More washing issues: Suds!

We are addressing SUDS again. . Many mamas thought that suds meant residue, which meant repelling, which means less absorbency, and skin rash issues.

The answer to that is ‘yes and no’~
Suds are a part of the washing process, if you are rinsing the diapers and see suds, don’t panic. If you take your diapers out of the dryer and have odors, then there is an issue and we need to either switch detergent, lessen the detergent, switching to an HE detergent if you have a top loader (if you have a front loader, you should be using an HE one anyway) or add a rinse cycle.

However, those of you doing 5+ extra rinses with no odors present are doing too much work. If you have residue that causes skin issues, you will most likely have odors as well. Many of you are concerned about enzymes being left behind if you have suds, this isn’t always the case. Suds may or may not contain enzymes after being rinsed out, suds can be a result of the other agents in the detergent other than the enzymes. I promise, if you have enough residue left behind to cause repelling, you will have odors, and pretty bad ones. The test of dribbling water on your diapers to see if it rolls off or absorbs is not accurate, I can’t state this enough, it is not a true test of your diaper’s absorbency. I have diapers that are 5+ years old in perfect condition that will do this, and they are perfectly absorbenct. Your child’s skin against the diaper pushes the urine through, the water dribble test does not simulate this accurately. Repelling will present as leaking out the sides or legs without soaking at least part of the insert. True repelling from too much detergent is much more rare than what we see on the diaper forums, if you have that much buildup on the diapers, it will hold onto lots of feces and urine after washing, and they will stink.
Regarding the rashes, if your child is sensitive to enzymes, the general presentation is a dull pink tint resembling a sunburn, wherever the diaper touches. A few children may have a more severe reaction, but generally this is what it looks like. Going into the summertime, other factors will present a very similar rash, including wetness from natural fabrics, a poly sensitivity in the heat, and heat rash itself.

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September 2, 2010. cloth diapers, Q & A, Wash routines.

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