You're not doing anything 'wrong', nappies that don't go in a tumbler go crispy without fail. I wouldn't bother with the vinegar, it'll rot the elastic in the end and tbh I didn't notice any difference in my nappies.
I think washing with ecoballs keeps things softer. I was dubious for a long time about trying ecoballs, but finally bit the bullet and bought the starter one, as it ws much cheaper to buy, (ecoballs 150) and I'm staggered at how well they work. What's more, because there's no powder involved, you don't even have to rinse the washing afterwards! I'm definitely going to get the 1000 wash ones next time. They reckon the 150 wash ones cost 8p per wash, and the 1000 wash one cost 3p per wash. Anyway, I'm hooked now, and won't be going back to detergent again
I bought some eco balls a year or 2 ago but then read some very negative stuff about them online and it put me off. IF I find them then I might start using them for the nappies. Is it really ok to just use them for pooy nappies though?
Would be interested to know wha the negative stuff you heard was, S2BFo4. We have them, but I tend to use powder for the nappies. Have cut down on the quantity though. Am I right in thinking that drying on the radiator leads to crunchy nappies then?
I can't really remember as it was a long time ago. There was somebody on netmums who knew ALOT about washing powders, machines, eco balls, soap nuts etc and she directed me to a lot of links about them. It was enough to put me off anyway.
I THINK some of the reasons were: -Your machine can eventually get clogged/dirty because there is nothing giving it a good clean - You clothes eventually will fade and the colours will die and fabric will get ruined, but this isn't a fast enough process to make you realise it is the eco balls that have done it -It also said that overtime your clothes etc won't smell clean but you might not notice it, but it can be that others will. But if your nappies don't smell of wee and poo then maybe this isn't right?
Don't take my word for any of this, I am just repeating what I was told. I might go and see if I can find the same lady on netmums, although I don't really use NM anymore. I might give them another go though. Maybe eco balls one week then washing powder the next so that it does still get a good clean in between?
We don't have a tumble dryer or an airing cupboard. I have the crunchy nappy problem too though. I read somewhere that vinegar helps soften them, and have since done about 4 loads with about 1/2 teacup of vinegar (the ordinary brown type) in the powder drawer. Seems to be working - not as soft as if I'd used fabric conditioner, but the nappies won't go all non-absorbent either. Also, give then a good shake to loosen up the fibres before you hang them out to dry, whether indoors or out.
Poo- obvioulsy should have read the OP properly, and then I would have seem that you are already using vinegar. Sorry for being thick. Can I still blame baby brain? DS is nearly 6 months! Maybe the vinegar thing depends on the chemistry of your local water supply?