Update to my laundry experiment. Do you smell something?

March 30, 2010

Washing Cloth Diapers

I invited you to join my laundry experiment back in late February.  I was committed. I was willing to bite the bullet for the sake of my readers.  You know, be all sacrificial and spare you the pain of wasting money.  Or, there was the possibility that I’d stumble upon the most natural way to do laundry and save you thousands of dollars over the next few decades. So, which was it…

Here’s my laundry experiment time line:

February 24, 2010. I receive the laundry washing ball in my Alice.com order. I actually video my first load of laundry.

March 5, 2010. I begin to panic. I just don’t think the washing ball is working.

March 7, 2010. I ask everyone in my family to smell the diapers. “Do you smell anything???” They assure me that they smell nothing, just fabric smell.  But, every time Sterling pees the whole family searches the house for the dead animal.

March 8, 2010. I begin running a pre-wash on all laundry with bac-out. I am getting very irritated that clothes still have food on them after they’ve been washed.

March 22, 2010. I can’t go anywhere online without seeing the big Hard Rock debut being talked about…everywhere!

March 23, 2010. Banana Peels and I host a Hard Rock giveaway. I say to myself, “Autumn, you will not buy. You will stay strong.  Remember the laundry experiment. Remember your readers.”

March 24, 2010. I buy a bag of vanilla buttercream Hard Rock. :D

March 30, 2010. My husband checks the mail and says, “What??! You bought another laundry item!”

Me and the kids inhale deeply the lovely scent.  I soak my diapers (I had just washed them all and folded them all and put them all away and I never do this) for a looooong time. I’ve run them through the wash twice and I’m about to go put them in the dryer.

I pray that there is no more dead animal smell.  Sterling is just too darn cute to have everyone run away from him when he pees–that’s only expected when he poops.

My laundry experiment conclusion is a big fat thumbs down to the Laundry Washing Ball. I know, I know.  The sales video says 45 days before you see a difference. But, please, what kind of miracle was going to occur in the next 9 days??

I do recommend the dryer balls though. I’ve noticed that if I dry towels without them they aren’t as soft.  However, I know that from what I’ve read I’d be even more satisfied with a few wool dryer balls from a WAHM (feel free to contact me if you make or sell some).

I can’t wait to put on a REALLY clean cloth diaper on Sterling tomorrow!

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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 https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

35 Responses to “Update to my laundry experiment. Do you smell something?”

  1. Michael Says:

    We certianly appreciate you taking on this experiment for the good of your family and the environment. When we first learned of this experiment, we were conerned as to the outcome becuase baby diapers are the far extreme in the laundry world. In fact, it is so extreme we created a 100% Natural Baby Detergent to handle tough laundry tasks such as these. The detergent has an increased amount of proteins required to clean stains left behind in tough applications such as these. If you choose, we would be happy to provide this product to be used in conjuction to the laundry balls for this application. We recommend about 1/3-1/4 of what you would use if used without the laundry balls.

    One last thing; We claim our laundry washing balls are as efficient as Detergents and recommend implementing traditonal laundry habits with them . In other words, if you had to pre-soak or pre-treat with detergents, you will have to as well with our laundry Washing balls.

    Thanks again for taking this difficult task head on!


  2. Megan Says:

    I am not an expert at all, but it sounds like you just need to strip your diapers, and stick with the classic rock….here is Autumn’s link on how to do it


    We strip our diapers about every month.


  3. Jill Says:

    I’ve had alot of luck with Rockin’ Green. I really want to try the Hard Rock version next time I need to order (which is soon!)


  4. Danielle Says:

    Oh I forgot to ask about wool too…I’m not worried about bleaching my cotton diapers if they need it, but I also have some crocheted wool that she has been wearing since the yeast rash started. Does that need to be disinfected too? How would you do that?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      When you wash your wool add some GFSE or TTO to the wash.


    • Kerry Says:

      You might try doing a one time HOT wash with bleach (60ml or 1/4c at most) per wash load of nappies, then as I read on other sites…rinse, rinse, rinse! Follow with a one time HOT dryer, or let the sun do it’s thing to kill off the yeast/fungal issue… especially after baby is rash free. I also agree with Autumn about the tto-maybe 5ml (1tsp) per load? Don’t know about the ratio… Also, consider getting or making some bamboo fleece or bamboo terry liners/doublers. Bamboo is very earth and baby friendly! Naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial.


  5. Danielle Says:

    Sort of off topic, but it is still a laundry question…my daughter has a rash that her doctor diagnosed as yeast. She told me to use Lotrimin and also told me to keep using cloth…but what I’m wondering is if I need to use bleach on the diapers until the rash clears up? I didn’t know if the yeast would keep “living” in the “clean” diapers (gross) otherwise…?


  6. Christina Says:

    Thanks for doing this for us readers! I, too, use rockin’ green but have soft water and use the classic rock. I really love it, although lately my daughters dipes really smell of ammonia after she pees. They alway come out of the wash smelling great but the ammonia smell is eye watering at diaper changes. Do you think the hard rock fomula would fix this problem?


  7. Megan Says:

    We bought some wool dryer walls at our local farmers market.
    They are great, they also sell a kit for cheaper, and you can make your own!
    Nothing like supporting family farms : )


  8. Danielle Says:

    I have been CD for 12 months now and Charlies soap has worked the best for us. Although I do love the scents of the hard rock. I found the charlies soap for a killer deal at healthieryouandme.com and I could not pass it up.
    I want to thankyou for taking the time on trying out all these diapers and laundry detergents. I found out about the rump-a-rooz on here and could not be more pleased with them, my baby does not leak through the night now…


  9. Beth Says:

    LOL! Autumn, you really do have a way with words… This article made me LAUGH!! Sorry about your dead animal dipes, but I’m sure the Hard Rock will make them “new as good” again. (That’s what my 4 year old always says, but of course I mean “good as new.”) :) I’ve been testing out 4 Buddha Bunz wool dryer balls and LOVE them for all my laundry, including diapers. I’ll be selling them through my store soon and would be happy to sponsor a review/give-away! Just let me know if you’re interested! =)


  10. Emily D Says:

    Has anyone used Norwex detergent? I googled it and only found a few references to using it on cloth dipes. I tried it back before I started CD, and I did really like it for our regular laundry. It’s supposed to be free of additives, they do say it can be used for cd but that doesn’t always mean anything, as we all know….
    I’m waiting for warm sunny days so I can hang my dipes again to get rid of all the leftover stains, soapnuts just don’t cut it!


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I did not like Soap Nuts. at. all. I have never heard of Norwex but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. There are just many different kinds out there. I always prefer supporting a family business first.


    • Heidi Says:

      Hi, I have used norwex on my diapers and had no stink issues and they were always clean, it even got tough stains out. I found it does the same job as rockin green but rockin green is cheaper per load :)


      • Emily D Says:

        I guess I will have to check into that… I am in Canada so a lot of times that makes online ordering more expensive, so I have to factor that in. I know someone who sells Norwex so I’d still be supporting a SAHM!


  11. Courtney Says:

    Thank you for trying it! I also was waiting for your post on this.

    I LOVE the rockin’ Green detergent. It smells so yummy and my prefolds are soft and fluffy again. My girls butts no longer break out from soap being left on the diapers. I have found a little goes a long way. I only use one scoop for most of my diaper washes.


  12. Nicole Says:

    My Hard Rock is on the way!!!! I am hoping it beats our newborn so I can get the offensive smell off the toddlers diapers! Funny- I thought we were the only house searching for dead animals only to find the little 20 month old as the culprit!!!! hahaha


  13. Debbie Says:

    Thanks for that Autumn. I wouldn’t be brave enough to try something other than detergent. I can just imagine how sweet and clean your home must of smelled after using the rockin’ green.


  14. Rasa Says:

    Perfect! where you bought this balls? Thanks.


  15. Melissa Says:

    Oh, I LOVE my new Hard Rock!!! Even after the first wash there was NO smell at all!! Love it.


  16. Majaliwa Says:

    Good to know! I watched the video too but wanted to wait to see how your experiment went before I bought them. One question on the Rockin’ Green detergent – are the titles meant to represent the type of water you have? For example: Soft Rock for soft water, Hard Rock for hard water and Classic Rock for normal water? I wasn’t clear on that.


  17. Anastasia Says:

    I LOVE dryer balls! Tennis balls work too in a pinch! Never tried the wool ones but I just haven’t gotten around to them yet, lol!

    LOVE my Rockin Green! NEVER Thought I’d throw a tantrum about a Detergent before but his stuff is REALLY great, lol! Put in drier for 10 minutes (with balls to help soften) & hang dry the rest of the way (Unless you prefer to shake the dickens out of your clothes) & ok it takes a bit more thought but I feel SOOO much better knowing the clothes feel nice AND I did my good deed for the day without feeling deprived of anything, lol! (Love the Christmas Scents from Rocking Green, lol, Mint Chocolate scented Laundry days)


  18. Cory Says:

    So what’s the scoop on the Hard Rock stuff? I’m having the same problem — when DD pees, YIKES! Striping has not helped. I’m about to bleach… before I do that should I try Hard Rock or something else?


  19. Melissa Says:

    Thank you for sacrificing for us! I keep looking at the Laundry Ball & now I’m just going with Rockin’ Green!


  20. Christi Says:

    Thank you for sparing me the agony of trying these out myself! I was so wanting to try them, but now I’m more than content with my bag of Rockin’ Green which truly does the job!!


  21. June Says:

    Let us know how the Hard Rock detergent works out for you. My situation sounds exactly like yours, hate the stink!!


  22. Emily Says:

    The dryer balls, they are safe for cloth diapers? Or at least the other laundry before and after the cloth diapers are washed. I’ve just been looking for an alternative to dryer sheets.


  23. maria leblanc Says:

    I ordered some vanilla buttercream hardrock also! Just waiting for it to arrive. You tried your best, how could you resist a new rockin green product??!!


  24. Katiesniche Says:

    Thanks for doing the experiment for us. I hope the dipes are all yummy now :)


  25. Emily Says:

    Oh wow, I’m glad to read this! I’ve been waiting to hear back since I’m in a diaper laundry rut right now and I was very tempted to get those after watching that video. You were right…he was very convincing! Anyway, thanks for enduring a not-so-fun experiment for the good of the people! You are marvelous for lasting as long as you did. Sorry you had to suffer through the experience though!

    (Oh, and lately I can totally relate to pushing diapers up family member’s noses to sniff and see if there is a lingering smell. No one but me ever can smell it. :( I just think my sniffer works much better the other sniffers in the house. ;o)


    • Kerry Says:

      Emily, in that case you should have a great reason to make the less tender noses change all those nappies for you! :-)


  26. Jenica Says:

    so I’m wanting to know how the Hard Rock is working for you? I don’t have any smells from dead animals, just a from the barnyard. And, although my hubby will also say “you bought another laundry item” I’d love to try some. ps. I use wool dryer balls- good for fluffing and softness, bad for static.


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