Occasionally, my husband’s science background comes in handy for more than just homeschool experiments. When a friend needed a check on a diaper washing article, Marc provided such a thorough, science geek answer that I created a new article from it: “Vinegar in Diaper Care.”
Most people I know use vinegar and have a vague memory of pH from school, but I had no idea why this worked. Marc explains it this way:
- urine is close to neutral
- ammonia, which is alkaline, forms from urea over time
- vinegar, which is acidic, would neutralize the ammonia
- detergents work better close to neutral
Conclusion: Diapers will wash more easily sooner after they come off baby, and vinegar helps the effectiveness of the detergent if ammonia has formed.
He says he is going to investigate baking soda next.