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Cloth Diaper Laundry and Drama

by Regan

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For the past year, maybe even more, I’ve been trying to figure out why cloth diaper laundry causes such drama. I’ve even written about this once before and lo and behold, here I am feeling the need to address it once again.

One can no longer ask a question about their routine without a ton of very strong opinions. You may even run the risk of being spoken down to or belittled which means that people become afraid to ask for help and will end up giving up.

The drama of cloth diaper laundry

Not cool, ladies.

Before a now-defunct fringe cloth diaper laundry group came on the scene and stirred things up, people just quietly washed their diapers and went about their business. Now the mere mention of washing cloth diapers causes such divisiveness within the cloth diaper community.

It’s ridiculous.

All of this arguing over who is right and calling other members of the community liars and conspirators in some kind of laundry war of right and wrong is creating a rift. That’s not cool.

This is my community, a community that I love and it’s not okay to wage war over something like laundry. I don’t agree with anyone 100% of the time so I’m surely not going to suggest to anyone that I, you, or they have all the answers.

Here’s the truth, folks: There is more than one way to wash cloth diapers.  

It’s true. Not all detergents will work for all families because there are way too many variables for one routine to work for every single person. For me cloth diaper specific detergents didn’t get my diapers clean enough in my machine, with my water, and my child’s diet so I use Tide.

It works for me but I have some blogging friends and readers who don’t want to use the chemicals in Tide or other mainstream detergents because Tide is not a friend of our environment and maybe not even our health. Let’s not mince words here and pretend. It’s not. So for them, they need to find a more natural option and it works for them.

Their diapers don’t stink, their babies don’t have rashes, and they’re happy with their routine. The end.

For someone else to tell them that it doesn’t work for anyone ever is essentially calling them a liar. Who are we to tell someone else what does or doesn’t work for them when it’s their laundry?

Manufacturers want to sell you a lie and bloggers are full of it.

This has become a common theme being thrown around but let me tell you something. Manufacturers have created a product and I am going to trust that they have people who advise them on what is best for the materials they are using to construct their product.

As far as bloggers, well, I may not have a science degree but my husband does and is a manager at a company that makes products for and conducts experiments on water quality yet I wouldn’t dream of asking him about cloth diaper laundry. Why? Because I am the one with four years of on-the-job cloth diapering experience.

I don’t claim to have all the answers but what I can and do share is my experience. It may or may not work for you. After four years of doing something regularly, I would think I might be considered experienced enough to try to assist others.

My words are here for everyone to see and can be used against me should I make some outlandish claim or recommend something that I have no firsthand knowledge of. Because of that, I have to be careful to only recommend things that have worked for me instead of regurgitating things that I looked up on Google. My livelihood depends on that. If I try to sell my readers a line of bull then no one will come back and that isn’t in my best interest or yours.

So with that, can’t we all just get along and stop belittling, bullying, and acting superior with one another? For the sake of community?

 Image credit: Megan Meyers via Flickr

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4 comments

Kari Barone January 21, 2015 - 9:13 pm

Great article! I have learned through experience that cloth diaper laundry is a very delicate thing…. I started cloth diapering in 2008, with my first son. I used a wet pail and mainstream detergents, with no issues. I followed manufacturers instructions to a T.Always clean and white diapers, no stains. Son #2 comes along and is extremely sensitive!!! I can only use cloth safe detergents like Laundry Tarts or Country Save.I have tried a few options to see what works best for us. Once I tried a mainstream sensitive skin detergent because I ran out of the cloth safe detergent. My son ended up with chemical burn blisters after multiple rinses! Topical vitamin E to the rescue!Dry pail, always lay flat to dry. No issues. If Tide works for you….Great!My family cannot tolerate it! I have had fellow cloth diapering mamas who were extremely Pro-Tide, Pro-Bleach, insinuate that without that routine ……I was doomed to stinkies, yeast, and rashes. Water type,washer type, and routine gives many variables.There is definitely not one way to do cloth diaper laundry.

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Regan January 22, 2015 - 9:50 am

I have used bleach once in 4 years and my diapers have never stunk or had stains. We did have recurrent rashes but using a stronger detergent and more of it fixed that, not bleach. I am not super anti bleach, I just don’t think it’s a necessary regular addition to diaper laundry. I have even gotten rid of yeast without using bleach and to anyone who says it’s not possible, this is a fact. My diapers no longer had yeast and my son’s rash, which was confirmed to be yeast by his doctor, was gone after my routine. So people who say you NEED bleach for clean diapers are wrong.

Tide is definitely not for everyone. When I was a kid Tide used to give me a rash. I grew out of that by the time I was a teenager but plenty of people still have sensitivities to Tide. My rule of thumb is simple: if it works for you, do it 🙂

Reply
Janna Law January 24, 2015 - 2:07 pm

I am going to search for your yeast post because I really don’t want to use bleach!

Reply
Cowgirl America January 21, 2015 - 8:30 pm

Thank you!

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