please help- my diapers smell of ammonia

Amy - posted on 08/04/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I"m having problems with my diapers smelling, even after they're freashly washed. I have kushies AIO diapers that I wash in my front loading high-efficiency machine. I use purex hypoallergenic detergent and roughly half the amount the bottle says to use. I put white vinigar in the fabric softener dispenser too. I run it on the whites setting (hot wash -cold rinse) with an extra rinse. I've tried to strip them by running an extra cycle with no detergent and I tried doing this once after turning up my hot water heater as well. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to strip them more often or use more or less detergent or a different kind???? Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Rebecca - posted on 08/08/2009

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I've had great luck with Tide (tide w/dawn is my fave). Been almost a year w/ no stink issues. When the mf starts to smell a little "chemically", I do a strip of those w/ just hot water and bleach, then we're good to go for a couple more months! I've not found a "cd safe" detergent that didn't give me stinkies.

Angela - posted on 08/07/2009

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Hmmm, try washing with baking soda.
I use a diaper called Fuzzi Bunz and it's awesome. I however, hand wash my diapers.
Lavender is a natural deodorizer as well. Let me know!

Jen - posted on 08/07/2009

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Amy, just so you know, I've been working on perfecting my wash routine also, and I decided to give vinegar a try for an initial cold soak/wash/rinse cycle. Now everything stinks. Blah! I guess I have that magical water that has minerals in it that combine in your diaper fabric to make it really stinky.

I said that to say, I've been running my washer all day! So, somebody out there is frustrated and going through the same thing!

Can't wait for my Charlie's to get here, I'm so done with regular detergent. I'm hoping it works, if not, gonna try Vilate's recommendations!!!

Good luck, hope those bubbles start rinsing out for you! Nothing worse ...

Hoping your next wash routine brings you happy cloth diapers!

Cortney - posted on 08/07/2009

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Quoting Vilate:

wow, k- i wouldn't use bleache either, and if they are AIO's with a PUL layer I wouldn't boil them either! I woudl use the tea tree oil though. and also sun them! the sun and the tea tree have workied wonders for our diapers.
I would also be cautious of tide it has enzymes and it might give your baby a rash. just watch her.
I have a list of cd safe, enzyme free detergents. there are a few homemade ones at the top, and I loved the first one! it worked great! even without my normal teatree and sunning. it also left them soft without using fabric softener. she also has HE detergents too!
I hope you figure it out! :)


Awesome advice administrator! Kudos to you!

Cortney - posted on 08/07/2009

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Quoting Vilate:

wow, k- i wouldn't use bleache either, and if they are AIO's with a PUL layer I wouldn't boil them either! I woudl use the tea tree oil though. and also sun them! the sun and the tea tree have workied wonders for our diapers.
I would also be cautious of tide it has enzymes and it might give your baby a rash. just watch her.
I have a list of cd safe, enzyme free detergents. there are a few homemade ones at the top, and I loved the first one! it worked great! even without my normal teatree and sunning. it also left them soft without using fabric softener. she also has HE detergents too!
I hope you figure it out! :)


Awesome advice administrator! Kudos to you!

Cortney - posted on 08/07/2009

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Quoting Vilate:

wow, k- i wouldn't use bleache either, and if they are AIO's with a PUL layer I wouldn't boil them either! I woudl use the tea tree oil though. and also sun them! the sun and the tea tree have workied wonders for our diapers.
I would also be cautious of tide it has enzymes and it might give your baby a rash. just watch her.
I have a list of cd safe, enzyme free detergents. there are a few homemade ones at the top, and I loved the first one! it worked great! even without my normal teatree and sunning. it also left them soft without using fabric softener. she also has HE detergents too!
I hope you figure it out! :)


Awesome advice administrator! Kudos to you!

Vilate - posted on 08/07/2009

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yuck, I wouldn't do a wet bucket, but sun them instead of throwing them in the dryer! you'll ba amazed at the difference it will make! :)

Amy - posted on 08/07/2009

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8 cycles with no detergent and still bubbles! I'm giving up now and drying them because I have to do other laundry before we go camping for the weekend. I used the tea tree oil and they don't seem to stink, I think next time I wash I'll try just a tablespoon of detergent. What about trying a wet bucket?

Vilate - posted on 08/07/2009

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wow, k- i wouldn't use bleache either, and if they are AIO's with a PUL layer I wouldn't boil them either! I woudl use the tea tree oil though. and also sun them! the sun and the tea tree have workied wonders for our diapers.

I would also be cautious of tide it has enzymes and it might give your baby a rash. just watch her.

I have a list of cd safe, enzyme free detergents. there are a few homemade ones at the top, and I loved the first one! it worked great! even without my normal teatree and sunning. it also left them soft without using fabric softener. she also has HE detergents too!

I hope you figure it out! :)

Cortney - posted on 08/06/2009

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I would definitely not use bleach with your AIOs ...the bleach may cause damage to PUL and various other fabrics used in all in one diapers. The blue Dawn & sunshine is an awesome method to strip your diapers. Front loaders are a little tough but the towel is a good try to get more water for washing. Hope you have success!

Amy - posted on 08/06/2009

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I am now doing my 6th cycle with no detergent on the whitest whites setting. There's still bubbles! And before I started the machine I opened it up and they still stink! Maybe the next cycle I'll try some tea tree oil. Thanks everyone!

Kristina - posted on 08/06/2009

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I also use the Kushies AIO diapers. Although they don't smell of ammonia, they have another kind of smell I am having trouble getting rid of. I did some research and came across another mother who had the same problem. What she did to get rid of the odour was to boil the diapers twice for five minutes each, then put them in the washer on whitest whites with an extra rinse and high spin speed using a gentle detergent. (I use Tide Free HE). She then suggested putting 10 drops of Tea Tree oil in the bleach despenser to kill bacteria and give the diapers a nice clean smell. I have not tried this yet, but when I do I think I will try just using the Tee Tree oil because I don't know how the diapers would hold up to boiling with the vinyl coating. I would also not recommend using bleach. Bleach is a chemical which would break down the fibers in the diapers and would not be good for babies sensitive skin. I hope this helps!

Amy - posted on 08/06/2009

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I checked the bummis website and they say that it's probably urine residue. The problem with HE machines is that they use less water so sometimes they just dilute the urine without washing it away. They suggest to put a couple of wet towels in the wash with your diapers to trick it into using more water. I'm washing them again today with detergent once them i'm going to run the machine over and over and I hope it will work.

Samantha - posted on 08/06/2009

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I don't have an HE but when we visit my mom we have to use hers. I find that ALL Sensitive Skin works well for us. But my friend finds great success with Arm & Hammer in her HE. We use Arm & Hammer in our top loader.



When I'm at my mom's place I do a cold rinse, then I put 1/4 the suggested amount of detergent in the wash (anything more seems to cause problems on the oder) and wash on Whitest Whites with an extra rinse. We don't use vinegar. Then I let them air dry, prefer outside in the sun because they just seem to have a great smell afterwards. I find that when I need to dry them in the dryer they have a slight smell to them.



Check out this web site for more advice. http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/ba...

They even compare detergents!



Good Luck! And let us know what works for you.

Vanessa - posted on 08/06/2009

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Is your child allergic to bleach? Try a reasonable amount (depending on your load size) with your wash. I almost never use hot water in my wash cycles as well. I went through 3 children with cloth diapers. Most of my diapers actually survived all three children.

Also a good odor neutralizer is Baking Soda. My mom uses this stuff with everything. But for diapers... it works, like a half cup per load.

I think the real trick is washing the diapers within 12 ours of use. Keep your house and diapers fresh by putting them in the washer after use and run a cycle at least every twelve hours.

Amy - posted on 08/05/2009

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Seriously??? There's got to be an easier way! Maybe I've got to go back to trying infant potty training....I'm going to try Tide and stripping again.

Sierra - posted on 08/05/2009

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You are definitely getting detergent buildup. Purex did that for me. Lots of people seem to have luck with Tide He. also you need to use less than a tablespoon of detergent (my cousin uses one teaspoon only or she gets buildup). really. less is more.
for your regular washing routine you should be doing one short cold wash with no detergent. then one long hot wash with a TINY bit of detergent. and then one long hot wash with no detergent (you can add your vinegar here).
this is a generally accepted wash routine (i didn't make it up).
so i'm sorry for the bad news but you just need to wash more with an He.
Secondly, stripping involves washing your diapers with really hot water many times. i've never done it with a front loader. but in general, the idea is that you wash the diapers until you see NO suds in the water during agitation. if you have a friend with a top loader, you could borrow it. if you want you can add a teaspoon of blue Dawn dish detergent to the very first load (probably less if you are doing it with your He).
so i'd say if you want to strip in your machine, set it on the longest hottest cycle and then wash ALL day. over and over.
I have heard of people stripping in the dishwasher but you'd have to Google it to find out more.

Michele - posted on 08/05/2009

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stripping them or boiling. I have heard you cannot effectively strip in a front loader. Go to the laundry mat or a friends house use 2Table spoons original dawn dish soap in the absolute hottest water you can get (I add a lg pot of boiling water to mine) wash 1 time and then rinse until ALL the bubbles are gone. then lay them in the sun to dry, it kills any harboring bacteria and make them nice and white. good luck, lmk if you need more help.

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