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Discussion Starter #1
We don't even have our hot water line hooked up to our washer. When we moved in two years ago and tried to hook it up, it leaked, so I said nevermind it we'll just be cold water washers.<br><br>
It has worked fine for all of our clothes, of course, but I'm worried about diapers.<br><br>
I do believe I read somewhere that a normal hot water heater will not heat the water to a temperature that can sanitize, so thinking that hot water has an effect is really more of an "all in your head" thing. I know that I can fill my bathtub up with nearly 100% hot water and I don't think it has ever sanitized me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
And from my reading I know that most people start with a cold wash to get rid of all the poo or whatever. If cold water can do that..why is the hot cycle needed?<br><br>
I use homemade Fels Naptha/laundry soda/borax, which supposedly works just as well in cold water as it does in hot. I plan on using it on the diapers too.<br><br>
Well..thanks for reading. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I'm just trying to get all this sorted out.
 

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I can't help thinking that the hot water must kill <i>some</i> of the germs and make the detergent work <i>somewhat</i> better. I had to wash on cold one time because my mother's hot water heater broke, and they did not get clean enough to put back on the baby.
 

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Yes, it is necessary, if you want the diapers to be clean.<br><br>
Sanitizing is killing 99.999% of the original bacteria present, as I understand it. Hot water PLUS a cleaning agent (detergent/soap) will clean the fibers, and will remove or destroy a great deal of harmful bacteria. If you've got an efficient system (like rinse/soak/wash for instance) and it includes a hot water wash in there, it should kill off the germs from the poop.<br><br>
And I don't think it's necessary to sanitize diapers unless you're dealing with nasty contagious viral issues or something. (I never adjusted the temp on our hot water heater because I didn't want unsafe/scalding water coming out of our taps.)<br><br>
Normal diaper laundering is fine with regular hot water and a detergent/cleaner.<br><br>
But I absolutely <i>would</i> use hot water, and I do. I would not trust the soap alone without it, honestly. Not when dealing with poop. Nope. It might get rid of the solid waste, but the germs? Nope. I do cold rinses and soaks, but I definitely include one hot water wash with each diaper load.<br><br>
And especially if you use enzyme-based detergents, the enzymes work in cold water but you need to use hot water afterward to kill them off (and it doesn't have to be heated to "sanitize" temps) otherwise they can cause skin irritation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not trying to get away with being gross here, and I hope it doesn't seem like it. I will figure out the leak problem and hook up the hot water if it is needed, but I'm still not completely sure that it's beneficial.<br><br>
After a bit of looking around, I've found that the temperature needed to kill germs is 155 F. From what I gather, that is to kill <i>any</i> germs, not all. My hot water heater doesn't get near that, and we have it set high. The CDC says to wash hospital laundry at 160 F for 25 minutes in order to kill the germs. I don't have that capability at all.<br><br>
I guess part of my problem is that I have no preconceived notions of hot water being better. I know a lot of people believe that if it doesn't get hot it doesn't get clean. But the way I'm looking at it, if the water doesn't get hot enough to kill germs, what is it really doing for the laundry?<br><br>
Here's an interesting resource: <a href="http://www.metrokc.gov/health/foodsfty/kitchensafety.htm" target="_blank">http://www.metrokc.gov/health/foodsf...chensafety.htm</a><br><br>
It is talking about food safety, but it refers to <i>"THE DANGER ZONE", the temperature range where germs can grow most quickly and easily</i>..which is 41 F - 140 F. My hot water is in the danger zone..so apparently germs would thrive in it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">
 

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I'd soak them in a hot bathtub first, then dump some boiling water in the washer to make your own hot wash. I dumped in boiling water with my towels when my water heater broke before cd'ing. It did a better job than just cold.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I've never done a cold water rinse with my diapers. I only heard about people doing it when I started reading mothering. Our diapers have always come clean without it. I've only washed in hot.<br><br>
Our current and previous washers heat their own water. The LG machine that we're using in the house we're renting right now only heats the water to 70 C (160 F). The Miele washer in our old house heats the water to 90 C (195 F). I do notice a difference in the diapers from the Miele to the LG. Granted, it's two different machines and two different water temperatures so it isn't a completely fair comparison, but we do have some issues with staining in the cooler machine (the LG) and I was using less soap in the hotter machine (the Miele). I assumed that the hotter water helped the soap and/or the laundry booster to work better.<br><br>
I've never had to strip my diapers either. That's another thing I hadn't heard about until I started reading the diapering forum here. Since it sounds like stripping involves using extremely hot water, again, I assumed that the key to getting the diapers completely clean was the extreme heat that I was using.<br><br>
As well, 90 C was so hot I felt like it could kill just about anything so I started running sheets and towels with the diapers to fill up the washer when the diaper load ran. I try to only run completely full loads.<br><br>
However, when I talk to moms about cloth diapering I always tell them to start out as simple as possible. Just wash the diapers like a regular load and see what happens. If they come clean, you're good to go. If they don't come clean, start troubleshooting with extra soaks, rinses, different soaps or laundry boosters, etc.
 
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