Soap or Detergent?
Which works best for cloth diapers, soap or detergent?
To keep your cloth diapers clean and functioning well, you
need to use a good cleaning agent.
Soaps and Detergents will
both clean diapers.
Soap for Cloth Diapers
Soap is a mild cleaning agent made from
natural materials. The drawbacks of using soap to clean cloth diapers
are that, because of its mild attributes, it may not thoroughly clean
your diapers, and soap reacts with minerals in hard water that can
leave a residue on the diapers causing them to be less absorbent.
Detergent for Cloth Diapers
Detergent is a synthetic cleaning product.
Detergent has more cleaning power than natural soap, and it will clean
cloth diapers thoroughly and should not leave a build-up on the diapers
that takes away from their absorbency as long as you don't use too
much. You may want to look for detergents made from renewable resources
rather than petro-chemicals. Many detergents are available with no dyes
and natural fragrances.
NO Fabric Softener for Cloth Diapers
Do not use fabric softener on your cloth diapers because it
coats the fabric fibers in the diapers, which reduces absorbency of the
Don't Use Too Much
Especially if you have a high efficiency washing machine,
don't use too much soap or detergent on your cloth diapers. If you use
too much, your washing machine will have a difficult time rinsing the
diapers adequately, leaving a detergent build up that can result in
Avoid Free and Clear
For best results with cloth diapers, avoid detergents that are
marked Free & Clear, for baby, or detergents with oil surfactants.
For more information about detergent ingredients and cloth diapers, see
the Detergent Determinator.
Cloth Diaper Washing Help
Image © Johanna Goodyear