Let's Talk Dirty!
The detergent you choose is a very important family decision because it affects your household's health. This decision is not just about the lifespan of your cherished piece of clothing but also about the quality of your sleep, your skin's condition and your overall environment. Let's talk about laundering your cloth diapers, your sportswear and of course your sexy lingerie.
We launched Charlie Banana® Laundry Detergent because, just like you, we wanted a soap that washes any type of laundry without containing perfumes, bleach, optical whiteners, or any harsh chemicals and that is biodegradable. We wanted a detergent that was gentle on Baby, the whole family, the planet and one that leaves no residues. A detergent great with cloth diapers but amazing as well for any athletic fibers got any athletes in the house?
Harsh chemicals and residues found in detergents can cause many issues:
Cause eczema and skin allergies and surely do not help dry skin. Your baby's pores absorb everything and are even more sensitive as their skin epidermis is new.
Make diapers start leaking after a month of being used - we sometimes receive calls about this. They absorb liquids fine for a couple of weeks and suddenly they stop performing.
My son and I are passionate tennis players and we have noticed that by not using the right detergent or using the one that traps residues, our work out clothing can trap sweat and smell which is very hard to get rid off.
Have you ever experienced a towel that does not dry you out? Detergents with residues can do this!
Most detergents contain residues including suds, optical whiteners, bleach, ammonia, parabens, irritating perfumes, leaving a film on clothes and cloth diapers. These residues coat bacteria and human waste, and yes they keep them from the skin, but they don't actually clean it away. At the same time they clog fibers. That will repell liquids and will prevent your diapers from absorbing any longer.
Recently while in the USA, I found Tide special formula that is designed to remove odor and residue build up from your washer's drum. The fact that the makers of Tide release such product clearly confirms that residues are not only a cloth diapering phenomenon.
Using the proper detergent is capital and it will make all the difference to a successful diapering experience. Like most of us, I did not think of it much until we started cloth diapering.
We sometimes hear about cases of babies experiencing rashes after using cloth diapers. Often the rash is caused by the detergent used to wash the diapers. Dont use too much detergent and do an extra rinse if you see suds still in the rinsing cycles. Detergents today are highly concentrated and a little bit goes a long way. Keep in mind that everyone has different washer type, soap, water type, climate and humidity level, laundry set up and laundering habits.
Important guidelines and tips
Do not use hot water or bleach and tumble dry if using a dryer. If you use hot water or bleach, the lamination of the diaper will not last and the elastics will loose its elasticity.
For stains you can sun bleach your diapers or use non-chlorine bleach if you need to. A little lemon juice on the stain before sun bleaching can also naturally do the trick.
For sanitation dry the diapers into sun. Sun has a bleaching effect, white vinegar as well. Sprinkle the vinegar on the diaper and soak it in the wet diaper pail.
For smell soak your diapers in white vinegar and baking soda and you can use these in the rinsing cycle as well. It works wonderfully - pour to 1 cup of vinegar into wet diaper pail and pre-soak the diapers or just pour it stright into the washing machine's softener's compartment before starting the wash. Or you can add a couple tablespoons of baking soda to the softener's compartment.
Detergent brands we recommend that we have tested with our products: Charlie Banana® Laundry Detergent, Meyers, Zuma's Soap, Charlie's Soap, Eco nuts, Eco Vert. Note to soap manufacturers: if you are not listed above, please feel free to send us samples of your detergent - we can test and add you for sure if it works! Make sure your detergent is free of enzymes, bleach activators, anti-redeposition agents, optical brighteners and perfumes.
Don't use too much detergent - it is very important to carefully follow the diaper washing instructions. This is particularly relevant for the first time users as they transition from common detergents to the ones which leave no residue. Previous residue needs to be washed-off first before the new detergent can be used efficiently.
Storring diapers before the wash
You can use either wet or dry pail for storring dirty diapers before throwing them into washing machine. If using wet pail, simply fill it up with water only - you do not need to pre-soak diapers with soap. On occasion you can add a little vinegar if there are any ammonia problems.
Do not use diaper rash cream, fabric softener when using / washing cloth diapers. It makes your diaper repell the liquid. If you must use an ointment please use our disposable inserts and lay it on top of the fleece. The cream will not be in contact with the fabric and will not affect your diaper absorbency.
Removing poo from the diapers
Diaper Liner - To limit the messy diapers use a diaper liner.
|Bio Liners box|
Whatever cloth brand you use, you can really benefit from using a diaper liner. A liner is a very thin but strong piece of paper (looks like a piece of paper towel - ours is biodegradable) that you simply lay on top of your diaper prior to fastening the diaper on your child.
The liquid will pass through but the solids will stay on top of the liner. When baby does #2, simply lift the liner and flush the little bundle in the toilet. You are now left with a dirty diaper but not a messy one! We LOVE those at Charlie Banana®.
|Tote Bag||Hanging Diaper Pail|
The "dish brush" is a great accessory to quickly remove any residues if not using a liner. Remove your inserts by pulling on the label and set aside. Shake as much solids as possible in to the toilet and then hold your diaper under running water and use the brush. All solids' residues will come off and then you can prewash your dirty diaper before putting it with the rest of your laundry.
You can install a bidet sprayer at the back of your toilet and then spray the diaper. Some love those, some don't. It is easy enough to install.
We recommend to "strip" diapers if your diapers are leaking due to soap build up or if there is a leftover scent on the diapers. Many sites on the Internet have directions for "striping diapers". You need to soak the diaper with a "Dawn" type dish soap to really strip off the residues on the fabric. You can use a brush on the diaper fleece. After that run a couple of cycles with no detergent until you see no bubbles in the water. Again it all depends on the soap you use and your water type. If you use a detergent that leaves no residues then you should avoid most of these problems.
If you are using Charlie Banana® Laundry Detergent please make sure you use it for the whole family laundry. You will discover that after a couple of washes your clothes get softer and softer and this is without fabric softener.
Let us know what challenges you are having with your washing routine, share with us what works best for you. There is no clear one guideline as there are too many components that vary from East to West. However we believe that by sharing experiences we can enlighten each other. Please share them with us.
Please leave your questions and comments on our blog. One lucky winner will get a jar of Charlie Banana® Laundry Detergent. We will contact the winner on Facebook by the 19th of November.
Gaëlle and the Team