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#1 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Almost all of the diaper laundry instructions I've read say to add baking soda or washing soda to the wash, and many of them say to add vinegar to the rinse.

I know enough chemistry to know that baking soda and washing soda are alkalines, with washing soda being a stronger alkaline, and that vinegar and urine are acids.

I know enough chemistry to know that adding alkalines and/or acids to the wash can change the ph of the diapers.

I do NOT know enough chemistry to know whether changing the ph is a good or bad thing, or to know how much the ph ought to be changed, if at all.

Can anyone help with this?

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#2 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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#3 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 12:03 PM
 
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from my initial cd research (I'm nak)

no washing soda - too caustic
baking soda neutralizes urine
vinegar in the rinse readjusts PH due to BS used in the wash
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#4 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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whenever i see a post with nothing but :, i can't help but LOL!!! it just cracks me up!!!

i'm *definately* not a chemist, but baking soda also neutralizes odors and softens water...
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#5 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 12:38 PM
 
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I have nothing to add, but want to see what is up, LOL!
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#6 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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yeah, yeah. i got that! LOL! it just totally cracks me up visualizing someone sitting on the sidelines, wide eyed, watching what happens next.
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#7 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marielle
from my initial cd research (I'm nak)

no washing soda - too caustic
baking soda neutralizes urine
vinegar in the rinse readjusts PH due to BS used in the wash
Yeah that's the way it works, the vinegar restores the ph balance of using the baking soda in the wash. If you just use the baking soda without using the vinegar then the ph will be off and can cause rashes etc
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#8 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it's funny too

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#9 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That makes sense, but doesn't the URINE change the ph balance of the diapers? Or does it all come out in the wash? How in the world are you supposed to know how much baking soda and vinegar to use? Do you have to wait for your baby to get rashes to figure it out?

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#10 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat
That makes sense, but doesn't the URINE change the ph balance of the diapers? Or does it all come out in the wash? How in the world are you supposed to know how much baking soda and vinegar to use? Do you have to wait for your baby to get rashes to figure it out?
The urine rinses out in the cold wash, you put the baking soda in the hot wash, then put the vinegar in the first rinse then do another rinse to get the excess vinegar out. I use 1/2 c baking soda and about the same vinegar. I don't know if thats what everyone else uses but that is what I have read as a recommendation.
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#11 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 01:56 PM
 
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Funny you should post this ... I'm doing a bit of a water, pee, hemp pH analysis at the moment ... trying to figure out the source of hemp stink.

When I finish the tests I'll post the results if anyone is interested.

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#12 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 02:07 PM
 
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I have thought about trying the baking soda thing myself, now I know how to go about it... will change my complete washing pattern tho....LOL
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#13 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 02:08 PM
 
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I can't wait to find out the hemp-stink results. I'm losing the stinky hemp battle at the moment. Smells like I'm waking up in a hamster cage. I tried baking soda in the last wash (haven't done that in awhile) but I haven't tested them yet. I swear, I'm going to set up a service that tests your water and makes suggestions as to what to add to get your dipes perfectly washed. Kind-of like the county agents that will test your soil

Laura
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#14 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 02:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saharamama
Funny you should post this ... I'm doing a bit of a water, pee, hemp pH analysis at the moment ... trying to figure out the source of hemp stink.

When I finish the tests I'll post the results if anyone is interested.
Wow! How interesting, I definitely would like to hear the results.
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#15 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Saharamama, I'm interested in hearing the results.

Didelphus, you'd get my business!

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#16 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 03:06 PM
 
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This is so interesting... confusing too. I have been told NOT to add the baking soda to the hot wash as it actually bakes into the diapers in the heat and that it's for the cold wash.

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#17 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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NAKing again . . .

I do:
cold wash w/ 1/2 c BS + cold rinse
hot wash w/ 1tbsp Tide HE
cold rinse w/ 1/2 c vinegar
cold rinse

I sprinkle the BS in the pail to keep odor away and it all goes in the wash
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#18 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 03:40 PM
 
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If you want to take the stink out of the hemp turn your water heater up as high as it goes about 30 min. before you wash. Then do one hot wash and one hot cycle with just water added (or vinegar or Calgon if you have hard water).

Darshani

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#19 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 04:13 PM
 
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K ... here's what I've got so far

My water has a pH of 7

The urine sample I was using (thank goodness dd is PT cause I just used what was in her potty LOL) had a pH of 7.2

I left two same sized chunks of hemp in the water AND urine overnight ...

the hemp/water has a pH of 7.4

the hemp/urine has a pH of 7.5

It seems that the hemp itself has a pretty high pH and that it increases the already high pH of urine and of water.

Next test will be with 100% cotton to see what those results will be.

I'm thinking that the hemp pH (especially when hemp is the bulk of your stash AND the pee diapers are left to soak for a few days) increases the overall pH of a load so much that we don't always use enough of the acid (vinegar) to bring it down to neutral. I think with my next stinky load I'm going to do a cold rinse and soak with LOTS of vinegar ... followed by a hot wash and another cold rinse with BS if needed (I'm going to test the pH in the washing machine too to make sure I'm getting everything down/up to a pH of 7)

ETA ..I was mixing up the bases and acids LOL ..what you want to do is lower the pH of the pee diapers ...so if the hemp increases the PH, the urine increases the pH and the BS increases the PH then you need to use the vinegar to decrease it.

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#20 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought baking soda was a base, vinegar was an acid, and a ph of over 7 was more of a base and a ph of less than 7 was more of an acid.

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#21 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 04:32 PM
 
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Baking soda increase the pH ... so that make s it a bas? and acid ? ...am I getting them mixed up?

either way we want to lower the pH not increase it so we need to use the vinegar (which lowers it)

remind me are acids low pH and bases high?

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#22 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 04:36 PM
 
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urine PH varies from person to person (anything from a mid 4 to a mid 8 is normal).

Is the hemp you're using washed saharamama or a new piece of untreated hemp?
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#23 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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the hemp I was using was prewashed to manufacture diapers (but were scraps that had never been used)

the varying pH of urine might also be an influencing factor in why some people have stinky hemp and others don't. I'm assuming that when the urine is acidic (very low pH) that the hemp and pee can sort of neutralize each other and not cause any problems ...but I'm just guessing here.

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#24 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:19 PM
 
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: Keep it coming... this is interesting.
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#25 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:25 PM
 
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This is very very interesting to me.

I have a new twist to throw into it.

If urine is typically between 4-8 using 6 as a median. Bleach which seems to kill the hemp stinkies for everyone is very base at 13. And vinegar is acidic at 3 and baking soda at 9. So you would need to be using the baking soda in order to need to use the vinegar. What about the bleach? Are very base diapers the way to go?
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#26 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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Erica, good point.

Setting aside the eating of thread and fabric that bleach tends to do you would also have to take into consideration that you would have to do many more rinses with bleach to assure you have no residue left. When baby wets, the bleach residue left in the diaper could cause rash.
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#27 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:31 PM
 
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Are base diapers the way to go?

I'm not sure yet LOL ...just playing around with the pH kit.

I wish I had some stinky hemp to measure the pH of ... I can't help but wonder if the stink is the result of the hemp being out of whack. If the hemp is naturally base ... and the water I'm using is more acidic... could just using the water lower the natural pH of the hemp and make it stink? or is it that the pH gets too base and that stinks?

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#28 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bleach kills bacteria. I think that's why it works on stinkies. I have no idea if the alkalinity of it changes anything. That would be interesting to find out.

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#29 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:36 PM
 
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I'm willing to bet that what we've thought all along is right. Hemp is stinky not because of its chemical structure but because of its physical structure. Most people start to get stinky hemp after all the antimicrobial properties have been washed out. Could it be that the close weave has to be washed in a certain combo of water/detergent to actually penetrate the fiber?

Boy, if P&G knew what was good for them they'd introduce an stinky hemp fixer.
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#30 of 67 Old 08-17-2004, 05:38 PM
 
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I think this is very interesting.

I think hemp gets stinky because it is too basic, our hemp smells like ammonia which is very basic (high pH).

I think rinsing the diapers first should remove the urine and the combo of baking soda and vinegar will adjust the pH of the dipes to neutral.
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