I started doing this when I was using cloth diapers. Soak your stinky laundry. The extra time in the water and soap gives the dirt and stuff time to really release from the fabric.
I used to only do this for diapers, but I teach Taekwondo in Florida, which means we sweat and our dirty laundry stinks. I’m sorry if this is too much information, but I tried to get the smell of stinky sweat out. I tried adding baking soda to the laundry; I tried adding vinegar; I tried a more powerful detergent; I tried both baking soda and vinegar (honestly I think adding both vinegar and baking soda cancels each other out).
Finally, I remembered the lesson of my cloth diapers. Soaking.
- Yes, you should add the detergent during the soak cycle
- After the soak cycle is done, you can run a rinse cycle, then add more detergent and run the regular cycle (I would do that if it’s something extra gross, like your kid had an accident), if everything is merely stinky, I’d just go straight to the regular cycle.
- Yes, soaking is better than washing it twice becuase the fabric really gets that time in the water to let go of the dirt.