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Thursday, December 16, 2010

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Repelling: What I Did Wrong

Our finances suddenly became very tight (and that's still an understatement at that) over the last two years, we started cutting on what we could. While it might have been a great idea, I shouldn't have scrimped on one thing:

Laundry Soap. I started making homemade soap to save money. It still got my clothes clean and the diapers didn't stink. As far as I was concerned, it worked and saved us money. That is where I went terribly wrong.

I didn't notice the build up on my son's Happy Heinys and no one had worn the bumGenius 3.0s in a while (he is 32 lbs and 20 months old and grew out of them around his first birthday) so I didn't realize how much buildup had accrued. One of the main ingredients in the soap is a wax-like soap. Buildup was inevitable.

When my second daughter arrived in September, I was so excited to get her in the bumGenius 3.0s I had waiting. They looked so cute but they leaked EVERY TIME. I was getting frustrated with clothing and diaper changes all the time. I must have changed diapers AND clothes (and my clothes too) every hour or two. The inserts were barely wet! I almost tossed the 3.0s...but I couldn't part with them yet- that would be an even bigger waste! There was another solution.

We have a great Real Diaper Association in our area and I went to get advice from the group leader.

Apparently, BG's suede-like fabric is REALLY sensitive to laundry detergent. She's personally had problems and around the 2 year mark, most people find that their BG's get a lot of build up and start repelling. She gave me an Anti-Repelling and Buildup Recipe.
  • Separately soak covers and soakers (I used my diaper pail and a five-gallon bucket)
  • Fill with HOT water. Add ½ Tablespoon of Charlie's Soap (I'd assume Rock 'n Green will work too) and a generous amount of baking soda.
  • Stir and let sit for 1 to 4 hours (if it's really bad, soak them overnight). I soaked them for 6 because I couldn't find time to get them in the washer (I have three kids...I'm busy.)
  • Wash again on HOT in the washing machine. Don't add more soap. Run a rinse or two.
If the build up is really bad, she also recommended turning the diapers inside out and scrubbing the backside of the suedecloth to force the build up out.

And like magic, the diapers stopped leaking and even the Happy Heinys work better! They feel different too. I know that sounds silly but I can feel the difference. That's how bad it was.

I now use Charlie's Soap on everything. My stash is saved and so is my life from disposables or having to purchase a whole new stash!

By Jillayne T.


Amanda said...

I'm so glad to have read this tip! The suedecloth on some of my Flip inserts repells terribly, so I have quit using them, after several failed attempts to strip them. Hopefully this will work and allow me to use those diapers again.

Catherine said...

I too made my own detergent and had the same issue. I still use it on our clothes, but never on my diapers. I thought I was so clever ;)

Amber Joy said...

Hmmmm.... I use home-made detergent. What was it that caused the build up? I'm out of my Nellie's soap that I try to use on my diapers only.

Sarah Rheaume said...

I had build up problems with my BGs too after only using them for a little over a month. I was using "cloth diaper safe cream" at night with no liners. My dtr started leaking at night at the waist 3 days in a row. So I had to strip the diapers yesterday. Cotton Babies (maker of BGs) recommended just a teaspoon of blue Dawn original in a hot wash then rinse, rinse, rinse. I didn't have Dawn on hand so I ran my diapers through cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse then 3 warm rinses cycles. This morning I check and no leaks on the PJs. It did the trick for now. Lesson learned I will only use diaper cream with fleece diaper liner and wash those separately.

whocg23 said...

I had the same problem with some of my diapers to the point I stopped using them and just had them sitting on a shelf. The problem with that was they were my FAVORITE diapers! Finally, I realized the error of my ways and that all they needed was a good stripping. Now they too work almost like new. It is amazing how build up can happen without you even noticing it!

Anonymous said...

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Heide said...

I am at the 2.5 year mark with my BG. I dont have a problem with repelling, but I do have a stink problem. Rockin Green soaks help a great deal, but I discovered that Charlies Soap was not working for me and could not help with the stink. Wonder why?

A in Indiana said...

I also make my own laundry soap, but have a different "recipe" for my diapers. It is equal parts Borax, washing soda, and Oxyclean "free". I also put vinegar in on one of the rinse cycles. Hope this helps!

Tiffany L. said...

I have a feeling you were using Fels and the Borax/Washing Soda solution which is fantastic for clothes and towels. I bought the five gallon bucket of Charlie's and I still have my bars of Fels that I'll use for anything really bad like mildewy towels or something. Thanks for shouting out Charlie's. I love it. Only use a half a scoop for two days worth of diapers.

Jen said...

So glad to see this post! I'm going to have to bookmark it so when I need those instructions, I can find them. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I also use charlie's soap...not sure if its great or not yet. I have ammonia smell every morning and not sure why???

Ladyinwaiting35 said...

What kind of "soap" were you using that caused the buildup? AND putting 1/2 - 1c. vinegar should prevent buildup. Were you doing that?