The Sanctimonious World of Cloth Diaper Laundry

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Seriously. With all of the drama swirling around about cloth diaper laundry, these days I’m left wondering, “What the @!*$”. Are we, grown women, really trying to one-up each other over laundry? 

I don’t care whether you use a cloth diaper detergent, commercial detergent or ground up unicorn horn. It’s laundry. It’s not something that should be causing arguments and holier-than-thou hand slapping. It’s really not. 

The majority of the cloth diaper community recommends all natural, eco-friendly, “cloth diaper safe” detergents. Then there are those who use commercial detergents and you hear the collective gasp throughout the cloth diaper community…

Cloth Diapers and the Sanctimonious World of Cloth Diaper Laundry. Seriously, what's the deal?

Don’t be jealous of my photo editing skills

I use Tide. Yup, I use it and I love it. I have very hard water and don’t want to mess with a convoluted wash routine or the added expense of buying water softeners and using the max amount (or more) of a cloth diaper specific detergent. It negates cloth diapering to be a little more frugal. But that’s me. 

That said, I understand that some people may not want to use it and I totally respect it. Just don’t hate on me for choosing Tide. I have given a few eco-friendly detergents a second chance in the past few months that have worked fine so when I am done with my current box of Tide I might switch to one of them. I don’t know, we’ll see. 

So come on, ladies. Are our wash routines really that big of a deal that we need to have wars on Facebook groups, arguments in blog comments, and to void diaper warranties for using detergents that have no adverse effect on cloth diapers because (and this is my opinion) some brands are more into the environmental aspect of cloth diapering and simply don’t want chemicals used on “their” diapers? I can only assume that this is the reason because some manufacturers actually recommend commercial detergents and after almost two years of using Tide I can say that I have never had any damage to my diapers and haven’t had to strip my diapers. Not once. My grandmother surely didn’t use cloth diaper detergent either and her diapers lasted for four children. 

Whatever your reasons for choosing whatever detergent or routine you have, carry on. If it’s working for you, awesome. Let’s just remember that no one’s water, machine, child’s age, sensitivity, or diet are the same so we have to do what works to keep babies in cloth and to get the diapers clean. That’s the important thing, not who’s “right”. 


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  1. I cloth diaper our daughter and we don’t have a washer or dryer living in a small apartment. I hand wash everything and use dawn dish soap for scrubbing. When we go to the laundromat a few times a month I use tide *gasp!* We are moving to a place with our own washer, dryer, and clothesline!! I’m so excited I could cry lol! Guess what!?! I’ll still use tide haha! My thought is that if it works went knock it?

    1. That’s awesome that you’re hand washing diapers. I also used Tide and thankfully it’s not as taboo as it was when I first started cloth diapering.

  2. I didn’t realize until recently that what you washed your diapers in was some sort of controversy. I’ve always used “CD friendly” detergent, but in the last couple of months have started getting harassed on my blog by people for not using traditional laundry detergent. (“OMG. IT’S POOP. YOU HAVE TO USE REAL DETERGENT!!!!”) And the harassment typically comes with a bunch of junk science and conspiracy theories about CD manufacturers. Like, Procter & Gamble says on their website that some things in their detergents are intended to build up on fabrics to make them prettier and smell better, longer, so obviously, this isn’t something CD companies make up just to put one over on folks. I don’t understand why it has to be so political or so impassioned. It’s just detergent. Use what works for you.

    1. Exactly. I used to use CD detergents and have tried some recently and they work fine. If I didn’t have this crazy hard water I might still be using it regularly. But because I use Tide doesn’t mean I’m anti CD detergent. I know that a lot of people use it and have good luck with it. I know the type of people you’re talking about who flocked to your blog and it’s a bit over the top to say the least.

  3. When I first started cloth diapering I totally bought into the whole “cloth diaper safe blah blah” detergent thing. Then I ran out of it and thought, screw it and used the same stuff I use on all the other laundry in the house. Lo and behold, my cloth diapers didn’t fall apart! Huzzah! Take THAT cloth diaper zealots!

  4. Why yes, I AM jealous of your photo editing skills! 😉

    Amen to this. No reason to get all worked up over what other people are doing for their cloth diaper laundry. Let’s all just mind our own business!

  5. When my daughter was in cloth, I used whatever I was buying anyway. I never bought special soap. All I did was buy non fragrance kind, and that was because she had sensitive skin. People get too nuts for me.

  6. I don’t use cloth diaper because I couldn’t do the laundry. And if I did, I guess I would use commercial detergents too and I think , it is no big deal. Each mom has her own discretion if she wants to use this or that.

  7. I don’t understand why me doing what works for me would make other people angry!? I personally feel that the people who make the most noise about this kind of stuff just aren’t secure in their own decisions and lash out at others. I truly couldn’t care less what kind of laundry detergent other people use as long as they wash their clothes!! I never even used baby detergent for my babies and they are all fine. Aren’t there more important things to argue about like human rights violations or something!?

  8. LOL. That was awesome! Moms on the internet sometimes leave me going “???”. Can’t we all just get along? I loved tide for our diapers (no stink or ammonia problems with tide), but it gave my little man a rash. 🙁 I was so sad because it has some dang good cleaning power.

  9. Your first few paragraphs and that picture literally made me laugh out loud. I personally use “Terd” with a dash of ground up unicorn horn for good measure. I completely agree with your message, though… live and let live!

  10. Whew…so happy that my diaper washing days are longgggg gone…HAHA!! I do find it hard to believe that folks actually get in arguments over it though…ok…well…not that I don’t believe it believe it because I know some folks will argue with you about what time of day it is. It’s just silly!!!

    Happy SITS Comment Love Friday!!!

  11. I don’t use cloth diapers…part of my reason was that with a house full of people I already do soooo much laundry I couldn’t make myself do “that” too lol I commend anyone that can and does use cloth though!

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