> Inserts stink after a month: Dawn? or Bleach?
I have been using BumGenius 3.0's (pocket dipes) for about 3 months and I've noticed that the stained inserts (one's that were pooped on) are now holding a smell.
-I wash them in an HE front loader on cold with no soap (an extra rinse)
-And then on hot with 1/4 of the recommended amount of soap (Charlie's Soap) and again with an extra rinse.
I've heard you can use bleach if this happens. But how much and how often?
I've also heard you should strip them with Dawn if this happens. But again, how much and how often?
And what indicate which method I should choose (Dawn or Bleach)?
Hmm, I personally would try bleach or Oxy Clean. I would tend to think it's not a build-up problem, since you haven't had them that long and are using Charlie's. After that, I'd try a little more soap in the wash. Or switch the type of soap you're using. (I know many, many people rave about Charlie's, but it didn't work well for us.)
I boil mine when they get rather stinky, but bleach works too.
First of all, you should use the full amount of Charlies. 1/4 of the amount is really not going to get your diapers clean.
Second, when I had stinky issues w/ mf inserts I used bleach about once a month. I was using Charlies at the time, and I finally determined that it just wasn't working with the microfiber. I switched to Tide Free and have not had one issue with stink since then. I think microfiber sucks in so much and holds on to it, then Charlies is just too gentle to get it all out. That's my theory. I think Charlies is probably good for natural fibers, like prefolds.
ETA: My stinky issues were all ammonia.
I've been told not to use dawn to strip your diapers with a front loader. FL need low sudsing detergents to work and dawn soaps up WAY too much for them. I have never tried it so I don't know for sure, but it might be something you want to research before trying.
We use a small amt of bleach once ever 4-6 weeks and that helps. I have used Vinegar too, though a lot of places say not to... though they say no bleach as well... everyone has their own ideas it can get confusing!!
I use bleach about once every 2 months and it takes the smell out of everything!!! I am not a big bleach user, but it does work very well. I just fill it to the minimum line on my front loader. I have lots of colored diapers and I just wash them all with the bleach.
I do use vinegar in every rinse cycle, the full amount on the tray. When I don't use, they definitely smell more.
I bleach all of my mf inserts every few months to keep stinkies at bay.
I had this problem. Cotton babies recommends bleaching monthly. Use 1/4 cup bleach in with your detergent. I could always tell when a month went by as the stinkies would return like clock work.
If you have really hard water, you may want to stop using Charlie's on the diapers for a little while. I have pretty hard well water (we have to soak the showerheads every few months), and Charlie's put a funk in everything. Diapers, towels, sheets, clothes, you name it. Took me 2+ months and many rainstorms and the clothesline to strip all the funk out of everything. Their detergent just doesn't always work well with some hard waters, it's one thing they finally admitted to a while ago (but not soon enough for me to avoid my problems!).
I'd use more detergent, or use a more mainstream detergent (like Tide) once a month. Or both.
If the poo inserts are stinky, I'd bet money it's because they aren't getting clean enough.
From your description, it sounds like you rinse twice (wash/rinse) before you use any detergent? Have you tried just rinsing on cold, washing on hot with the full amount of Charlies, then a full cycle with no detergent?
From your description, it would be the same number of cycles, but you'd be able to use more detergent and make sure it was all rinsed out really well.
If you have hard water try Calgon along with your soap. Calgon made our diapers soft, fluffy, and fresh smelling all the time! We have extremely hard water here because of all the limestone in the ground.
I said I'd never use bleach on my PFs but recently when they got funky smelling after each pee, I tried more soap, vinegar rinses, etc. and nothing worked, so I threw in a couple tablespoons of bleach to the wash, rinsed a couple of times, and now they're back to (not smelling) normal.
In my last house I had a front loader, hard water, and used Charlie's on the dipes. I would use 1 T of bleach in the rinse of my wash cycle, then run another hot wash with no detergent to rinse. It seemed to work well. I never had a stink problem.