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I have written a Rockin’ Green review before but it was when we lived in New England and had soft to normal water. Now we live in a hard water area.
Like me, you may have heard the horror stories of washing cloth diapers in hard water. These stories are what made me panic when we moved. I admit that I turned to a commercial detergent with water softener in the formula. It has worked well but it isn’t the friendliest for the environment and if that is one of your main reasons for cloth diapering then you may want another option.
My water is in the moderately hard range but turning toward extremely hard. When I had the chance to review Rockin’ Green’s Hard Rock formula I was excited to see if it would work with my water.
What makes washing diapers in hard water more challenging?
First, it is important to understand what makes washing cloth diapers in water different from washing them in other types of water. Most of us have hard water and the harder the water, the harder it may be to get your diapers clean. Water hardness is determined by the mineral content of your water, usually calcium and magnesium.
The minerals in the water can cause a few issues for your laundry because the minerals react with the alkilinity of your detergent which means that it won’t work as well. It will also create a (soap) scum that builds up in your laundry. It could cause dinginess, greying, mineral build up, your clothes or diapers could feel more stiff, or in the case of cloth diapers, they may remain a little stinky.
One place to start with finding out how hard your water is to look at a water hardness map like this one from Rockin’ Green’s website. To find out for sure it is best to get a water test strip. I had hard water at our rental house but we bought a house a mile and a half away in another town and our water is now very hard.
So you’ve determined that you have hard water. Now what?
To help combat this there are several things you can do. You could use a little more detergent, add some water softener, or use a detergent formulated for hard water (such as Rockin’ Green Hard Rock).
Since I am so close to having extremely hard water I replaced my usual detergent with 2 tablespoons of Hard Rock in my HE toploader and followed my usual wash routine.
- Short hand wash cycle on warm without detergent, no spin (if you have the option of a warm rinse on your machine then that is fine, too. My machine doesn’t have a temperature option)
- Wash on the whites cycle – hot water, deep clean
- (note: by choosing no spin the diapers are heavier and more water is added to the drum of your machine. I do have a bulky setting that fills the drum but this way fills the drum halfway which is plenty)
- Extra rinse
This routine worked very well for me. My diapers came out of the dryer smelling like absolutely nothing and had fewer stains than when I have used other cloth diaper safe detergents I have tried. The most important thing that I noticed is that my son didn’t get a rash like he has in the past so that tells me that the diapers don’t just look and smell clean, they ARE clean.
So if you are fighting with hard water and want to use a more eco-friendly detergent but don’t want a complicated wash routine or have to spend more money on a bunch of additional products to add to your water just to get your diapers clean, give Rockin’ Green Hard Rock a try. What have you got to lose but the chemicals?
You can enter to win the Rockin Green formula of your choice here.
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