Washing/Laundry Question

Kathleen - posted on 01/24/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My Indian prefolds are recently coming out of the wash feeling rough, not soft like they used to. Still using free and clear detergent. Any advice on softening? I know that you are not supposed to use fabric softener so I'm not sure what to do.

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Elizabeth - posted on 02/10/2009

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Vinegar in the rinse cycle does help, as do dryer balls. I like wool dryer balls the best. They help with softness AND drying time.

Jordanna - posted on 02/03/2009

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Just saw your post and I discovered that adding some baking soda to the initial diaper wash helps soften the diapers-naturally! :)

Jennifer - posted on 02/03/2009

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I'm with the "too much detergent" thought. Add an extra rinse or two. Also, call me crazy here, but I have noticed that when my laundry gets caught in the rain, once it is dry, it is much softer. Some say toss the diapers in the dryer for a few minutes after the are hung out to dry, but in my experience, reverse that. Toss in the dryer for about 10 minutes after they come out of the wash, then hang to dry. Some of teh diaper manufacturers say to dry their diapers fully in the dryer once in awhile, especially pre-folds, it helps to bulk them back up.

Kathleen - posted on 02/02/2009

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Thanks everyone!  It seems to have been detergent buildup - I used a tiny drop and a few extra rinses - they are nice and soft again!

Donnah - posted on 02/01/2009

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Be careful using vinegar if you have nappies that incorporate PUL and it degrates the fabric, vinegar can still be used on flat nappies and the absorbancy boosters.

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Hang them in the evening so they dry slowly, leave them out in full sun the next day though for anti bacterial purposes, mine are always nice and soft and fluffy

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I want to second or third the vinegar! I put it in the rinse cycle and am sure to add baking soda to the wash to balance the pH. The diapers are super soft. It could be your water too, that makes a difference.
My Indian PF's are my go to diapers, they're my favorite because they seem softer than the Chinese, so you do have a problem! Make sure you are using very little detergent!!!

Eileen - posted on 01/28/2009

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I got these inexpensive balls for the dryer from my grocery store.. i think 2 dollars for the pair.. I was finding the same thing happening with my flat folds.. but now.. with the balls in the dryer, they fluff right back up.. plus they tend to dry about 10% faster...



Tennis balls would do the same thing too .. . 2-3 in the dryer with the load... (works wonders on drying duvets too!)

Allie - posted on 01/28/2009

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yeah vinegar, my Nap Naps came with washing instructions that said use white vinegar in the wash. 

Stella - posted on 01/27/2009

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Quoting Joanna:



VInegar in a Downey ball helps.  Vinegar is a natural fabric softner.  The dryer balls are great too!  You could hang your prefolds until they are almost dry and then throw them in the dryer with the balls.





I use vinegar too. About 30mls white vinegar where you normally put the softener. Any vinegary smell evaporates quickly after the nappies are taken out of the washing machine and your house doesn't "smell of chips" as one of my friends asked me when I told her my love of using white vinegar in place of many of households cleaning products.

Jessica - posted on 01/27/2009

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I think you have detergent build-up as well...it's why towels start feeling rough after a while as well. Wash with a squirt of Dawn, then rinse, rinse, rinse until the bubbles are gone. I had to quit using F&C detergent because it caused bad build-up, stinky diapers, and a loss in absorbancy. I now use 3 tablespoons of washing soda and 5 squirts of Simple Green. It works great and it's CHEAP!

Amie - posted on 01/25/2009

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You probably have a build up of detergent. Wash them without any detergent and then dry as usual, that always helps me!

Heather - posted on 01/25/2009

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Mine feel rough after I've hung them to dry. I just put them in the dryer for about 10 minutes on low and they come out soft as can be.

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Is it possible you are using too much detergent? I have never had any luck with the free and clear detergents -- they all leave my diapers smelly -- and I use plain old Tide, but only the tinest amount. They're perfectly clean and soft.

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VInegar in a Downey ball helps.  Vinegar is a natural fabric softner.  The dryer balls are great too!  You could hang your prefolds until they are almost dry and then throw them in the dryer with the balls.

Penny - posted on 01/24/2009

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Fabric softener stops them being absorbant. Hanging them in fresh air or in front of a fan will help soften them. If you use a tumbledryer you can get those plastic balls which reduce drying time, they also soften the laundry as they tumble.

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