water, and rashes aren’t really a problem anymore as long as I change the diaper every time it’s wet or soiled, or around every 2 hours. Haven’t used oxyclean but may try in future if I get problems again.


  10. Ashley Says:

    What kind of water do you have?


  11. Noelle Says:

    I was having issues with build-up and the stinks when I started making detergent out of borax, washing soda, and Oxiclean Free. That was two years ago, and I have never looked back! In use this laundry detergent for our regular clothes washing as well. Love it.


  12. Ashley F Says:

    I LOVE using oxyclean on my diapers, it’s seriously what keeps us using cloth. For our routine, I do a presoak in oxyclean, then my wash with detergent (we use Ecos) and then an extra rinse. No rashes, clean looking and smelling diapers!


  13. Shelly Says:

    Do you recommend the same wash routine with this in a HE washer?
    Thanks! :)


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Pretty much, except make sure you are using the HE versions of what ever you are putting in the machine (detergents). It will just clean better that way. Also, for the wash cycle use the longest one you have available.


  14. Mama Mar Says:

    I could not get oxi clean to rinse out of my diapers. I’ve never tried the free version, thought.

    right now I’m using nelly’s washing soda along with tide free and clear. it works amazing even on my microfiberinserts


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Also make sure you aren’t using too much for how many diapers you are washing. For instance I am using the oxi to the 2 line for a FULL load (20-24 diapers). If I have a smaller load I have to adjust the amount or the suds will go on forever.


  15. Stacey Says:

    Great post! I have been wanting to try Oxiclean in my wash routine. Glad I read this before buying regular Oxiclean instead of the free version.



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