Published on February 23rd, 2014 | by Brittney French1
Cloth 201: What to do if I have hard water?
There is so much to learn when it comes to using cloth diapers. You have to become familiar with the different diapers and inserts, find the right technique that will keep your little one dry, and nail down the perfect wash routine. All of which relatively simple to do — except you may experience some trouble when it comes establishing a wash routine.
One of the biggest challenges with washing cloth diapers can be your water type. You have no control over this, so don't fret because we have ways to help you combat it, especially if you discover that you have hard water.
So what is hard water?
Hard water is H2O with high mineral content. It is a very common problem, affecting more than 85 percent of the country, and varies region-to-region, depending on the minerals in your area and your water source.
Why does hard water cause problems with cloth diapers?
Having hard water can lead to soaps and detergents not working well and leaving mineral buildup on clothing and cloth diapers. You may experience leaks and odor issues. Your dishes will look dull from the residue left on them and your laundry will fade much quicker from the buildup. You will also notice that your shampoo and soaps don’t lather like they should. The minerals from your water may block your detergent or soap from working.
How do I determine my water type?
Here's a general breakdown:
- 0-60 mg /L = Soft water
- 61-120 mg /L = Moderately hard water
- 121-180 mg /L = Hard Water
- 181+ = Extremely hard water
Hard water maps will also tell you if the H2O in your area is high in minerals. You can also call your local water utility company or visit its website to be sure.
What do I do if I have hard water?
First add more detergent to your wash load. If that doesn't work, try stripping your diapers with Blue Dawn Dish Soap.
What should I do if I don't have hard water, but still experience leaks and odors?
If you don't have hard water, but are still experiencing leaks or odor issues, your cloth diapers may have built up detergent residue. In this case, you will also want to strip your diapers and begin using slightly less than the recommended amount of detergent in each wash cycle. This will help prevent detergent buildup in the future. Soft water may also mean you need to add an extra rinse to your laundry routine to make sure all the detergent is out.
Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes, it can take a few different tries to find the right wash routine that works for YOU. You may need more soap. You may need less. Maybe you need an extra rinse or are rinsing too much, but remember, trial and error is one of the best way to learn.
For additional questions about your wash routine, give us a call at 1-888-332-2243.