I’m having a full circle moment. It’s easy to wonder if it was worth going around that impossibly big circle just to end up back where I started, but I believe I needed to take the journey to make it back. That’s how it is with life, isn’t it? The journey is sometimes the most important part.
Before I get all philosophical on you, let me take a step back. What I’m talking about is not a life-altering, spiritual or emotional journey. What I’m talking about is figuring out how to get my cloth diapers clean.
As I’ve written about on this blog, we had a looong struggle with stink in our diapers. Just as I would think it was under control, it would come back again with a vengeance. Looking back, it was probably a combination of factors that led to the ammonia- stench in the first place – specifically, changes in my daughter’s eating habits (starting solids and weaning from breastmilk), leaving dirty diapers for too long a couple of times, not stripping them correctly, a suddenly harder water supply and the wrong detergent (hmmm…really sounds like I didn’t know what the heck I was doing!).
The truth is, maybe I didn’t. But thankfully, my daughter’s insides seem to have sorted themselves out, I learned how to strip effectively (which helped a lot), developed a consistent wash routine and cleaned my washer. Still, the biggest hurdle was not knowing that the water flowing from my pipes was now very hard while our water treatment plant undergoes an upgrade. Once it dawned on me that the water could be causing my angst, I began a serious search for a new detergent that would cooperate with my front loader, compensate for our hard water and get rid of the stinkies for good.
Thus, I began a (sort of) methodical review of several different detergents. First, I tried differing amounts of the detergent I was already using (that had worked great for me forever): didn’t help. Then I tried Eco Nuts: awesome for my other laundry but didn’t solve my diaper issues. Next I did Charlie’s: helped a little, but stink came back. Finally, after reading this post, I reluctantly tried HE Tide Original,* the straight-up blue liquid HE detergent that I was using on our laundry before my daughter was born and we started using cloth diapers. And guess what? It worked.
So what finally solved our stink issues was the Tide that had been hanging out on the back of my laundry room shelf this whole time. I know. I couldn’t believe it at first either, but it’s been about four months now and the stink hasn’t returned.
Oh, and I should mention the amount is critical. When I first tried Tide, I think I was using too much and it was leaving a little residue and scent behind. Now I use very little and it produces perfectly clean, fluffy diapers (for those of you that need me to be more exact- I use “glugg, glugg” on a normal load and for my normal load of diapers, I use about a “half-glugg”).
See what I mean about coming full circle? Ending up with the same detergent I had on the shelf. But had I not gone through this whole process, I probably wouldn’t have realized how well it worked. I needed the journey.
Have you successfully solved stink issues in your cloth diapers? What finally worked for you?
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every week.
*While HE Tide Original is Sarah’s preferred brand, FuzziBunz recommends Tide Free, among a number of other detergent options for best results when washing cloth diapers. Please visit our Washing & Care Instructions for more information.