Cloth Diaper Detergent : Tide Original Liquid VS Maggie’s Soap Nuts

I was a cloth diapering mom and now a cloth diapering grandma. One of the most challenging things about successfully using cloth on our kids is finding a washing routine that works. 

No family is the same for their particular cloth diapering practices. It’s really about finding what works for you, your specific washing equipment, and learning how to match your baby’s chemistry with your washing routine successfully. 


I have been curious about trying out different detergents and maybe sprucing up my routine a little bit, even though I am not currently having any problems. I wanted to test out other detergents to see how they stack up against one another. 

So here is my current washing routine:

  • A cold pre-wash without detergent. 
  • Hot wash with detergent.
  • Hot rinse.
  • Cold rinse. 

I strip my diapers using the blue Dawn method once every three to five weeks to keep everything so fresh and so clean! The detergent I currently use is Tide original liquid (regular, not free, and clear) available here (at Amazon) because the bulk of my stash consists of Rumparooz G2 pockets. Tide powder is the recommended detergent for that brand. I prefer liquid when possible.


I tend to use a milder detergent for the baby’s clothes. However, I have never had issues with sensitivity from the enzymes in Tide, and I am pleased with how clean my cloth diapers are. 

I have never had poop residue on my diapers. However, there was a recent smell when adjusting to solid foods. Up to this point, I have never had any staining that couldn’t be removed by sunning my diapers. They always come out of the washer clean and white. 

The Experiment:

I have had my eye on Maggie’s Soap Nuts on this page at Amazon. I am always looking for great products, whether new diapers or accessories or detergents, and I wanted to try Maggie’s Soap Nuts. I have been curious about how they would work and love the thought of having a more natural approach to laundry. It fits nicely with our family’s continued efforts to make our lives a little greener. 

I got a cute little bag of Maggie’s Soap Nuts with five nuts in it. I followed the manufacturer’s directions for laundering: 

  • Cold pre-wash with no soap nuts and a half cup of baking soda
  • Hot wash (with Maggie’s Soap Nuts added in the bag provided in the box).
  • Cold rinse.
  • Another cold rinse. 

To finish it off, all the diapers were tumble-dried on low heat.



The verdict

The diapers and inserts washed with Maggie’s Soap Nuts were extremely soft, surprisingly soft. And they had no smell whatsoever, which is excellent! 

However, the cloth diapers pooped on did not come out as clean as I would have liked. One of my Rumparooz even smelled like poop and had little poop “particles” all over the gusset. Simply put, the diaper was not clean. 

Having said that, if I had been a bit more diligent about hosing off the diaper entirely before placing it in the wash, I think the Maggie’s Soap Nuts would have done a great job. 

This would be a great alternative to the traditional (perhaps harsher) brands of detergent for children with sensitive skin. Maggie’s Soap Nuts worked very nicely on regular clothes, but as far as the cloth diapers, since my grandson does not have sensitive skin, I think the Tide does a better job of keeping the poop off the diapers. Round one goes to Tide!

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