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Washing Baby Cloth Diapers – Which Detergents Work Better?

 

Sckoon organic cotton cloth diaper from Sckoon Organics

The demand for certified organic cotton cloth diapers for babies has been increasing tremendously. Some mothers think organic cotton needs a special care but it actually there is no difference from caring conventional cotton baby cloth diapers.

What detergent works best for washing organic cloth baby diapers? Different detergents will work or not work to your satisfaction dependent on many different factors, such as quality of water. What works for one person's diaper laundry will not necessarily work for you and yours.

Diaper Jungle offers a very nice chart as below, and you can even purchase some of the detergents there.

This chart analyzes many different detergent choices so that you can find the best cloth diaper detergent for your diaper laundering needs.

Why Avoid these Ingredients?

Pure Soap:

Diaper Detergent Bottle

Pure soaps are the more natural choice in the world of cleaners, but soaps will leave a residue on your diapers and covers, similar to the soap scum you find in your tub. Soap scum on diapers makes them repel moisture rather than absorb it and it is also harsh on the laminates used in your diaper covers, making them absorb rather than repel water. The best choice for washing your diapers is to use detergent on them. To combat build-up though, Annie Berthold-Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home, recommends adding baking soda. Start out with 1/4 cup of baking soda, and increase to 1/2 cup if you have very hard water, she advises. Leave the soda in the water for ten minutes, then add the soap and clothes.

Enzymes:

Enzymes attack organic matter and help dissolve stains when activated with water or moisture. Sweat, urine, and feces are all organic matter so there is a risk that these substances that are lingering on baby's skin will be a target for these enzymes. In particularly sensitive children, these enzymes can cause blistering, bleeding, sores and rashes.

Fragrances and Dyes:

These are harsh and unnecessary chemicals for a baby's laundry. It is best to avoid them.

Artificial fragrances are often made from petroleum. Many do not degrade in the environment, and may have toxic effects on both fish and mammals. Additionally, they often can cause allergies and skin or eye irritation.

Optical Brighteners:

These are actually tiny particles that stick to the surface of your clothes after washing. These particles make colors appear to be brighter by absorbing invisible ultraviolet light and re-emitting it as blue light. If you want to see if your detergent has these brighteners, simply look at the detergent under a black light. Although these optical brighteners may make your clothes appear brighter, they are chemical residues that are intentionally left behind on your clothes and may cause skin irritation or other allergic reactions.

Fabric Softeners:

Fabric softener, either in liquid or sheet form leaves a water-repelling residue on your laundry. When left on your cloth diapers (and towels), this residue makes them less absorbent and useful in the very purpose that they serve.

It also coats your diaper covers and can deteriorate their water-proof laminate. If your diapers NEED softening add 1/2 cup baking soda to the rinse cycle of your wash. Dryer Balls also help soften laundry.

 

Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Ruby Moon N/A No No No Some varieties No
Charlie's Soap $0.19 No No No No No
Charlie's Soap $0.19 ? No No No No
*Mountain Green Free and Clear N/A No No No No No
*Mountain Green Baby Detergent A PETA acceptable product N/A No No No Yes No
20 Mule Team Borax $0.25 No No No No No
All Free and Clear $0.18 No Yes No No No
All Baby Care Plus N/A No Yes No Yes No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
All Small and Mighty $0.23 No Yes No Yes No
Allens Naturally Powdered and Liquid Laundry Detergents $0.26 No No No No No
Arm & Hammer FabriCare $0.23 Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Arm & Hammer FabriCare Free N/A Yes Yes No No No
Arm & Hammer Essentials Free Note: The Mountain Rain edition has fragrance and dyes N/A No No No No No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin $0.20 No Yes No No No
Bio-O-Kleen Laundry Powder $0.20 No No No No No
Bio-O-Kleen Free & Clear Powder $0.24 Yes No No No No
Bio-O-Kleen Premium Plus Laundry Powder $0.22 Yes Yes No No No
Bio-O-Kleen Liquid Laundry Detergent $0.20 No No No No No
Caldrea Sweet Pea Laundry Detergent Note: Contains plant-derived surfactants, Borax and essential oils of Geranium, Orange, Jasmine, Coriander, Rose and Bergamot. HE (front loader) compatible $0.50 No No No Yes No
Cheer Cheer N/A Yes No Yes Yes No
Cheer Free and Gentle N/A Yes No No No ?
Country Save Country Save Liquid $0.19 No No No No No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Country Save Country Save Powdered Detergent $0.16 No No No No No
Dreft Dreft $0.27 Yes Yes No No ?
Dropps Liquid Laundry Pacs $0.31 No No No No No
Earth Friendly Products Baby Hypoallergenic Laundry Soap Vegetable & Coconut Based Soap...may not be strong enough to launder cloth diapers N/A No No No No Yes
Ecos Free and Clear Liquid N/A No No No No No
Ecos Magnolia & Lillies, Lavendar & Lemongrass Scents Note: scented Ecos contains coconut based surfactants and softeners as well as essential oils $0.22 No No No Yes No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Ecos Powdered Laundry Deteregent N/A No No No No Yes
Ecover Non Bio Laundry Vegan Approved $0.47 No No No Yes No
EnviroRite Laundry Detergent Ingredients: Deionized Water, Vegetable-Based Cleaning Agents, Surfactacts, Microbiostat $0.19 No No No No No
GAIN GAIN $0.45 Yes Yes No Yes Yes
GAIN GAIN HE Powder N/A Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Ivory Snow may not be strong enough to launder cloth diapers $1.20 Yes Yes No No No
Kirkland's Kirkland's Signature (Costco brand) This product is nearly identical to Tide N/A Yes Yes No Yes No
Kirkland's Signature Environmentally Friendly contains vegetable based surfactants including those derived from coconuts N/A Yes No No Yes No
Kirkland's Free and Clear (HE) Costco brand $0.15 Yes Yes No No No
Lifekind Naturally Safer Triple Concentrated Note: contains Seed & Pulp Extracts, Orange Peel Extracts, Surfactants from Coconuts. $0.23 No No No No No
Maggie's Soap Nuts Maggie's Soap Nuts Note: 100% natural - Grows on Trees!!! N/A No No No No No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Melaleuca MelaPower N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Melaleuca MelaPower Scent Free N/A Yes Yes No No No
Method HE Laundry Detergent N/A Yes Yes No Yes No
Method Baby Laundry Detergent N/A Yes Yes No No No
Method Free and Clear N/A Yes Yes No No No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Mountain Green Original Citrus A PETA acceptable product N/A No No No Yes No
Nature Clean All Natural Laundry Liquid N/A No No No No No
Nellie's Nellie's Laundry Soda contains coconut oil based ingredients. N/A No No No No No
OXY-PRIME OXY-PRIME Powder N/A No No No No No
Penguin Sport-Wash Restores factory applied waterproofing (DWR). Contains biodegradable vegetable surfactants N/A No No No No No
Pink Solution $0.12 Yes No No No No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Planet Ultra Powder N/A No No No No No
Purex Purex N/A No Yes Yes Yes No
Purex Baby N/A No Yes ? Yes No
Purex Free and Clear Note: Many moms have expressed satisfaction with this detergent. N/A No Yes No No No
Rockin Green Soft, Classic & Hard $0.25-.30 No No No Optional No
SA8 Sensitive N/A Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
SA8 BioQuest Concentrated N/A Yes Yes No Yes Yes
SensiClean SensiClean Note: Some burns and rashes have been reported by users of this detergent. N/A No No No No ?
Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Baby $0.53 Yes No No No Yes
Seventh Generation Free and Clear contains vegetable based surfactants and enzymes including those derived from coconuts $0.53 Yes No No No Yes
Seventh Generation Natural Laundry $0.46 Yes No No Yes No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Shaklee Liquid-L Note: HE version has been linked with rashes $0.38 Yes Yes ? Yes No
Sport-Wash Residue Free Note: Some burns and rashes have been reported by users of this detergent. $0.59 No No No No No
Sun Free Note: Many moms have expressed satisfaction with this detergent. N/A No Yes No No No
Sun and Earth Deep Cleaning $0.24 No No No No No
Sunlight Ultra Sensitive Skin N/A No Yes No No No
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Sunlight Ultra Sensitive Skin HE N/A No Yes No No No
Surf Surf N/A Yes No Yes Yes No
Surf Aloha Splash N/A Yes No Yes Yes No
The Laundress The Laundress Baby Detergent $1.21 No Yes No Yes Yes
Tide Tide $0.25 Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Image Detergent Brand and Name Cost Per Load Enzymes Brighteners Dyes Fragrances Softeners
Tide Free N/A Yes Yes No No ?
Tide HE $0.33 Yes Yes No Yes ?
Trader Joe's Cleanliness is Next to Godliness N/A No No No No No
Vaska Herbatergent Lavendar and Non Scented Note: Contains plant based surfactants and lavendar contains essential oils $0.32 No No No optional No
Wisk Free Clear Ultra N/A Yes Yes No No No
Woolite HE Note: Woolite has an alkaline pH that may strip wool fibers so wool users should use caution. $0.25 No No No ? No

Disclaimer:

This information was taken from DiaperJungle.com which says best efforts have been made in the preparation of this information. The information contained within this site is given without warranty, either expressed or implied. The Diaper Jungle nor Sckoon cannot be held liable for any damages caused directly or indirectly by the links and information on this site. In addition, changes and improvements to the information provided herein may be made at any time.




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Aly Sanger

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