I apologize for all the cloth diapering posts on this blog. It’s just what’s on my mind right now, and it’s the easiest to write about. I hope to stagger them with real-life posts so you don’t get too bored!

When our washer and dryer broke almost 2 years ago, we decided to spring for a front-loader to save energy and water. We knew we were pregnant by that point, and I knew I was going to do cloth diapers, so I thought, “Yay! More laundry, more important to have an HE washer.” At first it was great. I loved how dry the clothes were coming out of the washer. Instead of my normal 70 minute dry time, I usually could get by with 35-40 minutes. However, what I didn’t realize is that HE machines aren’t ideal for cloth diapers, and that has been frustrating. They don’t use enough water – and diapers (by their nature) are super thirsty! So any extra water is quickly absorbed, and the washer doesn’t compensate. I feel like washing is one thing I haven’t really gotten down yet about cloth diapering.

Another thing about our water is that it is very hard – we have a lot of rust and other mineral deposits. Once, I let an insert soak overnight in some water, and then set it on the bathroom counter where it dried. And it dried ORANGE. Fortunately, when it went through the wash it was completely fine.

I recently switched laundry detergents to Rockin’ Green – Hard Rock. It’s a fairly new detergent, and they make detergents specially for soft water (Soft Rock), normal water (Classic Rock), and hard water (Hard Rock). So far, I like it, but it wasn’t the miracle cure-all I was hoping for. I’m trying to get to a point where I don’t have to wash my diapers twice.

I read a blog post today where a couple hooked up a hose to their HE washer to add more water to their washer during the cycle. According to them, this really helped with the whole cleanliness thing. I wonder if this is something we should look into?

Here is our current routine:
quick wash on cold with detergent
prewash + normal wash on hot with detergent + extra rinse
line dry or dryer on high heat

I’ve tried using the “soak” button on our washer first, and skipping the quick wash, but it didn’t get them as clean. I used to do a normal wash instead of a quick wash, and I may go back to that – sometimes the quick wash is okay and sometimes I feel like it needs more. I’ll still play around with it… it’s just a bit frustrating in the meantime.

2 thoughts on “laundry!

  1. I’ve heard that about HE washers, my sister in law got one and returned it because it wasn’t getting their clothes clean. I never would have thought about the less water less clean thing…

    As for diapers, we don’t have a HE washer and I have always had to wash my diapers twice, when I tried doing just a rinse or prewash then wash they were stinky and dirty. I was on cold with detergent, then wash on hot with detergent and an extra rinse, and sometimes I have to do another full wash because they are still stinky. I’ve been using Charlie’s on them for awhile and have had good luck with it, but have thought about trying the rockin green. The other thing you could think about with hard water is getting a softener, i know people who do that.

    anyway, that’s just my two cents… :)

  2. The reason our water has a lot of minerals is because our pipes are galvanized iron, and after 50 years they’re corroding. So it’s not the water coming in, but the water flowing through the pipes. Therefore, unless we put a water softener at each spigot, it’s not really going to help. It’s going to cost about $5,000 to replumb the entire house.

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