Talk to me about vinegar. — The Bump
Cloth Diapering

Talk to me about vinegar.

So, will vinegar help w/ a mild case of the funk?  I think thats what we have.  We also have toddler pee.  We started noticing that after drying the MF inserts, more often than not there would be a pee smell left over in the dryer.  I've changed up my routine a couple months ago and added a hot pre-rinse (we never needed a pre-rinse before).  After that I've continued hot wash w/ Tide to just under the 1st to the 2nd line depending on load size, followed by cold rinse, cold rinse.   This has mostly gotten rid of the phantom pee smell in the dryer, but its still not a pleasant smell in there.  Would vinegar help that? And if I wanted to try vinegar, at what point would I put it in the wash? Can I put it on with soap? If I put it in with the last rinse, do I need yet another rinse to get all the vinegar out?  Or, if you have any other suggestions I'd lover to hear them. 

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Re: Talk to me about vinegar.

  • I do vinegar in my pre-rinse. I just add it in the same cup they have for detergent to the 1 line or a little above. I have a TL so I add it as the water is filling up before I add the diapers.
  • I think vinegar's usefulness depends on whether you have hard or soft water. Also, I'd correct your wash routine rather than trying something you don't know if it will work.
    A. You ALWAYS need a pre rinse. That's what gets the pee and poo out so you aren't washing in dirty water.
    B. is that too much detergent? I use to the 1 line for 25 diapers. You might have buildup which is causing the smell.
    C. If the dryer smells like pee, you might need to clean your dryer.
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  • We noticed the smell before I added the pre-rinse.  The smell was actually what made me add it.  As for detergent amounts, I used to add only 1 TBSN and my diapers werent really getting clean.  They REALLY smelled like pee and poop still.  I've slowly increased the amount and have been here for awhile so I'm leaning towards not detergent related.  And the dryer only smells when we do diapers.  When I dry regular laundry there is no smell. And its not masked as we only use unscented dryer sheets. 

    Every time I've tried stripping I've never seen or noticed a huge difference in my inserts.  I've tried once with RLR and several times with plain hot water rinses.  Never any bubbles. 
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  • I would also bleach and maybe start at the one line with your tide.

    Watch your last rinse and check for soap bubbles. I personally think warm rinses work better, but I have heard cold is better, so who knows.

    I had to decrease my detergent because it was building up and causing stink issues. I now use half a tablespoon of tide for about 15 to 20 diapers.
    Chad and Fawn

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  • Yeah, you have been washing your diapers in pee/poop water. So they probably haven't been getting clean. Ever. Combine that with your 1 tbsp detergent... I would do a really deep clean, probably even bleach at this point, then start with a more reasonable amount of detergent. How often are you washing? Under the 1 line up to the 2 line is a huge difference, and a lot of detergent, your load size can't vary that much. Pick a starting point and use the same amount every time and go from there. It's hard to say where to start tho bc people all find different amounts work for them. And don't use vinegar unless you low what the issue is, as it can cause more problems
    But then why did the smell *just* start two months ago after a year and a half?  I don't disbelieve you, and will try your suggestions...I'm just baffled as to how this just came up so suddenly.  what kind of problems does vinegar cause? (curious)

    Also, kind of a tangent...After almost two years of ownership, I discovered last week that my washing machine has what appears to be its own lint trap.  *shudder*
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  • LaBellaVidaLaBellaVida
    5000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    edited October 2013
    I had some issues with a funk smell after I would cold rinse/hot wash/cold rinse routine. Plus I had some staining on certain diapers (BG freetimes to be exact) so I did a cold rinse (it's more like a cold wash w/out detergent) then a hot wash w/ tide detergent, and while my washer was agitating I would add my 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar along with a 1/4 cup of baking soda (depends on the load size really...I had a days worth of dipes for my 4 month old, about 8-12.) I then followed up with another cold rinse. It took the smell out, and the stains. 
    I hardly ever put my dipes in the dryer though- unless it's an overcast day and I am running low- then I dry on low heat. Almost always I hang my dipes to dry. 

    ETA: Try hanging your diapers to cure the smell in the dryer. How often do you wash? If you wash 2 or 3 days worth, maybe wash EOD. Also seems like you might have build up in your diapers. Seems like you might be using too much laundry soap. Instead of hot a cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse. I sometimes even do an extra rinse after the rinse, just to be sure all the suds are out- even if I don't see suds. I always always smell my diapers before I am ready to dry- I smell for funk and laundry soap. If I smell soap- that's when I do an extra rinse. If the funk is bad- I do another wash. Maybe strip strip strip those diapers.  

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