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Back to Basics: Hard vs. Soft Water

Do you know what type of water you have in your home? It's important to find out! If you are struggling with cloth diaper laundry woes, determining your water type can help you figure out which path to take in your laundry routine! You can call your local water company and ask them or you can test your own water at home.

Hard Water
Contains excessive amounts of minerals
Can dry out skin
Make hair dull
Leave behind mineral deposits which can corrode faucets and pipes and cause rust
Minerals in the water prevent the water from interacting with soaps and detergents

What it means for your diapers:
Too much detergent can cause build up because the soap does not get washed out effectively. Too little detergent can mean your diapers aren't getting clean enough.

Water Softener installed in your home
Adding Calgon to your wash cycle
Trying detergents specifically for hard water

Soft Water
Lesses the need for detergents because it doesn't interfere with cleaning
Uses less energy because it responds to cleaning agents more effectively
If the water is too low if can deteriorate metal and make chlorine bleach less effective

What it means for your diapers:
Too much detergent can lead to build up (repelling) or ammonia

Start with less detergent. If you feel your diapers aren't clean enough, gradually increase the detergent amount.

Further Reading:
Hard Facts About Tap Water - Chicago Tribune
Back to Basics: How to Wash Cloth Diapers

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