ammonia questions - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-03-2009, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
bstandlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sierra Foothills, CA
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What causes some wet diapers to be so much stronger ammonia smelling than others? I'm talking making my eyes water the ammonia is so strong! Also, would a very strong ammonia-smelling diaper cause little clear blisters on the tip of DS' penis? I noticed them this morning after having 2 super strong smelling diapers in a row. Or if the blisters wouldn't be caused by ammonia, what else would they be from? How concerned should I be?

Married to my wonderful DH; Mama to DS born 6-07 and 4 in heaven brokenheart.gif1-06 (7 weeks) brokenheart.gif1-10 (6 weeks) and our twins 5-11, brokenheart.gifone sweet boy (17 weeks) and brokenheart.gifone precious baby girl (18 1/2 weeks).

In the middle of our adoption journey and are excitedly waiting to get matched with a birth mom

bstandlee is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-04-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Galatea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 7,153
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
The type of material a diaper is made from and how long it has been in use can affect how much ammonia buildup there is. Ammonia can definitely cause blistering on the tip of the foreskin. His penis will recover. Here is how to fix it:

1. Strip your diapers by washing them in the hottest water possible with no detergent. You can add some Calgon water softener or RLR laundry aid to help get the buildup out. Keep washing this way with no detergent until no more bubbles form in the wash water.

2. Then wash them again on hot with a tablespoon of regular chlorine bleach. Rinse them twice.

3. To prevent ammonia in the future: Start every wash with a cold prerinse or prewash with 1 cup white vinegar. Then wash with a cloth-safe detergent like Allens, Mountain Green, or Charlie's. Make sure you rinse the diapers until all bubbles are gone.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
Galatea is online now  
Old 05-04-2009, 08:57 PM
 
paintingmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Onsted, MI
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We had this problem as well and started using fleece liners--we were using just indian prefolds. That helped alot and stripped the diapers. Plus we slathed a little bacitracin on the blisters for a couple of days--don't use diaper rash cream it makes it worse--the blisters need air to clear up.

Beth--Momma to Ethan 9/11/07 and Ella 9/20/09, wife to Rob, babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, homebirthing, cloth diapering addict, WAHM.
paintingmom is offline  
Old 05-05-2009, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
bstandlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sierra Foothills, CA
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for your replies. It must be build up. We're using mostly Fuzzibunz and we only use Charlies soap but we do have hard water. Unfortunately we're out of town for the week so I won't be able to strip them until we get home. I was putting some almond oil with lavender essential oil and calendula oil in it for the blisters but I guess that's not so good since they need air to heal. I didn't think of that!

DH thinks it's from being dehydrated...he doesn't understand why detergent or hard water build up would make the ammonia so strong. He has a degree in chemical engineering and insists it doesn't make sense because the ammonia is already present in the urine, it's not being created by a chemical reaction with the detergent (according to his reasoning). I couldn't explain it to him very well...any input on that?

Married to my wonderful DH; Mama to DS born 6-07 and 4 in heaven brokenheart.gif1-06 (7 weeks) brokenheart.gif1-10 (6 weeks) and our twins 5-11, brokenheart.gifone sweet boy (17 weeks) and brokenheart.gifone precious baby girl (18 1/2 weeks).

In the middle of our adoption journey and are excitedly waiting to get matched with a birth mom

bstandlee is offline  
Old 05-05-2009, 03:30 PM
 
SuzyLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a chemical engineer too, and I don't know why, but I sewar it is real!

I am at the point of needing to try RLR. I prerinse on cold, do 2 hot washes (second wash is just a hot rinse) and still I have this problem. I am guessing it is related to our hard water. I have no interest in needing to strip every 3 months- that is a ton of hot water to waste in my opinion. I have my diubts about the environmental advantages of cloth diapering if you have to use tons of extra hot water to get them clean.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
SuzyLee is offline  
Old 05-06-2009, 02:40 PM
 
brietta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 455
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bstandlee View Post
Thanks for your replies. It must be build up. We're using mostly Fuzzibunz and we only use Charlies soap but we do have hard water.
We use fuzzi bunz and Charlie's Soap and have hard water. The ammonia REALLY irritated my son's penis when he was in diapers.

To get back to square one, I ended up having to use about 1T of bleach in a hot wash on the microfiber inserts (which is where the bacteria/detergent residue really builds up). Then I added liquid Calgon (1/4 capfull since we have an HE washer) to each wash and we have had NO ammonia problems since.

Wife to Daniel and blessed SAHM to Gabriel (6), Bronwyn (5), Jackson (3), Aubrey (2 ), and Claire (11/1/09 )
brietta is offline  
Old 05-07-2009, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
bstandlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sierra Foothills, CA
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brietta View Post
We use fuzzi bunz and Charlie's Soap and have hard water. The ammonia REALLY irritated my son's penis when he was in diapers.

To get back to square one, I ended up having to use about 1T of bleach in a hot wash on the microfiber inserts (which is where the bacteria/detergent residue really builds up). Then I added liquid Calgon (1/4 capfull since we have an HE washer) to each wash and we have had NO ammonia problems since.
I'll definitely buy some calgon. I keep looking for it as an afterthought when I'm at the grocery store but never find it. But I'll make a point of searching it out. If I had to do over, I would use an all natural fiber instead of the FB inserts. But it sounds like there's hope...thanks!

Married to my wonderful DH; Mama to DS born 6-07 and 4 in heaven brokenheart.gif1-06 (7 weeks) brokenheart.gif1-10 (6 weeks) and our twins 5-11, brokenheart.gifone sweet boy (17 weeks) and brokenheart.gifone precious baby girl (18 1/2 weeks).

In the middle of our adoption journey and are excitedly waiting to get matched with a birth mom

bstandlee is offline  
Old 05-08-2009, 01:16 PM
 
JessieBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,423
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
We never got blisters but did have scald-type rashes and unbearable stink issues. Both mildew and ammonia. I tried everything - hot washes without detergent, baking soda and vinegar, Dawn, TTO, and lots of bleach (reluctantly). The bleach got rid of the mold smell but the ammonia was as strong as ever, it was disgusting and penetrated the whole house. Finally I found some Calgon and it did the trick after just one soak. I put them in a big corn pot on the stove so I could get the water really hot (I might not have needed to do this but I was desperate at this point) and added a generous amount of Calgon (1/2 cup or so) and just dunked the diapers for 5 minutes then did 3 rinses in the machine. Out they came smelling brand new. I can't tell you what a relief that was. Now I'm not sure whether I'll have to use it with every wash or just once in a while. Hopefully someone else can answer that. Good luck!

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
JessieBird is offline  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:04 PM
 
TucsonDad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks so much to everyone for posting here. The ammonia from my little one's diaper was nostril blistering. Being a bit of a hypochondriac, of course my mind wonders to the worst places and I run to the internet. So happy to come across this.

 

Here was/is my situation:

fuzzi-buns (yes)

Charlie's Soap (yes)

have hard water (indeed!)

 

Will go to the store after the little guy's nap and we'll see if we can get some Calgon. In the meantime, maybe disposables? 

TucsonDad is offline  
Old 09-07-2011, 10:00 AM
 
fullofhope08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: rural Canada
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

we're dealing with the same thing, but only with ds's overnight fitted Goodmama's. They are horrid and we're dealing with rashes/burns. I have switched to disposables until I get his resolved, and keep testing the fitted's. I've tried vinegar and a long, hot soak, then a regular wash. I have tried this a few times with no luck. I'm having a really hard time finding Calgon - none at the grocery store...I think I need to search around for it from the sounds of it! If I try bleach, wouldn't the bleach make my diapers white? (I never use bleach...so this may be a simple question, but I honestly don't know!) Do I need a particular type of bleach? I will try to find the Calgon first as that's what seems to work for others. My treatment with lots of rinses and vinegar has helped some, but ds still had red legs this morning and its affecting his sleep.

I was researching this online and found an explanation for the whole conversion to ammonia thing...I don't remember all of it, but it mentioned that it converts to ammonia particularly when the diapers sit before being washed, and heat doesn't help. So a closed pail isn't helpful. I rinse the diapers out in the morning, hoping that will help. You may find the whole explanation online if you lok around. I'll post it if I come across it again.

Renee


married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

fullofhope08 is offline  
Old 09-09-2011, 09:10 AM
 
fullofhope08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: rural Canada
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

me again. I have more information that I thought I'd share. I called our cloth diaper store and asked a few questions. Here is what they told me. She immediately asked how old my lo was and if he's teething his molars. It's her experience that their pee gets extra strong around the time they teeth molars - 12-18 months. So she encouraged me by saying it will pass. She suggested we use Rockin Green - overnight soak in hot water with 3 tablespoons of the stuff, then 2 full washes with no detergent. She says this should clear them. She also suggested using a microfiber liner in the diapers to create more of a barrier between his skin and the wet diaper. I have both these things on order and hope they help!

Just figured I'd share what I know in case it helps others.

Renee


married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

fullofhope08 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off