If you use only vinegar to wash clothes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-02-2006, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how much do you use per load? I used to only use about a third of a cup and it was fine, but since having a baby, I find with all the cloth wipes, etc, my stuff comes out smelling weird if I only use that much. I tried it with about 2 cups and everything came out great, but it seems a bit much, and pricey too. So what is the perfect amount for you?
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#2 of 9 Old 12-02-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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Vinegar isn't enough to remove all soils from clothing (it's not an alkali to form a soap with oils). I recommend using baking soda to wash your clothes and vinegar to rinse or use as fabric softener if needed.
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#3 of 9 Old 12-02-2006, 10:41 PM
 
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spastica, i'm sure you must have posted this about a million times already, but could you stand possibly one more time giving the quantities of baking soda and vinegar?!?! :
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#4 of 9 Old 12-03-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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No problem at all, but it really depends on how hard your water is. I'm sure one of the other forum experts can vouch for vinegar (since I don't use any in my wash). Some people just put a Downy Ball full of white vinegar in it and let that do it's thang as a final rinse to the laundry (as softener).

As for baking soda, for a full load in a top loading washer, here's what I do (these are approximate measures, I kind of eyeball it, it's not really a science, it's just what works for me in Atlanta's hard water). Note also that I use mostly cold water, and on a few occasions, warm. I only use hot for stuff that has dog poo on it or I am totally grossed out and want extra bacteria killing action (my dog is a sickly one, sorry):

If using detergent (I use Arm & Hammer perfume/dye free):
Depending on amount of soiling:

- Really soiled (dog messes, etc): Warm to Hot water; full cap of detergent, 1/4 cup baking soda

- Semi-soiled (spilled food, that time of month, sheets that guests have used etc): Cold water for most, perhaps warm water for guest sheets; 1/2 capful of detergent, heaping 1/2 cup of baking soda

- Not soiled much at all, just normal wear and toss (includes sheets that I've slept in): Cold water; heaping cupful to 1 and 1/4 cup of baking soda only.

For things needing some major stain help (grease, clothes that I spilled large amounts of food [dropped a lot of sauce with turmeric in it on the way to a picnic] dog vomit, towels that I had to clean up messes and are soaked, that I haven't gotten around to):

- In a Rubbermaid cleaning bucket, pour hot water and two scoopfuls of Oxygen Bleach (I have a huge-ass box of OxyClean from Costco) and let my soiled stuff sit in the bucket overnight. When I get to it, toss in laundry, add more OxyClean to hot water, a little detergent, and if I feel like it, some baking soda, and see what happens. Wash again if stains don't come out.

- Carpet cleaning, dog diarrhea (yeah, that was NOT fun): Clean up what I can with paper towels and throw away in trash. I filled a plant waterer container with hot water and OxyClean and a squirt of Dawn. Shake the watering container a little to dissolve and mix everything. Soak and saturate the entire carpet with goop on it. Use paper towels to scrub clean. Next day, when carpet is more dry, vacuum to revive the pile of the carpet.

- General carpet cleaning, using a rented steam cleaner from Publix/Kroger: Hot water and 3 or more scoopfuls of OxyClean. Works GREAT.


Honestly, it depends on my mood that day and the more detergent I use, the less baking soda, and the more baking soda, the less detergent I use.

Again, I'm not an expert on this, but it's just stuff I've come up with to deal with my everyday laundry and stained items. I realized that most stains are better washed with cold water - warm or hot usually sets stains or gets rid of some parts of the stains and leaves residual portions and kind of 'seals them in'.
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#5 of 9 Old 12-03-2006, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thank you for all the info Spastica!

I never knew vinegar wasn't enough. It seems to do the trick for visible muck, just doesn't quite take the smell out at low amounts.

I will get some b.s. now!
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#6 of 9 Old 12-03-2006, 12:48 PM
 
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Yeah the baking soda will take care of the smell since it's deodorizing and it turns soils into soap and carries it away. I love using baking soda because it makes my clothes smell like it's been near the ocean (it smells kind of salty and clean but there's really no distinguishable smell or fragrance to it, know what I mean?). You can add essential oils to the wash if you want extra scent and antibacterial power. I usually forget to put it in or too lazy to put it in. Works fine either way.

Good luck!

You can buy baking soda in bulk at Costco (4 pound plastic bags). You can also buy 1 pound boxes of baking soda at Walmart in their laundry aisle. I prefer baking soda to washing soda though (the boxes look similar), because I can use it for other stuff around the house too and it's gentle (like no pooing).

If you're living out in the country, feed stores carry baking soda too. Make sure it's baking soda only and not baking powder, that has flour and minerals in it. I'm a brand loyalist for that reason (Arm and Hammer) because I know exactly what I'm getting!
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#7 of 9 Old 12-03-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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thank you! i've been using vinegar in the rinse cycle of my front loader, filling the fabric softener receptacle-thingie for a while. i simply like the way it softens the clothes without the chemical residue. the bs part is pretty new to me... still learning here! i'd like to get it under control before we have diapers to contend with... we are ttc still, so i have plenty of time to experiment!

thank you again for all your great info, in all the threads! (ugh, that sounds a little stalker-esque!!)
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#8 of 9 Old 12-03-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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Naw it's cool - I look through threads too if I need info and I'm glad you find my constant blathering in this forum helpful

My mom finds it tiresome and she thinks natural junk is complicated and hokey.
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#9 of 9 Old 12-04-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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*eye roll*

natural junk, huh? sounds like she may have been around my family!!!

this forum is definitely one of my mostest favoritest!!
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