The first thing you should always do before using any kind of detergent is know what kind of water you have. Don't know how to know? Well, there are a few ways to figure it out easily!
- Simply call your water company and ask :-)
- Leave a cup of warm water out over night to evaporate. If there is white residue, most likely you have HARD water.
- If you take a shower and it is hard to get the soap off of you, most likely you have SOFT water.
- Make a cup of tea in a glass mug. Using a microwave, bring the water to a boil in the mug, place the tea bag in the hot water and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Remove the bag. If the tea is clear your ater is on the SOFT side. If there is a film on the top of the tea or it is cloudy, your water is on the HARD side. This is the most accurate test besides calling your water company.
Now that you know what kind of water you have, you can determine what detergent to use (or how much detergent to use). Please note that with HARD water, you want to use MORE detergent and with SOFT water you want to use LESS detergent than recommended. Not much more or less, just a bit more or less.
- GroVia Tiny Bubbles: Great for normal water. I used it once with well water (super hard water) and it didn't work too well.
- Rockin' Green: Great if you use EXACTLY the amount they say to use and also use the right formula for your water. Get any of that messed up and you will have a big problem on your hands!!!
- Purex Free and Clear: DO NOT USE THIS!!!!! Can you say build up!?!? That is all this detergent will give you!!! Stay away!!!
- All Free and Clear and Tide Free and Clear: I would stay away from these too. You may experience chemical burn on your child's bum from these.
- EcoSprout: By far the best I have ever used. Worked with the well water and with my normal water. This is by far the most recommended by me.
- Tide: I wouldn't use Tide...ever, for any reason. All Tide does is hide problems, not fix them. Not only that, it makes elastic not work as well.
I recently (December 2013) took a picture of a BG OS diaper that is 4 years old and a Fuzzi Bunz size Medium that is only 2 years old. The FB was sent to me for elastic repair after use with Tide. The BG was only washed in CD safe detergent (BG detergent until EcoSprout came out). Look at the difference in the life of the diaper...it is crazy! BG is on the left and FB is on the right.
same Rumparooz Diaper, the orange one was used with my son, for SIX months, same exact routine only I used Tide back then. Purple diaper has been used six months, even more than the orange one because my stash is a lot smaller now. I have only washed with Ecosprout, or Rockin Green. Everything else about my routine is exactly the same.
Please remember that these detergents are just my recommendations from my personal experiences of finding a good detergent for my cloth diapers. Many other people have their own recommendations, but I highly suggest trying EcoSprout out because, like I said, they are by far the best I have used so far!