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 cause your diapers to repel, stink, or feel hard and crunchy – 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:

DO:

  • Use slightly more detergent than what is recommended
  • Use a liquid detergent. Click HERE for a list of recommended detergents.
  • Clean your washer basin every month to remove mineral buildup. 

  • DO NOT:

  • Use powder detergent or most "natural" or "eco-friendly" detergents. They tend to use coconut-based ingredients that can cause build-up on diapers and/or not be as effective at getting them clean
  • 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

  • HARD WATER STATES: 

    Below is a list of water hardness by State. Most states have hard water. To find the exact water hardness in your city you can Google the name of your city and the words "water hardness".

     

  • Soft Water States (less than 60 ppm)
    Arkansas average 42, range 21 to 104 
  • Georgia average 55, range 10 - 82
    Hawaii average 35, range 10 to 110
    Maine average 11, range 6 to 17
    New Hampshire average 44, range 29 to 65
    Oregon average 35 ppm, range 22 to 76
    Rhode Island average 47, range 32 to 70
    South Carolina average 43, range 19 to 174

     

     

  • Slightly Hard Water States (between 60 and 70 ppm)
  • Massachusetts average 63 ppm, range 32 to 78
    North Carolina average 65, range 22 to 127
    Virginia average 64, range 35 to 101
    Vermont average 62, range 55 to 69

     

  • Hard Water States (between 70 and 179 ppm)
  • If you live n one of the following states, you have hard water and you should use a liquid detergent.

    Alaska average 101, range 63 to 142
    Alabama average 86, range 81 to 144
    Arizona average 300, range 140 to 619

    California average 174, range 34 to 393
    Colorado average 162, range 72 to 246
    Connecticut average 170, range 153 to 194
    District of Columbia average 95 range 70 to 120
    Delaware average 129, range 122 to 135
    Idaho average 146, range 17 to 350
    Kentucky average 123, range 45 to 218
    Louisiana average 145, range 44 to 382
    Maryland average 136, range 70 to 274
    Michigan average 154, range 99 to 380
    Missouri average 160, range 132 go 210
    Mississippi average 172, range 154 to 210
    Montana average 99, range 25 to 205
    New York average 70, range 16 to 149
    Ohio average 145, range 47 to 362
    Oklahoma average 176, range 140 to 272
    Pennsylvania average 153, range 10 to 310
    Tennessee average 115, range 47 to 393
    Washington average 89, range 12 to 262
    Wisconsin average 177, range 90 to 350
    West Virginia average 82, range 33 to 160
    Wyoming average 122, range 10 to 208

     

  • Extremely Hard Water States (greater than 180 ppm)
  • If you live in one of these states, you should use a liquid detergent, plus a booster like Calgon, Borax, or Bentonite Clay.

    Florida average 197, range 103 - 317
    Iowa average 273, range 154 to 378
    Illinois average 183, range 50 to 311
    Indiana average 248, range 124 to 370
    Kansas average 221, range 110 - 320
    Minnesota average 210, range 45 to 393
    North Dakota average 213, range 123 to 300
    Nebraska average 211, range 30 to 320
    New Jersey average 197, range 65 to 400
    New Mexico average 228, range 120 to 410
    Nevada average 290, range 210 to 410
    South Dakota average 236, range 90 to 314
    Texas average 193, 8 to 500
    Utah average 345, range 164 to 598

     

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