I’m starting to read cloth diaper blogs again, now that we’re getting ready for diapering another baby. I just saw a summary of research about laundry detergent residues — it looks like a lot of standard “baby” detergents don’t rinse away fully in the laundry — they actually accumulate in clothes:
“fabrics washed in regular liquid Tide, Dreft, Ivory Snow, and Baby Soft (all detergents containing UV brighteners, perfumes and dyes), increased in weight by as much as 2% over the period of 8 washes as compared to washing in plain water or additive-free detergent.”
I wonder: If the clothes were heavier after 8 washes, could they continue accumulating more detergent residues in later launderings? And if they’re holding onto detergent, are they fully rinsing away dirt and germs? That last detail really matters when you wash cloth diapers! This is something for me to consider when we wash baby clothes and cloth diapers this winter and get ready.
I am feeling uncertain about some of our preparations for this baby, mainly getting his or her clothing ready. My doubt about the status of our baby clothes has to do several things, including that we don’t know this baby’s gender (we’ll be surprised and find out at the birth) and that our baby girl clothes were last viewed in 2009 (when we had a baby girl). Those bins of clothes are far away in a basement crawl space, which isn’t easy for me to access as my belly gets larger. I know that we changed laundry detergents a number of times during our daughter’s infancy, due to her sensitive skin and rashes. We rotated through at least 3 or 4 “crunchy” detergents considered safe for cloth diapers, and tried some traditional ones, too, as we tried to get her comfortable and to keep our cloth diapers in good shape. So, I have absolutely no clue what detergent I washed our baby girl clothes in. If we have a girl, I’ll need to be sure all of the clothes are specially cleaned, because 1) I have no idea which detergent(s) I used on them; and 2) they’ve been sitting in our basement for years and should be thoroughly washed just for that reason.
Since I have no idea if I’m carrying a boy or girl, and I can’t waddle across the basement crawl space, I’ll have to ask my family for a little help accessing those clothes later this fall! I plan to allow plenty of time to wash our baby clothes in Norwex’s detergent and give them some extra rinses, to be sure any residues (from the detergents we used years ago) are washed away. The same goes for our cloth diapers! I can’t wait to get ready for this little one. Each little task like this is another chance to begin welcoming him or her to our family.