One of my magnificent sponsors this month is a wonderful, environmentally friendly online store from right here in Alberta: Claudia's Choices. Based out of Nanton, Claudia began searching for more responsible, eco-friendly ways to raise a family after her first daughter was born. What began as an honest search for a better choice has become a successful resource for Canadian parents searching for the same. Claudia offers cloth diapers and accessories, eco-friendly laundry and cleaning products, and lots of other organic and eco-friendly products for around the home.
Claudia brought me a sample of her very own laundry detergent, Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM . I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to even try it, because I really wanted to have a good experience with it, but my expectations were low - not because of the product, but because for the past year and a bit since I've been living and cloth diapering back in Alberta, I have had major. stink. issues! Seriously. The front load washer combined with the extremely hard water here in Calgary has led to a never ending battle between me and diaper stink. There have been nights where I have woken up in the wee hours of the morning and had to change Silas just because he stunk so badly, not because he was too wet. It seemed that the second he peed at all in his diaper, my son immediately smelled like a dirty bunny cage (and yes, I do know exactly what a dirty bunny cage smells like - trust me, it's gross - not what you want your one year old smelling like.) I tried everything: more soap, less soap, more water, extra rinse cycles, extra wash cycles, sunning, stripping, boiling, and on and on and on... Still, I had a serious stink problem. I've also had rash problems for the past few months. It felt like if I ever left a wet diaper on him for any amount of time he would have a red, sore, bum. I figured I had yeast in the diapers that wasn't coming out in the wash, but I just couldn't change that no matter what I did.
Three weeks ago I started washing my diapers with Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM . I had just gotten back from Victoria, so I didn't have time to spend doing anything special: I just washed and wore. The first few cycles I didn't notice much of a difference. Maybe it was a little better, but there was still stink. But then, something magical happened: on the third wash cycle using Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM I pulled my diapers out of the wash and I smelled something beautiful: clean diapers! I don't think I could have told you before that they smelled dirty coming out of the wash, but smelling them *clean* was such a difference that I honestly wanted to cry. If you had seen me bent over in front of my washer you would have imagined me in one of those laundry commercials on TV of someone dreamily smelling their freshly cleaned towels or sheets, except I was nose deep in diapers. It was dreamy! And, every wash since has been the same. Not only that, but Silas has not had a red bum since I started using Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM. I'm convinced that the soap has gotten rid of the yeast problem as well. That makes all our lives a little better.
If you are interested in my wash routine, here it is: I pull apart my dirty pocket diapers and throw them in a dry bag until wash day. I try to wash every other day, but often only get to it every third day (and sometimes fourth.) When I wash I just turn the dry bag inside out into the washer and close the washer door. I do a cold wash cycle without any soap, and then a heavy duty wash cycle, on hot, with a prewash and extra rinse. Because of Calgary's hard water I find I need to use a little extra detergent - usually a whole scoop for the wash cycle and a half scoop for the prewash. Then, only if I have time, I run a final rinse, but I have found that with Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM that hasn't been necessary. So many people tell me that they could never cloth diaper because of the extra laundry, but honestly, it is so easy, just a few extra loads a week. When you are already doing as much laundry as you have to with a family, I hardly even notice. And, knowing I'm doing something good for my boy's bums and the environment makes it worth it.
Right from Claudia's Choices website, here's her description of the product:
Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM is a concentrated laundry powder formulated to provide you with an envirosponsible wash without the use of phosphates, dyes, bleach, sodium chloride, sodium sulphate or optical brightener while maintaining superior cleaning performance.
It rinses out completely and is hypoallergenic because it has no fillers, perfumes or stainguard chemicals. This product is effective & safe for all your laundry needs, including cloth diapers, yet is gentle on baby’s skin.
If you own an energy efficient High Efficiency / Horizontal Axis washing machine, no problem. Our detergent is H/E rated (low sudsing). Claudia’s Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry PowderTM dissolves completely – even if you have hard water or prefer cold water washing.
Ingredients: Silicates and carbonate, surfactant, enhanced with water conditioners and plant-based anti-soil redeposition agents.
Claudia's Choices Ultra Phosphate Free Laundry Powder is prepared exclusively for Claudia's Choices.
Septic Tank Safe, NO animal testing, NO animal bi-products. Made in Canada.
There you have it. How can I say more. Of course you know I love supporting local companies, especially socially and environmentally responsible ones. All you cloth diapering mommas out there, check out Claudia and her fantastic shop. You can check her out on Facebook as well, if you want to keep up to date.