Things I Have Learned About Detergent In The Last Two Months:
- No one uses Dreft (THE baby detergent) for cloth diapers.
- Additives in detergents include: brighteners, whiteners, enzymes, essential oils, perfumes, and dyes.
- Even "free & clear" detergents usually have brighteners in them.
- Brighteners can apparently cause cloth diapers to leak sometimes.
- There are very few detergents that don't contain ANY of the additives I listed above.
- A lot of people who cloth diaper swear by Original Tide powder.
Now, I am by no means picky when it comes to detergent, BUT if we want to preserve the warranty on our fabulous cloth diapers, we need to use a detergent that doesn't contain any additives. And since our cloth diapers weren't exactly cheap, we definitely wanted to make sure we preserved that warranty- just in case.
There are a couple great resources that list about a million different types of detergent and whether or not they contain any additives (I frequently used this one and this one), but those lists are so long, it was overwhelming! bumGenius,the brand of our diapers, consolidated the list to just a few that they recommend, so that made things a bit easier.
Or so I thought.
Three that bumGenius recommends (aside from their own brand) are:
(They also recommend All Free & Clear, but it has to be the military grade, which as far as I can tell you can only buy on a base, so that option was out for us)
Fabulous. Now to buy some detergent. I really wanted to be able to buy the detergent locally for convenience. I didn't want to have to order online every time I needed it, I just wanted to stop by the store and pick it up- is that too much to ask?
I called multiple stores to find out if they carried any of the three brands above with NO luck. Seriously? We don't live in the middle of no where- we live in the suburbs of the second largest city in Michigan. DETERGENT SHOULD NOT BE THIS HARD TO FIND.
I couldn't find any contact information for Country Save, but I e-mailed Planet with our zip code to see if they could tell me which retailers they distribute to in our area. Planet e-mailed me back with some really annoying, but at least helpful, information. Their first suggestion was Kroger. In West Michigan Kroger doesn't exist because Meijer reigns supreme in the grocery world here. NOT HELPFUL. Their next suggestion was some place called Busch's or Bosch's, I can't remember. I Googled it and the nearest location was approximately 3 hours away.
SINCE WHEN IS 3 HOURS AWAY CONSIDERED "LOCAL"??
They also recommended going to a health foods store. Ok cool. BUT WHICH ONE?? I mean, you distribute your product out so theoretically shouldn't you be able to tell me which health food store I should go to?? There is no way I am going to stop by every health food store in the greater Grand Rapids area just to find this detergent.
But I'm not gonna lie, I actually might have done just that because I was getting to a tipping point with this whole detergent business.
The saving grace of the e-mail from Planet was that they said they also distribute to some D&W grocery stores. Now "some" wasn't a guarantee, but at least I know there are a few D&W stores around here.
A few days later I actually needed to stop into a D&W store for something work-related, so you better believe that I was crossing my fingers and praying that I would find our detergent there as well.
There were only two bottles on the shelf and I had to scour the aisle a couple times before I spotted it, but there it was! The heavens parted and angels sang and it was glorious. Seriously, after two months of researching and searching for detergent, it felt like a freaking miracle.
So the detergent fiasco is now remedied. Throughout all the detergent research I also learned that it's also pretty important to "prep" your cloth diapers, especially if they're lined with natural fibers (ours are organic cotton). This means washing the diapers FIVE TO SEVEN times before you even use them.
4 washes down, 1 to go.