The RDA (or Real Diaper Association) is presenting its ‘School of Cloth’ again this year. Their first topic is: Wash, wear, repeat. Cloth diaper laundry made simple. I’ve written about washing routines before, but it’s been a long time. Probably because I found something that works for us and we just keep going forward instead of worrying too much about it. The only time we have tweaked is when the baby switches from ebf to solid foods. However, as many newer, less experienced parents attempt research, they get a garbled version of what works, doesn’t work, and a lot of phony ‘this is all scientific’ mumbo jumbo from extreme laundry groups. Yes, as sad as it is, they do exist. Recommendations from them are literally leaving babies scarred.
Think about it, if our grandparents or great grandparents used plain soap to get diapers clean, there’s no reason for the wild rituals that are being recommended– and recommended for every single person despite of location, hardness of water, detergent, age of baby and output, and so on. If it sounds too harsh for baby’s skin? It probably is… ready for the truth? No one routine works for every single person. Even the manufacturer that had the harshest warranty policy (and stirred up a lot of the detergent controversy the last few years for newbies) has changed their minds, realizing that no two households are alike and some detergents don’t work for some families. For the RDA’s post, click HERE. Linky with the rest of participants is below.
One of the newest myths is that detergents are one size fits all and all the same– at least when it comes to free and clear versions. In fact the rumor is that free and clear versions don’t work as well as their regular detergent counterparts. I actually saw someone recommend using 2-3 times the detergent no matter WHAT it was just because there was no color in it. What? Talk about voodoo. Why does color matter? The truth is that at least in the case of Tide, the free and clear version is simply their regular detergent with fewer additives. Who doesn’t love that? For all the details, click here. It’s what we use, but it may not be right for you, and that’s okay. People have success with plant based detergents, things that aren’t detergents at all, homemade blends, and things that come straight off the mega-mart shelf. There are many valid choices and that’s the awesome thing, you can try this and that, see how it works, all without guilt!
Let’s simplify things, shall we? If you’re washing a load of laundry, you adjust your machine settings and detergent to fit the level of soil. Delicates are going to be a different kind of wash than clothes with ground in grass stain and engine oil. Makes perfect sense, right?
Human waste is pretty heavy soiling and worse as children get older. If you have an exclusively breastfed baby and use the most simple cloth diapers (like our grandparents, flat diapers or prefolds, in soft water), then you’ll have great luck with a super simple routine. Some arm power and sunshine or a top loading washing machine worked wonders back then and something very low key will work in that situation. However, if you’re using high tech multi-textile all in one diapers with a blueberry and corn noshing 2.5 year old with iron laden well water in a high tech machine that doesn’t provide enough water in the name of efficiency? You’re going to need a bit more washing ‘elbow grease’ than that. That could be in the form of an extra rinse, a little more detergent, or another tweak to your routine. No one can tell you exactly what works for your specific situation, but you can get pointed in the right direction from any of the bloggers that participate in this hop, most of them will give you their experiences after asking questions to see if they can help. If they don’t share similar experiences, they might point you to someone they know HAS that experience. Beware of someone who says ‘this is the ONLY way that works’– if they’re not encouraging you to ask other people or explore other options then they’re not really helping you. It’s not voodoo, it’s not a perfect science, it’s just a load of laundry.