Friday, December 7, 2007

Baking soda , vinegar and BLEACH

Here is the answer to moms that are wondering what is the purpose of baking soda and vinegar.
There are some that love to wash their cloth diapers with these and there are some that literally cursed it, and said that those 2 ingredients make their diapers smell even more.

And where do I stand? I stand in the middle. Judge your self and search online , and if you are not sure , if you can use this 2 , with your diaper, you can check with the seller or go to the product website to read about washing instruction.

From many cloth diapers site, suggesting baking soda and vinegar is the most common .
But there are some brands that does not suggest baking soda and vinegar , instead recommending BLEACH.

What ? BLEACH? And from what we know is that BLEACH is the BIG NO NO in washing CD.
Again , from the manufacturer site, the said : wash only with detergent and OCCASIONALLY ad 1/4 bleach into washing machine.
And I've personally asked to a friend and a diaper guru, she also said, occasionally adding diluted bleach into CD load is ok. We talking about PUL, or fitted and I am not sure for minkee or other materials. And I've try it my self.
Bleach will be useful if you got smelly diaper ( when baby just peed on it and the smell is very strong). This happen because of detergent residue and I think happen more often with AIO .
But it also can happen to any type of diapers.

What you can do is diluted one part of bleach to 3 parts of water and add into your washing machine. Add detergent and wash as normal.

BLEACH is a big NO , when:
You rub it directly to the diaper
Soak diaper with bleach ( this will shorten the lifespan and make the fabric weaken )

Adding a bit of Dettol to your CD load also might help.

What is my routine?
I wash with detergent that is softener free, brightener free , enzyme free. ( I cant say the brand again , can I? It will be a free advertising some might say) plus a cap full or half cap full of Dettol.
Occasionally : adding baking soda( I put this before I put detergent then I on the WM ) and I add detergent and I put vinegar in the softener compartment , specially if I found some fitted that becomes stiff after wash and used . ( vinegar is a natural fabric softener)
If I found a few particular CD that produce more smell than the other , I add diluted bleach.

This is a suggestion, and if you are not sure, ask the seller or read the washing instruction. Most brand will NOT put bleach into their washing routine. Because they are worry if you use it to SOAK the diaper or RUB in directly into the stain. That will harm the diaper.
So most brand will stay away from bleach and they will opt for saver option: baking soda and vinegar.

If you are skeptical about baking soda and vinegar, and might read some where that if we don't rinse carefully the bacteria will grow inside the diaper and cause rash. In my humble opinion, again based on my own experience and reading Cloth diaper's books , and searching over the internet: Any residue that is not rinse carefully in the diaper can cause problem. Even detergent.
So rinsing is a PART of WASHING and it shall be done properly. This is why I always over stress it to my customers who wash their CD by hand, please rinse it properly and if possible do double rinse.

So how about the baby that develop rashes when baking soda and vinegar are added?
If you use baking soda make sure you add vinegar on the rinse cycles, this is to neutralize the PH balance .

What is the purpose of baking soda in the laundering diaper?

Whiten and neutralized acidity levels in the diapers
Baking soda is a natural odor and stain fighter. It will help you to your diapers white and fresh smelling

What is the purpose of Distilled Vinegar ?
It will help to keep the colors, help to restore the pH balance in the diaper, neutralize any acid,
prevent detergent build up, helps to prevent staining, cut down on lint, and work as a fabric softener without interfering with absorption or build up.

NOTES: if you found your diaper cover smell like vinegar or your diaper start to smell like vinegar once your baby pee on it , cut down the vinegar for a while.

When I suggest something or anything in my blog or emails, I do not just simply suggest it without reading or trying it my self. I might not suggest the best way of laundering for everyone, but I try to share the MOST COMMON CD laundering tips use by many cloth diapered moms all over the world.

How about TEA TREE OIL?
I do read about it, a couple of drops ( let's say 2 drops) into full load of diapers to be wash is ok. But again it is better to check with manufacturer.

And of course the thing we all LOVE the most : SUN!
There is nothing like a freshly clean laundry , dried under the sun!

Sun light been known for ages to help disinfect our laundry. is just temporary? It will only disinfect AT THE MOMENT? and then since we live in a surrounding full of bacteria , the bacteria will come back ??
Well , unless we live in a crystal ball that has been disinfect 24/7 , all year long, then unfortunately, there area bacteria everywhere.( even in our saliva and our intestine)
But bacteria needs to live on something to help it grows. Like: a not properly cleaned diapers. (contain trace of urine or feces)
If the diapers has been washed and let's say disinfect ( with dettol or bleach or just detergent or just the SUN) it has nothing to live on inside the diapers.

If the SUN or detergent just disinfect for temporary and then the bacteria keep coming back to our diaper and clothes, uhm then what is the purpose of washing it ?
Think about our undergarment . If after we wash and we dry under sun and then the bacteria supposedly will come back , then we will wear undergarment with bacteria!

So laundering diapers, is not as complicated as you think. As long you follow the guidelines, avoid what you need to avoid, choose the correct detergent ( I am not against any of brand of detergent as long as it is save on diapers) and excepting new ideas and HAVE FUN to try it... you will find your cloth diapering experience like no other!

Well...I think this also apply to our attitude towards life isn't it?

Follow your own good guidelines
Avoid all the bad things/habit in life
Choose the correct positive attitudes
excepting a good positive new ideas
and HAVE FUN in life....

Christmas is just around the corner....for all Christians friends have a Blessed ,Peaceful and Merry Christmas!
And for non Christian , enjoy this holiday , and enjoy the Christmas sale too! What SALE?
wink wink......

And of course to everyone : May we all have a great NEW YEAR a head!

Warm Greetings from our family to yours



Peridot&Sapphire said...

I have to agree with you on the CD laundry part. I still experiment it daily even up to now... think of every possible factors that can help in the washing from dry pail vs wet pail, detergent, baking soda, washing machine, drying options... so many more. it's a learning curve and also differ from one family from another since we practise different lifestyles.
I just wish to add, from my so called "experiments", reducing in detergent or go detergent-free in alternate day will help in reducing the smell. This is ok if the mother can accept this concept. My mum don't put detergent in washin lampins everyday in old time and seems like too much detergent or unproper rinse is the culprit of the residue build-up.
Do a pre-rinse on CD with water in WM before the actual wash even you plan to collect the stash to wash after 2 days. Gather them in wet-bag to wait for the wash day.
I'm too hardworking, I prewash and rinse at night for all my dd's CD and wash again the next morning in WM with just abit of detergent. I use baking soda or vinegar biweekly.
Hope this help. (sorry it's very long)

Jess said...

I'm not sure if this works for anyone else but it surely does for me. As I wash my diapers (AIOs, pockets, lampin) everyday, all I do is give them a good soak in plain water, nothing added for about an hour before putting them into the WM and wash with the Speedy Soak function again.. again, nothing added... (sounds dirty? It works for me!). Once in a while, I will put a little nappy detergent to the wash. So far... no problem. =)

Jess said...

Perhaps, I shall just add that I use a high water level setting (i.e. a full load's water when washing half a load of diapers) and that my DS seldom poo in the CDs... so, really it's just urine most of the time...