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What did I do wrong?

718 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  boodafli
I just got my diapers out of the dryer and they all smell like urine...pretty strong, too. I have been doing a soak in warm water...vinegar with every other wash. Then I wash warm, with biokleen (not bac-out, though). I do a cold rinse, as that is the only option on my washer. I follow with at least one more rinse, usually two. I haven't had a problem until today. Oh, and I dry them in the dryer because I live in an place to line dry. I used Borax as a water softener today for the first time.
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the vinager could be causeing the stink..i have never had that except with my inserts(hemp) then i bleached them seperate and it went away..i use sportwash on my diaper
1 cold cycle (wash & rinse)
1 hot wash (with cap of sportwash)
cold rinse

then the inserts go in the dryer ..pockets seperate on low
I use Biokleen for laundry also, but I heard it is not recommended for diapers. Biokleen is actually on the DON'T list on HH website.

So I bought Allen's Naturally to use on my diapers. I am still having some issues but I don't think the detergent is the culprit. I have water issues and will be trying Borax as others here recommended.

A detergent list for cloth diapers

Hope this helps.
If you were using vinegar all along and had no problems before today, then it is probably the Borax(since it was the first time you used it). I would stop using that and go back to your normal routine, see if that works...
Okay...I've been stripping them today. There is no residue (no suds at all) but have boiled them and washed in really hot water. There is no smell on the prefolds or contours. The only smell I notice is on the haute pockets. I finally figured out that they were stinking from the dryer, so I've found a place to lay them out to dry in the apartment. I'll have to hang a line somewhere for them, I guess. Would that make sense that the heat of the dryer is making them stink?
I would maybe change the warm soak to a cold soak. I find when I do to much in warm or hot water with any diaper that has a stay dry inner they end up holding the smell of whatever was in them. I do cold soak and cold rinse. Then hot wash and cold rinse. Every few washes I do an additional cold rinse but not everytime. I do use borax everytime during the soak then wash with purex free and clear. I add vinegar instead of borax every 3 or 4 washes and have never had problems with smell except the one time I forgot to change my washer settings and did everything in warm water.
can i ask WHY you guys soak your diapers? its like making pee and poop soup.
i would suggest skipping the soak and running them through a cold cycle to rinse OUT the poo and pee
then wash on HOT with detergent, and any additives you put in with yours,
then an additional hot rinse.

also, remember if you add anything that oxy bleach works best in HOT water, chlorine bleach works best in COLD water and vinegar works best in warm-hot.
Oh, yeah, I didn't even motice the soak. Yuck. I think I assumed it was a pre-rinse.
My diapers never come clean if I skip the soak. I only do the 30 minute soak on my washer though.
As to your question about the dryer making them stink....
if they smell when in the dryer, they have internal stink issues. That's always a heads up for me.
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but when I get some stink build up I either strip with dawn detergent. (just a little squirt in the hot wash and 1/2 c. vin in the first rinse then rinse until there are no bubbles left) or I wash all my PFs and inserts (separate from the covers and pockets) and put in a capfull of bleach with the detergent. I've had good results with both, but I probably prefer the bleach since it's easier than doing the extra rinses.

I'd also try cutting out the vin and seeing what happens. You could also try adding some baking soda (like 1/2c) with a COLD prerinse or the wash. (I prerinse in cold to keep the stains from setting too bad.)

There are so many variables depending on your water, detergent, what materials your dipes are... I've found there is a bit of trial and error involved. Good luck!
can i ask WHY you guys soak your diapers?
If you don't use a little squirt, then soaking lets the dried up bits of poo get totally wet so they can washed away by the rinse.
I would suggest going to the simplest routine possible. IME the more things you do, the more issues you have and the harder it is to solve them. I wash once in cold with Planet. Then I set the machine to a hot "extra long" wash with an extra rinse. Then I dry. When I vary this is when I tend to have issues.
well, we use a mix of pockets and prefolds of various origin. in the beginning, we had stink, but now, we are stink free, and here is our laundry routine.

cold/cold pre-wash with dawn and a sploosh of vinegar.
warm/cold heavy soil cycle with dawn
extra rinse with vinegar.

that's it. if she's been ill, i fill the washer for the warm/cold, and then add TTO to the water, and then put the dipes in.
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