Because I have the Detergent Database, Stink Issues Chart, Stripping Diapers Tutorial, and the thousands of responses to the Washing Diapers Survey, I tend to get a lot of questions about cloth diaper stink issues and I LOVE answering them.
But I figured I could take a minute to write a post and talk about what I generally recommend to people. Whenever someone has a stink issue, I generally send them over to this chart before I give any advice, because water type, amount of detergent, and several other factors contribute to how good or bad your diapers smell. And so far, I am yet to have someone report that it didn’t work.
But even with that in mind, I keep finding myself saying the same thing: USE TIDE!
I know, it’s taboo in this fluffy world. We worry about diaper damage…but in my opinion, the extra hot washes and stripping that many are doing to help fight a stink issue is causing more damage than just using Tide. Plus survey responses showed that using Tide made absolutely NO difference in the presence of diaper damage when compared with other detergents. Don’t believe me? Read here.
Now this may void a diaper’s warranty, so check on that. But I just think we are making cloth diapering 100 times more difficult troubleshooting a bunch of stink issues when Tide, for the most part, solves issues. The detergent has extra water softener, which is why it works for hard water users as well. In my water, I often need a little more of a boost than that, so I occasionally add 1 tablespoon of washing soda (available in the laundry detergent aisle of your grocery store).
Here is my Tide recommendation: TIDE Original (it may say “Ultra” on the box, that’s OK), the Powdered form, filled to the ‘1’ line
Some of you CAN’T use Tide because your baby has a sensitivity to the detergent. If that’s the case, the second best alternative that I personally have found is to use the recommended amount of Country Save plus one tablespoon of washing soda. You can also hop on over to the Detergents Database and see what survey respondents recommended.
Please do not hold me liable for any diaper damage or health issues that you may encounter as a result of trying Tide or any other detergent. There is a recent study that shows small traces of dioxane in Tide (but still less than that mandated by the EPA), so use with caution.