Did you find a way to continue using it, and use an additive that resolved the rashes (regular stripping, turning up hot water heater, etc), or did you have to cease using it?
I currently already do a cold rinse, hot wash, extra rinse with vinegar at the end. I've been throwing in some Dawn the last few washes, but it doesn't seem to do much. If DD spends all her time in cloth, she gets blisters that take a while to heal. Sposies, she has nothing and pretty clear skin. The blisters stop persisting right away and start healing. Her dipes do smell some like ammonia too.
If her dipes smell like ammonia, I wouldn't be pointing at the Charlie's. She's a toddler now, and toddler pee tends to be more concentrated than infant pee. I know when DS made the switch I had to change up my wash routine because all of a sudden what had been working for a year wasn't working any longer. Those may very well be ammonia burns you're seeing.
My first thought would be you need more water. That's pretty much always my first thought in this day of HE washers. If you're using Dawn and still getting ammonia, then you probably don't have enough water. You can wait until the machine stops filling, then add a bucket, either through the door or through the detergent cup (I found this easier through the door - pause the machine, open the door, and then fill up to the edge of the door). Wash smaller loads. Add a soak. You may need to do a combo. I added water for ages, and then discovered that a smaller load combined with an Auto Soak took care of the problem nicely.
So now my wash routine looks like this: full (short) wash on cold/cold with detergent (Charlie's) and vinegar (this is to get the bulk of the pee/poo out of the dipes). Then the load gets split in half, half stays in the machine, half goes into the laundry basket to wait it's turn. I do an auto-soak, heavy duty wash, extra rinse, long spin with Charlie's and vinegar. And then I do it again for the other half of the load that is still sitting there. The auto-soak soaks and agitates the dipes off and on for about 20 minutes. That's enough time for the ammonia crystals that are embedded in the dipes to be softened and start rinsing away. Assuming the load is small enough to facilitate proper water movement.
Cristeen ~ Always remembering our warrior ~ Our is 3, how'd that happen?!?!
We welcomed another warrior in May 2012!!
2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012
I have only been using cloth for 6 mo with my daughter, but a big fan of Charlie's and no issues. I would say more water (I switched to L load after only doing M for awhile) and I truly believe in the power of the sun for the disinfecting. The Diapers I am using are from a friend who gave up on them for funk, residual ammonia smell even when they were clean, rash, etc. I stripped them and ALWAYS line dry (even if they have to go through a day of rain out there on the line before they get dry) and have had no issues. Again, she is still young; just wanted to throw my two cents in about the line dry and how that might help....
Cristeen's advice is pretty great and thorough.
I know both my kids (at around 1 1/2 y/o) started having more skin issues with wet & dirty diapers. I encouraged using a little toilet, and did combos of stripping our diapers and regularly running a second full wash without detergent when washing diaper laundry. I also tried to pay more attention to whether the skin issues were connected to any foods they were eating (or eating too much of) at the time (and sometimes it was - too many oranges, for example . . .). Take some time and make sure you're considering a few different angles.
FWIW, my kids have very sensitive skin and sometimes the laundry just after dawn stripping really irritates their skin. Don't overdo it on the dawn.
Thanks for the replies. I ended up turning my hot water heater up and doing a couple very hot washes. And, even then, I realized with the input of my mom that today's washers regulate water temperature so that even the hot wash wasn't that hot. So, my trick was to use the short hose from the laundry sink faucet and fill the washer HOT HOT water with my tank at 150 degrees. I actually discovered that first when I successfully (finally) got bad stinks out of dish rags and towels. Did the same thing with diapers with a little dawn and I think they finally got free of residue that even Charlie's wasn't getting out.
So far, so good. Her skin hasn't gotten any rashes or blisters. I will continue to wash on hot hot most of the time, and as a pp said, to wash more often, and still use Charlie's,
Now I need to wait to see what my water and electric bill is going to be.