I love cloth diapers. They’re cute, they’re (relatively) easy to use and they save us a lot of money. I would love to say that I love them all the time but as you can tell from my blog post title, they’re not completely headache free. However, minor mishaps are no reason to switch to disposables!
We’ve been using cloth diapers with Babycakes since last summer. And we’ve really only hit a few bumps in the road. The first major bump we hit is something I’m sure has happened to a few cloth diapering mamas out there. We accidently left a dryer sheet in our dryer when we threw the cloth diapers in for a spin. Not only did we do this, but we did it twice. Oops. and I mean Big Oops. Dryer sheets are wicked bad for cloth diapers. They leave a waxy buildup on your diapers that essentialy leaves a waterproof barrier. Not good since you want your diapers as absorbant as possible. That’s their job isn’t it?
So not only did we give our diapers a double dose of waxy dryer sheet gunk but we’ve got hard water. And I meand HARD. We have a water softener installed that filters all of the water that comes in from our well. (Yup, we’ve got well water too.) Even though we have a water softener installed, we’re still battling with hard water.
Hard water is such a pill but if I wasn’t cloth diapering, I wouldn’t care as much. If you cloth diaper and have hard water, you know that cloth diapers and hard water do not mix well. See the white in the above picture? It’s mineral deposits left after the water on the fridge water dispenser evaporated. That’s just from a couple little drops so can you imagine what’s covering my cloth diapers after every wash? We have a decent washing routine: rinse/spin, rinse/spin, rinse/no spin, hot wash with Country Save detergent, rinse/spin. It works for us but no amount of rinsing will get the mineral deposits out because each wash and spin cycle just exposes them to more water/minerals.
So what is one to do? I’ve been leary about trying the ‘striping’ methods that I’ve read about online. I have a front loader (that I don’t want to ruin) so many of the suggested ways (blue dawn, etc) are not going to work for us. Then a cloth diapering friend of mine suggested RLR Laundry Treatment. I had heard of it but I hadn’t really seen it used to help ‘strip’ cloth diapers from mineral deposits. Since I didn’t have anything to lose, I figured I’d give it a shot because my diapers really needed freshing up.
RLR is chemical free and biodegradable. For a front load machine, I add half a package of RLR to a clean load of diapers. After my hot wash, I run a rinse/no spin cycle and then sprinkle the RLR right over the clean diapers and run a second hot wash without detergent. Then I rinse a few times to make sure all of the RLR is removed. That’s it! I do this once a month and it’s such an easy way to keep my diapers from getting dingy and stinky and keeps the mineral deposits at bay. I’m also going to be switching to Rockin Green Hard Rock.
Do you have hard water? If so, how do you conquere it?
Try some RLR today!