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ANother ammonia smelling a newbie!

504 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ILuvLucia&Mia
For the past two mornings dd's diaper has smeeled so strongly of ammonia that it has almost knocked me out! I have only been CDing for about a week. The only difference is that for the past two night I have been using some used hemp inserts along with the microterry inserts to help keep her sry. I wash every day and here is my "routine": cold soak followed by hot wash with charlie's soap (about one squirt of the liquid), cold rinse with a little baking soda and TTO and lavender. I use a portable washer so I am not sure if that could be the culprit or not??? Her other diapers and inserts smell fine...any thoughts? I am doing a hot wash as we speak and I checked for bubbles but there are none in the water so I am guessing it's not soap build up??? And I *think* we have hard water which was why I was using the baking soda. I have white crusty stuff around the faucets if I don't clean them often enough - is that hard water? SOrry there are so many questions - I just want to get these diapers clean before it gets worse!!! TIA!
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Stop adding things to your cold rinse.

And wash the dipes on warm/hot with no detergent to get rid of the stuff you've been adding.

Ammonia smells on healthy baby's dipes typically mean you have detergent buildup. Since Charlie's rinses clean, I'd guess it's the stuff you're adding. It's unnecessary.

Stick with just the Charlie's and if you want, run an extra rinse (cold) after the wash cycle.

ETA: Some folks have said hemp is sooooo absorbant, it tends to need the extra rinse so you might want to start incorporating an extra rinse each time you wash the hemp inserts. We use just the microterry and don't have any issues with smell.


ETA: Contact Charlie's and ask them if you need to add anything because of water issues. Can't help you there, but I'm sure they can!
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Thanks, Mama! I will try it and let yo uknow how it goes with just hot water...and i will stop adding the TTO and lavender - I just liked the smell!
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I'm having the same problem with my hemp inserts. I just have 2, so I have been putting off washing them alone b/c that's just wasteful, so I've been using them as a last resort. We only use pockets at nighttime, so I usually try to find something else to stuff in them.
Oh wonderful hemp! I love the absorbancy, but hate the amount of work it takes to keep it smell free. For OP, I would make sure to boil and hand rinse them like crazy. Sounds like you inherited someone else's problem. Eeek!!

For my hemps, I have to usually strip them about once every 10-14 days. I tried everything with them and am now on a 2 teaspoons of Charlie's/ Borax in the wash/ vinegar in the rinse every once in a while. So far, I've made it about 7 days without stink issues.

I feel like, by the time I get a good wash routine down, ds will be out of diapers! I'll just have to have another baby then I suppose...LOL.
The baking soda might be the culprit - it does soften your water, but it raises the Ph level above neutral as well (baking soda has a Ph of about 8).

The Ph of ammonia is about 10, so if you add white vinegar (Ph 4) it will balance the Ph out.

If you want to continue using baking soda, I would add it to your first cold soak, and then add 1/4 cup vinegar into your final rinse to restore the Ph level.

Or you could just try leaving out the baking soda all together and see what happens.

Good luck!
I had bought some used hemp inserts when I started to cd and oh man did they stink the first time I used them. They had soooo much build up it was crazy. I washed without detergent many times and then boiled them and rinsed some more. I got it out and haven't had a problem with them since.
I had asked Charlie's about this problem and Taylor said do a cold wash with nothing, then a wash with Charlies and add a small amount of bleach to the fabric softener cup (rather than the bleach cup). So the bleach at the end "sanitizes" the diapers. It works great. Just dilute your bleach with water.
I've had the same problem, mainly with my IPFs. I'll follow all your recommendations, thanks Mamas!!!!
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