Troubleshooting Stinky Diapers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i have a major problem with smelly diapers and covers lately. my baby is now 7 1/2 mos. and she's eating solids so her poop and pee are funky to say the least! here is my routine:

dry pail, then i soak in cold with baking soda each day before a hot wash with detergent and vinegar, and lately i have added some lavender oil to this but it does NOTHING.

i really need help. it's making me lazy about using cloth and i used to love my cloth diapers!

can any of you pros help me out? maybe i should be dunking to get rid of the really messy poops? (by the way, i will do anything to avoid dunking!)

thanks for any ideas!
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#2 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 02:52 PM
 
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Maybe get a minishower or Little Squirt from WeeBees if you don't like dunking? This attaches to the toilet and you can spray the poop off if you don't want to dunk... getting poop off might help the smell, especially with baby on solids. Good luck! Many people swear by the minishower (or Little Squirt).

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#3 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 03:29 PM
 
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I think your dipes would benefit from a cold rinse before the soak. If you don't rinse them first, they are soaking in poopy water, kwim? You may also want to add another wash cycle too. I do a cold rinse, cold wash, hot wash, extra rinse. I don't use baking soda or vinegar and only a tiny bit of detergent in the first (cold) wash.

HTH~
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#4 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 03:29 PM
 
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I agree that you need to get as much solid poo off as possible. (I bravely toilet dunk tho myself) Also check your detergent amount. Try even using a miniscule amount, and hot rinse, and see if that helps any.
I once had a lil poo escape my attenttion and it didn't "disolve" in the wash. The whole load reaked! Had to find the poo and rewash everything! not fun!
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#5 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 03:36 PM
 
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Maybe a soap build-up? I'd try strip wshing them. My dd's diapers
went stinky on me at that age too. I strip washed 'em and(2 hot washes & some 5-7 rinses later )fresh smelling diapers we had again

I've always used small(I mean like 1/8c.) of Purex in the diapers. I think after awhile it just builds up ...

Minishower is a great idea. We have a removable showerhead in the tub so I just use that. Anything shakable(sp?) goes in the toilet the rest gets sprayed, no stains. And my tub is clean so please, don't get all creeped out!
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#6 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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willowsmama, what is strip washing? i guess i didn't know that soap could build up. i don't use a lot of detergent. only about a 1/4 of the usual amt. wow i thought i was a cloth diapering queen, but i guess i don't know everything!

i have considered getting a little squirt. aren't they pretty expensive though? maybe just a detachable shower head would be cheaper.

thanks everybody...
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#7 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 06:48 PM
 
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Mamasarah,
Start cheap. You hate dunking, so don't run out and get a little squirt before you've tried some other things.
First, strip your diapers. Turn your hot water heater all the way up and let it heat the water. Use a strong detergent, like Tide or Arm and Hammer or whatever isn't mild. Just a little bit! Do hot washes with nothing until you see no suds in the water when it's agitating.
I noticed you don't do a second rinse and that you use vinegar. Vinegar can cause stink problems for some (has to do with the water supply, I believe). Start with by adding that additional rinse with nothing in the water. If that doesn't help, then you may have to adjust your wash routine some more. For instance, instead of doing a cold soak before your hot wash, do a cold full heavy wash with a LITTLE detergent and baking soda. After it spins that out (don't let it run through the rinse cycle), then do your HOT wash with just a LITTLE detergent, cuz the detergent from before wouldn't all be rinsed out, kwim? Then do a cold rinse followed by a second cold rinse.
I personally don't think anyone should have to use more than 4 fills of their washer to get their diapers clean.
One other thing, if you have VERY hard water, it could be that you are using too little detergent. Hard water may require you use closer to 1/2 C. of detergent.
You may also want to try getting some Nature's Miracle (from the pet section) or Bac Out and squirt that on the diapers that have poop on them before dry pailing them. And don't let the diapers sit more than 2 days before washing. Bac Out makes a huge difference. I would probably even water it down some in a squirt bottle to make it last longer.
Good luck!
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#8 of 51 Old 03-16-2003, 09:33 PM
 
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Yep Holly's right....and sometimes too much vinegar an baking soda is overkill....KWIM? Sometimes more isn't better like most think and if your doing V *& BS every wash it could be just that...I do a vinegar rinse about once a week and also soak in baking soda once or twice a week. I haven't had problems with smalls and I have 2 in dipes
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#9 of 51 Old 03-17-2003, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you all so much!

i forgot to say that i do do a 2nd rinse after vinegar. but i bet i am using too much baking soda and vinegar. i'm going to try to follow holly's advice..strip washing first and then adjusting my routine a little. i need to make sure the poop is out!! i think there were some leftovers in the washer and now one of dh's sweaters smell poopy. yuck.

**i guess i better ask just to be clear...what kind of tide or arm n hammer?**

i use all free clear now. i am really scared of using a detergent with whitening agents by accident...did you ever read those horror stories about rashes from those?
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#10 of 51 Old 03-17-2003, 12:41 PM
 
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Am emtpty load of hot water, maybe with a few drops of tea tree oil or bleach substitute would fix the washer smell issue...Also, make sure ot leave the lid UP between loads.
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#11 of 51 Old 03-17-2003, 02:18 PM
 
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Is it liquid ALL F&C? I hear that it's not as effective at getting laundry clean. I would just use a plain detergent with nothing added and nothing removed for a strip. Plain old Tide for instance. Or the liquid Arm and Hammer (the powdered one has Fabricare, whatever the heck that is). When you strip, you do several hot rinses, so there will be no scents or anything left on the diapers. The strong detergent is to help get them extra clean. Since you had poop left on them, you need them to get cleaner. Before you put a poopy diaper in the dry pail, make sure the majority of the poop has been plopped in the toilet and use a wad of TP to grab off any gobs that didn't fall off.
Are you using fleece liners? They will help with getting the poop off. Poop peels off the fleece easier than off the diaper.
Sorry, that was kinda a rambling post. lol
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#12 of 51 Old 05-15-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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I am still trying to figure out my stink problem.

I have tried:
Many hot rinses
Changing to Tide from All F & C
Vinegar/baking soda strip

Still have the stinkies when Eli pees. Perplexing!!

Any more tips...

And if I don't see suds in the rinse cycle, could it still be "buildup"?

xoxo pam
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#13 of 51 Old 05-16-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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Kenny's urine stinks in his overnight diapers. It also stinks in his nap diapers. On occasion it will stink when I use his unbleached prefolds. These are previously fresh smelling diapers that stink once peed upon.

Moving to another room. Every day I end up using 2 to 3 dishrags at the sink. Why? Because in spite of how FRESH they smell when I pull them out of the drawer and use them for the first time. Once used, they will develop a 'sour' smell and I don't want to wipe that smell on my girl's faces, the table the counters or dishes, so I switch it out.

I'm thinking it is the same type of thing.

We are not diaper services. There is a limit to the level of heat we can put our diapers through. Although I do believe we 'clean' our diapers we cannot honestly say that we sterilize them completely or that we even kill all bacteria. I do believe that the smell on my dishrag is 'left over' bacteria as is the smell on the diapers.

This keyboard has bacteria - the desk - the kitchen counters - my body - it is all around us everywhere. If you use a towel for several days, it doesn't smell fresh anymore - whether you hang it to dry or not . . . it starts to smell a bit 'sour' or 'stale.'

I don't know if there is a way to tackle all smells . . . it would be nice, but I just don't want to bleach my diapers at each wash or turn up my water heater to scalding levels. So, I deal with a sour smell here or there and just try to get 'em as clean as I can.

There's my 2 cents - anyone else?
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#14 of 51 Old 05-16-2003, 12:14 AM
 
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Ahhhh. Maybe this is why Caden's diapers don't stink. I DO keep my hot water heater turned all the way up!! (Dangerous, I know, but we're pretty careful people, including my kids, and our heater doesn't get as scalding as some.)
It's only that Samuel's Soaker that I've ever smelled ammonia on.
I would put it through a few more strips in extra hot or boil them, Pamela.
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#15 of 51 Old 05-16-2003, 05:56 AM
 
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I am not a wahing expert but I thought that if your water is soft it will not bubble but there could still be detergent residue. Or was it hard...
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#16 of 51 Old 05-16-2003, 11:28 AM
 
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It's hard water that doesn't bubble as easily. I do know you could have mineral build up with hard water and perhaps you could have detergent residue as well without bubbles. Don't really know for sure about that, though.
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#17 of 51 Old 05-16-2003, 12:47 PM
 
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Always the dissenting view because I have very hard water. Are you using enough detergent? Just a thought.
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#18 of 51 Old 05-17-2003, 02:48 AM
 
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I am dealing with the same thing. DS also has redness all over the diaper area (not so much a rash as just redness like when you sit in a hot bath). I am thinking it must be either build-up or something with his urine. I have been changing him a lot more often (I am admittedly one of those that lets them go pretty long) and that helps some, but not enough. I have stripped the dipes using super hot water. I actually had to have my washer fixed 'cause it heats its own water and the thermostat was bad. It was heating so hot that it warped part of the washer from the steam! The guy told me the parts are rated to 205 F so it was getting hotter than that!! That should have been hot enough to strip the dipes. Anyway, the water here is really hard and I am struggling to find a detergent that seems to not build up. So, there you go. Another distressed diapering mama with the same problem.:
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#19 of 51 Old 05-17-2003, 03:46 AM
 
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Ivy's overnight diaper is stinky too. Poor kid, dh nicknamed her "rat cage" I let my soakers and doublers sit overnight in the washer with baking soda, then washed on hot w/SensiClean the next day. That helped a bit. But I think that Heather is right. Unless you bleach or boil your dipes, you're just not going to get rid of all the critters.

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#20 of 51 Old 05-17-2003, 11:21 AM
 
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I grew up in the land of sour clothes and washclothes: my mother who hates the smell of bleach was terrible about our laundry. As a result, I am VERY touchy about how my clothing smells. In my not so humble opinion, if it smells bad or sour, it's not clean. If it smells bad, there's something nasty in there making it stink. I soaked some of my dd stinky underwear from accidents (that sat too long) in Oxyclean for 4-6 hours. I put shallow water in my sink, dumped up to 4 scoops into it and added a drop or two of Basic H. They're nice and clean smelling now. The sourness, though--that might take a tiny amount of bleach or a long soak in vinegar. Try the smallest amount you think you can get away with and if it doesn't work, try a little more the next time around.

Everybody has a different view on this, I suppose, and it might depend on what you can tolerate. However, a little girl came to our house to play the other day and she had to walk through the rain to get here and BOY did her clothing STINK! It was the sour smell that makes me gag to this day!

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#21 of 51 Old 05-17-2003, 01:28 PM
 
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Could it be that you're not using enough detergent? After I switched back to Cheer Free from All, I had problems again - stripping didn't work and I was about to give up and deal with the smell until I accidentally upped the amount of detergent I used and since then, haven't had any smell problems at all.

We have hard water, however, so this may not work with soft water.
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#22 of 51 Old 05-17-2003, 02:36 PM
 
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I finally had a full afternoon of sun and hung all my diapers on the line- that seemed to freshen them up at last. Could they need a good sunning to kill the bacteria? UVlight is a disinfectent.

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#23 of 51 Old 05-17-2003, 02:38 PM
 
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I am going to keep experimenting. Maybe I do need more detergent. I will try vinegar too. Last night ds wore a sposie and this morning there was no smell and no redness. This is so frustrating 'cause I really, really believe in cding but I just can't seem to get the laundry thing figured out. I have not tried All F&C so maybe that is next.
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#24 of 51 Old 06-12-2003, 11:09 PM
 
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Okay so I buy a bunch of little lambs
and luke's drawers
and some SOS, Chumbas and Bunny Hugs

And I buy sensiclean

And frick

my diapers reek!!!!

Here is what I do

I spray out poopies with our little squirt

I cold wash everything once
Then I cold wash again with baking soda
Then I hot wash, warm rinse with Dr. Bronners Baby Soap and rinse with tea tree oil
Then I hot wash, warm rinse with SensiClean and rinse with lavender oil

Before you help me don't judge me
We have a new washer that uses 1/5 of the water of normal washers
and the washer and dryer use 1/2 the electricity

So maybe it seems I do too many cycles

But my diapers still reek. Help me.
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#25 of 51 Old 06-13-2003, 12:23 AM
 
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i've heard of alot of people that use Dr. Bronners with the same problem. I think it's not strong enough. toss some Tide or Purex in there next wash day.
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#26 of 51 Old 06-13-2003, 12:29 AM
 
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but don't lotsa people just use Sensiclean solo and have clean dipes.

I was thinking of trying vinegar, should i?
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#27 of 51 Old 06-13-2003, 12:38 AM
 
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I'm not sure.: Most people seem to use a small amount os laundry detergent. i do a cold rinse then a warm wash(sometimes hot) with half a capsule of RLR and just under 1/4c. of Windfresh(40 lbs. for $10.00 at Sams' Club!!!) not stinky diapers 'round here. I just wouldn't be able to deal if all W's cute little diapers smelled funny.
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#28 of 51 Old 06-13-2003, 12:45 AM
 
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I'd ditch the Dr. B's, personally.

Here's me: cold soak/prewash with 1/2 c. baking soda

hot wash/cold rinse with a little tiny bit of cheapo Sam's Club detergent and Downy Ball mostly full of vinegar.

If there are suds in the sink after, I do another cold rinse.

That's it.

Oh, and line dry if the stinkin' sun ever comes out again. Come on,
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#29 of 51 Old 06-13-2003, 12:45 AM
 
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I've only heard maybe two people say they use Sensiclean alone with good results. Most people I've heard say their diapers don't get clean enough, and/or stink when they use it alone.
Your problem seems to be that you need a real detergent. And yes, that is a lot of washes/rinses.
I know I don't have a front loader and my routine may have to be modified if I had one, but I've tried lots of different wash routines and keep coming back to this:
Cold agitate/soak with 1/2 C baking soda. This helps neutralize urine, remove poop, pee and stains. Spin out dirty water.
LONG HOT wash WITH very little detergent. Cold rinse sometimes with 1/2 C. vinegar to help remove residues and soften dipes.
Second cold rinse with nothing or with a drop of lavendar or TTO.
If you want to keep using the Sensiclean, use regular detergent (VERY little) in the cold agitate/soak and Sensiclean in the hot wash. If your machine won't do a soak or spin out without doing a rinse, let it do one whole cycle on cold with detergent in the first cold wash, let it rinse, and then sensi clean in the hot wash/let it rinse, then do another rinse.
But definitely get some detergent.
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#30 of 51 Old 06-13-2003, 08:27 AM
 
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I also suggest changing detergents.
I had the *stinkies* for awhile when I was using All F&C...soon as I switched to Tide Free, the stinkies were gone and my dipes smell good again.
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