View Full Version : More laundering questions

04-11-2003, 12:46 PM
Hi, ladies! As someone who has never been any good at the whole laundry thing (and has plenty of stains to prove it!), I have a few questions before I wash my new CDs:

1) I thought I read that you should only use detergent to wash your diapers--never a pure soap product. What is the difference? How can I tell if what I use to do laundry is a soap or a detergent?

2) Also, does it matter whether you use liquid or powder detergent? In your experience, which one works better on getting diapers clean? For that matter, does anyone have any recommendations on which brand to use?

3) Finally, I have heard a few people mention that they use Zout on poop stains. Where do you buy this? I was at the supermarket yesterday, and they didn't have it.

Thanks in advance for your help!

mom to olivia 9/25/02

04-11-2003, 01:24 PM
1. Soap products refer to mild "detergents" like Ivory Snow or Dreft. ALso there is a product called Dr. Bronner's which is also soap. Most brands like Tide, All etc. are detergent, and if you look at the labels it will state "detergent" or "laundry soap." You can go to diaperpin.com and there is an article that talks about this in detail.

2. I tend to use liquid detergents. I can't say they are any better than powder, its just my choice. I use All Free and Clear. I've seen it recommended by a lot of diaper sites, and its fairly inexpensive and has worked really well. I think you should choose a brand that is "free and Clear" of all fragrance, dyes, and bleach.

3. I've never used Zout, but I do use Biz. Its a great pretreater and has worked fine for me.

Good luck - its becomes like second nature after a little while.

04-11-2003, 01:29 PM
Well my whites are only white when they're new, but (knock on wood) I've been pretty good at CD laundering (only 1 stained diaper and no repelling).

1) I believe the ingredients in the pure soaps leave a residue. I think most are detergent, and soaps are the natural ones which will said "Soap" on them. ANother thing you might want to avoid are detergents with enzymes, sometimes they cause a rash (although my ace-in-the-hold cleaner for poop diapers is Bac-Out which has enzymes!)

2. I used liquid All Free & Clear until I got a Polar Babies cover which said "NO LIQUID." They said that if you let it disolve in the water entirely before adding the diapers then it's okay, otherwise it would be rough on the windpro (I can't remember if it makes it gunky or if it breaks it down). I also heard people say that All Free & Clear gunked up fleece. So now I use powder Planet, Trader Joes or RLR (wierd balls of detergrent from Wal Mart). Sometimes I use liquid SportWash/Sensiclean. This seems to make them softer and I've started using on Ds' regular clothes for softness.

3. I have found Zout at the grocery store, target, etc. I use it for regular laundry stains and Bio-Kleen's BAC OUT for poopy diapers. I get it at a Health Food Store. I put it on, then let it sit a minute or two while the wash fills then put it in.

Here's a good washing article: http://www.punkinbutt.com/WashnCare.html

My baby is a toddler now, so washing for a BF-only baby might be different. Here's what we do:

Cold wash Poop diapers only. Then Hot wash, and two cold rinses on all diapers. I dry them a touch then hang if weather permits. I NEVER dry my covers that are PUL. My AIOs that are PUL are dried for less than everything else (when I can). I wash Covers (non-poopy) with Ds' regular laundry on warm/cold/cold. Never use fabric softner on diapers.

04-11-2003, 02:51 PM
Here's my thoughts:

1) Soaps are chemically different from detergents. If you are using a soap, you probably know it. It is actually hard to find a true "soap" these days as opposed to a detergent. Even Ivory Snow was reformulated several years ago and is now a detergent, not a soap.

2) I always use liquids, but only because I have had problems with powder detergent leaving residues on my clothes in the past. I used to use All Free&Clear on my diapers because that is what I use for the rest of my laundry. It worked OK, but I used Tide once at my MIL's house because that was all she had. I thought the Tide did a much better job at getting the diapers cleaner, so I have switched to Tide. I am slowly using up my HUGE bottle of All F&C on my regular laundry and I will probably switch to Tide for all my laundry at that point.

3) I find Zout at Safeway. I have also seen it at Giant stores. If you go to zout.com, there is a store locator. Biz also works well.

Here is my basic laundry routine. I wash everything (all diapers, covers, AIOs, etc.) in cold with 1/4 the recommended amount of laundry detergent. I then follow this with a second warm wash. I dry everything except covers and FuzziBunz (which I hang dry) on high heat for 50 minutes. That gets everything dry for me.


04-14-2003, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, ladies! Beth, I wanted to ask you one last thing about your laundry routine. I read in another one of your posts that during the initial cold wash, you let your diapers soak for 2 hours. Do you rinse the poopy diapers out by hand before doing this? The reason I ask is that DD's poops are not all that solid yet (about the consistency of peanutbutter), so there is quite a bit of "stuff" left on the diaper. I'd really rather not have to rinse it out by hand, but I thought if I let it soak in the washing machine along with the rest of the diapers, they would all be sitting in poopy water for 2 hours. Is this not true?

TIA for your help!

P.S. Just started CDing last night--loving it so far, although DH was really caught off guard by the size of the huge CD butt! DD had to sleep naked because her pajamas wouldn't fit! :)

mom to olivia 9/25/02

04-14-2003, 01:30 PM

Never knew the answer to #1 until I read this thread.

#2: I use liquid Tide on the dipes, but have never used a powder so I couldn't tell you if one works better.

#3: My dad bought some Zout at my local Ace hardware store, although I tend to use vinegar and Biz on my dipes. I don't really care if the dipes get breastmilk-poop stains on the inside -- after all, they are diapers -- but I do keep a bottle of Shout spray near my changing table to pretreat any stains that get on clothes, etc.


04-14-2003, 01:38 PM
I just wanted to post this link, its from the Mothering.com diaper board. It had some really great laundering tips I didn't know either. Hope it helps someone.

04-14-2003, 03:25 PM
just moving this to the top

04-14-2003, 04:29 PM
I didn't CD with a newborn, so I'll answer with speculation and hope someone with actual experience also posts. :) Most things I have read say to do a cold rinse first with the newborn diapers if you don't dunk. I don't dunk or rinse, but the poop of a toddler is very different from newborn poop!

Now, I have since dropped the 2 hour soak from my routine. I dropped it once because I was in a hurry for diapers to be clean, and I didn't notice any difference, so I just stopped doing it.


04-14-2003, 04:31 PM
Thanks! That did help!

mom to olivia 9/25/02

04-14-2003, 04:41 PM
Thanks, Beth. I feel like Olivia's poop is sort of in an "in-between" stage right now--not super runny like when she was a newborn, but not really solid like a toddler's either (too much information, I know :)!)...so I have kind of been at a loss as to how much poop I can reasonably leave on the diaper and still have it come out clean in the wash. Maybe I will just keep it simple this first time around--cold wash/cold rinse followed by hot wash/cold rinse--and go from there.

Anyway, thanks again, everyone for all your help! Someday, I will be able to do laundry w/o y'all holding my hand, I promise!

mom to olivia 9/25/02

04-14-2003, 06:13 PM
Some of Sarah's diapers are pretty poop encrusted when they go into the laundry (again, too much info!). Sometimes I forget a liner (so of course, she MUST poop then) and sometimes the poop miraculously avoids the liner. I shake off what I can into the toilet, use some toilet paper to help it a bit more and then stick it in the pail. I have had absolutely no troubles using this method.


04-14-2003, 09:54 PM
Once Beth reassured me (haha, she's done a lot of that!) it was ok to let some poop stay on the liner, and toss the whole thing in the pail, I haven't gone back. I generally remember to put in a fleece liner, so my diapers aren't in danger of staining. And my fleece is a dark maroon (hey, it was the cheapest!), so I really can't see staining. Also, I just bought the flushable liners, which are GREAT. I only put them in a couple times a day (because Ainsleigh generally poops after breakfast and before dinner - haha, she'll be so embarassed I'm disclosing this!). Anyway, like Beth said, I do a load of cold and a load of hot, and so far they've been great.

Ooooh, and I just switched from Costco's Kirkland brand detergent to Tide (sale at Albertsons!), and I don't think I'll go back to Kirkland. I think my diapers smell better now. But anyway, that's must my thoughts.

edited to add: LIQUID tide...

04-15-2003, 02:48 PM
Wow! Okay, I'll admit it--I was pretty skeptical about leaving poop on a diaper and just letting the washer take care of it, but you guys are absolutely right. THE POOP JUST COMES RIGHT OFF! I am AMAZED! And really proud of myself for my newly-aquired laundry skills :). Okay, so I really don't have to do anything but pull the knob on the washing machine, but somehow I really do have this great sense of accomplishment...

Thanks for letting me share!

mom to olivia 9/25/02

04-15-2003, 05:02 PM
It might "just" be pulling a knob, but it's still work! Hooray for you for having success. Most people are too intimidated. Here's to many loads of poopy diapers coming out sparkling!

04-16-2003, 09:33 AM
Ok- I wasn't going to post but my reminiscing of learning cloth diaper washing techniques has forced me to share. Everybody I know does something different that works for them~ "different animals have different types of poop..." Here is what I do:

When J. G. was a newborn-
1. Soak diaper in toilet with diaper duck
2. Put in pail with mixture of Borax and water
3. pour entire bucket in washer, add 1/2 cup Arm and hammer washing soda and 1/2 detergent (I used All free and clear)
4. Wash again in Hot
5. Rinse cold with 1 cup vinegar.

It sounds really exhausting but once I got into the system it went well.

Now I have a 22 month old's poop to take care of

1. Put poop into toilet
2. Put diaper into pail with Borax and water solution
3. Wash warm with 1/2 detergent(I now use Kirkland's pseudo Tide)and 1/2 washing soda
4. Rinse hot with 1 cup vinegar

I used to use Biz and it worked great but found Borax to be a fraction of the price. I also use Zout but on my hard to get out clothing stains. It works wonders even on stains that have been through the dryer.

Sorry for the long ramble, but I remember how hard it was a few years back to find info on this subject. Thanks for allowing me to share.:D

04-16-2003, 03:27 PM
Sounds like Tide is the way to go. That's now Sarah and Beth who have switched. I ususally use Purex (it's the cheapest and I like the smell) and Tide is soooo expensive comparatively. Of course, I've been scaling back the quantity of detergent that I use in my regular wash after seeing you all say that you don't use the full quantity so maybe I can afford to go to Tide afterall!

04-16-2003, 04:32 PM
We're a purex family, but since we've started cloth diapering, I'm thinking of switching to tide. Then I think, well, I could use the purex on everything except the cloth diapers, then just use tide on the cloth diapers.

The one time I blurted this out without thinking, DH looked at me, rolled his eyes and left the room.

You guys understand, right? :)

OCD Mom to Matt, 5/22/02

edited for spelling

04-17-2003, 09:25 AM
Yes, yes, yes!! I'm considering the same thing! Is it easy to find coupons for Tide? I guess I'm just gonna have to give it a try and see if it really is better for me. The cost (nearly double around here) just seems so prohibitive. Let me know if you switch and how you like it, please. :-)