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I Have Soft Water - What Should I Do Now?

I used to use normal eco friendly washing powder on my cloth diapers, with average results. About 6 months ago we moved house and all of a sudden I had major problems with stinkies! I guessed it was something to do with the difference in water, like a change in hardness/softness or different additives to the town supply (we have water that comes from a shared shallow well, and the council only adds chlorine to it.) Anyway, I took that opportunity to try Rockin Green for the first time, as I had heard great things about it and had been meaning to anyway.

I contacted the council to ask the hardness of the water, and when they told me it was middle of the road I bought the Classic Rock Remix powder and started using it. I was a bit disapointed when the stink didn't seem to go away at all, but I had...and totally do have...faith that Rockin Green works when used right...so I just kept using it and did a few overnight soaks etc. I played around with the powder amount a little (but I was obviously still using too much - 2-3 TBSP) and tried different water levels/temps/rinses etc. Because my problem was stink AND ammonia smells too (ammonia mostly in night nappies), I brought some Funk Rock and tried using that, both soaking and using a small amount in the wash. Still no luck! As I said, I still had complete faith that Rockin Green is the best when used properly...so I decided I needed to check the water hardness myself.

It now turns out the council was wrong and I have very very soft water (and also quite acidic - PH 5 - which we may need to do something about). So obviously that is why I didn't get any results. I feel so relieved that now I can remedy the problem!

My question is, as I have obviously been using way too much detergent for 6 months...what is the best way to get my nappies clean...should I do "back to baseline?". Then obviously I need to switch to the Soft Rock formula! I do have a nearly full bag of the Classic Rock though, so I was just wondering...what is the difference between using a very small amount of the Classic Rock to using the Soft Rock formula? Should I risk trying it until my bag is gone...or would I do better to onsell my part used bag, cut my losses and move onto Soft Rock?

Thank you so much for your help...I still love Rockin Green!!!!!
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  • Hey Angelina,

    I am sorry to hear about your bumpy journey so far, but it is good to hear that you know the source of the problem. Let's work on fixing everything! Before we go into a restorative routine, do you have a top loader or a front loader?

    Marci
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  • Thanks for your reply Marci! I have a top loader (older model, so not as great as some of the modern ones, but not ancient either).

    Angelina :-)
    • Thanks for the info. Here is what I recommend:

      -Soak your diapers in hot water only for several hours. You can even do this overnight if you want to.
      -Complete a full wash routine (cold short wash, long hot wash, 1-2 additional cold rinses) but do not add any detergent to this part either.
      -Dry like normal.

      Normally, when you do regular washing, you can still use the classic rock, but just use much less than normal. I would use a scant 1Tbsp per 15-20 diapers. Let me know how that helps, and we can work from there as needed!

      Marci
    • Thanks Marci...I will let you know how I get on! :-)
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  • I would love to follow this topic. I have soft water as well and have yet to buy RG. Have used Charlie's and Planet with the same results as Angelina. I have a front loader which is NOT rinsing the soap out after multiple rinses. (They smell clean and seem rinsed but get the funk after use) I am actually having to pull out the diapers and rinse them by hand and even after the 5th rinse in a canning kettle with about 6 diapers at a time the water is still cloudy. My municipality says that the water is 11ppm. I'm hoping that soft rock will help me?
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  • Hi Isaiah,

    The soft rock is specifically designed to rinse clean in very soft water. If you are having a problem getting your diapers to rinse thoroughly, the soft rock might be a good option for you! If you would like, you can email me directly at guru@rockingreensoap.com and we can work to figure out what you need!

    Marci
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  • Well I am finally back! :-)

    Unfortunately I have still not sorted out my stinky diapers...but I now know the problem! The test strip I used to determine water hardness (the one that said the water was really soft)....was completely inaccurate...*sigh*. We have had a proper lab test done, and the results came back at 72 mg/L which is classed as Moderately Hard (60 - 120 is apparently moderately hard on a scale of soft, slightly hard, moderately hard, hard, and very hard).

    So now I understand why I haven't been getting anywhere... but at least I can sort it out finally! I think I will do a back to baseline now, as they have got pretty funky bad. The most important thing to me now is that I start using the right amount of RG after that. I take it that I need Hard Rock when I buy a new bag?...So how much Hard Rock should I start off using with my water as it is? Also...if I want to use up the very last of my Classic Rock bag first...how much should I use?

    Thank you so much for your help...can't wait to have fresh smelling diapers :-P

    Angelina :-P
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  • Hey Angelina,

    A reading of 72 actually puts you right in line with the classic rock formula, not the hard rock...so your classic rock should be fine for your water type. Remind me, what type of machine do you have: a front loader or top loader? Is ammonia your biggest culprit in this stink battle, or is the smell different? Let me know so I can help you with the baseline routine and customize it for your needs.

    Marci
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  • Great...thanks for the help Marci!

    I have a top loader. Not a brand new flash machine, but not ancient (maybe 8-10 years old at a guess).

    When I first started with Rockin Green (Classic) I did several soak before washes...both overnight soaks and 30-60mins ones. I also played around with the odd hot wash instead of the warm that I usually do. I was at that time using 2 1/2 TBSP most of the time (although I did experiment a bit at that stage, trying 2, and 3 the odd time). None of that got rid of the stink that I already had before starting RG. That initial stink was not an ammonia one, it was more of a poop where there was no poop...and I guess barnyard. The only diapers with ammonia issues at that stage were the fitted night ones, as they get a LOT of pee! I also tried Funk rock at that stage on all the diapers (even though I now know it is not really for the barnyard/poop smells), but it didn't get rid of the ammonia in the night nappies either...by soaking in 4 TBSP or putting a little in with each normal wash.

    ...Then we had the point where we thought we had soft water, so I dropped down to the one TBSP...and they have got even worse! Very strong barnyard/poopy smell right from the first pee and ammonia with all the day time diapers too.

    Recently, when I discovered the water was not soft, I upped it to 2 TBSP again...but no improvement yet.

    My wash routine is:

    - Cold deep rinse and spin with high water level
    - Full wash cycle on heavy/normal setting with med water level, which is extra long warm wash, extra long deep rinse, and spin
    - Cold eco rinse with a few drops of tea tree oil to help kill bacteria at high water level
    - Line dry or clothes airer inside if rainy/wintery

    I am not very keen on changing to hot washes all the time, as it will put the power bill up a fair bit. I don't mind the odd one, but I would rather not unless it is really nessessary? At the old house I used only cold washes with my old soap powder (an eco plant based one) and there were no stinkies. It was only when we moved to this house (thus a change in water) that that soap powder stopped working and I bought RG. Which is why I assumed that if I get the powder amount right for the water type then cold or warm washes should be fine?

    Hope that all helps you understand and make sense of my problem...looking forward to hearing back...

    ...thanks again!
    Angelina :-)
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  • Hi Angelina,

    I do have one question: Are you adding the Funk Rock to your detergent cycle when adding it into your wash routine? Are they combining in the wash?

    Marci
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  • Hi Marci,
    When I used the Funk Rock it was only for a couple of weeks, as I did not want to use the whole packet up when it was not doing anything. Therefore I still have plenty left for when you tell me how to do it properly. I have not been using it for quite a while now.

    But in answer to your question. I tried a couple of times soaking clean nappies in 4 TBSP overnight before washing, and then washing on a normal detergent cycle. Apart from that, I tried both putting it in the rinse cycle on its own, before adding the detergent later when it was time for the main wash, and the rest of the time I tried dissovling it in with the Classic Rock before adding them both together in thw wash cycle.

    Thanks again,
    Angelina :-)
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  • Okay, I gotcha. Honestly with the Funk Rock, we do not recommend soaking in it overnight and mixing it in with the detergent essentially renders it useless. Since you have a top loader, here is what I recommend doing to get the diapers back to a clean baseline:

    1.Complete a hot water soak with 15-20 of your diapers, with no detergent or Funk Rock added. You can even do this soak overnight to help work out the build up.
    2.Complete a full regular wash routine (cold short wash, long hot wash, 1-2 final cold rinses) but do not add any detergent or Funk to this part either.
    3.Soak your diapers in hot water between 130-150 degrees with 4Tbsp of Funk rock for one hour. Do not soak longer than one hour.
    4.Complete a full regular wash routine: cold short wash cycle, long hot wash cycle with Tbsp of detergent, and then 1-2 additional cold rinse cycles or wash cycles.
    5.Dry like normal.

    Let me know how this helps, and then we can work on developing a regular routine!

    Marci
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  • Hi Marci,
    Ok...I followed your instructions pretty much to the letter, and the results are great! The pocket diaper inserts are 99% fine (no ammonia, just still a tiny whiff of barnyard type smell when totally wet through), but considering how stinky they were I am very happy! I am sure the last little bit of smell will now clear with a tailored washing routine. It might also be because I had trouble getting the washing machine hot enough, and some of the soak/wash times the water was a little under the desired temp. The fitted night diapers, are still a bit stinky...but not nearly as bad as they were...so I will probably just pop them in with the next lot, so they get stripped twice. Considering that you could smell one of those from a different room...we are making real progress lol!

    So what are your recommendations now on a regular washing routine?

    Thanks again...you have been so great! :-)
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  • Hey Angelina,

    Good to hear that they are working well for you! The nighttime diapers do tend to hold onto more build up and are a little more stubborn when it comes to removing it. If you want to, you can do another treatment on them, or you can just add them to your regular washes moving forward and you should be okay.
    For your regular wash routine, I would stick with doing step 4 of the deep clean routine with 1Tbsp of detergent in the hot wash. If you need to do an additional hot wash after your long hot wash with detergent, do it, that will give the diapers more time to agitate and rinse everything out completely, but do not add any more detergent to that additional cycle. As needed, to keep the ammonia at bay, you can add 1Tbsp of the Funk Rock to the initial cold short cycle, you will need to find out the frequency that works best for you.
    Let me know how this works moving forward and I will be here to help whenever you need it!

    Marci
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  • Thanks Marci! So will only 1 TBSP of classic rock definitely be enough for my moderately hard water?...it just doesn't seem like much that is all?
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  • ACK! Oh sorry I meant to type 2Tbsp, you have a top loader so you would need 2Tbsp. Sorry about that. :-)

    Marci
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