Fabric Softner vs white vinegar in rinse help

beanwabrAugust 20, 2010

In the past when I had used only fs, I had experienced spotting on my clothes (seems like I had read on here where that can be the reason). Then I began using 1/2 fs and 1/2 vinegar which seemed to lessen the spotting. When I ran out of fs and didn't have enough to buy it (can you believe how pricy it is!), I just went with vinegar only.

Now today I've done a couple of loads and the spotting is back! I've still been using a dryer sheet for some softness; do you think that is what's going on? Thanks for any info!

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It's the dryer sheet.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 1:15PM
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When I sent my laundry out it would once in a while come back with spots -- they resembled a grease-based stain. Apparently, overloading the washer or not using enough detergent for the water hardness, level of soiling or amount of clothing can result in spotty items. All those fun things to consider!

I also wouldn't be surprised if a dryer sheet was to blame. :\

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 3:34PM
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If the stain was there prior to washing, you're not using enough detergent. Despite what you may read, there is really no need for pre-treating stains if you use the proper amount of detergent combined with high enough temperatures and at a cycle that washes for a good 40-60 minutes before rinsing. At least that's been my experience.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 2:57PM
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My bet is on the dryer sheet. I use all natural ones now and don't have any problems but when I used the regular ones I would get the spots. It always drove me crazy because I couldn't figure out how I missed so many stains when I tossed the laundry in the washer!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 6:17PM
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I no longer buy commercial washing or softening agents. I use vinegar in the rinse, then I wet an old wash cloth, put a squeeze of cheap hair conditioner on it, rub it in and throw it in the dryer.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:21PM
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Stopped using both. Can't stand the texture/fragrance of the softener and don't want any build up in the front loader. Didn't find any difference using vinegar -- others might I just had 0 result..

I soak in oxyclean and water to remove stains which even come out of old white dishtowels. Then they go into the machine with Persil.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:10PM
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Using 1/2 dose of unscented fabric softener gives me soft, fluffy laundry without any texture, absorbency or buildup issues. I also find that putting vinegar in the rinse does nothing for my laundry - you might as well pour it down the drain. Diluting fabric softener with vinegar also doesn't make much sense to me, since you may as well dilute it with water and get the same result without buying vinegar!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:38PM
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Sorry I disagree with sshrivastava about the Vinegar.
We used to use Fabric softener, then we switched to Vinegar when a friend stayed over and commented on how hard it was to get dry with the towel we gave them to use.
Now that we use vinegar, Our towels are soft and most importantly they absorb so much better!
Almost all fabric softener is made from animal fat and when you use it your simply coating your clothes with , well ANIMAL FAT!, which is why a lot of people find their towels don't absorb much.
All vinegar does in the wash is simply rinse out ALL detergent, chemicals and whatever you used in the laundry.
You get CLEAN non scented & soft load of laundry.
If you like the sent and fluffiness that Fabric softener gives you then by all means use it, if however you want a clean non scented load of laundry then give the Vinegar a try.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:37PM
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Vinegar works in two ways with regards to laundry:

  1. Vinegar dissolves minerals. If you have hard water that is combining with detergent and leaving a residue on the clothes, the vinegar will dissolve the minerals in the water, stopping the deposit of residue.
  2. Vinegar neutralizes the alkalinity of wash water. This makes clothing feel more pleasant to the skin.

There is nothing inherently "softening" about vinegar, and the fact that I have a whole house water softener probably explains why I get no benefit from vinegar. Those with hardness in their water will benefit the most. I also read in another thread that Miele recommends against using vinegar, as it may damage vital rubber components in the machine. Senseo, a large manufacturer of coffee makers, also says that vinegar can damage its machines and recommends use of citric acid instead. The concern stems from the fact that acetic acid (vinegar) is a mineral-based acid, and as such is damaging to some rubber and plastic components. Citric acid would be a better product to use in the rinse, and citric acid also has the added benefit of "smoothing" fabric fibers which is something vinegar doesn't do.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 2:03PM
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I buy a bottle of Downy in my favorite scent, pour half of it in the old bottle and fill both with water, diluting to 50%. When I use it in my Whirlpool frontloader, I dilute it another 50%. Only use it for knits and blankets. I use undiluted vinegar for jeans and towels. We have hard, alkaline water in this area along with very dry air. I also don't use as much of these products as many other folks probably use.

Once or twice a week, I run a load with Oxyclean. If you ever use this stuff to clean your toilet, you know a little bit cleans just about anything.

Haven't had laundry spots since I switched to a front loader and substantially decreased the soaps and whatnot I use. I use a dryer sheet in nearly every load to cut the static and scent the laundry. Haven't noticed any spots from a dryer sheet, ever.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 1:52PM
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Acetic acid is NOT a mineral(inorganic) acid. It is an organic acid (carboxylic, to be more precise), as is citric acid. Acetic is a weaker acid than citric acid, having only one carboxyl group, compared to three in citric acid. However, citric acid has some buffering properties that acetic does not. Additionally citric acid has the ability to complex (grab and surround, essentially) some metals. While neither will soften your water, because they won't remove hardness, both lower pH, keeping more hardness in its dissolved state, and dissolving the hardness that enters your washer as part of the dirt on your clothing. This prevents minerals from precipitating on your fabrics, providing somewhat softer clothing without use of a fabric softener.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:05PM
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You can use up to 1 cup of vinegar (not for silk) in the F/S dispenser in
every load to help eliminate the soapy residue build-up.

link: ReaderÂs Digest vinegar in the washing machine

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 3:39AM
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lunasdude wrote: ..when you use it your simply coating your clothes with , well ANIMAL FAT!

As I noted in an earlier thread, the myth of FS changing towel absorbency has been proven wrong on many occasions. Many lab tests (including Consumer Reports) have shown this to simply not be true. Perhaps it was 40 years ago, but formulations have changed dramatically over the years, and it has not been for some time.

Secondly, since you seem so freaked about "ANIMAL FAT!" (sic) I am guessing you do not have any SOAP in your house?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:25AM
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I don't know about the consumer reports tests because I lost all respect for them over 40 years ago when I found them posturing over a subject I was very familiar with. They tend to use mindless testing procedures and tests drummed up by a no talent scientist and performed by college kids or dropouts, is my opinion. I do know that I can easily feel the clammy difference between a towel dried with fabric softener or sheets and one where the only rinse is plain water. I have never tried vinager but sounds interesting to me, if it does not harm the washer/drier. By the way, read the fine print warnings on the label. These products leave a flamable residue on garments that voids the flame proof qualities required for infant sleeping garments and blankets.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 12:05PM
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No reading of fine print necessary - I am far, far more familiar with FS (and many other manufactured chemicals) than your average Joe or Jane due to my line of work.

If you don't like FS then don't use it. No one is trying to convince you otherwise. The statement involved affecting absorbency, which it is well proven to not by quite a few labs. It might have been true decades ago, but it is not now.

P.S. Funny you should mention flame retardant clothing: another sore spot that everyone complains about regarding toxicity.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 1:00PM
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