If this is your first time using Eco Sprout detergent and you are switching from another detergent, we HIGHLY recommend you soak your cloth diapers with Eco Sprout detergent first. This will help to draw out any build up left behind from previous detergents including soap, grime, minerals and softeners that are deep inside your cloth diapers and inserts. This will also help to prevent rashes that can occur when switching or mixing detergents. It's easy!:
1. Fill a tub, washing machine, sink or bucket with enough HOT water to fully submerge your cloth diapers in. If you have an HE machine, the tub method usually works the best in order to get enough water.
2. Use 3 tablespoons of Eco Sprout detergent mixed in with the HOT water, less detergent for fewer cloth diapers.
3. Add all your cloth diapers and inserts and let them soak for 2 to 5 hours. Overnight if possible for a really good soak.
4. Drain all the water from the tub or washing machine.
5. Wash all the cloth diapers and inserts again with 2 full HOT water washes/COLD rinses with NO DETERGENT at all.
6. This will completely rinse out your cloth diapers and they will be nice and clean!
Once this is done, you may continue to wash the cloth diapers with your normal wash routine.
Basic Washing Instructions:
Have you already done the Eco Sprout soak (only if you are switching detergents)? Then you are ready to begin washing your cloth diapers as normal*.
1. Do a pre-soak or pre-wash on your cloth diapers first. This is going to help loosen up some of the soil on the cloth diapers. If your cloth diapers are heavily soiled and need an extra boost you can add 1 tablespoon of detergent.
2. Add Eco Sprout and do a HOT wash. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per load*. For HE machines or if you have soft water use 1 to 2 tablespoons*.
3. Double rinse in warm or cold water.
4. Enjoy nice clean, fresh smelling cloth diapers!
Another routine that works really well for people is this:
1. Do a pre-wash, soak or quick wash as above, but use HOT water instead of cold. No detergent unless heavily soiled diapers need a boost - then you can add some detergent.
2. Add Eco Sprout and do a HOT wash/cold rinse. Using the recommended amount shown on chart below.
3. Add a second final rinse.
4. Enjoy nice clean, fresh smelling diapers!
|TYPE OF MACHINE||TYPE OF WATER||AMOUNT OF DETERGENT|
|High Efficiency front loader|| Soft Water|| 1-2 TBSP|
| High Efficiency front loader|| Regular Water|| 2-3 TBSP|
| High Efficiency front loader||Hard Water|| 2-4 TBSP|
| Top Loading machine|| Soft Water|| 2 TBSP|
| Top Loading machine|| Regular Water|| 2-4 TBSP|
| Top Loading machine|| Hard Water|| 3-4 TBSP|
** The above chart is the recommended amount of detergent for an average size load of diapers (15-20 diapers). If you are washing a smaller or larger load, you can adjust the amount of detergent accordingly.
An important not about water level:
For top loading machines, you only need enough water for the diapers to be able to freely move around and rub against each other. If you are doing a smaller load and setting your machine to use the highest level of water, you will either need to increase the amount of detergent being used - to compensate with the large amount of water, or decrease the water setting of your machine.
Do you have hard water?
Hard water contains more minerals than regular water. These minerals neutralize a portion of the detergent balancing out the PH of the water. For detergent to work effectively, you need to add more detergent. This will help break down the minerals in the water so that they do not re-deposit back onto your diapers. Start with the lowest recommended amount of detergent and then adjust up if necessary. Some people find it extremely helpful to add a cap full of Calgon to their wash cycle to help soften the water.
HE Machines AND Soft Water?
Sounds confusing? We know. But once you get a routine that works . . . stick with it! It just might take some trial and error to get it just right. IF you have soft water AND an HE machine you will only need to use 1-2 TBSP with an average load of diapers. Why? HE machines require less detergent and so does soft water. When you put the two together you get to use the least amount of everyone!
*What is "normal"?
I wish we could give you the magic answer but washing cloth diapers takes a little bit of trial and error to find your perfect wash routine. A lot depends on your machine and the type of water you have. Here are some simple things you should know:
- Making sure you get enough water through your cloth diapers is key to getting a good clean and an effective rinse. The more water the better!
- One of the most important steps to washing cloth diapers is to do an extra rinse at the end of your cycle.
- The amount of cloth diapers you wash at one time is important. Small loads where the cloth diapers float around in the water is not as effective as adding a few more cloth diapers to the wash so they can rub up against each other and help with the cleaning routine.
- Too many cloth diapers and they will not get clean enough because there is no room to agitate around and rub up against each other.
- This doesn't have to be complicated, you just need to figure out what works for you and then keep it simple!
Having difficulty with an HE machine?
The hardest part about washing cloth diapers in an HE machine is to get enough water through the cloth diapers. We follow the above washing routine and have never had any problems. There have been several suggestions made by others to do things like add a wet towel to the load to trick the machine into thinking there is more laundry, or soak the cloth diapers first before adding them to the machine. Both those tricks will work. But we want it to be as simple as possible, so you could simply run a full cycle with hot wash/cold rinse and no detergent, followed by a second cycle with detergent and adding a second rinse. This would eliminate the need for the pre-soak stated above. For really stinky or soiled cloth diapers you could use detergent in both wash cycles.
Diapers need a pick-me-up, but you have no time for a soak? Then just do a mini-soak or super-wash!
For the mini-soak with a top loader:
- Fill you machine with hot water (only enough so your diapers will be fully saturated with a little extra water).
- Add 3-4 TBSP of detergent depending on load size (agitate water so detergent dissolves).
- Add diapers.
- Let diapers soak for about an hour and then wash in the same water they were soaking in.
- Run one wash cycle in hot without detergent
- No extra rinse needed.
For a super-wash with an HE machine or regular top loading machine: Since many HE machines do not allow for a soak here is an alternative option:
- Pre-wash in hot water with 2 TBSP of detergent.
- Hot wash/cold rinse as normal but increase the amount of detergent by 1-2 TBSP from what you normally use.
- One extra rinse in cold water.