Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The Dangers of Fabric Softeners and Cloth Diapers: One Reader's Story
There are a lot of things that you must avoid when using cloth diapers, and fabric softeners are on of them. Fabric softeners are a no-no when using cloth diapers. Let me explain...
Fabric softeners do as their title states, they soften and decrease the static in clothing or fabrics. But how exactly do the softeners do this? Basically, the softeners coat the clothing with oils and other enzymes making them soft. This coating will also cause diapers to repel fluids and not absorb. This will lead to lots of leaky diapers and wet babies!
Not only this, but if you use fabric softeners in your washer/dryer, some of the oils can bind to your washer/dryer so that when your cloth diapers go in, they may pick up some of the "left overs." This can lead to a very bad case of softener build-up in your diapers.
One reader had just this problem. She bought 17 Applecheeks Diapers used from a woman who had mentioned that the diapers "smelled like" and were "stored" near fabric softener. The diapers were also "greasy." This reader knew she would have a challenge on her hands, but was willing to go the extra mile to strip those diapers.
Here are the things she tried:
1) Stripping with Dawn
2) RLR Treatment
3) Overnight Soak with Rockin' Green
4) Overnight Soak with Dawn & Washing Soda
5) Scrubbing Dawn into the diapers and letting soak overnight
and nothing worked, then finally...
She tried 4 tablespoons of Rocking Green Soap that soaked the diapers from 6pm to 8am. This was followed by 2 hot washes and 5-6 rinses, and it worked!! Yeah! Success. It is hard to pinpoint what actually helped the most because the previous 5 treatments all probably helped to get the diapers clean. This mama was very happy that she was able to get her diapers cleaned!
It can be very frustrating when you run into problems or obstacles with your diapers, but that is why we are here! To support one another and give each other advice. We are all learning, all of the time!
So if you can't use fabric softeners on Cloth Diapers, what can you do to ensure your fluff is nice and fluffy?
Wool Dryer Balls provide an all natural fabric softener by using the bouncing motion of the balls to gently fluff the laundry allowing an increased air flow and thus decreased dryer time. Just throw the recommended amount into the dryer with your clothes or diapers and they will be naturally fluffed. Check out the Buddha Bunz dryer balls which are currently on clearance at 20% off from Kissed by the Moon!
Vinegar acts as an all natural fabric softener. Use no more than 1/4 cup during the first rinse cycle of your Hot Wash to help get the left over soap or detergent out of the diapers. You may find that you need more depending on your particular situation. Do what works best for you. But please be aware that if you have hard water, vinegar may not be such a good idea.
Did you ever have to deal with fabric softener diaper issues?
Do you use any alternative fabric softeners for your precious dipes?