Mama’s Laundry Thesis

17 Jun

I used to never worry about laundry before in my life. I used Tide with Bleach or Oxyclean, and that was that. But now, with a baby, with cloth diapers, with my burgeoning sense of environmentalism, I am transforming.

Based on a friend’s recommendation I had switched the family laundry to Charlie’s Soap. I liked it okay. Our clothes didn’t smell dirty, at least, even if they didn’t smell like a fresh linen breeze like I was used to. But the cloth diapers were getting more and more stained every week, even with baking soda and vinegar in the wash too.

So I switched to Nellie’s Laundry Powder. And wow. The diapers are almost white again. I do need to get Dave to hang a clothes line, because the more my house feels like a family farm, the happier I am. Our clothes smell even better. And, the laundry container has this very cute picture of a woman and her dog happily doing laundry. That’s an awesome 1950s housewife sales tactic. I fell for it. Because if anything I’d like to be a 1950s housewife on a family farm; I could pull it off in those cute dresses.


I use our Downy ball for adding vinegar to the wash, both regular and cloth diapers. I have also stopped using dryer sheets and never used fabric softener. In the winter I put safety pins on clothes to help with static cling. I’m not sure that really does much, but apparently dryer sheets are the devil’s handiwork in terms of chemicals and such. I haven’t really needed to use baking soda since I switched to Nellie’s, but I’ll add it to things like sheets and towel loads for a little extra power.

How I wash our Charlie Banana diapers:
Knock off poop and separate before putting in dry hamper. We do a load every three days. Heavy cold cycle with 1/3 scoop of Nellie’s. Heavy warm cycle with 2/3 scoop of Nellie’s. Put in dryer for 65 minutes on low. Pull out covers, dry inserts for an extra 35 minutes. It took many, many tries before I figured out the pattern that worked for us.

Funny thing was, when we got back from California and started using cloth diapers again (we used disposables on our trip), Dave said, “I’m so glad we’re back to cloth diapers and wipes. They’re so much easier.” I never thought I’d hear him say that, but it makes me happy!


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