Night Gardening

I'm having a lot of fun "gardening". Technically it is container gardening because we live in a small 2 bedroom apartment. I long for a yard where I can grow my own vegetables!

After last year's ill fated attempt at growing tomatoes I decided to keep it simple this year. My veggie garden will have to wait so I'm sticking with herbs and random plants.

Tonight we went to Lowe's on a whim and ended up buying some French Tarragon. I love tarragon. It has the most subtle flavor yet enhances simple dishes so much. I especially love Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken.

I put it in with my chives and Spicy Basil.

I've been wanting to add some color to the porches so I picked up some purple geraniums.
There was a buy one get one sale on the flowers and tarragon and I ended up getting the tarragon for free.

Mark helped me pick the next one out to hang on the porch outside of our living area.
I have no idea what it's technically called but it was the most unique looking "hanging" plant we could find.

It was dark when we got home so Ethan and I ended up doing a little night gardening. I love seeing my little boy digging in the dirt, helping me scoop soil up into the pots. It's fun to let lose and just let him be a (very messy) kid.

Day 1: Thirsties Prewash & Superwash

After finishing up the Charlie's Soap a couple of days ago I was more than ready to try out the Thirsties Prewash and Superwash. I have heard some good things about these products!

Did my initial pre"wash" with the, er, Prewash:

There are some suds as you can see.

Then I did my hot wash with the Superwash. I don't have any pictures of this because the Natural Parenting meeting was starting and I was trying to rush.

Did my extra rinse after and after forgetting about the laundry in the wash (oops!) I transferred the diapers to the dryer.

When I got home I took them out and I was so relieved! No stink! At all.
The diapers smelled like nothing at all! This is the goal here!
So after 1 day of Thirsties I can say that it is my favorite so far. Stay tuned to see if it will keep the diapers stink free!

Last days of Charlie's Soap

Well, I have finished up all of the Charlie's Soap.
I have to say I am not sad to see it go.
Here is how the last day went down:

Hot wash (after initial pre rinse). Not too many suds going on.

Extra cold rinse. No suds left.

So all in all Charlie's seems to rinse well.
I don't think buildup was our issue at all.
We did have a lot of stink issues with this detergent.

So! My conclusion:

On Diapers: 2/5

I just didn't really like this detergent. We had stinky (think a musky kind of smell) diapers out of the dryer every single time.
They did smell fine out of the washer though, so maybe it is the heat of the dryer causing the smell to rear its ugly head.
So if you are going to use Charlie's and you have the ability to line dry, I would recommend doing so over drying in the dryer.

On Clothes: 2/5

I didn't really care for it when used on clothes, either. It doesn't seem to take the stink out of sweaty clothes, and I know it isn't just because it is unscented, either. We have tried other unscented detergents that did just fine.

Here are my final pros and cons:

+ Affordable
+ Unscented for those with sensitive skin
+ Can use on both clothes and diapers
- We had lots of stink issues
- Some people report their babies getting burns while using this detergent

Okay pretty much the stink issues make this detergent pretty bad for us.
Despite the other pros I just can't see myself purchasing and using this detergent exclusively again.


Day 1 of Charlie's Soap

Okay, I totally lied last time. I was all set up to use the Thirsties Prewash/Superwash and then I realized I had run the pre rinse without the Prewash!
So I decided to just go with the Charlie's Soap.

I liked Charlie's Soap. It was the first cloth diaper safe detergent we used when we started cloth diapering. I liked the smell of Ethan's diapers air drying in the bathroom when we first washed with it.
So back in the day when we used Charlie's we followed the 1 scoop rule on everything, diapers and clothes. This time I know that makes very little sense as we are doing pretty large loads and there's seriously no way one scoop is gonna cut it.

I ended up doing 2 extra rinses on Ethan's diapers on Day 1.
We are also battling a yeast rash right now and I used a 1/2 cup of Ecover bleach.
This was a pretty big load so I didn't hesitate to use the more than 1/4 cup they recommend.
I do not normally use bleach, just to let you know. Only every month and a half or so, and only when battling yeast, especially.
I have already noticed an improvement in Ethan's rash.

Anyways, out of the wash the diapers smelled great. This was the opposite of Country Save, where there was a slight stink out of the wash, but nothing out the dryer.
This time around there was some definite stink coming out of the dryer.
This is the same problem we encountered last time with Charlie's (after a couple of months of using it, mind you) and one of the reasons we stopped using it.
I am about to go do another load right now and I will update (with pictures!) with how the second time around goes.


Last days of Country Save

It's been a busy week! I meant to write a post a couple of days ago when I finished up the Country Save.

I did my last two diaper loads of Country Save.
Used 2 scoops the first time, didn't have time for an extra extra rinse.
They came out of the dryer with a hint of slight stink.

Used 2 1/2 scoops the last time. I just went ahead and used up the last of the sample I had.
This time I did at least 2 extra rinses after my hot wash/cold rinse.
I think it's important to note here that the diapers always stink when I take them out of the washer and put them in the dryer. Always. However, they only stank once when I took them out of the dryer. Very odd to me.
The last time I did a wash they came out of the dryer stink-free.

(Excuse my middle school "embellishments" there, lol)

On the couple of loads of regular clothes I did, Country Save worked fine.
I even washed my dirty rags from work with it.
It didn't get them super duper clean but it got them clean enough.

On Ethan's diapers I think it did okay.
I don't think it worked any better or worse than most of the detergents I've tried.
I didn't like the stink issues coming out of the washer, and I did find suds pretty often.
So if you are okay with doing several rinses, you will like this detergent.
DIAPERS - 2.5/5

  • You can use it on everything (clothes, diapers)
  • Fairly inexpensive for "safe" detergent
  • Unscented for those with sensitive skin
  • Does a moderately well job of getting stains out
  • Lots of suds, so possible buildup issues over time. Of course I may have been using too much but I didn't want to risk not using enough.
  • Have to run a lot of rinse cycles
  • Doesn't come in different scents for those that like that
  • Not widely available (have to purchase online, or possibly a health food/cloth diaper store near you if they carry it)
  • Not made specifically for cloth diapers (again, this is preference. I just mean that it wasn't formulated with washing diapers in mind, not that it can't be used or promoted as such.)
All in all I don't think I will be using Country Save again.
If it ends up being my only or most viable option I will consider it though, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my regular clothes.

Coming up next: Thirsties Prewash/Superwash!


A crafty kind of weekend

This weekend I've felt really inspired to get a craftin'.
Yesterday I went to Joann's to get some dylon dyes and fusible web so I could get started on making some appliqued baby gifts!
Okay, I also managed to sneak in a couple of shirts for Ethan.
While my newborn shirts were busy dyeing a beautiful blue shade in the sink I rummaged through my fabric scraps and found the leftover Mint Chocolate Zoo cotton knit from embellishing a prefold of Ethan's.
Mark's mom had just stopped by with a cute little green muscle shirt for Ethan and yay! it was plain and the perfect shirt to applique.

I settled on just the word "Earth" to applique to the shirt and it came out really cute!
The hardest part is sewing around the edges. A couple of other things I've done I ended up just hand sewing, because although time consuming at least I know I can make straight lines.
Here is the finished product, alongside the aforementioned embellished prefold:

Country Save - Day 2

Okay! Day 2 of using Country Save!
I still have not used this stuff on my regular clothes, but only because I have not done any laundry, lol. I am going to do a load with it after I finish this up!

Today I washed probably a little over 10 diapers - not as many as I usually do but Ethan was with grandparents all day yesterday and I don't think he was changed nearly enough.

Did a cold "pre" rinse:

Then I did my hot wash with 2 scoops of Country Save:

Here is the rinse cycle, notice there are still suds:

Here is the extra cold rinse I did afterwards, still some suds but I didn't have enough time to do another full wash or extra extra rinse:

And here is how his BG AIO Organic looked right out of the wash:

It honestly looks a little dingier to me than after being washed with Rockin' Green.
Maybe if I could do an extra rinse it would be better. I might use an extra half a scoop next load, but I am worried about buildup.
Out of the washer the diapers did have a little stink to them, but out of the dryer they smell decent.
So far I would say that Country Save is okay. It doesn't seem to be getting our diapers as bright and stain free as I would like but it is working okay.


Day 1: Country Save

Washed 12 diapers (with inserts and wipes) using my normal routine.
I was unsure of how many tbsp of Country Save to use so I tried it out with just 2.
I think next time I will use 3, as I had a little bit of stink after the diapers came out of the dryer.
I'm also going to take a peak in the washer during the agitation and check for bubbles.
So far I do not hate Country Save. I don't really like the smell of the detergent itself but it's not overbearing or anything.
I really like the idea of using the same detergent on our diapers and our clothes.
I don't want to have to pay double for detergent, and I don't want to have to deal with buildup from using 2 different detergents.
I think I will try Country Save out on a load of clothes tomorrow and see how they come out.

Detergent testing!

So I am helping out my friend Brooke from Eden's Baby and testing out some different detergents on our cloth diapers.
I have decided to take it a step further though and review a couple of other detergents.
We normally use Rockin' Green's Classic Rock (even though we did use Hard Rock for a few loads) since it is local and I don't have to pay shipping for it.
I am going to be testing the following detergents:
  • Country Save
  • Charlie's Soap
  • Thirsties Prewash and Superwash
  • Rockin' Green Hard Rock
  • Tide (maybe!)
Yesterday I washed about 12 diapers with Country Save. I will be consistently using each detergent until I run out of the samples I have.
My usual routine is wash every 2 days, and I usually have up to 20 diapers to wash, not including inserts and wipes.
I set my machine to heavy and use the extra large or large setting.
Then I:
  • Rinse in cold
  • Hot wash/Cold Rinse with 2 Tbsp (or scoops) of powdered detergent
  • Either rinse in cold or do an extra wash/rinse. Usually I only do the extra rinse.