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I have some contour diapers and diaper covers that I have been using since my DD was born. Unfortunatly, there are an occasion or two where they've sat in the diaper pail just too long. Now they stink terribly...and I can't get out the smell no matter how I was them.

The diapers are cotton, and the smell is not too bad, but the covers are terribly stinky and I am contemplating throwing them out. I would like to avoid this if at all possible and find some way of solving the problem.

Here is how I wash them...

If there is a #2 at all, I have usually given the diapers an initial rinse before they've gone in the diaper pail.

~I give them all a cold water rinse cycle
~I turn on the hot water, throw in some detergent (sometimes biodegradable organic stuff, but sometimes jsut whatever I have)
~I let them go through and extra long wash cycle. Sometimes I let them soak in teh hot water for a little bit
~I let them do a cold water rinse
~I usually let them hang to dry, unless it's humid out or raining.

Lately, I have been adding borax to the wash to try and get them a cleaner and take out the stink--but that's not been working. *sigh*

Recently I bought some new AIO's and pocket diapers, which are really quite nice compaired to my old contours (second hand) and covers. I am afraid to wash them together or put them in the pail together beause I am worried that they'll get stinky too and my money will be a waste!

Is there any way to help this? Is there something I'm missing?

I know I'll be sure to wash them every 2 days or so now and certainly not wait any longer---as I think this is part of the problem--if not the main problem itself!

My MIL suggested vinegar and said this helped her to get the stink out of her cloth diapers---but this was about 30 years ago.

Any suggestions?


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Your MIL is right! It sounds like the diapers have detergent build-up and need to be "stripped." Here's how: Vinegar and/or Calgon water softener added to the wash cycle will help remove buildup. If you can, do a prewash and add any extra rinse. Use the vinegar/Calgon in the prewash cycle, don't add any detergent, and then wash the diapers on hot. After that, wash the diapers in hot WITH NO DETERGENT as many times as you need to until there are NO suds in the rinse water (and stop the Borax--that's got to be adding to the problem!) You may have to do this 5 or 6 times! Also, smell the diapers after washing them--they should smell clean--no ammonia smell. You should also search this forum for other posts about stripping diapers and about which detergent to use. There is a long list of no-no detergents that are infamous for leaving buildup on CDs. I think plain, powdered, original Tide without any stainlifters, etc. is good, as is Gain. Lots of the free & clear and natural detergents are bad for CDs--sounds weird, but it's true. I have been through this and have had good luck with Tide. You can also sun the diapers after the final wash and that will eliminate any stink that may be lurking. You may have to do a rinse and spin cycle if they get "crunchy" from being outside. Also, never use fabric softener on CDs and if you have a front loader or a HE washer, you have to make sure you do smaller loads and add a prewash and extra rinse to get enough watrer moving through the CDs. An extra rinse is always a good idea, no matter what kind of washer you have, and I'm a firm believer in a warm or even hot dryer for CDs. The Green Mountain Diapers site and Diaperware site are good resources for stripping instructions and detergent reveiews/recommendations. HTH!
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