Friday, May 13, 2011

Stripping Diapers with Rockin Green-if you have REALLY hard water!

Monkey is in an off-again cycle with his urine issue and he's also been wearing undies around the clock (and keeping them dry) for a few days now.  His diapers got buildup of the NASTY urine though to the point it was starting to spread to Baby K's diapers.  The soft rock wasn't cutting it for us anymore so I had to get some Hard Rock in Lavender Mint (it smells AWESOME).  We have a new stripping routine.  Because of how hard our water is and how much is built up it's going to take a few strippings to get it all out.  Here's our new routine (for a toploader):

Start filling washer with cold water.  Add 1 Tbs of Rockin Green and 3 Tbs of Calgon water softener (powder).  Dissolve well.  Add all diapers and let water finish running.  Close the lid and let agitate for 30 seconds (so there are a few bubbles throughout the water).  Let soak.  We let them soak for at least 12 hours (overnight the first batch and during the day last Saturday for the second batch-some overlapping diapers but wanted to get them ALL).  Then close the lid and finish the whole cold wash cycle. 

Next, run the hot for a full hot cycle.  Add 1 Tbs Rockin Green.  You *can* take the diapers out for this or just make sure it dissolves in the water instead of putting it straight on your diapers.  Run the whole cycle. 

Do 4 cold rinses (or 2 full cold cycles).

Remove diapers and hang dry or dry your inserts and prefolds and flats in a drier if you prefer.

Another pointer I learned by doing more research-baking soda is BAD in hard water.  Hubby is a Chemist and I asked him about this-let's just say 30 minutes later I decided not to ask for a Chemist's perspective on stuff like this :) (that is a joke!  Though I did walk away with a headache because while I did well in Chemistry I decided to put it behind me and never ever ever look back besides helping kiddos with basic Chemistry).  Washing soda is GOOD in hard water.  Another stripping method would be to substitute washing soda for the Calgon.  You can also do blue liquid Dawn on clean diapers and do rinse cycles until ALL the bubbles are out (you would wash diapers as normal and them add a squirt of Dawn in another hot cycle then do rinses until all the bubbles are gone after a full hot cycle). 

-Calgon works best on mineral buildup.  Hard water, urine, etc.
-Dawn works best on oil buildups.  Skin oils, diaper creams (even CD safe ones eventually build up especially with hard water), etc.  YES skin oil WILL build up on diapers-it builds up A LOT faster on suedecloth (ie BumGenius) than on microfleece (ie Monkey Bunns, Haute Pockets, Happy Heinys, etc).
-Washing soda works great to minimize stink and also for mineral build up.  Use baking soda in soft water and DO NOT TOUCH it with a 10 foot pole if you have hard water (it will build up and add to stink and repelling issues).

You can find washing soda here or here or here or here (all Amazon links-yes they are affiliate links and yes I will make a little money if you purchase through these links-I promise I will use the money to keep kids in homeschool supplies and books just like I do with Swagbucks referrals!).  Or you can probably find it in a local store or go here and click "Fabric Care" and "Super Washing Soda" and type your zipcode in to the top box.  It's usually on the laundry aisle next to borax.

BIG NOTE TO LAUNDRY DETERGENT MAKERS!!!  If you have hard water DO NOT use baking soda in your recipe-you can swap out washing soda (sometimes referred to as soda ash) in the recipe.  Here's the recipe I use:

Half a bar of castille soap (grated) (we use Dr. Bronner's and find it at a health food store)
1 cup baking soda (here's where I use washing soda instead)
1 gallon hot water (just hot from the tap)

-Add the baking soda to the water in a jug
-Melt the soap in a pan-this does take a bit and it likes to smoke while it melts.  My most recent batch I subbed in 1 c liquid Dr. Bronners but should have increased it (I like to do mine in 2 2 liter bottles half of the ingredients in each).
-Shake it all up.  Let it sit overnight and it will gel.
The contents separate, so each time shake the jug and pour 1/4-1/2 cup per load.

 Hopefully this post has been informative!  Feel free to share it!