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Those that cloth diaper or have cloth diapered before know that finding a good wash routine as well as detergent can be daunting with all the different types of water, diapers, fabrics, machines, wash cycles…eh…. Also those that cloth diaper know that you have to be extremely careful about what detergent you buy at the store. Additives and scents can be hard on diapers and baby’s skin.

When I started looking for a detergent to make, I wanted one that could be used on both the diapers/wipes and our daily laundry items. I came across several detergents using grated bars of soap. Do not be thrown off by grated soap, it’s not as invasive or difficult as you think. I’m going to include the recipe for this type of detergent as well, but please DO NOT use it on cloth diapers. The bar soap seems to lead to build-up. I know this also can depend on the type of cloth diaper but I use both retail and homemade, both ended with build-up using a detergent that called for a bar of soap.
Homemade Laundry Detergent – Safe on Cloth Diapers
Original How-To can be found here at As We Grow
1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup OxyClean (can be off brand – I got mine at Dollar General for $4)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Arm&Hammer Washing Soda

I suggest using a food processor/blender/Ninja/whatever you have to mix together the Borax and Washing Soda. They tend to have a few clumps. Once mixed, throw in the Baking Soda and OxyClean and mix well. Store in a sealed container. Makes approx. 48oz.
~To Use~
Add 2-3tbsp per wash depending on size/soiled.

For Cloth Diapers: (this is what has worked well for me anyway)
Hot Rinse
Hot Wash with Vinegar and 2 tbsp Detergent
Hot Rinse then a 2nd Cold Rinse
Line dry or throw in the Dryer

Homemade Laundry Detergent – NOT SAFE for Cloth Diapers
Original How-To can be found here at Southern Plate
1 bar of Fels-Naptha
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm&Hammer Washing Soda

There are two ways you can get your soap into fine chunks. You can either grate it, or you can cut it into smaller chunks and then throw it in your food processor. The later is what I did and was really easy. Give it a go until you notice that the soap isn’t chopping into smaller pieces anymore. Then add the Borax and Washing Soda to the soap in the Ninja and gave it a good couple whirls again. This mixes everything well plus lets the soap grind into even finer pieces. Store in a sealed container. Makes approx. 32oz.
~To Use~
Add 2-3tbsp per wash depending on size/soiled.

The recipes i’ve included are both powder form detergents (yah no boiling of the grated soap!), and as well will not create a bunch of suds. Believe me though, your clothes are getting clean!

*There is something I want to add. During my research of detergents, I came across Elisa Loves blog. If you have any issues with the cloth diaper detergent (as in rashes), please check out her blog. It seems that for some Borax can be an irritant. Her blog provides a Borax free detergent. Her research also found that bar soap can lead to build-up in cloth diapers.*

If you want to take DIY one step further, you can also use a Homemade Fabric Softener (DO NOT use on cloth diapers), this How-To can be found here.

If there are any questions feel free to ask. Larger batch directions can be found on the original blogs.

Happy Crafting!

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