OMG the smell is awful. - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-12-2008, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok so i have seen alot of stuff about stripping because diapers smell like amonia. DS's just smell like old pee. like the way the wet bag smells after having wet diapers in it all day. but it's like that the second he pees. the diapers we use are AIOs' 100% cotton and PUL.
i cannot take the smell anymore plus now his sheets smell like it in the morning and his pjs. can the smell from a funky diaper transfer to other things or is my childs pee the culpirt ?

oh and the icing on the cake, my washer died and i have to wait till friday to get it fixed, so i have to go to the laundry mat and pay extra for more rinse cycles.

any advice would be awesome
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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What brand of detergent are you using?

The smell is caused from a build up of residue from the detergent you're using, more than likely. Using more of the same detergent will worsen the stink, not make it better.

Bleach won't totally fix it either. Neither will adding other things like TTO, etc. What you need to do is REMOVE the residue from the diapers completely first.

What happens is the residue (typically caused by oils, dyes, etc., even from some "free & clear" brands) builds up and creates a hospitable environment for bacteria. Diapers typically smell fine out of the wash, but once exposed to moisture (urine) the bacteria react and a very strong ammonia or pee smell results.

It's similar to towels that smell musty after just a few uses.

Bleach will kill the bacteria but won't remove the environment that's encouraging bacteria to breed in the first place. Until you do that (get rid of the buildup) you will continue to have issues more than likely. Adding other things like Bac-Out can also help reduce bacteria but won't remove the residue buildup that's causing the bacteria to go nuts there to begin with.

So to remove the residue, strip diapers using Dawn -- the blue concentrated kind (hot water, add Dawn -- about a teaspoon -- then add diapers -- do not overload washer) and run repeated rinses until water is clear and no bubbles. Then switch to a 100% water soluble detergent.

You want NO or green dots across the board and NOT castille-based:

http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html
http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.co...entchoices.htm

And it's also not a bad idea to clean out your washing machine well before you start washing your CDs in the new detergent -- the easiest way to do this is to get some Simple Green (auto dept, Target) and use about a tablespoon of SG with an old ratty towel on a hot wash. This will remove the residue on your washing machine.

Good luck, mama!

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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There is more than one way to strip cloth diapers.

Here is a link to a few different ways although you may find others you want to use.

http://www.litegreenliving.com/stripping-cloth-diapers
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:10 PM
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we dont even use detergent anymore, because no matter what we used we were getting at least a little residue, and all the best detergents were all of a sudden not to be found in our local grocery stores. (and I WONT go to walmart for anything)
so now we use bac-out, usually two hot washes with that, a hot wash (or two if they are really horrible) with Maggies Soap Nuts and an extra rinse with tea tree. We had been having a smell problem until we adopted this as our typical wash.
I don't know wher eyou might find Maggies Soap Nuts, maybe if you go to their website you can find a retailer, or call and find on that way but I promise it will be worth it. We first tried these when our dipes started giving DS nasty rashes and the FiRSt wash with these things, wiped out any trace of residue on those diapers. They have never been so purely clean.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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It definitely sounds like you have some soap residue going on which makes for MAJOR funky issues. Blech! You got some great recs, and from my experience you barely need any detergent and I ended up using only a Tablespoon or two for a load, but that's it.

If I felt like the diapers needed an extra cleaning boost I always add extra vinegar instead of more soap.

Dawn also works great to strip them. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:08 AM
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I totally agree with the rest of the posters, you've got detergent residue. Strip your diapers and switch to a cloth-friendly detergent.

Btw, you can buy Maggie's Soap Nuts on amazon.com.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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ouf, in a land without dawn and very smelly pocket diapers! thanks to janasmama for posting the link to alternatives...unfortunately the pocket stripping method also involves dawn.

my smelly nappies are upstairs now, i guess i'll throw them in the wash again and use the indian nuts...i have some around somewhere. our washing machine is a front loader so i can't open it midcycle. even the top loaders here have locks on the drum to prevent you from opening during a wash...

thanks again mamas!
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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Over the years I've done lots of investigating on this issue and I think the problem is completely OPPOSITE of what people often say. Ammonia is caused when urine comes into contact with bacteria. The bacteria is already in your diapers because they are not getting clean enough when washed. When your child urinates the smell is immediate because the bacteria is already there. If we were talking about diapers that had sat around for hours and hours I'd call an ammonia odor normal since urine naturally breaks down over time.

You need detergeent to get your diapers clean. 1 teaspoon is not enough. I use almost a full amount of liquid detergent (with Biokleen I used a full cap) and nothing else. I have never had stinky diapers, repelling diapers, or diaper rashes in either of my cloth diapered kiddos. Maddie was in diapers for 3 years and Eric has been in cloth for a little over a year.

My recommendation? Cold rinse with Bac-out, Hot wash with detergent (it is important to use enough!) and an extra rinse. Until you get rid of the stink you may need to use a little vinegar in the cold pre-rinse.

One last note.....detergent is a bacterial inhibitor, it makes no sense that a build-up of detergent would cause your diapers to smell. Detergents bind with dirt (and minerals, so if you have hard water you need more detergent) and keep it from redepositing itself on your laundry during rinse cycles. Detergent is your friend, I promise.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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It's not the cleaners in the detergents that the bacteria are clinging to. It's the brightening dyes, fabric softeners, and various oils.

There are plenty of water soluble detergents out there that never have this problem.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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I read a lot about Bac-Out from mamas on here. Is it OK to use with fuzzi bunz? I'm looking for a good disinfectant to use on occasion. Oxiclean-- the only "offically fuzzi bunz" approved disinfectant-- seems to give my kiddos a rash, I'm finding.

If yes, where do you buy Bac-Out?

Wife to Daniel and blessed SAHM to Gabriel (6), Bronwyn (5), Jackson (3), Aubrey (2 ), and Claire (11/1/09 )
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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We use Bac Out with our FBs. We bought it at our local food store in the naural living area.
~maddymama
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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well, i just did the rinsing thing. i put the nasty smelling diapers in a hot wash without soap and sure enough, the water was sudsy. so i did another rinse cycle and then another one. tada! no smell. : thanks mamas!
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raeinparis View Post
well, i just did the rinsing thing. i put the nasty smelling diapers in a hot wash without soap and sure enough, the water was sudsy. so i did another rinse cycle and then another one. tada! no smell. : thanks mamas!
:::

Yay!!!

Yeah, detergent residue can really create some stink. Glad you figured it out.
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raeinparis View Post
well, i just did the rinsing thing. i put the nasty smelling diapers in a hot wash without soap and sure enough, the water was sudsy. so i did another rinse cycle and then another one. tada! no smell. : thanks mamas!
Hooray!

-----



brietta, about Bac-Out, it's fine to use as a disinfectant, but especially since your LO has sensitive skin, be sure to use the Bac-Out in a cold cycle, then follow with regular hot wash. The enzymes work best in colder water, but the hot water kills off the remaining enzymes, which can otherwise cause irritation for sensitive skin. We've used it with our FBs with no issues.

We get ours at the local health food store. You can also order it online:

Here's a link to Amazon, where I just might have to go order a gallon size...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...ac+out&x=0&y=0

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nighten View Post
...
brietta, about Bac-Out, it's fine to use as a disinfectant, but especially since your LO has sensitive skin, be sure to use the Bac-Out in a cold cycle, then follow with regular hot wash. The enzymes work best in colder water, but the hot water kills off the remaining enzymes, which can otherwise cause irritation for sensitive skin. ...
This is excellent info! Thanks! I stopped using the BacOut b/c DS was getting a bad rash from it -- I'll try using it this way and see if that helps.
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