Detergent buildup — The Bump
Cloth Diapering

Detergent buildup

Someone on the BST group just told another mama that there's no such thing as detergent buildup.
True? False? 

Personally, I've used way too much detergent before and my prefolds smelled like Tide from across the room... So I feel like this is false.


Dx: Vasa Previa w/DS1
**Tinymin born 8/14 @35w1d**
"Annnnnnd you win the award for best SN evar." -LindsRockies


Re: Detergent buildup

  • I have washed a load of seasonal clothes that was stored for a while with just warm water and been amazed at the suds (and I go light on detergent even without cd) so I absolutely do agree that detergent build up is real.

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    Smallllmin[Deleted User]ComeMaiCLLDLL
  • There is a certain FB group that has been perpetuating the idea that detergent buildup is a myth. I tend to disagree with this idea.

  • I'm still washing out scents from laundry detergent from used baby clothes.

    So. Overwhelming.

  • Best practices would include using the minimum amount of detergent needed to get your diapers clean, rinse them well, and if possible use a clean-rinsing detergent.

    I have only ever had to strip my ON diapers, and only did hot water washes (with Calgon, BC hard water).

    [Deleted User]Smallllmin
  • So is there a best practice to prevent detergent build up or is it inevitable that you will have to do a strip at some point?

    Doing a hot water strip to remove residual detergent is easier, less damaging, and imo, less troublesome than doing a rlr and/or bleach strip. I have read that some people recommend doing a maintenance hot water strip every 6 or so months. Since I know I have issues with detergent not rinsing out well, I have taken to doing a full second wash with Calgon for my additional rinse. (It doesn't work for me to put the water softener in the wash with detergent - I can use less that way but the little amount used still isn't rinsing out) Even this way I can't use more than 2-3 tablespoons of detergent or it will take even more rinsing to get it out. If I don't rinse it all out, I have morning ammonia and if I do rinse it all out I have no smell at all in the overnight diaper - except for fresh pee smell. If I don't do any of the extra rinses, I get ammonia smells starting in my daytime diapers.....probably for the reason @Mapleme gave.

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    I'm a fan of The Cloth Diaper Tech Support group on Facebook
  • Also, I feel that the FB group is really splitting hairs on trying to make a distinction between residue and buildup. Either way, I want to minimize anything on my diapers that would cause repelling, stink or rash. And if it's left on my diapers to be rinsed away by the initial rinse, then that's supposed to be okay? I don't get it, because that's something that could potentially cause a rash on my child's skin.

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