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Do you need vinegar in your cloth diaper wash?

Posted by Bryana on 4/27/2007 to Washing Cloth Diapers

We've talked about why using baking soda in your cloth diaper wash can be beneficial and now we are going to tackle the question about distilled white vinegar. Please note, I did NOT say apple cider vinegar ... which is not to be used unless you want your diapers to become discolored or dingy.

Vinegar is an acid and neutralizes alkaline substances, making it an effective ingredient in your cloth diaper laundry. Vinegar inactivates any soap or detergent residue left over in your diaper wash. It is also a benefit to those in hard water areas as it can eat away at calcium, lime and other alkaline deposits on your cloth diaper fibers.

Vinegar is safe enough to use against a baby's skin, but tough enough to cut through bacteria - and even grease and oils. Hopefully there isn't any grease or oil in your cloth diaper laundry, but there is plenty of odor! Vinegar deodorizes as it destroys odor producing bacteria.

So, let's recap what vinegar can do for your cloth diaper wash.

Vinegar ...

  • acts as an acid, neutralizing any alkaline substances
  • it equalizes pH balance
  • neutralizes any bleach or chlorine you might have used to whiten your diapers
  • deodorizes and kills odor causing bacteria
  • dissolves mineral deposits in hard water areas
  • deters stains setting in
  • serves as a natural fabaric softener and reduces static cling

An environmentally friendly alternative to so many other expensive, highly marketed products, vinegar is the earth-friendly, frugal family's choice for the cloth diaper wash.