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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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My Weird Alternative to Washing With A HE Front Loader+Hard Water

HE Front Loader+Hard Water….You can’t fool me! My alternative to Not Having a Machine Agitator!

I FINALLY found a wash routine that works for my horrible circumstances. With my HE front loader, and extremely HARD water I have been battling to find a good wash/stripping routine that works for me. I’ve read every post on The Cloth Diaper Whisperer, posted on facebook for advice, but I always had this funk smell before and after the diaper got soiled (worse after). Having a front loader also makes for a big hassle when you CD.

One day, laying in my bed wondering how could I get these diapers clean like they were when I first bought them, I thought about how normal washers have an agitator in them, and unfortunately HE’s do not!! Maybe that was the answer. I glanced at my garden tube with Jacuzzi jets, AND my eyes lit up, I finally had an “ahhh ha moment”! I use my bath every once in a while, but not enough! I thought OMG the jets will agitate things a bit and let them soak since my HE doesn’t allow a lot of water in the machine no matter how much I add! So I tried this little concoction I made up to see how it would go ……and it worked!!!

1. I ran hot water only in my Jacuzzi, letting it get over the jets, put in my diapers, and then I poured 1 tbsp of Tide original into the running water, 3 tbsp of Rockin Green, & ½ cap of Calgon water softener into the stream of water.
2. Let it soak for 2 hours, with occasional agitation from jacuzzi jets. (optional)
3. Drained the water, did a good rinse to get most of suds off, transfered all soaking wet diapers into something (my big blue tub), and took them to the washer.
4. Placed heavy diapers in washer (now machine thinks I have a huge load = more water will be added). Did a quick rinse, no spin.
5. Put 1 tbsp of Tide Original, 1 tbsp of Rockin green, 1 cap full of Calgon mixed together in detergent dispenser.
6. Put my HE setting on “Whites” which includes a hot&cold wash cycle, I chose a no spin cycle, (to keep them soaked after the initial wash) and chose “light soil” cycle = 38 minute for my wash.
7. When that cycle was done, I did a Rinse+ Spin cycle = 20 minutes. Repeat until no suds!!

Line dry your covers and PUL material things, and I throw my inserts in the dryer for 40 minutes on low heat sometimes, or hang them outside, depending on the size load I have.

I’m so happy I can finally wash and get an great outcome. Alternative to this if you don’t have a tub, would be a big bucket like I have, I’ll do that next time, I just stripped them this time and had a bigger load! I think soaking with Calgon & detergent when you have hard water and an HE machine is really important. There just isn’t enough water in the HE to get a good wash!

For my next regular wash, I will do a mini soak for about an hour the same way with less diapers in the blue tub, do a quick rinse in my tub, and then follow through with steps 4-7.

BIO: Traci is a full time working mom cloth diapering her 10 month old and happy to finally have a good routine down for her washing.


Sarah [Nurse Loves Farmer] said...

BRILLIANT!! I have the same problem. Do you find you really need Calgon though if you use Hard Rock? Maybe I should try?

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

Necessity is the mother of invention! That's very clever of you. It's amazing the things we come up with to save our cloth.

MandusMaximus said...

Yay thanks for the tips :D I have hard water and an HE front loader and just started CD'ing :)

Danielle said...

love this idea!!! So...would you use as much detergent in a regular wash?

Traci Martin-Robinson said...

i really would use the calgon!!! i even use it now with everything, and my towels are softer and smell much better since i found calgon!! i still have regular RnG left I have not done the hard rock yet, thats next on my list. the jets in my tub really agitate the yuck out! its amazing, but weird lol. glad you liked my post!

Amanda said...

Super woman! I read on a blog post somewhere (mommy and pregnancy brain fail me as to which blog) that manufacturers are going to stop making front loading washers. NO!!! But rest assured I have an alternative when our top loader poops out on us and we are left to buy a 'vintage' top loader or a so-called more efficient front loader. I had my first experience with a front loader on took ~55 minutes for a regular wash cycle! What?!