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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help, mamas! I am fortunate to never have had a stink issue
, however I have recently converted a friend who is having some serious ammonia odor problems. Apparently when the diaper is wet it stinks something awful of ammonia, and the pail has gotten so bad that she has put it in the garage, where the stink turns fishy.

All the searches I have done on this topic suggest the odor is a result of build-up, but these are brand new diapers and she uses a minimal amount of detergent (TBSP or so).

So...my questions are:
1) Is this for sure a build-up problem? Has anyone had this stink and not had build-up?

2) How do you fix it?

I don't know what type of washer (front-loader vs top loader) she has, and I am suspecting she has hard water because she lives near me. And Calgon is not an option...for some reason they don't carry it anywhere near us.

Help !!!!
 

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My first suggestion as a quick fix is for her to do 2 hot wash cycles in a row after her initial cold wash. This almost always cures the problem for me (and brightens up the diapers, too). I guess this is a mild form of stripping, but it seems to take care of things for me.

And it does sound like if the ammonia smell is that bad that it can be attributed to build-up. But I'm not a build-up expert like some of the mamas 'round here!
 

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I think she needs to use more detergent, rinse more, and use the hottest water she can by turning her water heater all the way up.

I have hard water, and if I don't use 1/4 cup or so of detergent it doesn't clean my diapers. Because I use so much detergent, I have to rinse more. Lowering the water level after the initial cold water rinse helps too. Agitating dipes in lots of water just swirls them around, using less water beats them together and helps to remove the detergent.

I think stink is caused by diapers that are not getting clean enough to kill all the germs. I think detergent build-up is often found with stink, but does not cause stink. If detergent build-up caused stink, then just using bleach wouldn't get rid of stink because you would still have build-up. But bleach does work, as does hot water and borax, and all three do kill germs.
 

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I'm not so sure it's build-up in all cases ... I used a BRAND NEW diaper on dd the other night (she's only night diapered at this point) and she was just as ammonia-ish in the morning as she is in the others that may have buildup. I think toddler pee is TOXIC !!! :LOL
 

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Toddler pee is really awful :LOL

And I find that the smell does not go away if I use as little detergent as I did in my old place - we have harder water here and it takes a bit more to get things clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
okay- so more detergent and more rinses. I know she does an extra rinse at the end, but not so sure about a pre-rinse...I think the pre-rinse is key.

What about vinegar? I've heard vinegar+ hard water is a big
, but wouldn't it cancel out the ammonia? Any experience with this?
 

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Vinegar does neutralize ammonia. Using vinegar in the rinse cycles does not make any difference for me as far as I can tell, even with my hard water. It has helped some TP diapers when I used vinegar straight just poured on the soaker area. But the stink still comes back in these dipes if I don't use more detergent, hotter water, and more rinses than most mamas.
 
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