Water Hardness for Cloth Diapering

Water hardness can greatly affect the care for your cloth diapers and all washing. In general, soft water is ideal but across the US many people live near water with higher calcium carbonate deposits.  If your water is very hard, you'll notice right away any detergents and soaps used will have very little bubbles.  This causes the detergents/soaps used to be ineffective which require extra detergent for clothes/cloth diapers as well as soap for other applications.

We carry variety of cloth diaper detergents to meet your level of water hardness.  They are both safe for all cloth diaper washing as well as regular clothes.  They are eco-friendly and many of our detergents are 100% hypoallergenic and does not leave residue.

Water Hardness Map by Petite Bottoms, Cloth Diapering Washing Solution for Hard Water and Soft Water

The map above shows the hardness scale but in general it is classified in five categories:

# = Milligrams Per Lite (mg/L) or Parts Per Million (ppm)

Under 17.1 = Soft
17.1~60 = Slightly Hard
60~120 = Moderately Hard
120~180 = Hard
Over 180 = Very Hard

What do the numbers mean?
Water hardness generally refers to the ratio of calcium and magnesium deposits in household water as well as other minerals.  The map is the average hardness of water but not always accurate representation of how soft or hard the water may be where you reside.  City water, well water and other factors can greatly affect the water hardness.

How do I find out how hard my water is?
There are few ways to find out.  The easiest method would be to contact your local town/city office and the department responsible for water quality may be able to give you such information.  Local hardware stores may also carry home water test kit that will determine the pH level and the mineral content of your water to see if you need to add water softener or give your cloth diapers extra rinse.

Why is hard water bad?
For washing clothes and general household cleaning, the excess calcium and magnesium in the water can leave residues.  If you have hard water you'll notice a very dry hand after washing your hands or dingy looking clothes after multiple washes.  If you have hard to very hard water this can mean a great problem when it comes to cleaning your cloth diapers and other laundry in your home.

What detergent should I use for my cloth diaper?
In general, if you have soft water you can theoretically get away with most commercially available detergents.  But if you have hard water you may need extra detergents as well as extra rinse and spin cycle.  We do recommend cloth diaper friendly detergents such as Redemption Soap, GroVia Tiny Bubbles and Penguin Sport Wash (especially for synthetic).

Are there washing tips for using these cloth diaper detergents?
Yes, we have number of resources to help you find the best possible choice.  You can also call or email us if you have any problems related to possible hard water.