So I was passed along some cloth diapers from a very sweet mama, however they have massive build up. I didn't even know that was possible in a prefold! The problem is that I have washed them with my somewhat newer and not ammonia-y diapers and now the whole lot gives off toxic fumes. Not kidding, just changed dd and thought I was going to need to wash my eyes out.
What can I do??? I have a variety of diapers and have always thrown them all in the same load (fuzzibunz perfect size, econobum one size was the system I was using before I was handed down these)
With the bad prefolds, do the hottest, longest, most heavy-duty wash you can do, with bleach. There's bacteria in there causing the ammonia.
You might need to do something similar to your diapers that are now also smelly, but I'd say you can be a little less intense with it if you think your diapers aren't up for it. But with prefolds, you can be pretty much as harsh as you want and not worry because there's no PUL material.
do I wash the covers this way too, or do you think they can be rinsed out. They have strong smells too, but might be because they just need to not be with a bad diap.
Can I put bleach on my hemp prefolds? (Totally the problem with 'trying' out different types of diapers)
Sorry for so many questions.
I've used bleach on all my diapers, prefolds, covers, pockets (BumGenius, FuzziBunz, etc). In my old top loader, I add up to 1/4 cup bleach and detergent. After bleaching and washing I run a couple full hot washes to rinse completely until I see no suds in the water. I would also separate the prefolds from the covers and pockets, and do disinfecting washes on each batch. If possible then hang covers and pockets outside in sun, which will also help kill any bacteria.
I'd start with a soak. If your machine doesn't have a soak option, then just fill it, add detergent, let it agitate a minute and turn it off so that the dipes sit in HOT water for 20 minutes or so. This allows the ammonia crystals to start softening. I'd start with just the PFs and do the pockets/covers/AIOs in a separate load.
I'd also work on smaller loads, so you get more water exposure - this is often a big problem with FL machines, not enough water. I can only do about 15 pocket dipes (or 20 PFs) in my FL machine if I want them to actually get clean.
After the soak, run them through a rinse/spin. And then through the longest most intense wash your machine has (mine has a sanitary cycle, with an extra rinse and a long spin). And then give them a try. I don't do bleach until I've been sure to do this, since the ammonia crystals that are stuck in the dipes respond better IME.
And then do it all over again with your PUL dipes/covers, only you don't want to use the hottest water possible on them, I never go beyond "warm" with my PUL.
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