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Old 02-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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Is Tide ok for bamboo?

I like the sound of bamboo soakers from what I've read. I'm planning on cotton prefolding with bamboo and charcoal bamboo soakers. Am I going to kill all of the wonderful natural aspects of the bamboo if I use Tide? Charcoal bamboo has natural antibacterial stuff right?

I am officially highly confused about detergent. I wanted to keep things as natural as possible, but now I keep reading that RnG is horrible and Tide works wonderfully. Please only post honest testimonials with regards to what works for you. No marketing! I realize I am on the internet though.

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Old 02-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

I use it on everything. Bamboo however is highly processed so I'm not sure what antibacterial properties would still be in the fabric anyway. Tide is just one of many detergents that people use. It worked for me when nothing else did but it's not for everyone. I would not over think it. Just pick something and go with it but be open to trying something else if it doesn't work.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

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I would not over think it. Just pick something and go with it but be open to trying something else if it doesn't work.
I needed that. I'm only 24 weeks pregnant with my first and thinking waaaaay too much.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

It doesn't hurt to try other stuff, it's just that many mamas get frustrated and even give up cloth diapering when the expensive, environmentally-safe, CD-safe detergents don't get their diapers clean enough and they have trouble with stinkies or rashes.

I tried a number of detergents and had mixed results, but when we moved somewhere with lukewarm water only, nothing worked but Tide.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

So first off ... once bamboo is made into the rayon that makes up cloth diapers, it is not antibacterial. Charcoal is also not really antibacterial, it can help reduce odor but so does just plain old clean diapers.

Rockin Green and some other "boutique" soaps marketed especially for cloth diapers are very soap-based and lack some important ingredients of a true detergent. ("soap" versus "detergent" is a long Chemistry lecture I'll spare everyone of here, but notice when the product is called a "Soap" not a "Detergent"). To make up for the lack of these ingredients, larger amounts of things are used that are more problematic for some babies. The result is that for some people, these soaps don't get diapers as clean, wear them out faster, and provoke irritation. Soap also tends to build up.

So then you have regular, all natural, and "free and clear" mainstream detergents, and combinations of those. These detergents have fancy stuff called builders, and water softeners, and other ingredients in them. These ingredients more reliably clean diapers without hurting them.

Some diaper companies warn against using things with fragrance or optical brighteners because these coat fabric, which prevents it from getting really clean, and can impede absorbency. You can end up with layers of diaper matter under layers of additives, and it seems the diapers are clean when there's some stink stuck down there.

Some also warn against free and clear detergents because they often contain other ingredients that still coat the fabrics.

Some warn against enzymes, because they might hurt fabric or irritate skin. Others, to make the detergent issue extra fun, specifically demand that you use enzymes. Tide and has enzymes, and the additive Bac Out is an enzyme cleaner; enzymes eat organic matter.

Fabric softeners are also usually a no-no because they coat the fabric fibers. A lot of people report success with Ecover, however.

My personal experience:

I chose Biokleen Liquid "All Temperature" because it's a natural mainstream detergent with all the good ingredients in it. And because I thought Country Save sounded too granola-crunchy for me and I don't like powders. It did OK. I had stink when I followed the 2010 craze of only using 1/4 as much detergent as the packaging said to; it went away with a full dose yet I had stains. It worked in hard and soft water for me, in a front loader, a coin-op, and a top loader (using irony well water).

Then I lived in Iowa and couldn't find Biokleen, so I got Country Save. Suddenly the diapers never needed rewashing and I never had stains. They also felt a bit crunchy though so I reduced the amount slightly from the package directions. We also stopped having stains on any of our other clothes.

I had trouble keeping my CS in stock, so I also used Tide, All, and many others. They never kept diapers as clean as Country Save did, and I tended to have problems with stinkies and rashes and needing extra rinses.

When I switched to AIOs I started having trouble with Country Save, and tried Tide, which made things worse. I went back to Country Save but increased the amount and added Bac-Out (an all natural enzyme additive made by Biokleen). AIOs are harder to get clean.

Country Save (a natural mainstream detergent that has no ingredients any cloth diaper companies object to) has served me well in several different washing machines, in 2 different states, with hard and soft water (yes I move too much).

My disdain for Tide is most strong due to my experience buying diapers on FSOT, from people who used Tide. When I prewash their diapers to prepare for my son, after one round of Country Save, stink appears. The stains they couldn't get out, however, disappear. I tend to wash "Tide" diapers in Country Save 5 times, and I believe it's stripping out layers of diaper yuck sealed underneath those fragrance oils and optical brighteners ... those washes are stinky and sudsy and the water is very cloudy.

My family doctor from when I was a kid also offered up once a long time ago, she sees more skin problems from Tide than from any other detergent.

Sooooo ... My personal recommendations based on my experience are as follows:

1. Try Country Save. It's very cheap per load. If you have trouble, ask Country Save (the President answers emails and is super helpful and nice). Or try adding 1T washing soda in hard water, or Bac-Out if you have a warranty that allows enzymes. Add vinegar to the rinse to soften clothes (rough clothes are usually from detergent buildup).

2. Try Biokleen Liquid All-Temperature. The Cold doesn't work for us, and the powder leaves too much residue.

3. Try one of the "soaps" (Nellie's, Charlies, or Rockin Green) with caution. Or try a fragrance free version of your favorite detergent, but use vinegar in the rinse to help strip off any oils, optical brighteners, or fabric softeners.

4. Try something like Tide, etc, but use a vinegar rinse and consider what it is that makes fragrance stick to diapers.

And keep in mind for future, ammonia odor comes from urine breaking down into ammonia; this process is sped up by adding heat and removing oxygen. So airtight situations (closed diaper pail, overnight PUL diaper) make it worse. Rinsing morning diapers helps.

Also keep some healthy skepticism about the claims that this or that material is anti-whatever, and that diapers are so complicated you need super special fibers or wash routines. There are many good answers.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

I'm using tide on bamboo and haven't had any issues.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

wow, thanks for all that information! I don't have my washing routine figured out yet and this helped a lot.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

Where can you buy Country Save?
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: Is Tide ok for bamboo?

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Where can you buy Country Save?
I wondered the same thing so I looked it up, seems like diaperjunction has it for $12.xx free shipping over $49, iherb has it for $8.xx free shipping over $40 but they are out of stock.

I'm going to try my local health stores... hopefully it'll be cheaper without the shipping cost.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #10
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We've used tide on everything for 2.5 years now

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