HE machine vs. Dirty Diapers

Addie - posted on 04/23/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Here's the problem:

I have an HE Front-loading Washer & Dryer
I have Dirty Diapers
I use a Dry Pail
I have Well Water (super hard water)
I use Charlie's Soap
I have used White King Water softener
I have tried adding extra water to my machine to ensure that the diapers are in enough water to clean them.
I have done multiple rinses.

I STILL HAVE SUPER SKUNKY SMELLING AMMONIA DIAPERS EVERY MORNING AND AFTER ANY PERIOD OF TIME THAT THEY'VE BEEN WET.

HELP! I need to get rid of the stink!

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Peggy - posted on 05/20/2009

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Stripping is what you are doing with the bleach. You are just stripping out all of the detergent build up. Bleach usually isnt used to strip except in extreme cases. You can use really really hot water, vineger, and I think tea tree oil too. You can also buy stripping solutions from natural baby stores.

Sarah - posted on 04/23/2009

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Fresh air!!! Nothing kills all the bacteria and funk growing like the sun. I see you are in Montana too, so although we got a foot of new snow today, my diapers are spending the night outside!

The dryer can sometimes incubate and make the situation worse, so I would put your dipes in the fresh air. Also, maybe consider Country Save.... I much prefer it!

Louise - posted on 04/23/2009

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i have an he machine too. i dont know how hard my water is though. how old are your diapers. have you tried stripping them? also how much soap are you using? i surprisingly have no problems with stink in my he washer.

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Megan - posted on 06/01/2009

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what brand diapers do you use? i use happy heiny's diapers and they say only to use original tide ands that works well. i swish all my pocket in th toilet if they are poopy! also maybe if you used a diaper sprayer in would help! Some of the all natural soaps don't kill everything in the diapers and pull everything out.. so maybe that is the problem.. vinegar in your diaper pail can help... oh and in the very bottom of my diaper pail i put a couple squirts of antibacterial dish soap which seems to help... i am from Wyoming so i have a similar climate to you guys!... it is so dry maybe you need to use a wet pail to keep mess from drying on? just suggestions...

Sierra - posted on 06/01/2009

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get ready this is long:

well a lot of people (myself included) would tell you not to use bleach. i think there are some differences of opinion but bleach or no bleach, stripping diapers is generally agreed to be this:

washing the sh*t out of your diapers! you basically wash until you see no more suds during the agitation cycle. you can start your first load with a teaspoon of regular blue dawn detergent, or Calgon water softener but then you just keep rinsing rinsing rinsing. oh and you have to turn your water heater way up.

i just did my cousin's BG's today because she has a front loader too and stinky diapers. 8 washes it took to get the buildup out! she was using Purex free and clear HE. i noticed that when i tried purex (regular) in my top loading machine it built up in my dipes. i had to strip them.

so that's stripping. as far as preventing the need for this in the HE, i'm at a loss! i have tried telling her to use less and less detergent (and pick detergent without optical brighteners, enzymes or plant based soaps) but it still keeps building up. I think she is still using too much detergent. my next suggestion for my cousin is for her to use a tablespoon of regular Sun powder. we'll see.

also i read some washing instructions that said for an HE you need to do a complete cold short cycle without soap. then do a hot long cycle with soap and then do an additional long hot cycle to get the soap out. so THREE washes per load! sounds like a pain but if you think about it, washing poo out of cloth takes water and HE's are designed not to use much water. SO: 3 washes is probably worth it as long as it gets the diapers clean. good luck and definitely post here if you find a way to keep the stink out! i know i am wondering (i don't have an HE to test it out!)

Casey - posted on 05/20/2009

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I don't understand this "strip" concept. What is it? I just wash my diapers and use a little bleach once a month. Should I be doing something more?

Casey - posted on 05/19/2009

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I have HE too with hard well water. Do you have problems with the water it self? Such as rust stains and smell? Do you have a water softener for your well water? We use "Morton rust remover" salt pellets in our water softener. We also have a string filter and a water filter. We had a problem with our water softener. We had to replace it and now no more problems with our water as long as we do normal maintenance with salt and filters.

With our 12 cloth diapers very little detergent (about 1/8 of a cup) is needed in our HE washer. They come out looking new. About once a month or cloth diapers start to smell a little. That's when we know it's time for a bleach cycle which we use a 1/8 of a cup too on the hot cycle. If there is a poop stain that doesn't come out after washing we use just a little spray of "Shout" to help get the stain out.

Do you use a dryer sheet? We do NOT because the directions says not to. That may have an effect. Do you wash your diaper with other items? We do NOT because other clothing items can have perfumes and odor that can have an effect on the diapers. How long do you have your diapers drying and at what heat setting? We use the lowest dryer setting only for 30 minutes with our old dryer. They come out dry or barely damp. Anything more will cause a burnt smell. Try line dry that may help.

We do NOT use softeners because the directions say not to. We use "Tide" detergent that is made for HE machines with no dyes and no perfumes.

Our cloth diapers directions state to wash once on cold cycle then again on hot both times using an 1/8 cup of soap. We use the "quick wash" setting which is only 28 minutes. This way both cycles equal one normal cycle which ultimately uses less energy and water and has the same effect on our diapers.

Hope this helps.

Sierra - posted on 05/05/2009

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i hate my mother in law's front loader! the diapers come out brown even after multiple washes. i pretty much have to hand wash them before i put them in the washer. so i feel bad for you. but i do notice that the detergent just stays and isn't washed out. ammonia smell is a red flag for detergent buildup. you will need to strip you diapers which will be a b*** in an HE.

i would say use even less than the recommended amount of detergent in your normal wash routing and do a monthly maintenance strip (i do even in my normal washer).

Addie - posted on 04/23/2009

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Louise- My diapers are about 5 months old. I've tried stripping them a while ago with just hot water, but it didn't work. I'm only using a tablespoon of the charlies soap (the recommended amount)

Sarah- I'm going to have to try that out! We live next to a dirt road, on a forest access road, so people are constantly speeding down the mountain and fogging our property with dust, so, hopefully I can find a good place to hang our diapers without having to wash them again right away! :) And as far as Country Save goes, do you find that it rinses completely? Do you have hard water also?

Louise - posted on 04/23/2009

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i have an he machine too. i dont know how hard my water is though. how old are your diapers. have you tried stripping them? also how much soap are you using? i surprisingly have no problems with stink in my he washer.

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