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Soap nuts, eco balls and cloth nappies

(19 Posts)
Lucyand2 Tue 04-Sep-07 08:24:56

I was wondering if anyone had any eco friendly suggestions for washing my cloth nappies? At the moment I dry pail them with a few drops of either lavender or tea tree oil, then I wash them with eco balls at 60 and once a month I wash them with non-bio as Dd has sensitive skin.
The only problem with eco balls, apart from their lack of stain shifting, is the fact that my washer doesn't like them and I have to do a seperate cold rinse/wash/spin option which uses lots of electricity.
Has anyone used soap nuts as I would quite like to give these a go? Any other eco friendly/electricity saving suggestion?

phdlife Tue 04-Sep-07 08:27:19

lucy do those eco balls really work?

ds is 20 weeks and still doing bright yellow liquid poos that go everydamnwhere; I am having to rinse them first before putting them through a wash at 60 - is that the same as what you're doing?

Lucyand2 Tue 04-Sep-07 08:36:30

I try to get the worst of the poo off by rinsing them in the toilet a few times and if they're really bad I sluice them in the nappy bucket. I then give them a quick cold rinse in the washing machine before the main wash (I read somewhere here on MN that an initial cold rinse helps!)
The ecoballs are quite good but they don't get stains out, you have to add a stain remover as well (I don't tend to bother!) It is recommended that you wash with detergent occasionally as well.
Personally I've found the ecoballs great as I have sensitive skin too!

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 08:50:29

I had a trial thing of soapnuts and loved it - just using up my powder and then buying lots - they leave them really soft, and no residue issues.

phdlife Tue 04-Sep-07 11:26:04

I used to rinse them in the loo, then realised a cold pre-rinse in the machine was much more effective even if they'd sat for a couple of days. And figured 1 machine rinse probably = several toilet flushes!

might try those balls, just to get away from detergent!

Brangelina Tue 04-Sep-07 11:41:42

I use soapnuts at 60° and find them no worse than detergent for stain shifting, especially wrt the bright yellow poos. They don't leave residue either and are brill for sensitive skin. I just add a glug of vinegar in the final rinse, though not always.

For stain shifting I line dry and get plenty of sun on them. Shifts even tomato sauce stains like a dream!

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 11:47:09

I found I didn't even need the vinegar

phdlife Tue 04-Sep-07 11:52:53

can't do line-drying - no backyard, no balcony <<sigh>>

have been using commercial stain-shifter, mainly because dh seems to care! is there anything better (ie greener) to use?

how do clean nappies smell with vinegar as a softener?

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 12:07:37

You can't smell the vinegar (or I can't anyway)

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 12:08:10

Leave the nappies in the window to dry - it still bleaches out the stains

phdlife Tue 04-Sep-07 12:10:28

might give that I try then - I assume you're not buying 250ml bottles from tesco? where do you get large volumes of vinegar, then?

Brangelina Tue 04-Sep-07 12:11:12

No, I can't smell the vinegar either. You don't really need it, I just add it for that extra disinfectant factor (I have become a vinegar freak and now use it for EVERYTHINGgrin).

PHD, you could try putting the drier in fron ot a sun drenched window, not quite so good but it might help. I do that in winter after drying on radiators.

Brangelina Tue 04-Sep-07 12:12:30

Oops, xpost!

I just by the cheapest white vinegar going, it costs about 30 eurocents or something a litre here.

Brangelina Tue 04-Sep-07 12:13:31

Meant to say I buy it in supermarkets, but I don't live in the UK. I'm sure Tesco's or somewhere will have it, though.

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 12:15:52

I tend to just get the tesco one because I hardly ever remember to chuck it in!

lailasmum Tue 04-Sep-07 12:24:54

I didn't have much success with eco balls, no different to just washing your clothes with no detergent, but have heard good things about soap nuts and plan to try them out soon.

Lucyand2 Tue 04-Sep-07 12:43:00

Thankyou, I'm going to give the soap nuts a go as I found a site with a free trail yesterday. I really hate the residue left on cloth by detergent so the soap nuts sound perfect!

Arti Tue 18-Sep-07 16:49:24

I used cloth nappies (bamboozles) for the first time with my DD(3 06nths/ yesterday, and did my first wash today-I used soapnuts and the nappies are currently line-drying. I'm amazed at the results-they seem really soft, fresh and clean with no stains (despite one of the nappies being soiled before the wash!).

BevB Tue 18-Sep-07 20:17:38

I have used soapnuts for about 2 years now (although do slip into using non bio occassionally) and they don't shift stains but do the job. I add vinegar every time I remember as this is a discaler and have recently discovered the wonders of lemon juice although not tried it on a nappy yet. There was a rust mark on vintage cotton and I just applied it a couple of times during the day whilst on the line and it disappeared grin if using this method on a nappy I would be tempted to at least give it a good rinse afterwards though.

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