Sunday, April 22, 2012

The dirty on Homemade detergents

You will almost always find me agreeing that homemade is best, from arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, baking, no boxed foods are at my house.  However, one of the things that is better not homemade is diaper detergent.  

Now, I come from a chemistry background, and I have seen some nasty things happen with common household ingredients...Like, did you know using bleach to clean up animal urine releases Chlorine gas?!  Serious!  Use bleach only after you remove the urine to disinfect the area!  I could show you the chemistry, but you would be asleep on your computer/smartphone.

  

Ingredients that I have heard of commonly being used in homemade detergents are things like:Bar soap, Fels Naptha Soap, Liquid Castle Soap, Borax, Oxygen Bleach, Vinegar, and Soda.  Yes, while these are all natural ingredients some of them are contraindicated for the products you may be washing.

Soap-like the ones listed above can ruin your PUL, which will make your waterproof covers, not so waterproof anymore.  Soaps can also coat your diapers which will cause repelling issues which can be hard to strip out, do not use these on your diapers.

Borax-Na2B4O7(OH)4.8H2O AKA sodium decaborate tetrahydrate (sleeping yet?).  Borax can destroy your elastic and Hook and Loop.  If you really want to use this use on things like inserts or prefolds, even then I'd be a little worried.





Oygenated Bleach-The active ingredient is sodium percarbonate.  There are many store bought detergents that contain this now too, so read your labels carefully.  While this is not all that harmful to your inserts, it like Borax will eat away at your components like elastic and H&L.  Use sparingly.  I use an oxygenated bleach product a few times a year only on inserts when I need a super deep cleaning and don't have time to strip at that moment.  Make sure you wash it out well with plenty of water to keep it away from baby's skin.



Vinegar-Now, I don't want to make any enemies here, because I know many of you LOVE your vinegar.  Vinegar is an acid and will eat away at your components like Borax and Oxygen Bleach. Avoid at all costs using on anything with PUL, elastic and H&L.


Soda alone works great.  We recommend it in stripping your diapers but just be careful and use it sparingly because it is so alkaline it can cause similar damage to an acidic wash.  Don't use this every wash, it will eat away at your diapers.


What I say, save your homemade detergent for your regular laundry and invest in a detergent for your diapers so you know they are safe in the wash.  


Remember: Liquid detergents are easier on diapering products, and avoid anything with softeners.


Our favorites here at SoftBums are:
Purex free and clear and

Rockin' Green
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16 comments:

  1. Good to know!! I just made a batch of homemade detergent this morning. I will leave it for regular laundry and keep buying for my diapers. :)

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  2. So out of curiosity what is in the purex free and clear and rockin green that makes you recommend them?

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  3. I've been using Rockin green and I have serious stink issues after a few washes and I have to rinse like crazy. I still haven't found a soap I like.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, I am in MN, and have hard water. I get so much stink using RnG, even the Hard Rock! Doesn't matter how much or how little I use, plus extra rinses. I still get stink!

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  4. The second ingredient in rockin green is sodium percarbonate. I've also heard of other specifically made for diaper detergents containing the above "no-no" ingredients. This makes no sense to me. I've also heard from CDing moms that have made their own detergent and been washing dipes for years with no problem. Is this really that big of a problem?

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    1. i was just about to post the "rockin green has sodium percarbonate" statment when i saw that you had already done so. as far as i know, the "equal parts: oxiclean, washing soda, and baking soda" recipes are the best. you use one tablespoon per load and it works as well as rockin green. this is probably because it has the EXACT same ingredients with the only exception being salt (used in rockin green as a filler, listed with the technical name). so nobody can recommend rockin green and discredit this recipe with the same breath.

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  5. Rockin' green is a great detergent. It does have sodium percarbonate but very little. I know many many people love it, I have used it a couple times but I do not use it on the regular. I use purex free and clear. Ill do a post on why I love purex. Stay tuned.

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  6. Be aware that using your own home made detergent can work well for a while, but most people report buildup after 6-12 mo of use.

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  7. I use Lulu's In The Fluff Glamour Wash, and LOVE it! IT only requires 1-2 tablespoons per load (depending on the size), and I have never had problems with build-up or stink. Would definitely recommend!

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    Replies
    1. looked up lulu's in the fluff ingredients. they are identical to the homemade recipe "equal parts: oxiclean, baking soda, washing soda" use one tablespoon. save some money.

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  8. First three ingredients in my "commercial" diaper detergent are Sodium Carbonate (washing soda), Sodium Sulfate (a salt derived from sulfuric acid), Sodium Percarbonate (your oxygen cleaner / solid hydrogen peroxide) So why don't you recommend these???

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  9. This article seems to contradict itself. If you read the ingredients in most detergents, including the ones just for diapers, you will find many of the items she listed. I found this recipe online the other day, seems pretty basic. I am trying to save as much money as possible with my baby. Has anyone used the homemade laundry detergent on cloth diapers? Will it really destroy them as she claimed?

    http://matthewgustke.com/2013/11/17/homemade-laundry-detergent-pennies-per-load/

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