Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Battle of The Laundry Detergents.

We got the chance to sample 4 all natural laundry detergents these last two months and am excited to be writing about them. I sampled Melaleuca's 6x Laundry Soap, Crunchy Clean, Irish Twins Laundry Soap Powder in Lavender and Rockin Green's Classic Rock in Lavender Mint Revival.  It was awesome to try these out as we're making so many big switched in our household to be more eco-friendly and green.

All 4 detergent samples were used on two loads of cloth diapers and inserts.  I got between 2 to 4 loads from each sample and remember, they were only on cloth diapers.  I decided they were the most important to test with since they do get laundered the most in our house.  Each sample was part of the gift bag received at the Great Cloth Diaper Change in April!

We don't have a pre-soak setting on our washer and when I launder diapers, I tend to do them in medium loads, as for settings.  To conserve water, I always use the cold water setting on my washer and rarely put diapers in the dryer.  I prefer to use a folding clothes drying rack for cloth diapers.

Crunchy Clean-  Over all, I was least impressed with the results I got here.  The sample I got was unscented, which is how I prefer our laundry detergents, as we are all slightly allergic to scented products.  However, the diapers had to be laundered twice for each load to ensure the 'diaper smell' was gone and there were some diapers that weren't fully clean.  My diapers were also 'stiffer' after they were dry than with the other samples.  I know a lot of people really prefer Crunchy Clean but it was not my top pick.

Irish Twins-  I was really surprised at how well I liked this detergent.  There was such a small amount in the sample that I thought I was only going to get one load out of it. Surprise, surprise!  You don't NEED nearly as much of this detergent as others, so it definitely lasts awhile.  If you were to buy a full sized container, it would probably last a year.  The lavender scent was mild and didn't irritate my son's bum, which I was curious about since we usually go scent free.  I actually really loved the lavender scent.  The diapers were clean and soft after one wash and dry.

Melaleuca-  This ended up being tied with Rockin Green as my winning detergent.  Again, you use barely any, and could probably still do a full sized load.  It was the only liquid detergent and it was a pleasant "Spring" scent.  A friend of mine regularly uses this brand and I ordered more, I was so impressed.  Again, the scented detergent was non-irritating to my sons bum and eliminated the 'diaper smell' with one wash and dry.  The diapers were very soft after drying.

Rockin Green-  Rockin Green usually works best to eliminate any petrolatum's that are in your previous detergent, so it's recommended that the laundry or diapers soak with the first use.  Since I don't have a pre-soak on my washer, I let my load fill, and turned it off to soak over night, and then rain it.  The scent was nice and not at all over powering.  You do have to use a bit more than the other brands of detergent but I still got 4 loads out of it.  The diapers really seemed more absorbent and had less of the wet "diaper smell".  They dried nicely and again, the lavender scent was pleasant.  Rockin Green and Melaleuca tied easily for our number one spot, so I would have to try both out for a more extended period to see which worked better for us.

Do you use an all natural laundry detergent?  There are a few other brands I want to try- 7th Generation and Meyers.  The 'all natural' detergent I honestly had the least luck with ever was The Method brand, and thats sad because I've liked a few of their other products.  I do like that with these 4 detergents, you seem to get a lot of uses for the higher cost.  What brands are your favorites?


Jenny said...

I've been using Ecosprout detergent and LOVE it!! It has a light scent but gets stains out of the diapers and leaves them feeling (and smelling clean)

Caitlin said...

I make our detergent because my daughter and I seem to be allergic to a lot of different detergents and I haven't been able to pinpoint what it is we're allergic to in them. I use a recipe I saw on this blog, actually: 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda and a bar of Castile soap(we use Dr. Bronner's). The original recipe called for Fels Naptha but I found out the hard way that my daughter and I are also allergic to that.