Help! Washed dipes that still stink!

Sarah - posted on 09/17/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )




I would love to hear some suggestions on how to get rid of the stink on my cloth dipes. I know it is probably because of some kind of build up. I'm experimenting with different wash routines but haven't found one that seems to do the trick. Bleach solved the problem on my prefolds although I don't want to do that too often. I have problems with my covers stinking too and don't want to use bleach on those. I have a front loader and have used the wet towels to trick the machine to add more water but still having a problem! Argh. Any suggestions?


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Cyndi - posted on 10/08/2009




I use a bit of vinegar right in w the detergent about every 3rd or 4th cycle. Works for us. I have AIO/Pockets

Kathleen - posted on 10/08/2009




I was in the same boat. I would wash them and they would still smell. I tried using bleach but like you I didn't want to do that too much. I switched laundry detergent to something with a better scent but if I washed them in the washer I could still smell them. But then I tried dish soap, I use sunlight antibacterial and it seems to do awesome. I rinse them with some dish soap and them I throw them in the wash with some detergent. It solved it for me. Hope that helps

Sarah - posted on 10/06/2009




Bum Genius recommends washing once a month with chlorine free bleach just 1/4 cup. I probably do it every other month and so far we are stink free and my diapers have held up fine!!! Good luck!

Bethany - posted on 10/02/2009




I use only my Rince and Spin cycle with 1/4 cup of Bicarb Soda, and Vinegar in the softener dispenser. I dry pail and wash any poo off before puting in the machine every second day. Flapping about in the sun sorts out any stains and freshens them. I use terry squares.

[deleted account]

I read that if you put 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar in during the rinse cycle to soften and cut down on odors... you could try that and see if that helps.... :o) good luck.... I hate smelly stuff too....

Louise - posted on 10/02/2009




I presoak my nappies in tea tree oil and use soap nuts with every wash together with a natural washing powder. That works for me

Jennifer Rain - posted on 09/30/2009




Add two tablespoons of Dawn dish soap original blue, pre soak, hot water wash and throw in a downy ball with half a cup of white vinegar in it. This will strip the diapers of any film. I also like those nubby dryer balls they fluff up and soften the fabric without any film or chemicals. Good luck!

Vilate - posted on 09/20/2009




so here is my $.02 :)

I would suggest adding a few drops of tea tree oil 3-5 ish in the wash cycle. it kills bacteria. Then strip them I just run the normal wash cycle and then re run the wash cycle again and again until all the soap bubbles are gone. Then I let it finish. Lastly-Sun them like Lauren said! I love the sun it is a natural bleacher and get rid of any nasty smells. :)

as for the recipe for homemade

Andrea here is mine, it is lots smaller

1 c. grated Ivory bar soap

1/2 c baking soda

1/2 c borax

you only need to use 1-2 Tbs.

This works great!

note that I used baking soda not washing soda. Washing soda is harsher and I don't want the extra wear and tear on my diapers that I don't need! And the baking soda does the same thing!

Love this stuff!

Lauren - posted on 09/20/2009




Through 4 years of solidly using cloth for two of my children I have only ever needed to do a 'strip wash' using Bicarb soda and white vinegar, due to washing powder build up. Put 1/2 of Bi-carb into wash cycle and 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the rinse cycle. If that doesn't work you can also use a few drops of washing up detergent (morning fresh) in the wash cycle and nothing else, repeat rinse cycle after your wash cycle with bicarb until you see no more suds appear.

Also plenty of sunning out on the clothes line will get rid of stains and odours :)

Stay away for Bleach, it's not good for bubs delicate skin.

Hope that helps Sarah :)

[deleted account] has a bunch of recipes and the ones on are pre-approved for use with cloth diapers. But I'm sure any of the recipes would work. Just read it all and be careful to use the right bar soap. You don't wanna mess up your precious dipes! I'm gonna try this recipe because I love baking soda.

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe #9

12 cups Borax

8 cups Baking Soda

8 cups Washing Soda

8 cups Bar soap (grated)

* Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.

* Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

The first time I do it I think I'll use 1/4 of the ingredients in case I don't like it. I think the worst part with be grating the bar soap!

Meg - posted on 09/20/2009




Andrea, how are you going to make your detergent? Is there a website you're looking at? I would be interested in any information you have on this!

[deleted account]

I use Arm and hammer essentials free and baking soda and vinegar in every wash. I use the vinegar just as I would fabric softener. You have to make sure you use a good detergent or you could hurt your diapers or your baby. Here's a really good website for information on diaper detergents. After I use up my arm and hammer, I'm going so start making my own detergent. It's cheapest and safest I think. I use a warm wash and cold rinse. I've also heard recommendations of one hot wash with half a cup of bleach a month. I've never tried it though. And I've also heard recommendations of adding a few drops of tea tree oil although I haven't tried this either. Hope this helps!

Christine - posted on 09/19/2009




I actually used OxiClean. I heard they were fine for our BG. We put all of them into a trash container and filled it with a solution of warm water and OxiClean. It pulled everything out. It is sort of gross when you do it cause it left us with a tub of basically potty water, but the diapers were sparkly clean and smell free. We just tried to pour out most of the liquid and then put the diapers into the wash for a spin before starting the wash. We always extra rinse them too. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I've just had to deal with this problem myself. It's probably due to detergent buildup- possibly from your soaker possibly just from using too much detergent. My solution was to wash the nappies in a HOT wash with bicarb instead of detergent (about 1/3C) and rinse with vinegar (I have a front loader too and I filled the fabric conditioner compartment with white vinegar to the fill line). It worked brilliantly- stripped all of the residue from the nappies...if anything maybe just a little too well so I followed it up with a normal wash (to make sure I had all the vinegar out) and added a touch of eucalyptus scented wool wash to it. They came out smelling beautiful and feeling exactly how I thought they should (not completely stripped of everything like they were after the bicarb and vinegar wash) and I haven't had any more trouble.

Julie - posted on 09/18/2009




I just had to strip mine! now and then I use vinegar, but this time I ran a normal 14 minuite cycle with a small amount of detergent to clean them, then 3 10 minuite cycles with out any detergent to make sure all the detergent was out..the smell was gone! Just make sure that you are useing cloth diaper friendly emzymes or softeners, as well don't use too much detergent,you only need about 1/4 of the recommended amount!

Gwendolyn - posted on 09/18/2009




Try vinegar! It works great for me. I use about 1/4 cup per load. 9% acidity works best and I prefer apple cider vinegar. I discovered that it gets rid of cat pee smell after a google search and now I use it with my diapers too. You might also try an extra rinse to get rid of any build up. Sometimes I run my diapers through the washer twice, the second time with no detergent whatsoever. This is to "strip" them or get rid of any build up.

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