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Neighbor concerned about bacteria in the shared washer. What do I do? - Page 3

post #41 of 75
i worked at a daycare, and the "official" sanitizing sloution was 1 TBSP of bleach in 1 QT of water. if its good enough to disinfect changing tables, clean the bathrooms, toy, tables, even the kitchen in a commercial situation like that, it will be gould enough to spray out the inside of a washer if shes so worried about it. i would offer to make up a spray bottle and keep that in the laundry room

i woukd think the hot water would be fine, but some people are anal- i live in army housing, and our building of 18 apts has 2 laundry rooms with 5 washers and dryers each for every one to share. i've had to likten to people at work (who think cd'ing is so nasty, and im crazy for wanting to do it when i have kids- if theyre kids had poop accidents while potty training they threw the undies away) complain about having to share washers with people who have dogs, lol

good luck
post #42 of 75
you could also try GSE
post #43 of 75
I am a germ/ bacteria freak and I use a shared washer w/ 6 other Apts and I just put some grapefruit seed extract in all loads ( it has great antibacterial and antivirus proprties ) GSE is also non toxic and is safe on all fabric even diapers.

I would tell you nieghbor if she is concerned she can her laudry w/ that in it to kill of any bacteria.!!

Good luck
post #44 of 75
The way I see it, the other washing machine users are probably posing more of a threat to your baby's bottom than your baby's bottom is posing to them. I'm sensitive to fragrances and a whole bunch of chemicals and I can't use public washers because too much of other people's smelly detergents get on my clothes and I end up itching like crazy. I live in a small apartment, so I use a twin tub washer that fits in my bathroom and hooks up to the tap. It's a little work, but I can wash all the diapers I want without dealing with the neighbors' washing habits or paranoia.
post #45 of 75
after you are finished using the washer and dryer, why can't you run a hot water/bleach cycle to clear it out? You said it's unfair for her to do that...so why don't you?
post #46 of 75
I said this before, I think, but what about Lysol? Could you buy communal cans of Lysol to spray the machine or Lysol/Clorox wipes to wipe the drum afterward? I think she is being paranoid and not thinking about the grossness inherant in sharing laundry facilities, cloth diapers aside. But if you have to live with her, I think the best possible solution is letting her know you will be disinfecting the machine AFTER you use it, thus killing any residual germs, but that way you are not putting your dipes (and your baby) at risk using clorox in your wash.
post #47 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by achintyasamma View Post
She wants everything hyper-sanitary.

Is she harrassing the other neighbors too? Because, you know, god forbid, the bachelor in 2A might have skid marks in his undies.

I'm sorry your neighbor is such a pain. I think she just needs to break in her mama-ness and get used to the fact that parenting is messy and that she can't control the world around her. Antibacterial everything is not healthy. Maybe she should think of it as developing her baby's immune system.
post #48 of 75
I don't know... I don't think she's being too ridiculous given that bacteria do live on in washing machines after use. (Who knew? I did not know until this thread.) Except she should be worried about *everyone*, including herself, not only about the CD's.

Here are a few links I found...
http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf264233.tip.html

Lots of ideas like there, but one link to this article at CNN...
http://archives.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/...nfectants.enn/

So vinegar/borax are only about 90% effective on bacteria, which probably would not be good enough for this neighbor and her doctor (since she has involved a doctor).

Some info about oxygen bleach alternatives...
http://www.laundry-alternative.com/O..._research.html
I am not sure if that is helpful or not, just putting it there for consideration!

Also I wonder if most basic hot water cycles are hot enough to kill bacteria. My very new washer has a "sterilize" cycle which is hot(ter)... I think it is supposed to be above 150 degrees Farenheit, but I have been searching and searching online and cannot find verification of the temperature of the sterilize cycle vs. the normal *hot* cycle of a washer. I can't even find verification of *what* temperature is required to kill bacteria. I dunno if I'm having a bad case of pregnant brain or what! But I'm guessing that the water in most standard washers doesn't get hot enough to be considered sterilizing. :

Obviously you can't use the hottest setting for *all* your clothes anyways. But then, neither can she!

Now that I've totally changed my perspective of using public landromats.... :
post #49 of 75

A Minority Viewpoint

I don't think your neighbor is at all unreasonable, sorry.

I live in a 3-family house. Myself, and the AP mom upstairs, have talked about how we'd love to CD but that it is just too inconsiderate with a shared washer. We have another neighbor upstairs, and don't think it would be the right thing to do.

When a family has their own washer, it's entirely up to them what they put in it. However, when washers are shared, it is everyone's responsibility to make sure that nobody is uncomforable with what's going in.

The decision as to whether a shared washer should be used for cloth diapers is one that should be made by everyone who uses the washer. It doesn't sound as though your neighbor would agree with this washer being used on diapers. Sure, public laundromats have who-knows-what in their washers, but in the interests of communal harmony, try not to alienate your neighbors.

Also, I would certainly hope that anyone whose child has a "blow-out" is pre-washing that clothing (I have a plastic basin I use for things like that) and not just tossing poop in the washer. That's... kind of awful.
post #50 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
I don't think your neighbor is at all unreasonable, sorry.

I live in a 3-family house. Myself, and the AP mom upstairs, have talked about how we'd love to CD but that it is just too inconsiderate with a shared washer. We have another neighbor upstairs, and don't think it would be the right thing to do.

When a family has their own washer, it's entirely up to them what they put in it. However, when washers are shared, it is everyone's responsibility to make sure that nobody is uncomforable with what's going in.

The decision as to whether a shared washer should be used for cloth diapers is one that should be made by everyone who uses the washer. It doesn't sound as though your neighbor would agree with this washer being used on diapers. Sure, public laundromats have who-knows-what in their washers, but in the interests of communal harmony, try not to alienate your neighbors.

Also, I would certainly hope that anyone whose child has a "blow-out" is pre-washing that clothing (I have a plastic basin I use for things like that) and not just tossing poop in the washer. That's... kind of awful.
We DO pre-wash our poop diapers in cold water with nothing added before putting them in the machine. I don't think she's unreasonable either, but we're coming at this from very different perspectives. She is doing the best for her family according to her way of seeing things. We are doing the same and I'm not going to use bleach in the dipes or switch to disposables because she's uncomfortable, but I am really trying to figure out a solution. We don't use any chemical products whatsoever (except for bike repair things like WD-40 and bike oil). I'm not comfortable with the environmental impact of running an empty load or of using disposables or bleach. I'm going to try discussing some of the solutions people have suggested, and in the end, I may end up trucking to the laundromat twice a week to preserve neighborly harmony. These people are in campus housing temporarily while they search for a home to buy, so it may not be forever.

Those who suggested GSE, how much do you use in your laundry? Do you have any info on its effectiveness?
post #51 of 75
Perhaps one of those teeny apartment sized washers would work. They are inexpensive, use very little water and energy -- perfect for small loads like diapers. You can find many brand name apartment size washers for around $200.

If your really eco concious, try this: Wonder Washer - http://www.laundry-alternative.com/Washing-Product.htm

Doing nothing isn't a good option -- my last apartment had this issue go to the property manager -- he fixed it quickly with a simple sign "NO DIAPER WASHING".
post #52 of 75
ok, i'm annoyed for you right now. you say you live in facutly housing so i'm curious where that is, and i'm curious WHO her ped and ob are. mostly because if i know either of them i'm tempted to call them and talk to them about their stand on this.


my DH and i lived in family housing at U of De. it was before our DD was born, but we shared washers and dryers with a number of other individuals/ families and we had NO clue what was going into those machines. and they didn't know what we were washing either.

i would be more annoyed to do a load and have bleach residual bleach my clothes than i would be washing a load AFTER diapers. if i were in your shoes, i'd tell her that since SHE is the one with the issue SHE needs to use the bleach. mostly because she has NO clue what is being washed before her loads. YOU might have washed your clothes last, your neighbor might have washed their lab coats or their scrubs from the hospital, OR you might have washed your diapers. SHE JUST DOESN"T KNOW. so, she needs to be the one being proactive if she is worried about her clothes.

i'm not sure how you are keeping your cool. i know i would be irritated beyond belief if i had to deal with a neighbor like that. i am so sorry that you are going through this. and i really am interested in who her health care professionals are. and where you guys are living. PM if you are comfortable with that.
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by acro_emmy View Post
Perhaps one of those teeny apartment sized washers would work. They are inexpensive, use very little water and energy -- perfect for small loads like diapers. You can find many brand name apartment size washers for around $200.

If your really eco concious, try this: Wonder Washer - http://www.laundry-alternative.com/Washing-Product.htm

Doing nothing isn't a good option -- my last apartment had this issue go to the property manager -- he fixed it quickly with a simple sign "NO DIAPER WASHING".
My friend lives in campus housing and has one of the small washers mentioned in pp. She uses it for all of her laundry and loves it. She's currently TTC, and is planning to wash her dipes in there.
post #54 of 75
Quote:
If your really eco concious, try this: Wonder Washer - http://www.laundry-alternative.com/Washing-Product.htm
That looks super nifty. It seems though that you are expected to hand wring the water out? Not sure how much fun that would be with how thick diapers are and how often you'd have to do a load in that size of machine.
post #55 of 75
Why don't you just not and say you did?

post #56 of 75
I am in the minority here too. I would not be comfortable with sharing a washer with someone who put CDs in it and did not use something to kill the bacteria. The hot water in most washers is not hot enough to kill anything - that is why I wash in cold. I also feel the same way about underwear since it also can contain fecal matter. I have gone green in all my household cleaners and such but I still make everyone in the family wear white underwear and I do one load with bleach a week. Never going to give that up.

I would suggest that you go to a public laundry mat and keep peace with your neighbor.
post #57 of 75
While I think the other family is being a little nuts about the germs thing, I realize that many people have different standards about germs than I do.

I think if I were in this position, I would do one or more of the following:

1) Buy my own washing machine
2) See if the company providing the washing machines would be willing to install one with an internal heater and sanitizing cycle.
3) See if the company providing the washing machines would be willing to install a pre-heater to boost the hot water temperature entering the machine above 160 degrees. I might propose splitting the cost of this improvement with the other family.
4) Seek clarification from the landlord about the policies.
5) Determine whether laundry reaches 160 degrees when dried on hot in the dryers, and point out that this temperature will kill any e coli bacteria.
post #58 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by talk de jour View Post
Why don't you just not and say you did?

Exactly! Is she going to stand behind you and watch you every time?? If thats the case then file harrassment charges since thats what that is...
post #59 of 75
If this were a free washer I might have a different perspective but since it is a pay washer it is just like a laundromat. If you go to the laundromat you have no idea who is doing what. We had a neighbor who was a mechanic. He washed his oil covered clothes in our washer. I did asked him to put a bit more degreaser in his loads so the residue didn't get on our clothes and that was that. Asking someone to soak their diapers overnight in bleach is ridiculous. I am sure she will get the laundry person to ban the washing of cloth diapers.


Edited to add: I asked my mom for advice. She is the director of a HUGE commercial hospital laundry. It handles disabled and mentally challenge patients so she defenitly knows about poop. She also cloth diapered all of us back in the olden days with gerber prefolds.

Basically she told me that her washers run their water at 120 degrees and that she NEVER used bleach with bodily fluids unless blood is involved and in that case they have special agents for that. She mentioned that her laundry does use special soap comprable to chlorax for colors but in ultra small quantities to preserve the life of the cloth. ( she even said that the bleach content of it was insignificant) She said that soaking your diapers in bleach is ridiculous as it is the agitation and the actual soap that kill viruses and bacteria. The studies people point to about residual bacteria do not take into account the fact that the person washing after you ALSO uses soap. She thinks the woman is being completely unreasonable and that you might suggest that if she is concerned with her own clothing to add a little biz or chlorox 2 to her own wash water so that she can be assured that regardless of who is using the machine her clothes are hypersanitized. She was sure that wiping down the washer with bleach afterwards was overkill and if you were concerned at all you could do as I recomended and add 1T bleach to your rinse water.

She did stress that you should prerinse your diapers ( without soap) to loosen anything and assure that the soap penetrates your diapers but thats just common sence.

I doubt any of this would convince your neighbor. I think you could easily solve the problem by not being confrontational and let her know that you understand her concerns and that you will add a small amount of bleach to your rince water ( whether you do or not) and wipe out the barrel when you are done. If there is more than washer let her know that you will only use one of them to do your laundry so she can avoid it entirely or that you will do a batch of your own clothes following the diapers to ensure that she doesn't have to deal with it. I would also talk to the person in charge of the laundromat and get that approved. Don't tell them what soap you use and don't go into environmental details as I think it will just stir up a mares nest. I hope you can figure things out.
post #60 of 75
I use a community washer and am a CDer as well. I can understand your neighbor's concern because I get the willies thinking about someone else's butt-crack residue getting on the towles I use to dry my face...but at the same time it IS a community machine and that's the risk we take. I have the same concerns about people using liquid fabric softener in the machines too, but that's my problem and I can't expect them to stop using softener (unless I convince them that vinegar works just as well ) because it may ruin my diapers. Before I wash my clothes I give the washer a quick wipe-down with a very diluted bleach/water solution, and just out of courtesy I do it after, too.

I would just let her know that you are wiping down the machine aferwards with sanitizer, and if that's not enough, oh well. If she's that much of a germaphobe then I am shocked that she would even use a community washer, and there really isn't anything you can do to please her. You shouldn't have to make a trip to a public laundry or switch over to disposables because of someone else's hang-ups, as long as you are willing to meet her half-way by wiping down the machine.
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