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Help me stick with cloth, what am I doing wrong?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been using pre-folds and covers for a year now on my twins.  Never had a problem.  Now, however, every time the babies pee it smells like ammonia.  It's a lot worse with DD2 and tends to lead to a rash if I don't change her immediately and clean her whole bottom area every change.


Here's my old wash method (HE washer):

Pre-rinse poopy diapers in sink

Hot wash and cold rinse

Detergent (all) and vinegar (in the fabric softener compartment)

2 drying cycles in dryer


New wash method:

Pre-rinse poopy diapers in sink

Cold rinse (no spin) (no detergent)

Hot wash and cold rinse w/ detergent(Tide) & vinegar

Extra cold rinse

2 drying cycles


I tried the new method once and no improvement, so I tried to strip;



Cold rinse (no spin)

Added Dawn directly to the washer with diapers

Hot wash w/cold rinse

Continued doing cold rinses (no spin) until no more soap bubbles


The diapers don't smell out of the dryer, but still reek once pee hits them.  What can I do???



post #2 of 7

I have had a lot of luck mixing together eco laundry detergent (whatever is on sale at whole foods), vinegar, and biokleen. I mix them together in the detergent bottle. When I first  buy the detergent, I pour half of it into the old, empty container. Then I add the vinegar until when you shake the bottle and then smell it, it smells like a hint of vinegar. Then I add about 2 oz  of biokleen. I have really found that premaking the detergent mix helped me a lot more than adding it directly to the wash.

post #3 of 7
Becfore I found my current routine, I used to have to do a heavy duty wash with Tide once in a while. I used the full amount of Tide (for liquid. For powdered I needed much less than to the 1 line), and rinsed until no bubbles. That took care of it for a while.

Since I added Amaze (by sunlight) which I read is the same thing as washing soda, I haven't had any stink or needed to strip. My current routine is this:
cold rinse w/ a couple tbsp of Amaze
Hot wash/cold rinse with full amount NatureClean ("natural" laundry detergent), on the large load setting (plenty of water)
Warm wash/cold rinse no detergent - small load size
Then depending on the suds, maybe another cold rinse on the small load size.

Also, if I put in too many diapers, they don't get clean enough. 25-30 is the limit. Any more than 30, and I have stink problems until next time (unless I do another wash).
post #4 of 7


Basically, your dipes arent getting clean. So one of 2 things is going on... Not enough detergent or not enough water. With FL, its more commonly a water problem. You can deal w this by decreasing the load size (my machine can handle 2 days of dipes, no more), or add water. I wait until the machine is done filling then open the door. If there is no visible standing water around the dipes, i add water to the bottom edge of the door. Without standing water, theres nothing to agitate with - the dipes have absorbed it all. Without moving wster, they wont get clean.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much!!  They seem to be gettign better.  I'm experimenting with how much detergent to use.  I upped it to the full amount for a load, but that took like 10 rinses to get rid of suds.  So, I'll go down from there.  I'm also running a cold pre-wash without spin to trick teh machine into adding more water.  I do the same with the rinses (no spin) so there's plenty of water.  I've also decreased the amount of diapers in the load.  Hopefully I'll get it figured out and we'll be on track again.  I just can't imagine going disposable at this point realizing that that's almost a dozen diapers a day.  Talk about money going straight into the garbage bin and all that garbage, ugh.

post #6 of 7

If it helps any, I got really really frustrated with the stink for a while. Once I got my current routine put together, there's no more stink, and it's pretty much smooth sailing.


I think what really helped was the Amaze in the prerinse (as a presoak of sorts).

post #7 of 7

Here is an article on troubleshooting diaper stinks http://www.earthycrunchymama.com/2010/12/troubleshooting-diaper-smells/ .  I would rinse the diapers on HOT water to strip them.  I crank up my hot water heater.  It helps break down detergent build up.  Try some oxyclean too.  I suggest dawn if you are trying to remove rash cream because it breaks down oils. http://www.earthycrunchymama.com/2010/12/stripping-cloth-diapers/ .  I would also consider trying a different detergent.  Tide and All don't always work great with cloth.  Tips for cloth diaper safe detergent. http://www.earthycrunchymama.com/category/library/cloth-diapers-library/ I really like Rockin' Green.  If you want something you can do all your laundry in I woudl suggest planet ultra.  You can get the powdered stuff on cottonbabies.com for free shipping. 


Good luck .



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