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Washing Soda vs RLR-what's the difference?

Forum: Cloth Diapering


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October 20th, 2010, 09:41 AM
benandali's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,215
I read somewhere that someone once did a comparison of ingredients, etc, and they found that RLR was basically just washing soda. Is that true? I've used RLR for my stripping and it does really well and everything comes out nice and white and soft.

But washing soda is so cheap!!!!! Can you use washing soda the same way as RLR? Could I throw that in w/ detergent and then wash and rinse rinse rinse?

What's the difference between the two?
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October 20th, 2010, 12:42 PM
becker206's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 7,696
I was under the impression that no one knows what is in RLR because they don't disclose the ingredients..?

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October 20th, 2010, 01:26 PM
SuJo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,111
I read that RLR won't disclose, and I also read that it was (I'm doing this from memory, so don't hold me to it) the stronger sodium bicarbonate that is used as a pool cleaner. Washing soda is similar, and stronger than baking soda (hence the need to dissolve it first, and avoid extended contact with your skin). I used it instead of RLR, did two overnight soaks following the box directions and the second time it pulled out residue I didn't think I had (was having no issues), i did 7 rinses!

I can't compare it to RLR because I have never used it, but it works for me. And it's cheap! I try to do the overnight soak with clean diapers every month or so just to avoid any build up, and I love it. It also helps with my hard water, keeps everything softer.
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October 20th, 2010, 01:54 PM
Pinkee~'s Avatar All girl momma!
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UT
Posts: 9,118
What is washing soda? Where do you get it in the store? Like where is it located and with what products?

Also, does anyone know if RLR or washing soda can be used w/a front loader HE machine?

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October 20th, 2010, 02:25 PM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 15,839
Washing soda is usually in the laundry aisle. Nobody here carries it, I have to go to another town.

I have a HE front loader and have used both RLR and washing soda. RLR doesn't seem to do anything for us - at least not as far as trying to get rid of chemical fragrances from used clothing or the ammonia smell out of diapers. Haven't tried it for detergent buildup on any items I KNOW have detergent buildup. (just a very few items I rarely use, not really worth a load and I've been too lazy to do it by hand )

Washing soda - I tried it once by itself (in with the regular detergent) and it really roughed up everything. I must have used too much?? It was maybe a teaspoon. I thought everything would get softer with subsequent washes but nothing has. Not that the items are scratchy, but they aren't as soft as they used to be.
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October 21st, 2010, 09:27 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 22,604
Washing soda is caustic to natural fibres, makes them rough - whatever formulation RLR is, it's much gentler than straight washing soda.

Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

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October 22nd, 2010, 12:07 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Atlantic Canada Eh?
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I use washing soda, Amaze by Sunlight and it works wonders here. So did switching out detergent.

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