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Vinegar and Cloth Diapers: What You Need to Know

by julie on January 31, 2012

Vinegar has some great household uses such as relieving a bee sting, getting out stains, and my personal favorite…Easter Egg Coloring!!! (See a full list HERE)
In the last post I did about My Wash Routine and What’s in Your Water? , some of you awesome readers left comments about using Vinegar in your wash routines! I had heard this before but wanted to do a little more investigating into it. Of course, me being the by-the-book, direction-following kinda gal that I am, I haven’t wanted to try it because of the following I found on the Flip Manufacturer’s website…

The majority of My Cloth Diaper Stash is Flip Hybrid Diapers. There are some great uses for vinegar in cleaning diapers. Below I listed some thoughts, pro’s, and con’s

  • Vinegar will act as a Natural Fabric Softener and Cling Reducer
  • It helps to reduce the “stank” in your diapers by neutralizing the smell of urine
  • Helps to reduce soapy or filmy build up on the diapers by breaking up the detergent
  • Has antimicrobial and antifungal properties to it
  • Vinegar helps to prevent/reduce stains
  • Cheap solution to odor problems
  • If you have hard water, the vinegar may bind with the minerals in the hard water to produce a really, really bad smell!! You may then have to strip the diapers!
  • Should not be used on diaper covers, as the vinegar may bind to the covers leaving them stinky and decreasing the usability!! (is this a word? ha ha)
  • Most manufacturer’s do not recommend using Vinegar
If I want to use vinegar, how should it be used?
  • Remember to use straight white distilled vinegar! Not red, apple cider, or balsamic vinegar! I would hate to see what happens!!
  • Use no more than 1/4 cup during the first rinse cycle of your Hot Wash to help get the left over soap or detergent out of the diapers. You may find that you need more depending on your particular situation. Do what works best for you.
  • Be sure not to use too much, especially if you live in an area with hard water! Remember the saying “too much of a good thing.”
So what do you think?

–Do you swear by using vinegar? 

–How much do you use?

–When do you add it in?


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs RKFJ February 1, 2012 at 2:46 am

I never thought about adding vinegar to my wash! I did use it to rinse my hair and that was not a pretty sight. I’m going to experiment with vinegar tomorrow when I do the wash. Thanks for the tip!


Julie February 1, 2012 at 2:57 am

Let me know how you make out with adding the vinegar!


Ellen February 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm

We’ve used vinegar in the laundry a number of times and it really does work. Much cheaper than buying traditional softeners & better for the environment.


DeDa Studios February 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I will try a little vinegar in my wash today! I would think it would also work well on bath towels.


Sarah February 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I have never put Vinegar in my wash either but my mom swears it is the best stuff for everything from cleaning house to doing laundry. Honestly, I just can’t stomach the smell. LOL



Brenda February 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm

That is really interesting. I actually had never heard of using vinegar for washing! I usually only buy it for Easter Egg Coloring!


The Teachers Wife February 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I would have never thought of vinegar for our cloth diapers but I use it in our dishwasher!


QueensNYCMom February 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

i never heard of vinegar for use in washing ur clothes. I gotta try it


Erika February 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I used to cloth diaper and I added a little vinegar to loads on occasion with no issues. I use it for regular washing laundry all the time, especially if one of my potty training little ones had an accident.


Elizabeth February 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I never new that vinegar is a natural fabric softener! Thanks for sharing. Very interesting


Brandilyn Carpenter February 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I have been CDing for over 4 yeas and have never once used vinegar…


kewkew February 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I had heard about vinegar as a fabric softener and had found a site and also a magazine article about different uses. Thanks for this post, great information.


Mama to 4 February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Hmmm, I have been cloth diapering for 4 years and have never used vinegar before. I do add a scoop of baking powder in my wash though.


LOVE MELISSA:) February 4, 2012 at 4:39 am

I never would have thought of vinegar for my cloth diapers. Thank you for this!!


Kat February 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I use vinegar and water to clean mirrors and glass surface’s. Ido not usually measure I kinda just quess. Great tip for the next baby in this family, I will keep it in mind. Thank you :)


Parsimonious Pash February 7, 2012 at 3:38 am

Thanks for the tip. I was browsing through on the Alexa Mania Hop and came across the page. We are talking about having a child so I have been looking up tips trying to decide if cloth diapers are the way to go. I shot an Alexa review your way too.


bubblezcasto May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am

interestingly enough, vinegar may have been the culprit to some of my stink issues then huh (hard water) i think i finally got them straightened out though :)


Julie May 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

It’s funny how some it works great for some and make things worse for others!


Racheal May 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I have used vinegar on my regualy laundry, but not on my cloth. I may have to try it on my made-by-me inserts. I don’t have hard water.


Twitterpated Rabbitry May 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I always add a little vinegar to CD’s that have had poopies or if they’ve sat in the wetbag for a day or two longer than normal. I use mostly fuzzibunz and lotus bumz diapers and it has worked very well for me :) – Andrea Edwards


MommyFerg02 May 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I am going to have to try this! I’ve started using vinegar for other things around the house but haven’t used it on my cloth diapers yet! (Michelle Ferguson)


stephk May 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I have been tempted to, because of stink, but have yet to try vinegar because i have slightly hard water. I’d hate to make them stink worse, thats for sure!


Julie May 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Me to, but I am also hesitant because of the hard water too!


Beth R May 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

We love vinegar! We use it for laundry and for cleaning. Not sure I would trust my cloth diapers with it though. We have hard water so I am sure it would be a good match


Maria Ivey May 10, 2012 at 3:12 am

I’ve heard of using vinegar, but we have moderately hard water so there is no way I’m trying it. It’s hard enough getting a wash routine to work with hard water in a FL.


Julie May 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

We have hard water, so I am not using it either! But I do have friends that live in town with the same type of water that swear by it!! Not for me…now at least!


Chelsea Preston May 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I use vinegar as fabric softener for my regular clothes and love it but never on my cloth diapers just don’t want to risk it


Fiddlin' Dandi May 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Yep, we have hard water and I learned the hard way that I shouldn’t use vinegar!


BabyBloomers May 12, 2012 at 12:52 am

I don’t think I would risk using Vinegar on my cloth diapers. You had some pretty valid points and better be safe than sorry. :) God bless you. Judith


Sara June 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I recently used vinegar to get out mildew from forgetting about our soaking wet dipes in the washer (dang it!). I won’t be making that mistake again soon, I hope! But everything seems AOK since then. I don’t want to make a habit of using vinegar, just in case.


Charis's Mum June 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I occasionally use vinegar, especially if I let my daughter’s diapers sit too long in the pail.


Joafairy June 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

The title had me worried. I sometimes use vinegar on my dipes, especially if they have a smell, or if baby has a rash, just to eliminate the possibility of yeast settling in if that’s what turns out to be causing the rash. I didn’t really want to hear how it would ruin my dipes or something. I’m already using my home-made detergent sometimes, and we all know what they say about that!


Ashley Suzanne June 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I never even thought about using vinegar.


Rachel & Jamon Clark June 8, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I have used vinegar before, and I think it works really well. I do however do a couple of extra rinses after just in case because I would hate to have vinegar left on the diapers and then stick it on my babies bum.


Bekah Kuczenski June 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Ive never heard of this before but I hate the smell of vinegar so I don’t want vinegar anywhere near my diapers lol


Stacey T June 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I’ve heard of this but don’t know what kind of water I have and don’t know how to find out without trying and potentially making the slight smell I have much worse. Is there a way to find out what kind of water you have?


Brittany Chelette June 22, 2012 at 3:35 am

I would have never thought of adding vinegar to my wash! What a neat idea and review!


Amy V June 24, 2012 at 2:35 am

i never heard of this before so thanks for the info! we do have hard water but we have a water softener.


Naomi H April 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I use vinegar in every load- no problem after 8 months. I have hard water, but use Calgon to soften the water. My other boy wet the bed and the vinegar neutralized it- so Ive been adding to my wash for years.


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