Finding a diy cloth diaper detergent that is perfect for cloth diapers can be difficult. Especially if you want a cloth diaper detergent that is inexpensive.
Without much thought I had been using our homemade laundry detergent on my cloth diapers. I knew it was natural but hadn’t thought much on how it would affect the diapers. Turns out it was coating the diapers and making them less absorbent.
Oh no! Right?!
We use a fels naphtha bar in our normal detergent but this isn’t good for the cloth diapers because it leads to build up and the diapers start repelling moisture instead of absorbing it. This goes for any detergent using bar soap. I’m still working on how to restore my diapers but in the mean time I’ve switched to this detergent… specifically for my cloth diapers.
It is super easy and quick to make and lasts quite a while. I’ve been using it for about 3 months now and my diapers are doing much better…thankfully. 🙂 This diy cloth diaper detergent has kept our diapers clean and fresh.
DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent Recipe
Combine equal parts:
- Washing soda (sodium carbonate)
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- Oxygen cleaner (Find one that only contains sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate and or peroxide)
- Washing soda: Washing soda softens your water. The calcium and magnesium that may be in your diapers or water are countered by the washing soda. Washing soda binds with these minerals preventing them from building up on the diaper. Washing soda can help remove build up from oil based detergents.
- Baking soda: Baking soda reacts with acids and absorbs odors. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use Baking soda if you have bamboo rayon diapers. Baking soda breaks down the fibers and may return them to their pre-fiber goo state. Other than Rayon diapers using baking soda is not usually a problem to use in detergent for cloth diapers. Check with your manufacturer to be certain.
- Oxygen cleaner: Breaks down the chemical bonds of color. So helps get rid of stains. If you notice the diaper fibers breaking down you may want to cut down on this and use only sparingly. This may apply to PUL diapers.
Using your DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent
Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. One tablespoon for a medium sized load and up to 2 for a larger load. Or if you have hard water you may want to use the higher amount as well. Do not use more than 2 tablespoons for an extra large load. Baking soda can be harsh on your clothes and you don’t want to use too much of it. It won’t cause problems for the diapers because you are using a very small amount.
Some things to remember when washing cloth diapers:
- Don’t use soaps with oils in them (thus anything with a soap bar may cause buildup).
- Use a balanced amount of your diy cloth diaper detergent. Keeping cloth diapers clean is a balancing act. If you use too much detergent you will get a build-up of detergent on your diapers. If you use too little your diapers won’t get clean each time and you will get a build up of fecal material and ammonia. The trick is finding the right balance considering your load size and water type.
- Find a balance with the amount of heat/sun you use to dry your diapers. Placing diapers in too hot of a dryer or leaving them in the sun can damage the diapers by melting the waterproof portion or by breaking down the fibers and leaving it cracked. Some heat is good however to help with the drying process, especially if you live in a humid area. Sun can be good for your diapers but make sure to take them out of the sun soon after they are dry.
- Vinegar is great for many diapers as it reduces mineral deposits and is a natural anti-microbial but you may want to avoid it if you use PUL Diapers or any product with elastic as vinegar breaks down soft plastics.
- Don’t use essential oils with your diapers. Yes we love the smell and they can help get rid of bacteria but they are still oil based and will eventually build up on your diapers and then your diapers will no longer be smelling sweet.
*NOTE: I am not a scientist and this information is based off of my studying as I have tried to find a good detergent.