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Why can’t I use soap on my cloth diapers and covers?

Pure soap is not recommended for use on laundry due to the fact that soaps can leave a residue on your
image of soap
diapers and covers, in the form of soap scum.
This makes the diapers repel moisture rather than absorb it, and it is also harsh on the laminates used in your diaper covers, making them absorb rather than repel liquid. Soap and detergent are both cleaning agents, yet detergents are formulated specifically for laundry and other purposes. A detergent is a synthetic product, meaning the ingredients are processed and mixed together to form the detergent. Soap is made by simply mixing lye with vegetable or animal fats, although other ingredients may be added. The best choice for washing your diapers is to use detergent on them; however, all detergents are not alike! For cloth diapers, you will want to choose a detergent with no additives such as Brighteners, Chlorine Bleach, Enzymes, Dyes, Fabric Softeners, and Fragrance. Check out the Diaper Jungle website to see which detergents contain these additives. These ingredients can be harmful to your diapering products, your baby’s skin, and/or the environment. The only detergent we recommend with 100% confidence that it is safe for your diapers, your baby, and the planet we share is our very own. True, Thirsties Pre-Wash and Super Wash can be more costly than store brands, but will keep your diapers clean and looking like new longer! For other recommended detergents, please go to our FAQs page on our website: http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/customer-center/faqs/ -> Laundering Tips.
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36 comments

  • I used to make my own natural laundry detergent but it is not recommended to use baking soda and castile soap on diapers and those are two of the ingredients that i use so I switched to a diaper-specific soap! Thanks for the info!

    Simiya on
  • We make our own laundry detergent, but with an investment as large (and important) as cloth diapers, I refuse to use it on the diapers. Instead we have had great success with Rockin’ Green Hard Rock detergent. Gets the stains out and leaves the diapers smelling fresh. What more could we want?

    Mandy Nelson on
  • So simple but so many don’t realize how finding the right detergent can make all the difference in your cloth routine. Nice article!

    Melissa on
  • WOW! This post is very informative, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I did not know that laundry soap is BAD for diapers & covers. I learn something NEW! everyday. A good friend of mine uses reusable/cloth diapers so I’m gonna have to inform her of your blog, especially this post.
    Thank you again!
    God Bless – kimbuckjr

    kimbuckjr on
  • So, is soap that’s an ingredient in a homemade detergent OK? Also, the list of ingredients to avoid (on your website) includes washing soda. My homemade detergent includes about 1 tsp of washing soda and 1 Tbsp of soap per load. Hopefully this won’t shorten the lifespan of my diapers!

    Lisa on

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