If there's one thing that can be considered the "BIG DEBATE" among Cloth Diaper addicts, it's detergents and washing routines.
I believe to be a CDer in general, you have to be obsessed about it. It's just one of those things that if you really didn't care either way, you probably wouldn't stick with it. Most of the CD mamas I've met are all out CD addicts and will make a stink about their obsession. Am I right? ;)
Similarly with detergents: If you've found the detergent and wash routine that works perfectly for you and your diapers, you want to tell the whole world. And you'll become so obsessed with your find that you'll insist that it is the only way to go.
Well I haven't become addicted to one detergent yet. I thought I had a couple times but then I would find a new one and be excited to try that out. I have a friend who's the same way. Every time I get in a new detergent, she says "oh no, now I have to try a new one!"
So here's my detergent story:
When I first started CDing, I started with All Free & Clear 3x. I used that anyway for the rest of my laundry and when some CD sites said it was good for CD's I was excited. I wouldn't have to change detergents. We went to my mom's house for a couple weeks and I washed my dipes in her machine with All. My mother commented that the used dipes smelled like ammonia. And I said nonchalantly, "Yea, cloth diapers smell like urine. They're not like disposables that soak up all the urine and smell like baby powder anyway." I thought cloth diapers were supposed to smell! It wasn't overwhelming or awful, just a fact that there was a little urine smell that came with the package.
As I got more into the CD cyberworld I read about how Free & Clears make diapers smell! Oh, so they're NOT supposed to smell! But I really wasnt going to spend money on some fancy detergent that I had to pay for shipping and could only use on my diapers.
Next I read about Tide. That sounded easy enough. But only Tide Original powder. Ok, ok. I can find it. So I went to Target. They had Tide with this and Tide with that, but no Original powder. How can Target not carry Tide Original?? Tide must not make it anymore... I asked one of the friendly Target team members but he looked at me like I was crazy. There are a million detergents, why would you need that one?? Finally I found a small box of Tide Original powder at a small grocery store near my house. It was like $5 for a small box, which seemed like a lot at the time... But I knew you only use 1/4 of the recommended amount for diapers. So when I got home I told my husband, "this is only for the diapers!" Now I realize $5 is nothing to pay for a CD detergent! (have you noticed I just found and am having fun with the italics??)
So Tide it is. I started using it with a vengance. It was easy. The only thing was I had to make sure to rinse until there were no more bubbles in the rinse water. Simple enough. Except when you have a baby and have to time it to run down to the washer every time you think you're mid-rinse. And then you get there and the cycle is done. So should I do another rinse or assume there are no more bubbles?? It depended on my mood. In general I would do usually 2-3 extra rinses after the rinse that automatically followed the wash.
When I started selling detergents, of course I had to try them out for myself. I first used Sensi Clean. Initially I was only using it for stripping but when I ran out of Tide I started using it as a detergent. However there are some warnings of severe rashes with Sensi Clean so I would always do an extra hot wash and sometimes an extra rinse afterwards. But the Sensi Clean got boring and it's only 34 washes in a bottle! (Plus there was a new one to try!)
Fuzzi Bunz joined up with Vaska to produce the first detergent that a CD manufacturer put its name on. Fuzzi Bunz and many others were really excited about it. So was I - I had to try it! The FB detergent was even easier! There was no extra rinse or wash required. Plus, since you only need a 1/2 ounce per load of diapers, one bottle can do 96 loads! That's an awful lot of diapers! So I used that for a while. Until...
clothes and diapers. I box washes 80 loads for top loaders and 160 loads for front loaders! And you only use 1/2 or less of that for a load of diapers! So that's up to 320 loads of diapers for front load washers! Plus, the bonus for me was that I could order a case of Country Save off of Amazon for free while I had to pay a fortune to order a case of the Fuzzi Bunz detergent. The Country Save people are brilliant!
So that's where I am right now. I have 5 open containers of laundry detergent in my laundry room. I try to stick with one at a time, but when I get bored I switch to a different one! I know what you're thinking -- my husband thinks I'm crazy too! But like I told you at the beginning, CDing and your wash routine become an addiction!