Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rockin' Green Hard Rock Review (and some whitening tips!)

As I mentioned in my last post, I was delighted to discover that you can purchase trial size packets of Rockin' Green diaper detergent. I've been eyeing up Rockin' Green for a while, but since it's rather expensive and I still have a tonne of my regular diaper detergent, I had some trepidation about committing to a whole bag. As mentioned previously, Rockin' Green comes in three formulations: classic, hard rock (for those with hard water) and soft rock (for those with soft water). I have determined that my water is hard, which could likely be why I have such an issue with build-up on my diapers and why it's difficult to keep them stain-free. Rockin' Green also comes in seven delicious fragrances: Mighty Mighty Marshmallow, Smashing Watermelons, The Green Tea's, Rage Against the Raspberry, Motley Clean, Lavender Mint Revival and there is also an unscented version for those who prefer fragrance-free and it's called Bare Naked Babies.

For my trial run, I bought Mighty Mighty Marshmallow, Smashing Watermelons and Motley Clean all in the hard rock formula. I was definitely curious about the fragrances, but my real motivation was whether the hard rock formula would help to get my diapers their absolute cleanest. First, I put my diapers through on a cold pre-rinse to get the ickies off- I always use the highest water setting. Second, I filled my washer on the hottest water setting and added the Rockin' Green and the diapers. Once the cycle was finished, I was super excited to sniff my diapers. I even turned the washer alarm on (which I never do because it's super annoying). When I picked up a diaper to sniff it, it smelled like...nothing. Yes, sorry to say, after a heavy duty wash cycle with an extra rinse, the diapers really didn't smell like any marshmallow, let alone a mighty one. It was all a bit anti-climactic, really. I didn't notice any fragrance on the diapers with the other two scents that I chose either. The cleaning power, on the other hand, was very good. My diapers looked very clean and although they didn't smell like a yummy fragrance, they did smell fresh and there was absolutely no trace of ammonia clinging to them. I must admit, even as I love my Claudia's Choices diaper detergent to the end of the earth, I do sometimes have to do a second wash due to faint ammonia smell remaining on the diapers.

My over-all verdict: Even though the fragrance didn't stick (and really, that's the main reason for the additional cost), the cleaning power was very good. I really did like the detergent and thought that the hard water formula cleaned my diapers very thoroughly. At the end of the day, however, I don't think I'll be switching. I find that adding some baking soda or RLR once a month gives the exact same result.

So, as I've said, my main motivation for exploring other detergents was to boost my whitening capability. Dear baby is nearly seven months old and several of my bumGenius microfiber inserts, as well as the fleece lining in the diapers themselves are looking rather dingy. I've used baking soda all along to brighten my diapers, but sometimes I need something a little...more. I can't use bleach because of my hard water situation (bleach + hard water = ugly yellowing), not to mention the fact that it deteriorates microfiber. The two things that I have found that work the best are...

Cadie RLR Laundry Treatment- Ignore the kitschy 70's packaging, this stuff works. It's some kind of magical laundry soda that is not a bleach, blueing or detergent. I add it to my wash cycle along with my regular amount of detergent (just as you would an oxyclean type product), let it soak for about an hour and then run the cycle as usual. A single use packet costs $2 at my diaper retailer and I use it a couple times a month. Before I discovered this little gem, I was using Rockin' Green's Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer for both deodorizing and whitening power, however, at $18 a bag (and I used a bag a month), it was getting a little steep. I find that the RLR brightens and deodorizes beautifully for a fraction of the cost.

but the best whitening results I've achieved so far are from using...

The sun!

Yes. The plain, old, free, shining sun is the best bleaching agent of them all. If you're using cloth, a clothes line is a must-have. Even in an apartment, just string up a line on your balcony- you won't regret it. There is absolutely no product that you can buy in a store that will whiten and deodorize your diapers better than sun and fresh air. Not to mention the fact that hanging your diapers to dry instead of tossing them in the dryer will extend their life considerably. Now that spring is upon us in this beautiful country, I've been taking full advantage of the sunny days that we've had for the past two weeks and my diapers are reaping all the benefit. RLR combined with sunshine has my diapers looking as good as they did when I bought them eight months ago. I've heard mamas saying they take their diapers to the beach and lay them out, put them on the porch, in the back yard, there are a lot of ways to sun your diapers if a clothes line is just completely out of the question (I know some condo town-homes prohibit them because they're considered "eye-sores"). So get those diapers out in the sun and see why mother nature always does it best.

Diadima xo