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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using my mama pads for about 4-5 months and the last 2 cycles I've had I noticed that they tend to have this 'fishy' smell even when I change them very frequently. So I did some hot washes and even threw in a glug of bleach because the smell wouldn't go away even after several washes. I thought the bleach took care of it, but after using them again and a regular wash they stink again
My wash routine is: dry pail and wash with my dd's diapers every day, first a cold prewash then a hot wash and 2 more cold rinses. My daughters dipes don't have stink... Anyone have any advice? Is there a better way to wash the pads? What about hydrogen peroxide? Does it help with stink? I would prefer not to use the bleach if I can avoid it... I don't care about stains just don't like the stink, that was part of the reason I switched to cloth, I couldn't stand the disposable pad smell. Thanks for any hints you may have for me
 

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Are they fishy before you use them?

If so, try soaking overnight in baking soda (about 1 part soda to 8 parts water)
then soak the next night in vinegar at the same ratio

then report back ;->

If they are not smelly until you use them, you may have an infection. Many infections can be more or less asymptomatic, but odor is usually a sign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, they're fishy before I use them, like they're not coming clean properly... I forgot to say that we have very hard water and we used to have stink with the diapers but I worked the wash routine out so they don't get stink anymore. I don't think it could be an infection, I'd know
and there's no smell otherwise... also I just had a gyn appt. and everything was ok. I'll try the soak with bs and vin though. Thanks
 

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Ah! Hard water makes a difference. You might want to try the vinegar soak on *one* pad first and make sure it doesn't make things worse. It can sometimes be a problem with hard water, but it depends on exactly *which* minerals you have a lot of in your water.

The baking soda should be safe and should help.

If not, you can also use oxiclean, there are recipes for making your own with washing soda and hydrogen peroxide if you are interested in that. The homemade stuff is good for deodorizing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, I'll try the bs soak tonight, do I wash them with detergent in the morning after the soak? Also, if they don't smell in the morning should I even bother with the vinegar? I've heard of it giving probs with hard water before too. What do you think my regular maintenance should be from here on out? Thanks so much for your help
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by chasmyn
Also if you have hard water you can get a box of water softener and put a scoop in with every load - it makes a huge difference.
Ooh! Is that just something you can pick up at the grocery store? What would I call it...? Box of water softener...?
 

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I wash mine with regular laundry.
1/4 cup (or less) BS for "wash" and a downy ball of vinegar for "rinse". But I have normal water ;-p

For any stains that don't come out in the first wash, I douse with Hydrogen Peroxide and re-wash. So far, so good.

You will most likely need an acidic rinse after an alkaline wash, but you may have to fiddle with it a lot.
With your hard water, you might try Borax instead of vinegar. I haven't *heard* of hard water probs with Borax, but always experiment on non-valuable items first ;->

If they don't smell after the BS, I'd just run them through a rinse cycle and go with it :)
 

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Just wanted to mention that the Calgon my store carries isn't in a box, but comes in liquid form...small white jug (about the size of a small fabric softener bottle) with pastel rainbow on the front label.
 

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I wonder if it would help to soak the pads after use until you are ready to wash them? Perhaps a bs/water soak? That's what I do, and our water is hard too.
 

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I find that if I don't pre-wash them by hand with a little hand soap, they come out of the dryer still smelling like blood/fish. So I always give them a little handwash first, and then they go in with the regular wash on hot. I also try not to let them dry out - I handwash ASAP after removing one.
 

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Hydrogen peroxide does help get out the stains but I'm not sure it would help with the smell.

Try RL or sportwash, as if you were stripping them like diapers.
 

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I also wanted to add that what really works for both the smell and stain (I mean, NO stains!!!) is Ecover's stain remover - like shout's pre-wash remover but natural. After I give the pads a quick handwash, I use the stain remover and rub it in with the bristle that comes on the bottle. I make sure that it stays on the wet pads for at last an hour or two before it's time for the laundry.

I just did a load that included a combination of glad rags (I'm not into these so much but..), Sweet Cheeks (I love these!) and these ones made by some woman in Oregon and they all came out smelling fresh and without a single stain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks so much for all your help mamas
Well, I did the bs soak overnight, then a rinse in the morning and they still sort of smelled so I decided to put them thru a wash with a bunch of detergent(rather than the little bit I usually use with the dipes) and then a couple rinses. That seems to have taken care of the smell, for now at least. I wasn't able to use them again because I stopped bleeding the day I did all that... figures... so I won't know until next month. I guess if it didn't work I'll try the vinegar. I'm still not sure what I'll do for maintenance from here on out... for sure I'll start rinsing the pads asap after use or maybe devise a little bucket for soaking(with what though...?...sportwash?... or maybe the ecover stuff...? or I could try bs...). I'll also get the calgon and start using it on all my laundry. I've heard of people with hard water using sportwash successfully on their dipes, so maybe I should give that a shot... I hesitate to change too much at one time since you never know what's actually working so I think I'll do one thing at a time.

Thanks again mamas
 

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I swear by Bi-O-Kleen's "Bac-Out"....
I mix Bac-Out with water in the bucket I throw my pads into. Right before washing I give them a good rinse with water. Then I wash them with a load of towels...again using Bac-Out and Premium Laundry, both by Bi-O-Kleen.

www.bi-o-kleen.com

With this, I haven't ran into any problems with staining or smell...

HTH
 

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I give them a splash of peroxide before I wash mine, and have never had a problem with staining/smell, and our water's also pretty hard. I would also second the Oxyclean suggestion - it's great stuff.
 

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If you have issues with artificial fragrances, don't get Calgon. Try Borax instead. It's on the bottom shelf with the laundry detergent. 1/2 cup with the wash water does wonders for my laundry. I'd also suggest you rinse your pads before putting them in the diaper pail.
 
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