A few weeks ago, I posted a partial response of a client that was seeking to have a laundry routine for them and to my surprise; this generated a healthy discussion around laundry. It got me thinking, that I reached out to parents inquiring about their washing routine. What I found interesting was that each laundry routine was quite different from the next, but what was common in all was they needed to try several approaches until they found one that worked for them.
One parent, in particular, made a very interesting point, that I was quite intrigued. Was laundry an obstacle that discourages many parents from cloth diapering, that in some cases parents abandon cloth diapering altogether?
There is plenty of talk around laundry, that there really is no set way when it comes to the wash routine of cloth diapers that it can look very different for everyone. However, where you will find census on that every parent can agree is not to use bleach, fabric softeners or dryer sheets. As these are all harmful and damaging to your diapers. Here are some great alternatives to try such as soap, bleach alternative, stain remover such as Buncha Farmer or RLR and wool laundry balls to replace those dryer sheets.
I would however caution when there are suggestions to disregard all other types of detergent and / or routine. The fact is what works for one, may not necessarily work for others and they should not be simply written off as being poor products. There are many reasons why people choose a particular detergent over others such as budget, issues of skin sensitivities, concerns with limiting the number of chemicals they use or how their detergent impacts the environment.
So what is a parent to do to see if a detergent works for them? Well simple, just try it out. While the amount of information can be quite overwhelming for any parent, don’t be afraid as it's normal to try different routines before you find one that works for YOU.
There are many reasons when it comes to washing your cloth diapers that it might not be as simple as laying blame soley on the brand that you are using. Here is a list to consider before abandoning cloth diapers and by no means exhaustive:
What does your wash routine look like? Type of detergent you are using? Are you using too much or too little detergent? How many diapers are you putting into the washing machine and so forth. You get the idea!
The rule of thumb is to get as much water running thru your diapers as possible, select an option on your machine that will allow you to get the most amount of water possible for your wash. Then experiment as we have different washing machines, different water types (hard, soft) and no one routine will work for everyone.
Keep in mind that washing cloth diapers is not as hard as everyone makes it appear to be. Before long, you will find a routine that will work for you, that it no longer will remain a novelty and a task to be feared.
Bottom line, there really is no “one fits all” approach when it comes to laundry. Opinions can definitely give you an idea of where to start, but ultimately the right detergent and routine will depend on what works for you and your family!
Remember its just detergent and a routine, so if you find the one you are currently using is not working well for you, then try another one. The key to success simply lies in your ability to experiment.
To keep the conversation going - what laundry routine do you use? Please share your routine in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.