Sunday, September 4, 2011
Hard Water Woes UPDATE
Thank you to everyone who gave helpful tips about hard water/HE washers! There's two pieces of advice which have been especially helpful and have seemingly worked out the problem! A few days ago Beginner's Cloth Diaper Circle posted on their Facebook page, "Wanted to address the Ammonia issue right here and now. First way to solve ammonia is to rinse the diaper immediately after changing. Take the diaper under the bathtub faucet and rinse with cold water really well. Ring it out and store in the diaper bag. I find myself typing this at least once a day. The presence of ammonia in diapers is due to a lack of water in the wash." I know that I have a lack of water in the wash with a High Efficiency washer so I've started rinsing the diapers and it really seems to be helping! It's a small extra step in the scheme of things and helps tremendously with the smell.
The second great piece of advice I was given is from Lisa at Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways. She commented the following and it WORKS! Maybe it's the vinegar/extra rinsing? Who knows but her advice was great! A cloth diaper washing lifesaver!
"Amber, I recommend adding another preliminary RINSE cycle before you add a second FULL cycle. Here's what works for us (took a long time to figure it out!)
1) Cold rinse & spin (rinses away lingering urine & solids since they get DRAINED with the spin-otherwise they hang around and re-deposit during the wash cycle). "Water Plus" is turned on.
2) Warm rinse, no spin (I actually also add 1/4 cup vinegar into this cycle and pause it in the middle of the agitating for a soak. This is the ONLY thing that has kept the ammonia smell at bay for us. But regardless what you decide about the vinegar, do the extra rinse/no spin. It leaves CLEAN water in to make the load heavier). "Water Plus" is turned on.
3) Hot/cold wash cycle (cotton/towels) with "Water Plus" and 1 heaping tsp detergent (Country Save for us). I'll often add extra hot water in through the detergent drawer during this wash/rinse cycle (if I'm around).
4) I run a full Warm/Warm Delicate cycle as the final rinse (34 minutes for us). I use "Water Plus" and often dump in more water.
This FINALLY has gotten me to a point I'm happy with. For us, the vinegar was the one critical ingredient. Good luck! :)"
I printed this out and put it right on my washer. I follow it step by step. I don't do this EVERY time I wash. So far every other time has been helping enough. It IS helping though! The smell is greatly diminished and I know the diapers are getting really clean!
So thanks again ladies and everyone else who commented on the blog/on my FB page!