Help! My cloth diapers stink!.... And other tips on how to wash cloth diapers

Have you been using cloth diapers for a while, and all of a sudden they’re starting to stink? When your little one pees, is there a crazy strong ammonia smell?

The answer is surprisingly simple.

A lot of times that just means you need an extra rinse after the diapers are washed to rinse out any remaining stuff. Cloth diapers do require a bit of learning, but it doesn't have to be too complex!

Washing clothes, diapers, anything, is really a personal thing. Everyone has their own way, and certainly not everything works for everyone. There's a lot of factors involved (like temperature, level of dirtiness, water type, detergent type, level of agitation, time, etc.) that people don't always take into account that can all affect the outcome. So, often the best solutions are the simplest to get the best results.

Here’s our simple routine, that works for almost everyone:

Do an initial warm pre-rinse, then regular wash (warm or cold) with detergent. Second rinse, just plain water. Air dry Shells if desired, otherwise machine dry everything until completely dry.

It's important to note that the main reasons for stink in cloth are:

1. needing the extra rinse before or after the washing process, to remove extra laundry soap and more.
2. diapers are not completely dried after dryer, allowing bacteria to grow.
3. baby is not feeling well, teething, or is reacting to food or substances they came in contact with (food, or environmental).

1 and 2 are fast fixes and almost always resolves any issues, 3 is a common issue, but can take a while to figure out, and is more difficult to determine.

Hopefully this helps a little, and is not overwhelming. Everything is a suggestion, not a hard and fast rule. Basically if you try something, see if it works and go from there. You will quickly find exactly what works for your washing and your specific little one. There's too many factors to give a blanket one way for everyone answer. :)

1 comment:

  1. You're so right...there are often several factors to cloth diaper odor. Sometimes it is hard to pin down the reason for odor. For me, I didn't have my diapers that long before I started having problems, so I knew it was more than just an extra rinse I needed to help. I did tons of research before I realized how I was going wrong. I found out I should not have been washing my diapers in with my cloth wipes that had an oil solution on them. I also wasn't allowing my diapers to breathe well. It may seem a bit more complicated to some but once I eliminated those problems it helped tremendously.