I started out washing with just the detergent we had - Kirkland liquid with no scents and dyes. I noticed the diapers smelled bad when "wet," so I decided to see if I could find another inexpensive option. I looked up the detergents on Pinstripes and Polka Dots, and took a list with me the next time I went to the grocery stores. Unfortunately I couldn't find any of the BEST ones at our stores. So, I made a second list. On my second list, I had Purex Hypoallergnic, and since I found that one I bought it. It only had one "issue" - brighteners, so it was worth a try. It worked fairly well, but I wanted something that would travel well. So, I looked again. I read that Planet should be available at grocery stores, so I emailed them and asked for a list of stores in my area. Then I went looking, and didn't find it. They had said to call, so right before our trip, I called a store I hadn't tried. They had it, so I got a bottle. It was hard to find since the store only had the small bottles of liquid, but it had no "negatives" when it comes to cloth diapers, so I gave it a try. While using it, I thought to compare prices. It costs about the same as detergents I can buy online, so I kept that in mind when I made my next diaper purchase. In the meantime, it worked well, and I didn't have a huge stinky pile of diapers the morning before I washed.
Then I wanted to buy a few pockets with my birthday money, so I added a bag of Rockin' Green to my cart as well. Well, as luck would have it, the bag I received was most likely recalled. So, I got a second bag free. I am using the first bag for rinsing covers in the sink and for cleaning other non-diaper things. There was some rash issues with that batch due to concentration error, so I don't want to use it for normal washings. At first I didn't see any big improvement over Purex. I think the smell is slightly less, but it isn't a huge deal. But, I like that it is a powder, which is better for traveling. Also, because of the research, I changed by washing routine some.
Here is how I wash my diapers in my LG front loader:
1. Normal quick cycle on cold with 1/2 tbsp of RnG.
2. Full normal cycle on warm with 1 tbsp of RnG - with the soil level on high.
3. Normal quick cycle on cold with no detergent.
I line dry most of the time to save the dryer, and because it is almost as fast. My plan is to stick with RnG most likely for the diapers and use Purex for all other laundry (once I am about of the Kirkland).
And, if you don't use cloth diapers yet - here is what to watch out for:
1. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets in your machines. These will lead to build-up on your diapers, which equals repelling.
2. Avoid scents and dyes as much as possible since these can be irrating and can leave a little build-up as well.
3. Enzymes in general are not recommend. Some brands of cloth diapers say they are fine, but most say do not use them.
4. Brighteners hide the stains and can leave a build-up, so again avoid them if possible.
5. Make sure no soap is left in the diapers. The soap is what causes the stink issues! That is why I do an extra quick cycle with no detergent. If you have a front loader, watch the drain water just before the spin cycle for bubbles (i.e. soap). If they are there, do another rinse.
6. Covers normally should not be dried in the dryer because the heat will wear out the elastic and PUL. Occasional drying is fine (once every 1-2 months is recommended to seal the PUL).
7. Inserts (and prefolds, etc) can be bleached periodically to sanitize. I do it about every other month after the normal full cycle. I just remove all covers first. Then I run another full cycle with hot water and bleach.