Cloth Diapering

Hard water

Hi ladies! I was wondering how long it usually takes for hard water to interfere with the absorbency of the diapers. We are planning to use prefolds to start, and we will be living in an area with pretty hard water for the first 4 to 6 weeks of LO's life (depending on when he or she decides to come). After that we are moving back to an area with soft water. Should I invest in water softener for those initial weeks? Or do you think it is a short enough time period that it won't really matter? And will the soft water remove any effects of hard water? Also, any detergent recommendations would be great. Thank you!
Formerly known as babybrown2013
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Re: Hard water

  • We moved to a place with hard water when DS was 4 months old. It didn't cause absorbancy problems, but within the first week of doing diaper laundry here I started to notice an ammonia smell when he peed. I turned up the temperature on our initial rinse to warm, and haven't had problems since.

    The other thing I did was add Calgon to both the initial rinse and main wash cycles. I think if you have a good water softener you can use any detergent you like. We use Tiny Bubbles. 

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  • We have moderate to hard water.  I have been CD'ing for about 7 months and in the past couple weeks I have noticed the ammonia smell so for me it took awhile.  I bought some Calgon and plan on stripping them this weekend and then using the Calgon when I wash.  I hope this takes care of the problem because they smell so horrible of ammonia!
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    You should be fine for the 4-6 weeks unless you have really hard water.  I have really hard water and have to add Calgon to my wash cycle every time.  I also use Lulu's In the Fluff for Hard Water.  Even with that I have to strip about every 3-4 months. 

    I would say just add some Calgon to whatever detergent you plan to use in your new place & then if you notice any stink do a strip with RLR or washing soda once you get to the new place.

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  • We have very hard water, use Charlies Soap, and haven't had a problem CDing full time for 2 months. 
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  • We have hard water and no issues. If you stick with natural fibers you should do better, especially prefolds. I always say not to worry about adding anything til you have an issue. You might never have one.
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  • Thank you for all the replies! They have been very helpful. I guess I will just see how it goes then, and if I have a problem I will try to add something to the detergent. 
    Formerly known as babybrown2013
    Team green! 

  • Just wanted to say this has been useful for me as well - we have hard water here, and no water softener or softening agents available, so the tips about turning up water temp and "wait-and-see" are useful.


    ~Living in rural India since 2010.~

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