washing away the smell

Holly - posted on 11/15/2008 ( 26 moms have responded )

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i use bum genius diapers and can never completely get the smell out. any suggestions (other than that expensive spray)?

26 Comments

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Dannielle - posted on 06/17/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

I use Bum Genius too - icky smell even when not dirty! Will the vinegar people are suggesting ruin the outer cover?


Yes vinegar destroys the PUL.

Joanne - posted on 06/14/2009

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I agree with the PP who mentioned sunning. Its really the only thing that really gets the smell (and stains) out for me. I'd be careful about using essential oils on certain diapers. You should not use ANY kind of oil with synthetic diapers such as pockets.

[deleted account]

There is a company called Twinkle Lily who have wash and care instructions that have detailed instructions on how to get rid of the smell, there is also a product called something like pumkin booties or something like that, that helps get rid of the smell and adds a nicer smell, like candy apple or vanilla, etc...

The website is: http://www.twinklelily.com give them a peek and see if you can get some advice, she is a work from home mum who only uses cloth nappies on her kids apparently.

Hope this helps.

Ashley - posted on 03/26/2009

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This thread needs a serious bump. I'm getting frustrated with my diapers right now--for a long time, we had no problems, and then DD started pooping more often (she used to only about once every 2-3 days, which means only one poopy diaper per washing load) and suddenly all of the diapers are smelly, all the time. I normally use just Charlie's Soap, but I've also soaked them in OxiClean Baby a few times to get stains out. I tried using regular baby detergent to kill any bacteria (then rinsed a whole bunch), I tried a bunch of baking soda and vinegar...nothing's worked so far.
Next sunny day I'm taking them all outside! I'm so glad for the tea tree oil tip, I'll have to get some.

Dana - posted on 11/26/2008

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Oh my goodness! I decided to try stripping my diapers and I just looked in the washer and there are TONS of soap bubbles. I guess I know what my problem was...

Erin - posted on 11/26/2008

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I am so glad for this thread! I have been cloth diapering my kids for 2 years, with prefolds & prowraps. I never had a problem with smell build up. I always just soaked them & washed them normally. Now, this last month, the smell is there. Ah! I have tried borax, without much change. I am going to try sunning & tea tree oil. Thank you, ladies!

Sara - posted on 11/25/2008

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I don't use bum genius diapers, I use prefolds with prowrap covers. I tried the vinegar and baking soda, but those didn't seem to get the urine smell out. Borax has been the best at removing odors for me. I just add a little with the detergent. I also found that I need to do a prewash cycle. I have a front load washing machine and the diapers really need that extra water to get clean.

Vilate - posted on 11/21/2008

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So, I have a very innovative idea for you- the SUN! :) No really hang them out to dry in the sun, it will bleach the stains out and the smell too. Even when cold the sun will do it's job, you might have to bring them in to finish drying. Also I use Tea tree oil a few drops helps kills the most of the bacteria that makes the smell.

[deleted account]

Try using 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar in the wash, and add an extra rinse to the load.. I always smell and look at the diapers before putting them in the dryer, The dryer will only lock in the smell or stain.. Try also looking at the detergent that your using it could be leaving residue on your diapers witch is then making them smell.

I hope this helps

User - posted on 11/20/2008

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I use tea tree oil (about 1/2 teaspoon in 1/2 washing machine of warm water overnight every couple of weeks. It is a mild disinfectant, gets out the urine (like vinegar does) and leaves a lovely smell.

Brandi - posted on 11/19/2008

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I soak my dirty diapers in Borax until I wash them. I also put a bit of borax in the washer when washing them. I use fabric softener also. I have been using cloth diapers for 10 months and haven't really noticed any bad smells. My diapers come out smelling pretty fresh.

Chris - posted on 11/18/2008

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CottonBabies (makers of Bum Genius) does NOT recommend using vinegar on their diapers for any reason! They claim that it wears them out faster. However, they do recommend using bleach once per month. Check out their website for full details.



Detergent build-up can also cause stink issues. They may require extra rinses. We have an HE machine and have to add several gallons of water to the rinses to keep the stinkies away from detergent build-up.



Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 11/17/2008

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Also different people have different results, but we've had good results with Soap Nuts!

Amanda - posted on 11/17/2008

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I use Bum genious too... I love them and haven't had any problems with smells. I follow their directions and wash them twice every time I wash them, once with cold water and a homemade detergent I use and then once with hot water to kill anything that might be harmful. My daughter is 91/2 months old now and we've been using cd since she was about four months old. She did get a diaper rash once and when that happened I washed her diapers with some vinegar. We have also been doing infant potty training with her/ elimination communication...whatever you want to call it. While I don't have her pee in the potty she does poop in the potty, unless she wakes up poopy. I bet this has also helped with there being no smelly diapers.

[deleted account]

Well I have had no problems yet, its not like I'm using it all the time and sometimes its just my inserts. We have had a run of black/green bm's. and the BG web site recommends bleach occasionaly too. I have heard and read so many ways its hard to know what is right, some say no vinegar, no soda, etc... I think you need to do what is right for you and what works for you.

And also not too sound so judgemental in your posts to people please. We are all doing what is best for our kids.

Robyn - posted on 11/15/2008

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Thank you J Swanson for the link on stripping! I checked it out and thought it was perfect!

Twilight - posted on 11/15/2008

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vinegar and water soakings.

chlorine bleach is evil.

i also use baking soda, dreft (which is am assuming is that expensive spray you mentioned - i got it as a gift and saw it at the grocery store - whew!), and sometimes i'll throw a small amount of essential oils into the wash cycle. i know many people frown upon too many smells in their laundry and prefer unscented laundry soap (as do i!!!), but if you pick the right oil for your life, livelihood, and scent pattern it turns out pretty darn good. :)

and good old fashioned drying them in the sunlight. during winter, i used to string my laundry up in the sunshine in my house, but no longer am able to at my current residence. :(

hope this helps!

Jenna - posted on 11/15/2008

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Katie, I'm glad you haven't had issues using bleach, but it can be very bad for cloth diapers. "Chlorine Bleach - Yes it is great for killing germs, but it is bad for cloth diapers and covers. It will actually eat away at the fibers in your diapers, leaving holes and frayed edges. It also decreases their durability and absorbency. It may adversely affect the waterproofing in certain cloth diapers."

[deleted account]

I have problems occasionaly with my BG too. Hard water is one problem, I found this out when the salt ran low on water softner. Not using enough soap is another and I rinse my dipes at least 2 times in hot and cold water to get out residue. I do add 1/4 cup of bleach once or twice a month. My baby is 7m and no problems yet on wearing out. I use Watkins laundry detergent as it is earth friendly and pure with no fillers

Jenna - posted on 11/15/2008

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Amanda, I've used it occasionally (maybe 4 times over 10 months) and I haven't noticed any effect on the PUL. I don't think it is something I'd use with every wash, but it is effective when you're try to 'freshen' things up a bit. Another thing that helps is line drying outside if you're able.

Amanda - posted on 11/15/2008

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I use Bum Genius too - icky smell even when not dirty! Will the vinegar people are suggesting ruin the outer cover?

Jessica - posted on 11/15/2008

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I use a downey ball filled with vinegar in the wash and that has helped with the smell a lot!

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