Yes, you read that right! I really did use fabric softener on my cloth diaper inserts. On purpose! One of the biggest rules in cloth diapering is NOT to use fabric softener on them, but that isn't always true. Softeners like Downy and Snuggle are still a big no-no, but there is a natural, plant-based softener called Ecover that is taking the cloth diapering world by storm.
As with the first time I used chlorine bleach to fight a particularly nasty yeast problem, I was petrified to give this a try. I was so scared of ruining my diapers but I had a scratchy insert for an AI2 diaper and some of my others were looking a bit flat and sad so I took to the interwebs and read all I could about Ecover. All of the reviews were positive and no one had any problems with their diapers afterward so I took the plunge.
- I washed my diapers as usual (rinse, warm wash with Tide powder, double rinse)
- Removed all covers and pockets that are made of PUL and hung to dry
- Ran another rinse cycle with my inserts, fitteds and cloth wipes with one cap full of Ecover in the softener dispenser
That's it! Now my scratchy insert is almost as good as new with one treatment and my others are fluffy, soft, and feeling like new again. If your fitteds and inserts are starting to feel a little flat and not as soft as they once were, go ahead. Give Ecover a try!
* Since this post was written I have discovered more plant-based fabric softeners that don't leave build up. Vaska, Mrs. Meyer's, Ology, Seventh Generation, Method, Dropps, and a few others. I have only used Vaska in addition to Ecover and it worked very well. Read labels and reviews to see if the other options will also work well on diapers.