Save Yourself the Stress: Washing Cloth Diapers With Tide

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!

Cloth Diapering Shouldn't Be Stressful. Got Stinky Diapers? Try 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.

If Tide or the Stink Issues Chart don’t work, please do not hesitate to contact me and I’d be happy to help you troubleshoot:

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.

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.