I seriously think I've tried everything on these diapers and I can't seem to get them to be absorbent again. I have 12 Happy Heinys and 7 BG 3.0s and no liquid will pass through them. The inserts don't absorb at all and water just beads off the actual diapers so it can't even get to the inserts. They've been this way for quite awhile and I just sort of gave up on them, but today I decided I really wanted to get them in working order and it just didn't happen. DD is potty trained during the day and only needs diapers at night and we've been putting her in sposies. We were out of diapers today and literally down to our last $10 in the bank. I thought it would be great if I could get her diapers in working condition so we didn't need to buy more disposables. I've tried stripping them using Dawn and hot water several times and it never worked. Today, I tried boiling a few inserts to see if that would do the trick and it didn't work at all, plus there was a horrible chemical-y smell coming from the pot while they were boiling. I soaked said inserts in vinegar to see if that would clean out some of the nastiness but that didn't work either. Does anyone have any other suggestions? The Dawn method has worked for me before and I can't understand why it won't work this time. The only thing I can think of that caused the build-up was a homemade detergent recipe I used about a year ago. It called for a color-safe bleach so I just bought whatever was cheapest. Bad idea. DD, DH and I all had allergic reactions to it and of course, the diapers stopped being absorbent. I've since switched to washing soda, borax and Castile soap which works great on our clothes but I haven't been able to get the diapers back to normal since using the color-safe bleach. Seriously, any suggestion, no matter how crazy or out there, I'm willing to try pretty much everything.
At my wit's end!
I didn't boil the PUL, just the inserts. I'm too scared to boil the diapers themselves, I can't imagine that's good for the PUL. You're probably right that it would melt the plastic. A friend suggested that maybe our water wasn't hot enough(we're in an apartment and can't turn up the water heater) so I boiled a big pot of water and washed the inserts on a hot wash with Dawn and added the pot of water to the wash to crank the heat up a bit. After several more hot washes, they're finally in the dryer. If it works, I'll strip the diapers the same way and hopefully I'll have a working stash again!
I've scubbed my bG outers (the stay dry layer, not the PUL) with Dawn and a toothbrush to get the residue from rash cream off before with good results. I also had good success boiling my inserts. It takes a lot of water to do this. I only put a few inserts in a big pot so all the build-up would come out. I repeated the boiling process until the water was clear and suds-free. I know the chemical smell. I think it comes from the detergent build-up in the diapers being drawn out.
Bleach always helped with the amonia smell in my bG's, but I don't know if it will remove build-up.
I didn't get any actual suds when I boiled the inserts, but there was definitely some icky stuff floating in the water. After several washes with Dawn and bleach, the inserts now all seem to have spots where the build-up has been removed but they're not 100% absorbent. The spots that will actually soak up water are still slow to absorb so I still can't use them.
I had a similar thing happen to my diapers after using the wrong formula of Rocking' Green. The only thing that worked was RLR. It comes in a packet that looks like it's from the '70's. Starting with clean diapers, wash with hot water & an entire packet of RLR. Then, just keep rinsing until there are no more suds. It worked wonders for me. It got all of the residue out and they are nearly perfect now. If you do a google search, you can find it for sale. It's costs about $2. Good luck!