Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vinegar and Bleach

I know I already wrote one post today but I just had to write one more :-) I wanted to share with you the best laundry secrets in the world - vinegar and bleach!

I should back up for just a moment first though. Since beginning to use cloth on D's bum, I have had to rework my laundry detergent regimen. I no longer use any big brand detergents with brighteners and softeners. I use Country Save powder or more recently, Charlie's Soap powder. These detergents are all natural, leave no residues, clean very well, have no scents, no brighteners, and no softeners. All this "naturalness" left me with very clean diapers and clothes, but they were not exceptionally soft or bright (as expected).

Enter...baking soda and vinegar. I read that if you use some baking soda in the wash cycle and some vinegar in the rinse cycle, then you would have even better smelling and softer clothes/diapers. So I tried it! I was SHOCKED at how soft my laundry was when I took it out of the dryer! The vinegar is a natural fabric softener that helps break up any remaining residues left on the clothes and also makes it so much softer. I don't use dryer sheets or anything else like that, so vinegar is my only option to soften my clothes. I read you could use between 1/2 - 1 cup in the rinse cycle. Typically I use 1/2 cup, but today I splurged and used a whole cup. Wowsa! My diapers are super soft!

Unfortunately, a couple of them still had a strange lingering smell (not a vinegar smell...that rinses away completely), so I did something many cloth diapering mamas would never do.....I did a nice long HOT wash and used a full cup on bleach! (bleach is typically a diapering "no no" but my friend contacted the people at Charlie's Soap and they recommended using 1/2- 1 cup of bleach occasionally to disinfect the diapers) I was a little nervous about using that much bleach but I really wanted to kill the smell. Well, after the nice long hot wash and several rinses to make sure any trace of bleach was out, my diapers are incredibly clean and bright (as well as super soft from the vinegar earlier in the morning). I typically use bleach on my white sheets/white towels/and white T-shirts and socks, but now I will occasionally use it on my diapers to disinfect and clean the heck out the them!

So, in conclusion, here are my great laundry suggestions:

If you want to make your clothes fresher and really soft...add a decent sprinkle of baking soda in the wash cycle and 1/2 - 1 cup white distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle. You will be amazed...especially if you use the whole cup :-)

If you want to make your clothes brighter...use a couple scoops of oxiclean in the wash cycle. I know I didn't mention this earlier, but I LOVE oxiclean. I use it on tons of laundry and it always makes my whites come out super bright...and it isn't quite as harsh as chlorine bleach.

If you want to disinfect a particular load of laundry...bring in the big boys...the chlorine bleach. Add 1/2- 1 cup of bleach to a nice long hot wash cycle and then rinse, rinse, rinse. Beware any colored fabrics that may fade or discolor though....I had one green diaper that is now slightly more "lemon lime" haha, but I don't mind because at least I know its really clean!

So, thats my two cents on laundering...

Oh!!! one more cent - if you line dry/air dry clothes out in the sunshine, they will naturally brighten and stains will vanish...especially if you saturate the stain with lemon juice before laying it out (of course then you must rewash it to get the lemon juice out...but the stain will be gone!!) I have gotten out pretty vicious poop stains out with the help of the sun's magical rays... or maybe it's just God giving it a good dose of sun bleach....either way, they come inside stain free!

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