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hard water

Forum: Cloth Diapering


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February 1st, 2013, 05:44 PM
ohfiddleheads's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
Posts: 1,236
Hi, I've been cloth diapering for several months now. My DD just turned 7 months. My house has hard, sulfurous well water and it's making stripping very difficult. My dipes are homemade, fitted, and filled with bamboo liners sewn in. I've tried soaking, using less detergent, more detergent, baking soda, Calgon, vinegar, RLR and nothing seems to strip them enough. I know this because she keeps breaking out in diaper rashes that will only clear up when I put her in sposies for a few days. I'm about ready to give up and go sposie full time. I run my loads with hot wash, cold rinse (that's the only hot water option my machine has) twice, both times with Calgon to soften the water. My detergent is Nellie's Laundry Soda and my washer is a side loader.

Do you have any suggestions for me to thoroughly strip my dipes? I'm totally blaming mineral deposits and detergent buildup because my water is quite hard. They also have a problem with ammonia crystals because they reek when she wets them and I think irritation from the ammonia is what's causing her break out in rashes all the time.

Please help.

Hannah Elizabeth born June 30, 2012
via Cesarean due to breech presentation
7 lbs 15 oz, 20.5 in

Last edited by ohfiddleheads; February 1st, 2013 at 05:46 PM.
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February 1st, 2013, 06:05 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
My advice is:
- avoid vinegar bc of your sulfur content. Baking soda is a waste of time, too weak for super hard water. Washing soda would be better.
- switch to an enzyme-containing detergent, they clean better. Obviously Tide is the best loved but almost any mainstream is fine, including free & clear types
- Calgon is good. You might also try borax or washing soda as a softener.
- try regular chlorine bleach for stink and ammonia. It really is the best at killing stuff. Your DD's rash is probably from bacteria if ammonia is involved.
- try oxygen bleach/oxy clean/chlorine-free bleach, it softens the water as well as disinfects.
- you probably need to run 3 cycles.
-- prewash with a bunch of softener and/or disinfectant (like bleach) and a little detergent
-- main wash with some softener and normal load amount of detergent
-- rinse cycle

Hope this helps!! When my water gets super hard (during drought conditions) I need to use bleach every time in my prewash. I use Tide F&C or similar store brand free and clear detergents but I make sure they have enzymes. Hope this helps, good luck!!!! Don't quit cloth before trying bleach I was so afraid of it for a long time, but it worked soooo well I became a convert

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