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Quick Detergent Reference

The Real Diaper Industry Association put together this amazingly thorough and amazingly easy to use reference (linked here). 

More on additives, and why you want to avoid them - 
  • Enzymes - these guys are designed to eat away at the stuff on your clothes/diapers. The problem is that they can also be hard to rinse away. If not thoroughly removed from diapers, when your little one urinates the remaining enzymes 'wake up' and attack any protein nearby. Aka. your baby's tender skin. Some people find they can use an enzyme detergent without issue, while others will struggle. Good rule of thumb, avoid using a detergent with added enzymes. Instead, spray an enzyme cleaner (such as Bac Out) on any diapers with bits of fecal matter. Targeting juts where you need the enzymes ensures you are left rinsing less away during your laundry routine. 
  • Dyes and Fragrance - again, any bits that remain behind can be irritating to baby's skin. Fragrance is especially hard to rinse away, as it is designed to linger on the clothes after the final rinse. 
  • Fabric Softener - Conventional fabric softeners soften fibers by coating them. Once a diaper is exposed to enough fabric softener, the build-up will prevent or greatly reduce the diaper's ability to absorb. 
  • Optical Brighteners - Optical brighteners are designed to make your clothes look whiter. They essentially embed in the fibers and reflect light. Like fragrances, they are designed to withstand rinsing. Once optical brighteners have built up, they form a 'bridge' along the diaper's surface. Moisture then travels along this bridge, rather than soaking into the diaper. Waterproof fabrics (like TPU or PLU) can often appear to lose their 'waterproof-ness' when too many optical brighteners are built up on their surface. 

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