Monday, February 13, 2012

Detergent Attempt One

After months and months of agonizing research & acquiring all of the necessary components, I have FINALLY made my first batch of diaper detergent! Born out of a bad customer service experience, Conneuter's Soap is underway!

The toughest part was the research. I really had to dig to see what was going to be safe for cloth diapers, what wasn't, and what is eco-friendly. Many of the "diaper-safe" detergent recipes out there claim that both Borax & soap are OK for cloth diapers, but the reality is that they are not. Any kind of soap - even natural soap - contains oils that will clog your cloth fibers and will lead to build-up & potential leaks/stink problems. And Borax is too harsh of a chemical to be using on something that you will put on your baby's bum, and it will also cause your elastic & PUL to wear out more quickly than with detergents that don't contain Borax. Plus, even though it has been tried & true for years, there are emerging concerns about the safety of the chemical, both to us & the environment.

So I read. And read. And read, and read, and read. I read the labels of any detergent that I could get my hands on. I looked up all of the ingredients to see what they were & what they were used for. I read to see their impact on the environment. I read about how they were processed. I read about how they break down. I read about pH. I read about how they interacted with other ingredients in detergents. And finally I came up with a list of what would make a safe & natural detergent for my cloth diapers. And I bought all of them.

And slowly, I acquired all of the other pieces of equipment I would need to create a batch - a food processor, measuring spoons, scents (which was a whole research project in itself!)....while I already had most of these items in my house, I couldn't bear the thought of using them to mix detergent & then put my food in them afterwords. And I needed the funds to purchase all of these items, whereupon lies the next major delay. And of course, since I can't ever do just ONE thing, during this process I came across ways to make natural hand soap & decided that I would take that on as well and make Conneuter's Soap all-encompassing.

But, alas, I bought my items, I found the time, and tonight, I created the first ever batch of Conneuter's Soap Cloth Diaper Wash. I selected the "Baby Fresh" scent, and while it is very pleasant, I can honestly say that it reminds me of a baby in no way. So I will be calling that something else when we are done.

My diapers are in the washer right now, so all we have to do is wait & see the final result. I opened the washer in-between cycles to take a whiff, and I can say preliminarily that I think I need to add more fragrance. Like I've said in previous posts, I want a detergent that will leave a nice, fresh scent behind, and I'm not sure that I achieved that this round. But that's what trials are for, right?

**If you are a cloth diapering mama (or dad!) and want to help in the trial phase, please let me know!**
OK, so I definitely need to adjust my formula. For the first time since I have started cloth diapering, the diapers came out of the wash with stains still on them. Definitely not clean enough. Ugh. So I ran them through with RNG & am happy to say that any yuckiness is now gone. Back to the drawing board! Will make a few adjustments & substitutions & see what happens!