Is Vinegar Safe for Cloth Diapers?

  • Post category:Wash Care

Yes, white distilled vinegar is cloth diaper safe in most situations. There are two scenarios in which I consider it to be unsafe.

  1. If you have hard water.
  2. It should not be used on diaper covers!


What is White Vinegar?

White vinegar, also known as clear vinegar, is made through acid fermentation of a distilled alcohol. In this process, a combination of oxygen and chemicals in a substance reduces the atoms.

The oxidation of a distilled alcohol leads to a change in its chemical components, and thus, such alcohol tastes sourer. Clear vinegar can be made by combining water with acetic acid. This type of vinegar is exceptionally acidic. It is used more for disinfecting and cleaning than for cooking.

There is a white or clear vinegar called rice vinegar which is widely used for cooking. This type of vinegar is prevalent, most especially in a lot of Asian recipes. There are two different kinds of rice vinegar: one made out of white fermented rice and the other made out of sake. This type of “white vinegar” is not used for cleaning cloth diapers due to its overly acidic nature.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of popular vinegar produced using fermented apple juice. Cider vinegar is mainly used in chutneys, salad dressings, vinaigrette’s, and food preservatives.

Acetic Acid In Your Laundry


  • Vinegar will act as a Natural Fabric Softener and Cling Reducer
  • It helps to reduce the “stank” in your diapers by neutralizing the smell of urine
  • It helps to reduce the soapy or filmy build up on the diapers by breaking up the detergent
  • It has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties to it
  • Vinegar helps to prevent/reduce stains
  • A cheap solution to odor problems


  • If you have hard water, the vinegar may bind with the minerals in the hard water to produce a horrific bad smell!! You may then have to strip the diapers!
  • It should not be used on diaper covers, as the vinegar may bind to the covers, leaving them stinky and decreasing the usability!!
  • Most manufacturers do not recommend using vinegar.

If I Want To Use Vinegar, How Should It Be Used?

Remember to use straight white distilled vinegar! Not red, apple cider, or balsamic vinegar! I would hate to see what happens!!

Use no more than 1/4 cup during the first rinse cycle of your Hot Wash to help get the leftover soap or detergent out of the diapers. You may find that you need more depending on your particular situation. Do what works best for you.

Be sure not to use too much, especially if you live in an area with hard water! Remember the saying “too much of a good thing.”

So what do you think?

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