Monday, September 26, 2011

Cloth Diapers

The Laundry Tarts would like to announce that our decadent dessert detergents are also safe for cloth diaper users! We already knew our detergent held up against the big bad wolfs of commercial laundry products, but how nice is it to find out that cloth diaper users can use our detergent too?!

One of the major concerns that we hear from cloth diaper users are the residues leftover from traditional detergents. Residues can act as a repellent to moisture; obviously not something you would want in a diaper!
Many detergents are heavy on oil ingredients which can be therapeutic to the skin, but may also act as a barrier for moisture; causing leaky diapers and trapping bacteria. Our detergents have very little oil used in the manufacturing process and do not leave a residue on any types of clothing. Even our phthalate free scents are washed away clean after one rinse and will not be traced on any items. We do find that the majority of customers do choose unscented for cloth diaper use.

Another concern we hear about is stains. For some reason, baby stains are harder to get out than adult ones-go figure. I for one, never even thought about stains until I had a child. Check out our vlog on how well our detergent removes the most common indoor and outdoor stains by soaking or making a paste. Because we only use the most natural ingredients, simply throwing heavily stained items or old stains in a cold water wash, might not remove the stain completely. We recommend making a paste and lightly scrubbing, or soaking the item in warm water with our detergent overnight. Even though our detergent is all natural, this means a little elbow grease might be required to get heavy duty stains. We've held up against mustard, wine, grass, spaghetti sauce and fruit punch.

Lingering urine smell is also a popular concern with cloth diaper users. We tested our detergent with organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and soy fibres in which our detergent was able to remove all diaper related smells. Some non organic cottons have a pre treated wax and should be washed in hot water in order for the materials to be more absorbent, as the wax prevents moisture from being absorbed into the fabric. Synthetic fibres such as polyester fabrics were a little harder to remove odours, however, we used vinegar; a classic and effective way to remove urine odour and recommend you do so if you use polyester or other synthetic or mixed fabrics.

Baking soda was surprisingly our most common question in relation to our ingredients. We were baffled at first to hear the controversy surrounding this ancient and world renown ingredient when used for diapering. We were delighted and intrigued in learning that there is more chemistry involved for protecting the pH levels for little bums and rose to the challenge of making sure our detergent fit the bill. The main concern with baking soda is the acidity and alkaline levels when too much baking soda is used or items are not properly rinsed of all soap. This is where rashes are concerned as the diaper pH can become too alkaline and cause a rash on delicate baby bits.

Normally in a liquid detergent, vinegar is a great way to balance the pH levels when used with baking soda, however, because we only provide a powder detergent at this time, we use a powdered form of hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda which has a similar pH as vinegar. If in a very rare occasion, if there is a reaction or rash, use less detergent, double rinse or hand rinse if your washing machine is older and might not rinse out all the soap.

I have read so many mixed opinions on using baking soda in cloth detergents. Some are worried that if not rinsed properly, the detergent will leave a residue and break down fabrics faster. Chemically speaking, soda wash is more acidic than baking soda and is found in the majority of all cloth diaper detergents. In the long run, we feel that our ingredients are a much safer alternative, and a much more convenient way than having to hand wash your diapers. We feel confident in the levels of baking soda we use in relation to the other ingredients in our recipe for awesome detergent and is a well balanced blend of odour, stain and bacteria removing ingredients with and great cleaning power; naturally.

Washing instruction and amounts; for cloth diapers we recommend using half the amount normally used for regular clothing. For small loads in a traditional top loader, use 2 tablespoons and 4 tablespoons for med-large loads. If you wish to use vinegar, we suggest using ¼ cup for small loads and ½ cup for large loads.

Energy Efficient machines and front loaders: Energy efficient machines use 1/3 the amount of water than traditional top loaders making them better for the environment and uses less energy. This means specifically for cloth diaper detergent, less detergent is needed as well. However, less water means that powdered detergents are harder to dissolve and for that reason we suggest mixing our detergent with ¼ cup of warm water to help it along the way. Because most modern washing machines use much less water, this can also unfortunately lead to the common problem of clothing not being properly rinsed and can leave residues. These residues can cause rash, allergic reaction and can aggravate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Most health websites recommend doing a double rinse, which surprisingly still uses less water than older machines. Use 1 tablespoon for small load and 2 tbsp for a large load.

Jessy Cooke


  1. I never thought baking soda would be an issue, never heard that before. I do use vinegar in my wash sometimes instead of fabric softner. Your products sound awesome!

  2. love this! so happy to know i can use ur detergent!