Wash routine and HE washers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-04-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we have an HE washer. It's a TL Maytag .... Bravos X I think?? (I'm staying with the paternals right now so it's their washing machine.) It is HORRIBLE. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to run a clean cycle with that stuff... and the prefolds and covers have improved some, but my AIOs are NASTY!!!! I mean, when I used them with my son, we had a regular washer and I only had to strip 2-3 times a year. Now I'm running a rinse/heavy wash with extra rinse/normal wash with Dawn and extra rinse/sometimes a THIRD rinse. It only has an option for cold rinse (see? evil!!) so the first and last rinses (where I don't do the "second rinse" button) I have to start as running a regular cycle on hot, then once it's agitated for a few minutes I turn it off and on, and it will drain and spin. Ugh!!!! 

And, even with ALL of this, they SSSSTTILLLLLL LEAK!!!!!! The prefolds and covers almost always still have a very slight "funk" to them when I pull them out (but I don't notice it once they dry). But my AIOs....horrible. Usually all it takes is one, maybe two, pees and it wicks. I even just redid the elastic on another one (that I washed a couple times before the old style washer broke) and she wore it once and did fine, I washed it with the rest of her diapers, and now it leaked when it still could have held another two pees!!! (Obviously I prefer to change her much earlier, but it's the fact that it went through ONE wash in there and now leaks, WTFFFFF!) 

This is really, REALLY getting on my last nerve. I realize I need to do the self-clean thing more often, but ughhhh. 


So, for those of you who have an evil HE washer like I do and a serious issue with constant bacteria buildup.... what do you do?? What's your routine wash cycle? Do you do a "special" wash cycle every so often to super-clean and prevent the need to strip? What products do you use? How often do you wash? (I have enough CDs to wash every 4-ish days probably, but I'm afraid I'll have to start washing every day.)

Also, anyone know how I can do the "self-clean" cycle with products that AREN'T butt expensive?? Can I do vinegar and baking soda or something? I'd be willing to run it once a week if it meant keeping it from getting nasty!

How much detergent do you use and what kind??? I'm going to look for some Country Save...right now I'm using Whole Foods (365) brand of their scent-free powder detergent but I've not seen it on any lists of "good vs bad" detergents...is there some list of specific ingredients to avoid that I can compare it to? I've always read the "less is more" with CDs, but I recently read that occasionally it's a matter of not using enough. Problem is, I can't get to a stupid starting point in order to even figure out if I need more or less!!!

 

 

P.S. (Sorry this is so long! lol) Yet another thing that makes me want to beat this washer with a bat Office Space-style is the fact that the poop bits do NOT get out of the washer so I am forced to scrape it off into the toilet now (I miss ebf *tear*)... I know nothing about liners (that is the correct term for them, yes?). I want some that are SUPER thin to make it easiest to just dump and swish. I just need to catch the pieces.


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#2 of 10 Old 03-04-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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I found using a tablespoon of bleach worked great. But I only use prefolds and fitted so overall much easier than aio. I use motherease covers and never have issues with putting them with my regular wash and then air dry.

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#3 of 10 Old 03-05-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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I have an evil HE washer too.  I read tons of reviews before getting it and they were all positive but my experience has been awful. I do a rince/spin cycle first then add my soap and do a heavy load. I have been adding very hot water to the wash once is starts so it has more water to clean with.  Then I do another heavy wash cycle without anymore soap added to it instead of just another rince.  I still get some funk issues and am going to try adding 1/2 cup of bleach to my wash.  I also wash almost everyday and  hang my diaps to dry.  I don't know if this actually helps you but you have my sympathies.  I wish I did more research when buying a washing machine knowing I'd be washing diapers in it.


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#4 of 10 Old 03-05-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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Wow, I wonder about this. I don't diaper anymore but haven't had this problem.

 

Are you all shutting the door between cycles? That will build up a lot of icky stuff. Always leave the door open a crack between cycles.


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#5 of 10 Old 03-05-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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I haven't had problems cleaning my diapers with our HE washer. I was worried but have been happy so far. It's not a new washer either. It came with our house when we moved in two years ago, and it's anyone's guess how old it was before that. My routine is really simple. I run a cold wash/rinse and then a hot wash/cold double rinse. I dissolve 1/4 scoop of Country Save HE powder detergent in hot water (less is more, I've found... it's easy to use too much detergent with a CD load) and throw that in with the hot wash. Sometimes I'll throw it in with both washes depending on how dirty the diapers are. Either way seems to work fine. I find that my prefolds and PUL covers get pretty much spotless and sparkling but my microfiber inserts for my bumGenius pocket diapers stain. I think it's just the material and not the washer's or detergent's fault. The microfiber just looks dingy. I noticed my prefolds started to stink a little after the baby pees, so I might strip them soon, but I've been using them for 3+ months and haven't had to strip anything as of yet. I think I'll try the blue Dawn dish soap method I've read about.

 

Oh, and I haven't had any leaks with my diapers either. Hmm. I wonder what could make your diapers leak so much? I hope you can get to the bottom of it!


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#6 of 10 Old 03-05-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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I have the same issue with only cold rinse on my washer.
I don't have AIO's but I do have inserts that get FUNKY after awhile.
I break the rules and bleach soak the inserts in a bucket every few months, and then rinse them and rinse them (first by hand and then multiple times in the washer). That's the only way I've kept the funk at bay.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-06-2012, 03:00 PM
 
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We have an Amana HE front load.  We just do a super wash cycle on hot/cold with an extra rinse, using Biokleen laundry liquid and vinegar in the laundry softener cup.  When they start smelling we do a super wash cycle without the extra rinse, but add a quick wash cycle on hot/cold when the super wash is done.  I add about 1/4 Cup baking soda to the detergent side during the quick wash cycle (no detergent), and vinegar again to the softener side.  

 

We have fitteds and wool, so I can't tell you anything about aio's, but I can't imagine that cleanliness would have anything to do with them leaking... could the waterproof layer just be starting to wear out?  If the elastic is starting to wear out, I would think that the waterproofing would wear out way before the elastic.


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#8 of 10 Old 03-08-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brambleberry View Post

We have an Amana HE front load.  We just do a super wash cycle on hot/cold with an extra rinse, using Biokleen laundry liquid and vinegar in the laundry softener cup.  When they start smelling we do a super wash cycle without the extra rinse, but add a quick wash cycle on hot/cold when the super wash is done.  I add about 1/4 Cup baking soda to the detergent side during the quick wash cycle (no detergent), and vinegar again to the softener side.  

 

We have fitteds and wool, so I can't tell you anything about aio's, but I can't imagine that cleanliness would have anything to do with them leaking... could the waterproof layer just be starting to wear out?  If the elastic is starting to wear out, I would think that the waterproofing would wear out way before the elastic.


I was using Biokleen as a spray down before tossing it in the pail (diluted with about 2/3-3/4 water)...it doesn't seem to have really made a difference and it's expensive for a broke single mama like me. I was told that putting it in the wash wouldn't help as much because it's best when I give it time to work longer. I suppose I could try spraying them again with it undiluted and see what happens. I used vinegar in the rinse (downy ball) with my son, but recently read it's bad for them on a regular basis so I stopped...probably worth starting again and seeing if it helps. I do the baking soda (unmeasured, just sprinkle some) in the pre-rinse, and a little occasionally whilst they're still in the pail.

 

My understanding is that detergent/bacteria buildup will cause them to leak due to affecting absorbency (slowing it down, therefore it spills over before it fully absorbs - which would explain why it will leak and the back half of the AIO will be bone dry on the inside). Almost all of my AIOs I had with my son and the elastic had worn out fairly early into the use - they were known for poor elastic, but I don't mind since they're otherwise sturdy....when not being washed in EVIL HE WASHERS. lol

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

I found using a tablespoon of bleach worked great. But I only use prefolds and fitted so overall much easier than aio. I use motherease covers and never have issues with putting them with my regular wash and then air dry.


Can you even use bleach with AIOs/covers? Should I use that "more gentle" bleach? I HATE the idea of bleach...but geez....it looks like I might have to resort to it at least occasionally. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by tank View Post

I have an evil HE washer too.  I read tons of reviews before getting it and they were all positive but my experience has been awful. I do a rince/spin cycle first then add my soap and do a heavy load. I have been adding very hot water to the wash once is starts so it has more water to clean with.  Then I do another heavy wash cycle without anymore soap added to it instead of just another rince.  I still get some funk issues and am going to try adding 1/2 cup of bleach to my wash.  I also wash almost everyday and  hang my diaps to dry.  I don't know if this actually helps you but you have my sympathies.  I wish I did more research when buying a washing machine knowing I'd be washing diapers in it.


It's my mom's so she did the research, didn't see anything bad about it. But she doesn't do the CDs so she doesn't care. I didn't realize the washer needed to be cleaned for a while... after (TMI SORRY) my underwear was smelling horrid after just a handful of hours of being worn, and no infection and impossibility of STD, I finally put two and two together and realized it was bacteria buildup in the washer. Gross. At least I know to do insane research before I buy one when I move out...and I'll probably get a cheap old style TL off Craigslist just for CDs anyway.

 

I need to start hanging them to dry again this summer (that's what I did with DS).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

Wow, I wonder about this. I don't diaper anymore but haven't had this problem.

 

Are you all shutting the door between cycles? That will build up a lot of icky stuff. Always leave the door open a crack between cycles.


I did not think about this! Makes sense - I'll have to find something (accidental-wash-safe) to prop it a little (TL). Thanks!

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

I haven't had problems cleaning my diapers with our HE washer. I was worried but have been happy so far. It's not a new washer either. It came with our house when we moved in two years ago, and it's anyone's guess how old it was before that. My routine is really simple. I run a cold wash/rinse and then a hot wash/cold double rinse. I dissolve 1/4 scoop of Country Save HE powder detergent in hot water (less is more, I've found... it's easy to use too much detergent with a CD load) and throw that in with the hot wash. Sometimes I'll throw it in with both washes depending on how dirty the diapers are. Either way seems to work fine. I find that my prefolds and PUL covers get pretty much spotless and sparkling but my microfiber inserts for my bumGenius pocket diapers stain. I think it's just the material and not the washer's or detergent's fault. The microfiber just looks dingy. I noticed my prefolds started to stink a little after the baby pees, so I might strip them soon, but I've been using them for 3+ months and haven't had to strip anything as of yet. I think I'll try the blue Dawn dish soap method I've read about.

 

Oh, and I haven't had any leaks with my diapers either. Hmm. I wonder what could make your diapers leak so much? I hope you can get to the bottom of it!


So jealous!!! I wouldn't be surprised if the older ones are more cleaning efficient. The more water efficient they can make them, the more money they make. And the bonus is that it makes them less cleaning efficient, so they just get to blame it on you not using their expensive washer cleaner enough, and make even MORE money. irked.gif (How is it we don't have a tin foil hat smiley????)

 

I need to search out some Country Save. Right now I use Whole Foods 365 brand unscented powder. Does dissolving it first seem to work better? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalin verona View Post

I have the same issue with only cold rinse on my washer.
I don't have AIO's but I do have inserts that get FUNKY after awhile.
I break the rules and bleach soak the inserts in a bucket every few months, and then rinse them and rinse them (first by hand and then multiple times in the washer). That's the only way I've kept the funk at bay.

 

Yeah, the prefolds didn't leak, they just smelled bad after a while. But prefolds are generally known for less buildup=leak than AIOs.
 

 

 

 

 

I'm thinking of just making 2 separate bunches and do one as my regular wash, and another with something different added and see if there's a difference between how they come out. I guess a little more hell to figure out what on earth the problem is may be worth it.


- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#9 of 10 Old 03-09-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeep View Post

I was using Biokleen as a spray down before tossing it in the pail (diluted with about 2/3-3/4 water)...it doesn't seem to have really made a difference and it's expensive for a broke single mama like me. I was told that putting it in the wash wouldn't help as much because it's best when I give it time to work longer. I suppose I could try spraying them again with it undiluted and see what happens. 

I think you're talking about a different product.  Biokleen also makes a laundry liquid.  It's just a regular natural laundry detergent.  There's nothing very special about it, it just happens to be the most cost effective option at our co-op and seems to do a decent job for a natural product :).  

 

If you're keeping the door closed that could be a big contributing factor.  I've found that I need to leave the door WIDE OPEN not just cracked in order for it to not stink.  I do occasionally (like once every couple months) feel a need to clean the front glass and gasket to keep down odor too.  I just use hydrogen peroxide diluted 50/50 with water and just wipe it all down real quick.  It takes about 30 seconds and makes so much difference I wonder why I don't do it more often :)


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#10 of 10 Old 03-12-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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I'm in DFW, too, using an HE washer and was having some serious stink issues.

 

I started making my own detergent from a recipe I found online - equal parts Borax, OxyClean (or other oxygen bleach) and washing soda.  $17~ish for at least 150 loads.

Use 2 T per load, do a warm short or rinse cycle (not cold...something I read said warm makes solids/urine dissolve and rinse out better) before the heavy hot cycle.

 

That has been a miracle for me.  I am pregnant again and was seriously on the verge of getting rid of all of my cloth because my preggo nose couldn't handle the funk.  It smelled like the barn in our diaper pail and in our dryer, plus we were having leaking.  Thankfully, this seems to have solved my problems.

 

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