Washing Cloth Diapers in Hard Water - a list of do's and don'ts

Washing in Hard Water

If you are washing in hard water, minerals from the water can over time get left behind and lodged in the fibers of your diapers. This mineral build-up can lead to repellency and stink issues – and if left untreated can also lead to diaper rash and open sores. Below are some do’s and don’ts of washing in hard water:


  • Use slightly more detergent than what is recommended
  • Use a water softener additive (e.g. RLR or Calgon) in your wash cycle once or twice a month
  • Use detergents without enzymes, brighteners, etc. Click HERE for a list of recommended detergents
  • DO NOT:

  • Use natural detergents like BioKleen, Meleluca, Earth Friendly, and Ecos – these cause detergent build-up in hard water
  • Use oxygen bleaches like oxyclean - they have fillers that will leave scum on your diapers and cause them to repel moisture
  • Use vinegar as the acid in it can react with the minerals in your hard water and make your stink issues worse
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