When it comes to washing our diapers, many wonder if they are using the correct amount of detergent. Too much can cause problems and too little can cause problems. Today we are Busting the Bubble on Diaper Laundry. (disclaimer: I have long hair. It is pretty much everywhere.. including my washer! So please excuse my hair.)
We are going to take a look at a few photos that show the right kind of bubble that you want when you are washing diapers.
First, you want a great detergent. Please take look at The Dirty Truth if you need help deciding on a detergent to use. You will learn the difference between soap and detergent and there are 6 different detergent charts you can look at. It is a great read.
After you have established which detergent is going to be best for you and your routine, Of course you want to be sure you rinse off all poops, with the exception of EBF poops because they are water soluble.
If you have read The Dirty Truth, then you know the way detergent works. It needs hot water to work the best. It is also best when working with HE machines to NOT overload your washer. Overloading means the water and detergent can’t do its job right because there is too much in there for it to agitate and saturate the diapers completely, so they don’t get clean. I would recommend 6-8 OS diapers with inserts per load.
Okay, so.. do your rinse, awesome. It’s time to do the actual detergent wash. Add the recommended amount of detergent.. In most cases it is 1.5-2.5 tablespoons. (But we are about to figure out by viewing bubbles.. how much detergent is going to do the job.)
Once the water has filled and it has agitated a few times.. take a look and see what kind of bubble dudes you have building up. You are going to want cute, little, popping bubbles that break under their own weight rather than build up on top of each other. What? That is kind of confusing, I know. What if they kind of build up to a foam, but it isn’t a big foam and then they pop? What if I can’t see any bubbles? What does it mean if bubbles have taken over my laundry room like a bubble form of The Blob? You are about to see!
I took these photos of my hairy washing machine doing my typical wash of diaper laundry, which is – Rinse, Hot wash with 1.5-2 tablespoons detergent, and a final rinse. I took these one after another, after each agitation and some are taking while it is agitating. I tried to capture the water cascading down into the bubble pile so you would be able to see the consistency.
Okay, can you see there in the photos how there isn’t any stacked up bubbling foam? All of the bubbles pop under the weight of the water and other bubbles. It doesn’t ever get any bubblier than that. This is what I want my diaper wash to look like every time I do it. I know there is not too much detergent for the water, and just enough water for the detergent. Everything is clean and I do not need a second rinse. Wham, Bam, Thank you, Ma’am. Done. Dryer time!
Now.. For the second set of photos that show too much detergent. No, the bubble blob didn’t come creeping out of my laundry room, but it got close. I felt threatened and stood there prepared for a second or third rinse.
These bubbles build one on top of the other. Although they may pop under the weight of other bubbles, they do not pop until there is a significant amount of bubbles to pop them, because these bubbles are strong, He-Man type bubbles that have to be fought off with great and powerful water. But water only creates more bubbles. :: Grumble:: .
It is an ugly cycle that forces moms to do sometimes 5 rinses. Five?! Are you kidding me?! You read it right. No laundry should ever, ever, EVER really need 5 rinses on a regular wash.. unless you used too much dawn… or.. if you used too much detergent, or if you had to strip because the detergent you were using caused terrible problems. Cloth diapering is supposed to be EASY.. not an all day thing to wash 12 diapers with 142 rinses. (Yes, I am exaggerating with the rinse amount.)
Okay back to the bubbles. I stopped my machine which made me wait a whole 15 minutes before it unlocked itself for me to add another 2 tablespoons of detergent to the wash. So now there are 4 tablespoons, or 2 ounces total. Enough to do a deep cleaning or to rid of stains in an overnight soak, ridiculous for every day washing.. but perfect to get the bubble point across the table.
In these photos you can clearly see there are blobs of bubble-foam through the entire wash. It is thicker bubbles that do not pop as easily and they slightly build up on top of each other because they need more weight from water.. or the bubble itself to pop. With not enough water the bubbles will form and form and form until you are just swishing stuff around in bubbles and there is no more water at all.
I’ve said ‘Bubble” or a word with bubble in it, more than 20 times by now.
- Wash your diapers in smaller loads, 6-8 OS diapers and inserts at a time (for HE Machines)
- Use the highest water setting on HOT water
- Use 1.5-2.5 tablespoons of detergent, depending on washer/load size
- Watch for monster bubbles. If you have monster bubbles.. cut back a teaspoon at a time on detergent until you reach the right consistency of bubbles.
- Rinse, and then go make cookies.
Always remember to do a deep cleaning, use RLR or dawn to strip your diapers before changing detergents and clean out the inside of your washing machine. If you were using a detergent that caused buildup, simply switching to a new one is not going to help the problem.. You have to get rid of the funk and start brand new.