Monthly Archives: Jan 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 1/31/11 – Washing Questions – Not Just Diapers!

Every Monday, if I’ve received a submission, I will answer reader submitted questions.  Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject!

Maria says (and no, I’m not talking to myself again!):

Hi, Maria! I’m a Maria, too! And I have a couple questions for you about detergent.

First, I’d love to know if you can recommend a good diaper detergent that is NOT clean-rinsing. I live in an apartment and have to wash my diapers at the shared laundry facility, so using many popular cloth diaper detergents like Rockin’ Green or Charlie’s is not an option for me!

Second, this one’s always puzzled me. If using less than the recommended amount of detergent can get nasty poopy diapers clean, then why don’t we do the same for all the rest of our laundry? (BONUS QUESTION!– exactly how much detergent AM I supposed to use for diapers, anyway? I’ve heard different opinions on that)

Thanks for your time answering questions! We Marias gotta stick together, don’t you know! 😉


Maria D.

These are great questions! I will apologize in advance that this will get long!

For those who may be wondering, when you use shared laundry facilities, typical “cloth diaper safe” detergents can pose a problem, because they tend to lift the detergent residue from the machine.

My first rule for diaper washing is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so if your diapers are clean, stink-free and not repelling, leave your routine alone! That said, it’s a good idea to use the same detergent on your clothing and your diapers both, so you can avoid one detergent working against the other.

Some people have great luck with cloth diaper detergents, other people, not so much. Others just don’t have them locally available to them and/or prefer to use a less expensive, and more readily available detergent. I think we’re all aware of the charts that list the no-no detergents and ingredients, but many people successfully use standard detergents, and I’m one of them.

I use Tide Original HE powder, using about 1/4 the lowest load line for a full load of diapers. Many other cloth diaper users report successfully using Tide Original powder. Powder detergents tend to rinse out more easily, and don’t gunk up your machine as much as liquid detergents do.

Another standard detergent brand that’s been widely used with success is Arm & Hammer with Oxyclean and Arm & Hammer Essentials. I’ve tried it, but don’t care for the liquid variety, and the smell was a little much for me.  I’ve also heard of several people using Country Save.
For more eco-friendly options, I’ve heard mixed reviews of Planet, Seventh Generation, Ecos and Ecover detergents. I haven’t used any of them myself.

Though Tide is a no-no with the detergent police (and it’s not exactly the most “green” option), it seems to be the most common “standard” detergent that cloth diaper washers use with success. I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of the charts, I really think you need to do a little trial and error to find what works for you!

As far as your second question, I do have a water softener and an HE machine (I use HE powder of course) so I use less detergent than others, but I never use more than half of the lowest load line for my largest, most soiled loads of laundry. While most people wouldn’t be able to get anything clean with a tablespoon of detergent, I doubt even the hardest water and dirtiest clothing would need a full scoop/capful of detergent.

If you normally use the largest load line for your other laundry, try running them through a rinse cycle with no detergent and check for bubbles. I’m guessing a lot of people would be able to wash their laundry a few times without adding any, thanks to all the detergent residue!  Really, why wouldn’t companies recommend using a huge scoop of detergent for regular laundry?  It lines their pockets!

I think it’s a great idea to at least try using less detergent, and see if your clothes still get clean. I bet they will. If they do, you’ve just cut your detergent expense in half, and if they don’t, well, at least you tried!

As for your bonus question, the amount of detergent you use is also a trial and error experiment, depending on how hard your water is, what type of washer you’re using, and what detergent you choose. 

If you are using a detergent marketed for cloth diapers, use the recommended amount (a little less for soft water.)  If you’re using a standard detergent, I’d start with 1/4-1/2 the recommended amount for a typical diaper load (around 15 diapers.)  You want to get them rinsed pretty clean, and I find that if I use too much detergent, I definitely need to do extra rinses.  If you’re paying to wash your laundry, you certainly want to minimize rinses, so check your rinse cycle for bubbles, and cut back on the detergent if you’re seeing a lot. 

The great experiment really gets complicated when you have stink issues.  You have to figure out of the smell is from detergent residue (usually when they smell clean coming out of the wash, but stink when wet) or not enough detergent (usually when they still smell dirty right out of the wash.)

Bleach is another thing some people don’t like, but I find that if I start smelling some ammonia (mostly in the thicker inserts I use at night) a little bleach in with the inserts only knocks it right out!

Is anyone else breaking the detergent “rules” and using a standard detergent successfully?  If so, what do you use?

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Friday Giveaway Linky Giveaways Linky

Weekly Friday Giveaway Roundup for January 28th, 2011



It’s that time again.  Every Friday, I gather up cloth diaper giveaways (plus wipes and the like too!).  Each post is also accompanied by a linky where you can enter any giveaway, as long as it’s family friendly.

If you’d like your cloth diaper, accessory, baby wearing (etc.) giveaway featured, send a link, description and photo (if you have one) to maria at

This week’s giveaway finds:

smartipants diaper cover

Sprout Change Diaper from Cloth Diaper Addiction (ends 1/31)

Your Memories Quited Diaper from Makobi Scribe Mandatory GFC follow (ends today, 1/28)

Rumparooz Diaper from Happy Baby Co. and Monkey Tales Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/20)

Kushies Newborn Gift Basket (includes covers & prefolds) from The Maxwells’ Madness (ends 1/30)

GoGreen Champ Pocket Diaper from Oh So Savvy Mom Mandatory GFC follow and Facebook “like” (ends 2/10)

Rumparooz Diaper from Thanks Mama and A Mommy’s Blessings Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/11)

Best Bottom Diaper from Real Mom Reviews Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 1/31)

Smart Bottoms Smart One Diaper from Crazy 4 Fluff Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/7)

Snappi from Real Mom Reviews (ends 2/1)

GoGreen Wet/Dry Bag and Cloth Wipes from happenings of the Harper Household Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/15)

Doopsy Diaper from Diary of a Devil Dog Wife Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/19)

Tiny Tush Diaper from Chubby Cheeks Thinks (ends 2/8)

Minkee Pocket Diaper from Assaunta Store and Triple Duty Mommy Mandatory GFC follow (ends 1/31)

Babykicks 3G Bumbo Pocket Diaper from Mommy and Me Giveaways Mandatory GFC follow and must watch 4 videos (ends 1/31) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Sweet Pea Diaper from Everything Mom and Baby (ends 2/8) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Babee Greens Diaper from Sweet T Makes 3 Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/9) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Bummas Wipes from Real Mom Reviews Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 2/2)

Zookies Diaper Cover from Diary of Momma Mandatory GFC follow (ends 1/30)

Babykicks 3G Diaper & Washies from Your Baby Booty (ends tomorrow, 1/29)

Good Things Come in 3 AIO from Diary of Momma Mandatory GFC follow (ends 1/30)

Kawaii Baby Pure & Natural Diaper from Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/10)

USED Kawaii Diaper from and Triple Duty Momma Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/6)

Giveaways still running from last week:
Little Squirts Diaper, Wipe & Soaker from Simply Stacie (ends today, 1/28) Open to the U.S. and Canada
Sprout Change Diaper from The Willow Store and Fabulous Family Revies & Giveaways (ends today, 1/28)

Sprout Change Diaper from The Willow Store and One Little Mister (ends 2/4)

Cloth by Tel Pocket Diaper from Simply Stacie (ends 1/30) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Maxwell Designs Wet Bag from Toots n Tots and Simply Stacie (ends 1/30) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Bummis Easy Fit Diaper from Chubby Cheeks Thinks (ends tomorrow, 1/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Bummis Easy Fit Diaper from Mama to 4 Blessings Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/9)

Happy Heinys Diaper from Bippy Diapers and Bottom of the Sixth Mandatory GFC Follow (ends 2/3)

Mother-Ease Diaper and Cover from Alternative Housewife Mandatory GFC follow or Feedburner subscribe (ends 1/31) open to the U.S. and Canada

Tiny Tush Diaper from Mommy of 1 and Counting (ends tomorrow, 1/29)

Tiny Tush Diaper from All Aboard the Review & Giveaway Train (ends 2/2)

Baby BeeHinds Wrap from Dirty Diaper Laundry (ends 1/31) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag from Your World: Healthy and Natural Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/1)

$15 Credit to Bootyful Baby Boutique from The Rabbitt Hutch Mandatory GFC follow (ends tomorrow, 1/29)

Zookies Diaper Cover from Love Lives Here (ends 2/1)

FuzziBunz One Size Diapers from Kelly Wels (ends today, 1/28)

GoGreen Cloth Wipes from One + One = Four Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/10)

Bumgenius 4.0 from Lindsay’s Family Reviews Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/1)

GoGreen Pocket Diaper from Familylicious Reviews Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/6)

Dream Makers Designs AIO from Crazy 4 Fluff Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/4)

Thirsties Duo Diaper from A Mommy’s Blessings Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/4)

Nana Pants by Betsy Diaper from Goodbye Disposable, Hello Cloth Mandatory GFC follow (ends 1/31)

Rumparooz Lil Joey from Diaper Junction and Monkey Tales Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/1)

GoGreen Champ Pocket Diaper from Modified Momma Reviews Mandatory GFC follow and Facebook “like” (ends 1/31)

Bummis Cloth Diaper Kit from Terraloving (ends 1/31Entry is through a Facebook app, which requires you like the Beterra Facebook page.

Thirsties Duo Diaper from Monkey Tales Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/5)

Comfy Rumps Diaper from That Mama Gretchen (ends 1/31) Open to the U.S. and Canada

You may enter any family friendly giveaway in the linky below. The form Blog name – Giveaway Item – Ending date works. Please include the item and end date, and link directly to the giveaway.

Check out where I list my giveaways to find more places to link up your giveaways!

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Winner


bummis winner

142 people entered this giveaway, with 254 entries in all.

The winner is #69, which is Rebecca Eby. Congratulations Rebecca, I’m sending you an email now!

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Cloth Diapers Inserts Made in the USA Natural Fiber One Size Diapers Pocket Diapers Review Snap Closure WAHM made

Heartland Dreams One Size Pocket Diaper (Tester) Review!


heartland dreams pocket diaper 

I’ve had my Heartland Dreams Fitted for about 10 months.  Fitteds aren’t my favorite, but Heartland Dreams (HD from here on out for lazy me) were recommended to me as an very absorbent fitted, and I turned to fitteds and wool when my son was a night time super soaker!
As it turns out, HD aren’t just absorbent, they are incredibly well made as well.  I love a lot of work at home mom (WAHM) made diapers, but HD are amazing.

Heartland Dreams One Size Pocket Diaper

I found out that Heartland Dreams was working on a one-size pocket diaper (my favorite!), and I got a little excited.  I put myself in the running to be a tester, and crossed my fingers and toes.  For those who aren’t familiar with “testers,” usually a diaper maker will try their diapers on their own children, and babies that belong to their friends and family, then make tweaks to their pattern.  Prior to selling for the first time, trying a new pattern, style or making tweaks to an existing one, they usually want them tested on lots of different age, size and shape babies.
If someone is brand new to making diapers, they may offer the tester diapers free for the cost of shipping, or the cost of shipping + materials.  Prices vary based on where they are in the testing phase, and typically when a known diaper maker is just tweaking a product they’ve been selling, testers may just receive a small discount, or coupon for their next order, in exchange for their feedback.

WAHM pocket diaper

I was excited when I found out I was one of 6 randomly chosen testers!  We didn’t get to choose our colors, but I actually received the diaper that I liked best out of the pre-made tester diapers.

rear of cloth diaper

Heartland Dreams is great to test for because she is truly looking for feedback, including constructive criticism.  She’s not just looking for pats on the back about how great her diapers are (even though they are.)

4 rise settings

The pocket diapers are one-size via a snap down rise, and have a 4th setting to fit extra-small babies.  I do not know the estimated weight range for these diapers.  Rather than just arbitrarily say they fit 8-35 lbs (or whatever) Tina will probably compile tester feedback to set the estimated weight range.

1 row snap closures, 2 ea wing w/overlap

The diaper has snap closures, one row of snaps with 2 snaps on each wing, and two snap overlaps.

buttery soft stay dry inner

The stay dry inner is buttery soft, and has stayed soft after several washes.

front pocket opening w/flap

The pocket opening is in the front of the diaper, and there is a flap to completely cover the insert, and prevent wicking.
organic pocket diaper insertfolded insert

I received both an organic insert and a microfiber insert (which are both made by HD).  The organic insert is super soft, and is pre-washed three times, so you can use it right away (it will continue to gain absorbency as you wash it.)
microfiber pocket diaper insert wahm insert w/snap down for size

The microfiber insert has snaps to adjust the size and keep it secure.  I love this!  Not many diapers have this feature, which makes it much easier to stuff the diaper.

When I was taking pictures of this diaper, my husband said “someone MADE that?!”  OK, I’m quoting, but paraphrasing a little.  He might have said “THAT’s homeMADE?”  In any case, it was said in an incredulous tone!

impeccable stitching at leg elastic even stitching at rear elastic

perfectly even stitching

I’m pretty sure Tina isn’t a robot or a machine (LOL) but her stitching is so even and neat, it puts most commercially made diapers to shame. The first two pictures are of stitching along elastic, so any unevenness is because the elastic is gathered. I couldn’t keep it stretched and take a picture at the same time. A third hand would come in very handy at times like these. Har har.

Here’s the diaper on the smallest (extra-small) setting both folded and stretched:

extra small foldedextra small stretched

extra small setting on one size pocket diaper


small setting foldedsmall setting stretched

small pocket diaper


medium setting folded medium setting stretched

medium setting


large setting folded IMG_6755

large setting

My son is around 21 pounds, and wears the medium setting of most one-size diapers, so that’s what I put on him.  I tried it with the microfiber insert first. 

heartland dreams diaper leg openings are snug but not tight
heartland dreams one size pocket diaper side/rear w/ microfiber insert
heartland dreams diaperrear w/microfiber insert

The diaper is cut with an intentionally narrow crotch, so it’s very trim.  This is of course one reason Tina was testing the diaper, to make sure it still provided enough coverage for larger babies.

side w/organic insertrear w/organic insert

Even with the organic insert, it was still very trim, and also very absorbent.  Some people say they don’t have to unstuff their pocket diapers before washing.  For me, they just end up bunched up at the bottom of the diaper, unless they have openings on both ends.  So, when Tina asked testers to indicate if the insert would agitate out in the wash, either as is, or with the flap flipped up, I tried it just to humor her.  To my surprise, both inserts agitated out completely without unstuffing!

Prices haven’t been set for the diapers and inserts yet, that’s another reason for diaper testing, so the testers can give feedback on what they think a fair price would be.

FTC compliance: I paid the normal tester price for this diaper, I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

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“What’s a disposable diaper?” and My First “Dunk and Swish”

>Saturday, my son had one of “those” diapers.  I commented to my husband that the, ahem, “deposit” (which was creeping dangerously close to the outside of the Fuzzibunz perfect size diaper) would never have been contained in a disposable diaper!  It’s been a while since I used disposables, but I remember blowouts all too well!

My almost-6-year-old daughter said “what’s a disposable diaper?”  I’m a little baffled by the question, since we used disposables on her brother for 4 months, and I’m pretty sure she’s seen other people change a diaper and throw it away.  I’m guessing she was just confused by the term “disposable.”

In any case, I said “It’s a diaper you throw away,” and she said “Oh.”  It would be pretty cool if someday we looked back at our “throw it away” generation, and didn’t understand it!

So that diaper led me to my first “dunk and swish.”  In over 15 months of cloth diapering, I’ve never done that.  But this diaper…let’s just say it was a little beyond scraping, but was too much to throw in the washer.  I was asking myself why I hadn’t bought a diaper sprayer yet.

After I already had to reach into the potty to fish out a cloth wipe I’d accidentally dropped in, I used a tip someone gave me.  I pulled the insert out, held the ends of the diaper in my hand (firmly) with the inner facing out.  I dunked it in the toilet and flushed (several times.)  I held onto it tightly, but let it kind of get pulled down with the flush.

It really worked quite well and wasn’t terribly gross!  I was able to flip it back around with the PUL side out again and carry it to the wet bag (I need to put one in the bathroom!) without dripping.

So now I feel a little more initiated, and more like a real cloth diapering Mom.  Ha ha!

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