- Potty Learning
- Baby Carriers
- For the Family
- The Sale Bin
HIGH EFFICIENCY DETERGENT CHOICES
High Efficiency Detergent Chart
Finding a compatible detergent for diaper laundry is a fun and exciting task! Add your new and improved, high-efficiency front-loader into the mix and now it is a whole new spin.
What characteristics are important in a detergent working well in your HE washing machine.
Issues with fragrance, dyes, optical brighteners, and even enzymes are going to shrink but not always disappear when using an HE washing machine. HE washing machines have faster, efficient spin cycles which removes more water and will in turn help to remove more of the problematic additives.
If you are just starting your cloth diapering journey, I can not emphasize enough how advantageous it is to choose a really good detergent. Remove as many obstacles as you can at the beginning to ensure your success. If you want to experiment with your favorite detergent down the road, do so, but only after you are successfully cloth diapering so you know what normal is.
Recognize that washing conditions, such as machine and water supply, do vary from person to person. However, by eliminating known problems you should find success in washing your diapers more easily.
Why Does HE Matter?
Two voices seem to dominate this arena. The first voice states that a standard detergent in a lesser amount, (often in the tsp to tablespoon range) will work in your new HE Washing Machine. However, although the lesser amount of standard detergent won't produce an unwanted quantity of suds, will the detergent be able to allow thorough cleaning?
The second voice is stating more and more clearly that it is important to have a specific HE detergent for use with your HE washing machine. This voice is even stating that "HE compatible" detergents may in fact not be suitable for use with HE washing machines.
Using a load sudsing detergent is important. The HE machine cleans your diapers by lifting them up and then dropping them down into the water. Remember that water is the number one ingredient in cleaning your diapers. Detergent helps water penetrate your clothing more effectively to loosen particles and then traps the particles in the water so they are not repositioned on your clothing. If too many suds are formed on the top of the water, the dropping action of the clothes into the water will be inhibited. If the clothing cannot hit the water properly, it cannot be cleaned properly.
HE detergents are generally more than just low-sudsing. Most are designed to quickly travel throughout the water and quickly dissolve. The detergent doesn't have the 20+ gallons of water to dissolve in like a traditional detergent. HE detergents also are designed to combat dye transfer (a dye from one fabric transferring to another fabric) and soil redepositing (dirt from one item transferring to another item) both of which are more problematic in a smaller quantity of water.
Debate over a liquid vs. a powdered HE detergent is hot. It seems that your particular HE washing machine, your water supply, and your laundry loads will play a significant role in how each performs.
Evaluation Process for Detergents
This work is an elimination of detergents for cloth diaper laundry based on problem ingredients and a compilation of known detergent complications with cloth diaper laundry. Even from the recommended detergents all of the detergents may not be compatible with your water or washing routine. At least you will have fewer detergents to experiment with. Best success in your real-life chemistry adventure. Please let me know how I can help.
A product with a red star has known problems that make it unsuitable for cloth diaper laundry. Examples include Arm and Hammer Fabricare which has been known to cause severe reaction due to its enzyme content. Ivory Snow, Dreft and Zero which are just too mild of a detergent for diaper washing. Environmentally friendly detergents may fall into the orange coding when they have ingredients that may act with hard water poorly and create a residue. Detergents with built in fabric softeners are all included as unsuitable. Biokleen has caused trouble with pocket type diapers but may work fine with prefold or fitted cloth diapers.
?A product with a question mark just hasn't had enough research done to honestly evaluate it. I just don't have the information yet to evaluate the product.
- A product within this ranking includes a potentially problematic additive as is viewable from the detergent ingredients. A detergent that has dyes and/or fragrance may not be suitable for baby. Some diapering momma's do not feel chemical exposure is an issue, and prefer the "clean" illusions they get from their fragrance detergents or the super cleaning they get from enzymes. My opinion just differs.
- A detergent in this categories may be a great choice for your cloth diaper laundry. You will have to determine which detergent in this category works best with your washing machine and your water supply, but you are on the right track to a great laundry routine. Do consider any notes of caution presented with the detergent and always seek to follow your manufacturer's instructions.