Announcing the winners of our First Glamour Wash Giveaway (“First” sounds like maybe there’ll be more Glamour Wash Giveaways, doesn’t it?)

#2, Jill S.

#77, Mary M.

#38, Jessica A.

#30, Alesha J.

#86, Ashley R.

#11, Stephanie G.

#47, Abbie N.

#61, Andrea K.

#15, Cari C.

#42, Karen B.

Congratulations, everyone and thank you so much for reading the Glamour Wash review and tweeting and commenting about the giveaway!

Winners, please send me a message with your shipping addy and choice of scents: Naked Booty (unscented), Zippity Doo Dah, Dimpled Booty or Hard Water (unscented). I’ll try to accomodate as many requests as possible, but if I run out I’ll have to substitute another scent.

If I don’t hear from the winners by tomorrow (Friday) I’ll try to contact them, but if I don’t hear responses by Saturday, their prize will go up for grabs to another entrant.


Giveaway Winners posted! Thanks everyone for participating and watch for another Glamorous Giveaway soon!!

Attention Diaper Trolls everywhere! Beating your diapers against the rocks in the creek outside your cave is sooo Old Troll School. Modern Trolls now have fancy new-fangled machines and detergent to get their Hairy Heinies, Fuzzibrats, ScumGenius and GrumpARooz nice and fluffy. And what Troll can resist a little Lulu’s Glamour in the Fluff-load?

In order to glamorize as many Trolls as possible, a sample bag and cute little wooden scoop will be given away to 10 lucky Trolls!

  • Each sample bag has enough glamour for 8 loads (or 16 ultra-new-fangled-high-efficiency wash loads).
  • Winners get their choice of sample bag: Naked booty (unscented), Zippity Doo Dah, Dimpled Booty, or Hard Water (unscented).

How to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Read the Otter Babies Glamour Wash review and email your name and answer to the following question to sales@otterblotters.com
Which stain did Glamour Wash get out that none of the other detergents could?

Additional Entries
❤ Become a fan of Otter Babies on Facebook then leave a comment on the Otter Babies Facebook fan page (1 entry)
❤ Sign up for the free Otter Babies Newsletter (your email will be fiercely guarded by a horde of Diaper Troll’s hairy, warty, menacing friends)
❤ Follow @otterbabies on Twitter then leave a comment with your Twitter name telling me you are following. (1 entry)
❤ Follow @inthefluff onTwitter then leave a comment with your Twitter name telling me you are following. (1 entry)
❤ Subscribe to AnOtter Thing via email (1 entry)
❤ Tweet about this giveaway! (Limited to 2 tweets per day). Make sure you put @otterbabies and the url to the giveaway in each tweet! (1 entry per tweet)
❤ Blog about this giveaway then leave  a comment here with the link to your blog. (2 entries)
❤ If you’d like to add a button to your blog that links to my site (1 entry), here’s the code <a href=”http://www.otterblotters.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv305/debbyreed/th_ob125x125.gif” border=”0″ alt=”jpg file”></a>
Drawing will be midnight on July 1st! Now go get a manicure and put on some heels!

Merciful heavens, what is that stink? Sniffing suspiciously, I give the dog a stern look and she sidles away. No, it couldn’t be Molly; the stale, unwashed smell is as strong as ever, coming from the direction of…ah, yes, the clothes hamper.

Oh goody, time to do laundry. And what a treat it is, sorting through crusty socks (great for wearing around the house AND in the sandbox!) and mysteriously streaked white shirts (no napkin for me, I’m fine, thanks!) Really, shouldn’t doing laundry be less glum and a little more *Glam*??

Enter Lulu and her glorious Glamour Wash to the rescue! Lulu was kind enough to send some Glamour Wash my way to bring out my inner laundry queen and let me tell you, Lulu’s Glamour Wash is divinity for diapers.

I compared Glamour Wash to the competition in several key laundry categories that are especially relevant to cleaning cloth diapers: stain removal (with and without presoaking), odor removal, fabric brightening/whitening, and likeliness to leave detergent residue. Several detergents were tested: BioKleen Free and Clear powdered, Tide Free unscented powdered, Rockin Green (Fresh Linen scent-original version), and Glamour Wash (Zippity Doo Dah scent). I also tested RLR laundry treatment (not a detergent) to see how it fared with removing stains.

First, the stain removal test.

To see how well the detergents remove stains that go along with cloth diapers, I stained several squares of bamboo fleece with the most sanitary substitutes for poop I could think of: melted chocolate, make-up, squashed blueberries and spaghetti sauce.

I washed the stained fleece both with and without an overnight presoak with the detergents.

I noticed that both the Glamour Wash and RockinGreen soak solution became clear during the soak, while all the other detergents tested (Tide, RLR and BioKleen) looked dirty and took on the color of the stains. This may be due to the sodium percarbonate in both GW and RNG, which forms hydrogen peroxide in water. Hydrogen peroxide has long been used as a stain remover, especially for biological stains like blood.

Results: It was pretty obvious that soaking the  stained fabric before washing helped a lot with stain removal. The soaked fleece was much cleaner looking across the board. Of the detergents tested (Tide, BioKleen, Glamour Wash and RockinGreen), Lulu’s Glamour Wash consistently removed the stains most completely. All the detergents failed to remove the make-up stain (note: if it’s this hard to get off the fabric, I have wonder how hard it is to get it off your face). But Glamour Wash was the only one that really got rid of the spaghetti sauce stain, while all the other detergents left a trace of the tough stain, even with soaking. Interestingly, RLR appeared to remove stains as well or better than most of the tested detergents, but at $2 per washload, RLR is best saved for truly distressed diapers.

I also noticed that Tide was better than Glamour Wash and Rockin Green at removing dried-on stains (melted/hardened chocolate) without pre-soaking. This may be because Tide contains synthetic surfactants, which help water penetrate into the stain. Rockin Green contains “bio-degradable surfactants,” which probably differ from those in Tide.
A little info about surfactants. A surfactant is basically soap, and it penetrates the stains in your laundry to make the dirt and oil soluble so they can be washed away. Natural soaps (like the kind you bathe with) react with calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) ions  in water (Ca and Mg give hardness to the water–the more Ca and Mg, the harder the water ) to form a greasy, insoluble, curd-like precipitate that settles on what ever is being washed, i.e. “soap scum”.

The synthetic surfactants in modern laundry detergents do not react with Ca and Mg in water like natural soap, although there is still a potential for the surfactant residue to be left in fabric. And cloth diapers + detergent residue = stink, rashes and repellency issues. From the American Scouting Digest (http://www.scoutingdigest.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=120): “The enemy of every fabric is contamination. Air pollution, dirt of all kinds, chemicals, hard water, and especially the surfactant residue from soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, and dry cleaning all compromise the life of the fabric and the features you paid for. Residue affects water repellency, breathability, wicking, and moisture transfer.”

Are surfactants necessary for an effective detergent? An all-purpose detergent may require the use of surfactants to remove dried on stains without pre-soaking. However, I am not convinced that washing cloth diapers requires the use of a detergent with surfactants. Simply rinsing the dirty diapers before putting them in the diaper bucket will help prevent stains and may eliminate the need for detergent surfactants that can be left in the diaper fabric as residue. And using a product like BacOut (which contains vegetable surfactants) to spray the diapers before washing, will also help remove and prevent stains and odors.

Rockin Green has achieved a fair amount of fame in its ability to get rid of detergent residue and suds in a wash load. I compared the wash water of Rockin Green to Glamour Wash with similar wash loads (some old prefolds I had that had been washed in Tide Free for the duration of their diapering career) and really didn’t see a difference in the wash water.

Ok, but how do the detergents stack up against dingy-looking clothes?

Going up against Tide, the Glamour Wash, BioKleen and RockinGreen were not as effective at visibly whitening fabric. Glamour Wash does not contain the optical brighteners found in Tide and other detergents. Are optical brighteners a good idea? Check this link for more info about optical brighteners, but the short answer is no, probably not as far as the environment and the health of your baby’s skin. And they don’t really make your clothes cleaner; the brighteners just bind to the fabric and affect the way light reflects off the fabric. A better way to brighten/whiten is to use RLR once a month. RLR actually removes the contaminants and residue that make clothes dingy instead of disguising them.

I didn’t have stinky diapers to test (having recently potty trained our daughter, but I was able to test for odors in a pair of training pants that had suffered in the training process, so to speak. And the dirt and stains in our regular laundry were nasty enough to provide a before and after dinginess comparison. Two tsp of Glamour Wash and one wash later, the training pants smelled like (insert nose here and breathe deeeeeply) absolutely nothing. The clothes looked to my eye to be perfectly acceptable for visiting a dirt-detective Grandmother’s house. Note: the color differences in the fabric were due to the time of day that the before/after pictures were taken, not from washing the clothes.

I do love yummy smells (Zippity Doo Dah is my favorite of the Glamour Wash scents–it’s just so fresh and the lemongrass reminds me of laundry dried on a windswept exotic beach) but Glamour Wash is not a strongly scented detergent. The scented versions (Dimpled Booty and Zippety Doo Dah) are very pleasant, but LIGHT scents. If you want something to perfume your whole house on laundry day, this may not be the detergent for you. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that several incidents of cloth diaper rashes have been linked to the perfuming agents (essential oils or fragrances) that make detergents smell good, and a heavily scented detergent can be a recipe for a rash.

What about hard water washing? Hard water is noticeable as mineral deposits around your taps and drains. Water hardness varies depending on what part of the country you live in, and if you have untreated well water, you’re more likely to have issues with water hardness. If you have hard water, you’re not alone:  “more than 85% of American homes have hard water.[30] The softest waters occur in parts of the New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii regions. Moderately hard waters are common in many of the rivers of the Tennessee, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska regions. Hard and very hard waters are found in some of the streams in most of the regions throughout the country. Hardest waters are in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California. ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water

The reason that hard water is “hard” to wash with, if you’ll pardon the pun, is because the more minerals in your water, the more mineral and detergent residues are likely to be left in your laundry. The way to deal with hard water washing is to add a softening agent to the detergent. Softening agents include chelators (which bind to the metal minerals in water) and salts (which exchange the less soluble minerals in the water for the more soluble minerals in the salt so the minerals can be rinsed away). Both Lulu’s Glamour Wash regular and Hard Water versions are formulated with sodium carbonate, which is a safe, effective, eco-friendly water softener.

In summary, Lulu’s Glamour Wash is a simple, lightly scented detergent that is effective for cloth diaper washing and won’t aggravate problems with detergent residue and hard water. I especially like that only one or two teaspoons of Lulu’s is required per washload, making Lulu’s cost effective compared to RockinGreen.

Lulu’s Glamour Wash 35 cents per washload including shipping (OtterBlotters.com)

RockinGreen 46 cents per washload including shipping (GadBaby.com)

Lulu’s Regular Glamour Wash is available in your choice of 3 scintillating scents (Zippity Doo Dah, Dimpled Booty and Lavender Vanilla) or unscented (Naked Booty). Hard Water Glamour Wash is available in Naked Booty scent only.

Disclaimer: The manufacturer of Lulu’s Glamour Wash provided me with sufficient detergent to evaluate its performance. All other detergent was purchased by me for testing purposes.

When I first started sewing diapers, I balked at using a pattern. Ridiculous! Just open a disposable diaper, stretch it out, trace around it and cut the fabric out! Pattern schmattern. Ok, got my disposable diaper! We’re halfway there! Now, I just need the right fabric. How about this? (holding up bald terry cloth towel from the bathroom floor). Hmm, well, the five diapers I made with it leak and smell and must be fired in a kiln to dry. And they’re kind of crooked. And they look sort of like a bald terry cloth thong on the baby. I need better fabric, obviously. And, um, maybe I should come up with a pattern.

I was so very proud of the first diapers that actually stayed on our daughter and absorbed moisture. I showed anyone and everyone. “Look, I made them myself!” I would trill to the babysitter. “Yes, I know, ” she would agree politely, “do you think she could wear some kind of additional diaper, perhaps, over them?” Just to keep her clothes a little cleaner?”

Our baby is now three years old. She uses the potty (reasonably often) and doesn’t wear diapers anymore. The diapers I make now get used by other babies and if they leaked or smelled or looked like a bald terry cloth thong they would be returned in short order (although bald terry cloth thongs may become a popular trend among babies, not unlike Crocs).  My diapers have come a very long way. I have many, many patterns, all dated. The patterns that didn’t work comprise a two year calendar. The diaper in the picture that I will take with me to meet with a manufacturing sourcing agent this week is a just a diaper, really. But if you look very closely you will notice a bit of last winter’s sweater fuzz, a chocolate smear from a candy Easter egg, a damp spot from a wet bathing suit, some autumn leaves and the crumbs from the birthday cakes of four children.

I’m still showing anyone and everyone, I do hope they don’t mind the crumbs.

Diaper Troll does not generally relish shopping at DisMal-Mart, although it’s certainly dank and depressing enough and features a Troll-enticing ready-made hoard of glittery rubbish.

Nevertheless it is almost impossible to deny the urge to buy 35 watt lightbulbs, and yesterday afternoon Troll found herself turning into the nearest ApPall-Mart parking lot. Troll acknowledges many flaws in her character, but reckless driving is not one of them, and she slowed to check for non-yielding traffic at a 4-way intersection in the parking lot. Foolish Troll, to think this might be acceptable to fellow Brawl-Mart shoppers! The driver of the car in the oncoming lane was impeded in her quest to turn left!! Judging from the frantic gesticulations of the driver, Troll can only speculate what department  of Unmitigated Gall-Mart this particular shopper was headed. Labor and Delivery maybe?

At any rate it has since occurred to Diaper Troll that while surliness, hostility and impudence are generally admirable traits for Trolls, and appear to be fairly entrenched among SociopathiCal-Mart shoppers, these features have never been associated with any of her customers. Not one. Not a single person has been unpleasant, impatient, or difficult.

Why is this? Are cloth diaper proponents inherently nice people? Do they care just a little more about our fragile world and its hapless inhabitants? Troll believes so. And on this Valentine’s Day, she wants to say a heartfelt Thank You and You Are Wonderful to all the OtterMamas and Diaper Trolls out there. Thank you for being kind, thank you for cloth diapering your children, and thank you for providing inspiration and hope for a peaceful, harmonious and love-filled life.

#111, Isn’t She Lovely?

random number generator

And the winner of Diaper Troll’s First Ever Valentine Giveaway is…#111!

Now the envy of Trolls everywhere, #111 will soon turn heads with her lovely, fragrant, freshly washed, wiped, massaged and sunscreened baby! Yes, there is nothing like winning a wipes bag full of scrumptious Sweetsation Therapy organic bath and body products, LuSa organic goatsmilk soap and scrubby soft Valentine Rainbow Wipes to put a spring in #111’s step and a smile on her face!

Congratulations, #111!!!

What’s that? You’d like to know the living, breathing person representing #111? Always a stickler for details, aren’t you?

Oh, very well. The luckiest She-Troll in the Land is none other than the lovely and talented @amongthemess Miss Amanda C. !!! Amanda, with 3 Wee-Trolls at home, will certainly be able to find a use for Rainbow Wipes. Congratulations, Amanda!! Please send a rapturously giddy email to Diaper Troll (aka debbyreed@gmail.com) with your shipping information asap!

Now, Diaper Troll, while being positively THRILLED to be able to send Amanda her package of niceness just in time for Valentine’s Day, is nonetheless pained by the idea that some truly dedicated Trolls, who faithfully and cheerfully and tirelessly tweeted and fanned and subscribed and followed all the rules and probably would have come and babysat our pet Gorgon if it had meant an extra entry or two, somehow DID NOT WIN. Truly a travesty of Troll justice. So, in an effort to right this effrontery, Diaper Troll will also be sending some Extra Otter Love to Jessica A. and Cari C., both Exemplary First Rate She-Trolls.

Troll Kisses, Otter Hugs and Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone : )

Whoever said warts weren’t romantic? Diaper Troll is nothing if not romantic. There wouldn’t be four Troll offspring if she weren’t a sucker for amoré. And so to celebrate the holiday which (let’s face it) frequently results in the need for diapers, she is spreading some Otter Love by announcing the First Ever Otter Babies Valentine Giveaway!

What every She-Troll needs:

  • A Booroi wipes bag filled with:
  • Valentine Rainbow Wipes in crimson and chocolate bamboo velour and natural organic cotton sherpa
  • LuSa organic goat’s milk soap
  • Scrumptious organic bath and body treats from Sweetsation Therapy that nourish your body and soul and are safe for mom and baby (and cloth diapers)!

How to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Sign up for the free Otter Babies Newsletter (your email will be fiercely guarded by a horde of Diaper Troll’s hairy, warty, menacing friends)

Additional Entries
❤ Become a fan of Otter Babies on Facebook then leave a comment on the Otter Babies Facebook fan page (1 entry)
❤ Get a friend to sign up for the Otter Babies newsletter (mention your friend’s first name and last initial in a FB comment and and if they subscribe you’ll each get an extra entry).
❤ Follow @otterbabies on Twitter then leave a comment telling me you are following. (1 entry)
❤ Follow @arganialabs on Twitter then reply @otterbabies telling me you are following. (1 entry)
❤ Subscribe to AnOtter Thing via email (1entry)
❤ Tweet about this giveaway! (Limited to 2 tweets per day). Make sure you put @otterbabies and the url to the giveaway in each tweet! (1 entry per tweet)
❤ Blog about this giveaway then leave  a comment here with the link to your blog. (2 entries)
❤ If you’d like to add a button to your blog that links to my site (1 entry), here’s the code <a href=”http://www.otterblotters.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv305/debbyreed/th_ob125x125.gif&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”jpg file”></a> Thanks, Cari, for helping with code for the button!
Drawing will be midnight on February 10th! Don’t forget to rub your lucky wart!!

P.S. This is not really relevant to anything but I have to share that every time a comment needs to be approved, the title of this post gets shortened to: “Otter Love is in the Air (Smells like Troll S—  which makes me giggle. So I am enjoying approving everyone’s comments : )