Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cloth-Diapering through Hard Water Issues

We’ve been using cloth diapers (as full-time as travel and follow-up recovery have allowed) on our Little Man for one year now. What do I think? I love ‘em! I love the way they fit! And we’ve experienced very few leaks – and certainly fewer and far less dramatic than with disposables!

There have been challenges, of course, with the biggest to date being the “hard water” issues we encountered last summer (winter, really!)  while living in South America for three months.

Besides the steps I took while still living with hard wateronce I was back in the Upstate with my regular washer and set-up, I subjected the diapers to multiple hot rinses. (We don’t have an HE machine, so “hot” for us means about 120 degrees.)

I was amazed at how “cloudy” the water looked when I first started:

This was the first hot rinse – I hadn't added any detergent.

After each rinse cycle, the following “drum-full” of water looked clearer than its predecessor had. A half dozen or so rinse cycles later, I was finally satisfied that the diapers had been thoroughly rinsed. (I actually ran wash cycles – with no detergent – followed by rinse cycles.)


The end result was that the diapers were much softer and fresher-smelling – leading me to conclude that our theory was correct: The hard water had caused detergent build-up. And I’m very thankful that hot water rinses provided a relatively easy and inexpensive fix!

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