Friday, September 16, 2011

Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent: Review and Giveaway! (Closed)

Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent: It's not just for cloth diapers!!

There. Did that get your attention?

See, here's the thing. If you currently cloth diaper, you've almost certainly at least heard of Rockin' Green. And there's a good chance you've used it or it's even your regular diaper detergent. But if you don't, it's likely you aren't familiar with this rockin' brand, since it is marketed so heavily based on its ability to clean and de-funk little ones' skivvies. So let me share a secret with y'all: not only is RnG a great cloth diaper laundry detergent, but it does a darn good job at other types of cleaning as well! I'm hoping to demonstrate this to you in my review, by sharing my experiences and tips for both cloth diaper laundry and general cleaning.

But first things first - a few key facts about Rockin' Green:
  • The company was founded in 2009 by Kim Webb, an avid cloth diapering "mompreneur"!
  • Their main product line is their laundry detergent, however they also offer dryer balls, diaper sprayers, pail fresheners and "Funk Rock", an ammonia bouncer.
  • Their laundry detergents are made of safe, eco-friendly, phosphate-free ingredients.
  • Detergents come in three formulas depending on water type - Soft Rock, Classic Rock and Hard Rock. RnG has a helpful page on their website dedicated to determining which formula is right for you.
  • Seven unique and tantalizing scents are available. Scents are derived from natural oils and have groovy names such as Smashing Watermelons and Lavender Mint Revival. They also offer a scent-free option called Bare Naked Babies, because babies smell so good on their own, darn it! :) Their list of scent offerings changes periodically.
  • The company offers Rockin' Rewards for buying products on their website. Reward points can be redeemed for detergent and other products.
It is also worth mentioning that Rockin' Green's customer service is top-notch, and that they continuously strive to improve their products. For example, a few months back they announced that they had remixed all of their formulas to have better cleaning power but also be gentler for longevity and safer for sensitive skin.

I have had the opportunity to try a few Rockin' Green eco-friendly cleaning products: their old formula, remixed formula and Funk Rock. I've sampled several scents and I've stuck to Classic Rock as our water is moderately hard. For the purposes of this review, Rockin' Green was kind enough to send me three different samples of their remixed formula, in Rage Against the Raspberry, Earth Wind & Orchids and Lavender Mint Revival.

First of all, let me just say that all of these scents are wonderful! If I had to pick a favourite from these, it would probably be Lavender Mint Revival. It just smells so crisp and fresh!

So here are some ways we've used these products, and our resulting experiences.

Cloth Diapers

We've been using Classic Rock (in the older formula) to wash our cloth diapers for about four months now. We have a front loader and the following washing steps are working quite well for us:
  1. Cold/cold light wash cycle with no detergent
  2. Hot/cold normal cycle (extra rinse turned on) with about 1 tbsp of RnG
  3. Additional warm/cold light wash cycle
Our diapers come out very soft (especially the prefolds) and pretty much neutral-smelling. And S's bum has been (for the most part) rash-free, so we haven't noticed any sensitivity issues. Finally, those natural scents which smell so great in powder form truly do vanish down the drain along with the suds, so there is no concern about fragrances kicking around in her clean diapers.

We do, however, contend with chronic stinky diaper bag issues. S's daytime dipes aren't too bad at all, but her night time dipes often come off smelling ammonia-riffic. And then they all sit together in the diaper bag, creating an increasingly pungent smell over the 3-4 days that transpire until the next laundry cycle. I suspect this may happen because our front loader simply can't do as good of a job as a top loader at getting our dipes completely clean and residue-free, even with that additional rinse cycle.

This is where "Rocking a Soak" becomes helpful! This process (coined by the company) involves soaking diapers in hot water and a generous helping of RnG laundry detergent. The recommendation is 3 tbsp detergent and a 30-60 minute soak, however the amount can be adjusted to accommodate a smaller or larger load, and the time can be lengthened (even as long as overnight) for really stinky dipes. The general rule of thumb, though, is to reserve the really long soaks for synthetic material such as microfiber (which is what tends to get the stinkiest over time!)

From my experience, rocking a soak has resulted in SUPER clean, soft and absolutely neutral-smelling prefolds, however I haven't been able to get my microfiber inserts completely ammonia-free - even after a full night of soaking. Less smelly, to be sure - but not 100% stink-free. I'd find that they smelled neutral when they came out of the laundry so I'd get all hopeful, but then that all too familiar ammonia smell would be back after 11-12 hours of overnight pee-age. I tried Funk Rock as well, and while this did seem to help further, it still didn't completely eliminate the ammonia. I'm not sure why as I've read other reviews raving about how rocking a soak and/or using Funk Rock completely eradicated any ammonia issues. I guess that since so many factors are involved (water type, top vs. front load washer, days between laundry cycles, age and other characteristics of child, etc.) this is just a hard one to pin down.

On a related note, it's a little more complicated and time consuming to rock a soak or perform a Funk Rock treatment using a front loader. With a top loader, you can soak your dipes right in the machine and then simply run your first cycle. With a front loader, diapers need to be soaked separately, rinsed and then moved to the washer at which point you follow your regular wash routine (like the one I outlined above.) Our laundry tub comes in handy for this as it's right beside the wash machine.

Before rocking a soak, I also generally run a cold/cold wash cycle with no detergent on the dipes to remove the surface nasties. This way, you don't end up with a tub full of yellow pee water.

All in all, we're quite happy with Rockin' Green's ability to clean our cloth diapers, using a combination of regular laundering and soak rockin'. It does take some time and dedication to keep the nasties at bay, but such is the nature of the beast; I mean c'mon - you're cleaning cloth that gets peed and pooed on all day. There is no instant, magical solution to this! :) If you're lucky, you may find that Rockin' Green is literally ALL you need to keep your diapers in tip-top form, as many others out there have found. However if you're like me and still wrestle with a bit of pesky ammonia, you may need to look at supplementing with an alternative approach. I think as a next step I'll take a page from Grandma's book and fire those stubborn microfiber inserts into some boiling water and vinegar; let's hope that does the trick!

As for the old formula vs. the remixed formula? Aside from the new scent (Earth, Wind and Orchids) I haven't noticed an immediate difference between the two formulas. That said, S's skin isn't sensitive to the old formula so this wasn't an issue for us anyway, and one of the noted benefits of the new formula (gentler for longevity) can only be appreciated in the long run. Regarding the improved cleaning power - well, I'll have to take the company's word for it that there's a difference here. :) 

General Cleaning

I've been especially pleased by how well Rockin' Green works to clean our regular laundry and other items. I've used RnG to launder all of our clothing a few times now, with both the older formula and the new "remixed" formula. In some cases I machine dried and in others I hung to dry. In all of these cases, our clean & dry clothing was soft and neutral-smelling.

I also conducted two "Rocking a Soak" de-funk experiments. First, I soaked some stanky dish cloths and towels. (As a side note, as much as I heart my kitchen wetbag, I suspect it may promote funk as the wet, dirty cloths sit in there for days at a time. I've started leaving the bag open a tad and ensuring I wring things out really well prior to storage.) The result? Everything came out *almost* neutral smelling! There was just a slight hint of....something still in the funkiest wash cloths. So perhaps I'll soak 'em again before the next laundry cycle. But all in all, I'm impressed!

Second, I soaked our shaggy bath mat. Now, I'll admit something here. I hadn't washed our mat in a looong time. How long, you ask? Well, perhaps this image will give you some idea:

I'm not sure if I was more disgusted or impressed when I discovered this. Especially since it followed an (obviously ineffective) attempt to clean the mat using an eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner and scrub brush earlier the same day. Gross! That said, following a good rinse, the rug smelled pretty good and I actually felt OK about putting it back out once it had finished drying.

Now I'm all eager to soak other things too! The front hallway mat comes to mind (though I'm a bit frightened to envision what'll come out of that!), perhaps S's bucket seat cover and I'm sure I'll think of many more.

Buy It:

So do you want to have fun soaking icky things too? :) Head on over to Rockin' Green and browse their laundry soaps and other great eco-friendly products! You can buy directly from their site or find a retailer online or in your area!

Win It:

One lucky Manager to Mom reader will receive a 45/90 load bag of Rockin' Green (Remix) laundry detergent! Winner chooses formula (Soft Rock, Classic Rock or Hard Rock) and scent. Open to Canada and the United States.

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Comments do not count as entries, however feel free to add a comment to remind yourself that you entered!

Disclosure:  The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Rockin' Green.  I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the product samples free of charge.  This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.


  1. If I won I would choose hard rock, bare naked babies scent.

  2. I have heard that it works well for cleaning grout so that is one thing I would like to try in our shower. We currently use it for diapers only.

  3. I would like the Classic in Rage Against the Raspberries. ngiraldi at gmail dot com