So I have learned that fabric softener and cloth diapers do not go well together from this site and others. I'm ready to wean completely off my liquid fabric softener before prepping my Fuzzibunz for their first use.
My questions: Is there anything I should do to clean any residue from my washer and dryer prior to washing and drying my FB? If so, what is the best way to go about doing that? And is it okay to use white vinegar as a water softener for my other clothing loads in place of store bought fabric softener?
If you just wash without it for a while it will probably be fine. Vinegar is completely fine. I used to always use fabric softener and now can't stand the smell or feel of it. You're get used to it fast. When working I did use an unscented drier sheet with my work clothes that really get staticy. I just made sure a few other loads were dried between them and my diapers.
I wouldn't worry about it too much really with the dryer. It's more of an issue in the washer if I remember correctly. Just be sure to clean out the 'cup' and the washer well. Take things apart, etc, and rinsing.
We use vinegar with our regular wash and dryer balls in our dryer. Zero issues from those. Clothes turn out just as well as when we used to use fabric softener once upon a time.
I know that soap nuts will strip your other clothes and machine of soap and softener residue--not sure if other "clean rinsing" soaps will, but they might. I didn't specially clean the machine, but I started using soap nuts months before the baby was born on ALL of our laundry so that everything would be squeaky by the time the diapers went in there.