Ammonia cloth diapers burning your baby?

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We all chose to cloth diaper because it was better for our children.  But, what do you do when the cloth diapers are hurting your baby?

I am so sad to say that I am in this boat.  Sterling’s nighttime diapers leave him screaming in the morning.  Not good.

I soaked every insert and fitted we have in vinegar all day and overnight.  Then I washed them and super rinsed.  I really thought they were fixed until this morning.

Sterling sleeps through the night now but by 6:30 he’s crying in pain.  When I pick him up he doesn’t want to be held in the diaper area.  He’s hurtin’.  It’s really not fair.

Sure I can treat the rash by slathering Burt’s Bees diaper rash cream all over him but who wants to treat the symptom?? I want the problem fixed!

I’ve contacted my friend Majiliwa Bass of Pooters diapers because she is a wealth of information.  If you’re a Facebook fan of All About Cloth Diapers then you’ve seen her tireless effort to help everyone!

It’s not just fitted diapers that can cause this problem.  One of my friends went through this with her Rumparooz.  She was very frustrated and at the time all I could offer was advice that I thought would work.  Now being where she was I realize that solution (vinegar soak) doesn’t always work.

In the week and a half since I started this post, I’ve learned a lot from my friend Maj.  First, vinegar should probably not be used in hard water.  It can make problems worse.  This would explain why neither I nor my friend saw any relief when soaking in it.

She found this online: “If you have hard water and use vinegar the acid in the vinegar could be reacting with the minerals in the water and causing odor. Adding a water softener like Calgon to the wash cycle and cutting down or eliminating the vinegar may help in this case.”

What she did suggest was to use RLR.  I had never used it although I had heard of it for years.  Maj kindly sent me a pack (2 packets) of RLR to try out.

I began by adding it to my laundry detergent and running a normal wash.  Maj suggested, however, that since I had just done a vinegar soak that I should do an RLR soak.  I started out with a regular wash with the RLR in the detergent compartment (with the normal amount of detergent).  I hoped this would do the trick but was scared to try it out!

I put Sterling’s nighttime diaper on but added a flushable liner as protection just in case.  I’m glad I used a liner!  The next morning I about passed out after ignorantly taking a close wiff of the diaper.  *sigh* This pregnancy brain is going to harm me.

After I pouted to my mommy (who was visiting and just left today), I got the tub ready for a loooooooong cloth diaper soak in RLR.  Alas, pregnancy brain attacked again.  (seriously, if I don’t have twins in here this is one needy child!) As I was filling the tub I added the RLR….and filled….and filled….and then realized the stopper was not in all the way.

I am not waving the white flag yet!! Thankfully, just before I received the RLR from Maj I ordered 10 packs from Banana Peels Diapers.  They should be here today so my diapers and inserts (no PUL) have been sitting in the tub with a little Clean B patiently waiting.

I am so grateful that I have a stash of Bum Genius Organic AIOs to use during this time.  At night I have been using Flip disposable inserts.  It seems these last 3 weeks have been quite a trying time for me and my cloth diapers!

Lesson: even when you’ve been cloth diapering for 5 years, write a cloth diaper blog and think you know most of the tips and tricks, you’re still going to have problems!

I will certainly let you know how it goes after my next soak.  If you are having ammonia problems try RLR.  Also, check out the comments on the last post.  Many of you offered your solutions.  Thank you!


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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck
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158 Responses to “Ammonia cloth diapers burning your baby?”

  1. mikel Says:

    DANGIT! Suedecloth and MF pockets causing baby semi bright redness under scrotum and on rectum and between cheeks.
    My usual routine: full cold cycle no detergent, full hot wash with Tide Original Powder (line 2) and calgon, then 2-3 full cold cycles to rinse. (if I add less tide diapers smell like poop, but more I need to rinse rinse) I never see suds EVER, but my diapers always smell like tide even after 3 rinses.
    What I did: Last week it seemed they were repelling so I did traditional strip in washer (1/4 cup bleach and blue dawn drops), didn’t think it worked. Then did all diapers in super hot tub, quite a bit of dawn and hand washed and agitated and used fresh hot water about 5 times. Tested 2 inserts in boiling pot and no suds, so thought i was clear. Diapers and baby fine after that. 2 weeks later diapers making him red. I washed his wet bag contents with Tide Pure and Natural this time (because I like tide and have heard it’s the best). I did a full cold cycle no detergent, full hot wash with Tide Free Powder and calgon, 2 full warm cycles to rinse no detergent. My diapers smell moderately of cleaning products and I can even smell his CJ’s Blueberry Butter on some of my covers. GRRRR!!!!!
    I have not tried him in the new clean diapers because they smell like they’re full of cleaning agents regardless of all my warm rinses.
    I just ordered RLR, it will be here in 1-2 days. How many diapers in a load of RLR? I’m not going to soil any diapers until it’s here so they will be clean when doing RLR soak and wash.
    His diapers don’t reek like ammonia when he pees on them, but I can tell he’s peed without opening or feeling his diaper I can smell it. His wet bag does reek when I dump it into washer, but I figured that was normal. Very pungent.

    Reply

  2. Sasha O. Says:

    Hi. I just started cloth diapering and my son has been getting what at first looked like a sunburn on his privates. Usually right around where he pees. I started using cloth diapers about 3.5 weeks ago and I use Purex free and clear or Soapnuts when washing the cloth diapers. I use disposable liners a few times a day. The thing is my son doesn’t seen to be in pain from the burn?rash? Should I do a plain hot water stripping? RLR? I don’t have any RLR on hand by the time it’ll come about 2 weeks will pass, is there anything I can try that I can get my hands on faster? I wasn’t expecting this problem especcially so soon after starting cloth diapering, these diapers are new only been used several weeks.

    Reply

    • Chastyn Says:

      I have been having this same problem off and on. My son doesn’t seem to be in pain either but right around the tip looks like skin is coming off!! There has been a little blood on the dipes too. I tried putting liners in there but it still seems to happen. I just picked up some fleece and made some fleece liners because the other liners I had were not fleece, hoping maybe that will fix it. Have you had any success at all? I have been struggling with this for months and I want it to end and my baby to heal up.

      Reply

  3. Lisa D Says:

    I am having this problem right now and I am so glad I found this blog! Thank-you so much.

    I have a packet of RLR in my laundry room and will put it to use to night.

    Also, if anyone lives in the Mahwah, NJ area the A&P on Franklin TKPE keeps it in stock!

    Reply

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  6. Blake V. Says:

    I have tried EVERYTHING! RLR soak, bleach, grapeseed extract, turning my hot water up (I have normal water). At first I thought it was yeast but I feel like I had to have killed the yeast at this point, right? I’ve done everything to these diapers, it feels. So I think it’s ammonia burn because within 48 hours of being back in the diapers post-stripping/bleaching/etc. the rash returns.

    I am using Rockin Green detergent in my front loader. I am using 3-4 Tbsp. per wash (someone said I wasn’t using enough when I was using 1.5 Tbsp.).

    What else can I do?? Please help :(

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      (((((hugs))))) Before you give up I suggest purchasing some Purex Natural Elements or Tide (I use Purex). Wash you diapers then do an extra rinse. Come back and let me know how it goes. I truly want to know! I have dozens and dozens of readers that have been in your shoes, done this step and had success.

      Reply

      • Nichole Says:

        I see this is a couple monthe old and am going to go through the remainder oc comments as well. However wanted to know if you would mind (if you are still coming back to the post)telling me what this is supposed to do…??? Purex is a reletively cheap detergent ,correct?!I mean cheap in a literal sense referencing dollar amounts. Im not meaning cheap as in not better than others. Or are you referencing some other type of Purex product? I see there is more detail to follow the simple Purex. I will be certain to take note of that. Nevertheless really really want to know what is in it ir what it reacts with that should help with just one simple wash. The things I see people say they go through to quote/unquote strip their diapers is much…MUCH more difficult thanne simple wash in a certain product. That is why I am so curious as to if you know what it is that is supposed to react with what making this particular product work so easily. Honestly I trust it and wish I could go get sone right now bc I have honestly bievesd all along that there must be plain and simple ways to handle theae thibgs other than the drawn out processes that everyone comes up with.

        More importantly tho is how to deal with lo’s ammonia burns. That is more imporrant to me than the diapers! I need a way to relieve her from the burning pain. I have her lying naked on a waterproof pad in the bed right now bc everything I attempted to put on it made her scream and squirm so much that I hurried and wiped it off of her as crazy as that sounds!!!

        Reply

    • Jacqueline Says:

      We tried everything under the sun to get rid of ammonia! The only thing that ultimately worked was stripping them with bleach and blue Dawn. The combination is a godsend!! I know many people are weary about using bleach on their diapers, but bumgenius recommends washing with bleach monthly, and I have stripped mine this way every other month or so, just to keep on top of things, and have had no issues. I also switched from RnG to Tide powder. I was to the point of giving up and switching back to sposies (sadface!!) but we haven’t had ammonia return and our diapers always smell so good, and I’ve been keeping this routine up for at least 6 months. (:

      This is the tutorial I used to learn how to strip them: http://mamanatural.com/how-to-strip-your-cloth-diapers/

      Good luck, mama!!!

      Reply

    • Honey W Says:

      I use Rockin Green (1TBP) in my front load washer and its more than enough! I even have pretty hard water, so would recommend less if your water is soft. Too much soap = buildup = nasty ammonia smell. I strip them once a month with a very small amount of bleach and a small squirt of blue Dawn and very rarely have ammonia problems anymore. If I do, just an extra, extra rinse and its fixed.

      Reply

  7. Melissa Says:

    I’ve had a never ending problem with ammonia in my diapers. I’ve done blue dawn strips, RLR strips, vinegar strips. Washing with more water, washing with less water. Using the nellies, rockin green, ecos and tide. None seem to wash out fully in my FL. I’ve done numerous tub cleans with afresh and vinegar thinking that it’s maybe my washer drum that’s causing the problem. I’ve boiled my dipes, which helps for a couple of uses but them we’re back to having ammonia, and not only in the nighttime dipes but daytime as well. I wash my diapers every 2nd day. I’ve used fish tank ammonia remover soaks back to back with a vinergar strip for a few days in between using the fish tank ammonia remover. NOTHING is working. I’m at my wits end.

    Reply

  8. Jaime Says:

    Guess its better late then never to ask some questions on a post. I have been cloth diapering for almost a year now. I too am having trouble with the diapers smelling and burning my baby at night. I have tried litterally everything that people have told me to use. I even switch diaper soap. I used RLR but it didnt do anything for my diapers. I have tried vinegar but also have the hard water issue so found that isnt going to work for me. I really feel like I am down to my last resort as to what else to try. I hate seeing my baby in pain in the morning so we have gone to normal diapers at night but use the cloth diapers all day. I really could use some help here. I don’t honestly know what else to do.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      what detergent are you using? how old is your baby? ammonia is normal and unfortunately is very present in a toddler aged child.

      Reply

      • Jaime Says:

        I’m using Tide original powder now. I actually just switched to it. I was using Tide Free & Gentle powder without a problem because none of the cloth diaper detergents was seeming to get the diapers clean (they had a poopy smell to them with eco sprout, rockin green, etc) and Stephanie from Abby’s Lane suggested bleaching to strip then switching to Tide. The Tide free worked without a problem for awhile and then recently the diapers smelled awful again. And now there is an ammonia problem during the day now; I smell ammonia the minute the poor guy pees and he has a terrible rash in his wetzone. He’s 18 months old now.

        Reply

  9. Stephanie P Says:

    Autumn,

    Help! I have been CDing for a year and a half now, and have loved it. I tell lots of moms how easy it is, and how non-threatening it is. Unfortunately, I have been very frustrated in the last couple of weeks. We bought a HE washer this spring after our top loader died. We did buy another top loader, but it is a HE top loader. At first, we had a lot of issues with repelling, but fixed that with an extra cold rinse cycle. Now it’s ammonia. My wash routine is Cycle 1: Heavy Duty Cold with no detergent. Cycle 2: Heavy Duty Hot with Charlie’s Soap and an extra rinse. Cycle 3: Heavy Duty cold, no detergent. This takes over 3 hours every night. I have two in cloth diapers and don’t have more than a day and a half stash. (I am really hoping one will be potty trained soon!) Anyway, I feel as though it’s becoming too hard to CD. I spend so much time washing, and I still have ammonia/stink problems. I stripped the inserts (I use pocket diapers) by doing a rinse cycle with vinegar and a sanitize cycle with nothing. That seemed to work for a few washings, but the ammonia/stink came back. I have a water softener, that I checked to make sure it’s working, and it seems to be working. I’ve been sunning my diapers too. Any suggestions? I am really frustrated, but don’t want to give up on the CD.

    Thanks.
    Steph

    Reply

  10. Tonia Says:

    I have this same issue. Thank you for giving me information about how Vinegar adds more madness when added to hard water. I moved into my home about a year ago, shortly after that I found out how borax is not ‘good’ to use. I stupidly got scared and stopped using it. I needed to use something, so Vinegar it was. I used it before but only when I ran out of borax.

    That was when these horrible bleeding rashes started. I thought it was yeast. I washed her diapers, upped the vinegar slightly. Now I know I just made it worse.

    Monday (5 days ago and before i found out about any of the above) I found a sample pack of oxyclean, another evil that I don’t use on our clothes. I used it, because I ran out of vinegar and ‘had to use something’. Two days and the ‘burn’ that looks like she was whipped by a willow tree is starting to go away. However, this morning there was blood on the diaper again (from same cloth cleaned with Oxyclean).

    Anyways, I going to ask here as well as the quoted FB page, anyone use soap nuts? A friend recommended it yesterday to me and I will have to get a different brand since I am from Canada and she is from the US and shipping is not cheap. My friend had the same rash issue happen and since using Soap Nuts, everything is cleared up and nothing returned for months.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I did not have success with Soap Nuts. I prefer Country Save because in the long run it is the only one that continues to perform.

      Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I recommend lathering her bottom up heavily with a good rash cream. The Balm, Heiny Honey and Bee All Natural are great options. I also keep Burt’s Bees on hand but it can cause staining on your diapers. Grandma El’s is a great barrier ointment.

      Reply

  11. Karissa Says:

    Yikes, I think this is our problem… my five month old just woke with a really red rash today in his “wet zone.” I will try boiling my diapers.

    Just wondering, how do you know if you have hard water or not?

    Also, we are using double stuffed Flip stay-dry inserts covered with wool soakers at night and it seems like lots of people have the most trouble with the microfiber inserts. I love them for their absorbancy at nighttime. I was wondering if anyone has had success using a cotton or hemp liner over the microfiber?

    Also, what is the Grandma El’s you mentioned Autumn? Are they diapers?

    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Make sure and put hemp under microfiber (hemp absorbs slowly and will fill up from the overflow of the microfiber). Google a hard water map. Grandma El’s is a barrier ointment.

      Reply

  12. Nikki Says:

    Oh my, this is the first I’m reading about ammonia burns. I think this is our problem – or at least I hope it is.

    My daughter has had a horrible rash for the past 4 months (began when she was 9 months old… and eating solids, she is now 13 months). She first broke out in July/August 2010 in LA when it was HOT outside, so at first I though heat rash. I talked to her pediatrician (who is not very familiar with cloth diapers) and she was not concerned with yeast or really anything – so I went on. I switched her to disposables and ointmented her up til she got better (thinking it was heat related). Once it cleared up I put her back in her fuzzibunz and the rash reappeared. I talked to the store I got my FB from and they over time have recommended…
    switching from Charlies to Rockin’ Green
    soaking in Rockin’ Green overnight
    soaking in blue Dawn
    stripping with Calgon
    adapting the temp and rinse cycles in my wash (yup, I have a front loader)
    … you name it, I feel like I have tried it – nothing seems to work.
    In the mean time, the doctor diagnosed her with a yeast infection and we tried that cream too.
    The creams – both just basic diaper ointment & the yeast cream cleared her up, but as soon as she was back in the cloth she’d break out again – everywhere the cloth diaper touched her skin would be red, then the blisters and bleeding would appear. ahhh.
    I’ve been using FB for 3+ years and have never had this many problems.
    Does this sound like an ammonia burn? If so what do I need to do?
    I’ve been told to get a soft bristled brush and clean with Dawn.
    rinse, rinse, rinse
    then soak in really hot water (boil?)
    Will this work? If so I’ll do it… otherwise if you have a better suggestion I am open.
    I have an Kenmore HE 4T, any washing suggestions would be helpful too.
    Praying you have the answers to solve our problems and let my baby sleep/play without pain.
    Thanks
    Nikki

    Reply

  13. Christina G Says:

    That last comment was @Jessica,btw and I meant little girl, not little “guy”!! Sorry for the spelling errors! The joys of typing on my phone. Haha!

    Reply

  14. Christina G Says:

    I totally feel your pain! I’ve been down this road too. One morning this summer I woke up horrified by the welted blisters on my poor daughter’s behind I rushed her into the doc office! We’ve felt with ammonia rash, but never that bad! I use fuzzibunz with the microfiber inserts and it’s really only the ones I use for nighttime that give me the most problems. What I finally did (that is still working for us) is I stopped stuffing them with microfiber and started using cotton prefolds stuffed inside instead. Fir some reason, the prefolds don’t hang on to the ammonia residue like the microfiber. Maybe give that a try if you haven’t already? And for the best cream to use, unfortunately when my daughters bum was THAT bad, they told me to use over thee counter cortisone cream 3 times a day and thick zinc cream (like penatin) in between. I also found that letting her go bare bummed several times a day (or when I didn’t want to deal with messes, at least just a cotton prefold snappied with no cover fir more air flow) was the best medicine fir helping it heal up fast once the cortisone cream brought the redness down a bit. Had to use disposables during the use of cream though. :( I hope this helps! I feel for you and your little guy! :(

    Reply

  15. Jessica Says:

    Autumn
    I am at a loss. I still am having trouble with the ammonia burn. The only things I haven’t tried yet is the fish tank ammonia stuff and the RLR.
    I used the Tide and it made all my diapers repel,and now they still have the ammonia AND they are leaking. I am so frustrated I’m almost about to give up on cloth. My husband is fed up with our daughter having festering blisters on her tender areas. I keep telling him I’m trying to fix it,but to no avail. We have resorted to Flip disposable for nighttime,which is when we have the worst time.
    I was wondering if the type of diaper makes a difference.I mostly use Bum genius and microfiber inserts. I’m considering getting some bamboo and Bum genius Elemental. would it be worth it?Do you Have any suggestions I’m desperate.I’m going to the pet store tomorrow to try the fish tank stuff.Also what is a good diaper rash cream for when the soars are really bad?
    Thanks for your blog it is awesome!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I am so sorry, Jessica. I understand the husband being frustrated, mine has said the same things before except he can add “I thought you were the cloth diaper expert” *sigh* Have you tried boiling your microfiber inserts? I’d hold off on investing in expensive diapers and maybe buy some less expensive ones (Kawaii baby or check re-diaper.com) until you figure out a solution. I love using Grandma El’s. It is a great protective barrier for nighttime. When I forget to put it on and Sterling wears an “ammonia prone” diaper he is really red in the morning.

      Reply

  16. Melanie Rogers Says:

    Just my two cents …… I was too nervous about using bac-out due to the enzymes and my babies sensitive skin….. (she can’t use some of the most popular diaper detergents out right now). Anyway, instead I have been using Thristies pre-wash in my first cold wash cycle (I use a whole delicate wash cycle rather than an initial cold rinse). Anyway, it has kept the diapers clean and my baby’s bottom happy. I don’t use the Thirsties super wash, but I do like their pre-wash.

    Reply

  17. kat Says:

    thank you for clarifying things for me. It all gets so confusing sometimes…especially when in the middle of burns! We have always done a prewash, but it was just water, I have never added anything. How do you like the RLR now that you have been using it for awhile?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I only used RLR a couple of times. Once I added the Tide I haven’t really had any problems.

      Reply

      • kat Says:

        interesting. I’ve ONLY used Tide…I guess ultimately though I was using too much! I just ordered some RLR and will cut down the amount of tide (how much do you use per load?…of course i have a top loader so it might be different than you) so hopefully this was a one time problem. As I sit writing this I am on my 2nd pot of boiling flip organic inserts. btw–love the hybrid comparisons. LOVE my organic flips. Thanks again.

        Reply

        • Autumn Beck Says:

          if you open your washer lid during the rinse cycle and see suds then you are using too much. if you have soft water then you would cut back.

          Reply

  18. kat Says:

    Autumn, HELP! My 17 mnth b/g twins just developed ammonia burn. they have had very little diaper rash of any kind before this and so the burns freak me out! Luckily I remembered reading this blog of yours. We use flips w/ the organic inserts during the day and bum genius pockets stuffed w/ hemp stuffins at night. all the diapers/inserts have smelled for months but I didn’t know what it was till the burns came this past week when we had a major heat wave here in LA. the burns are better now and the heat wave is over but this whole thing has shown me that we have hard water and my inserts are FULL of soap. Apparently-in the 5 months I’ve been CDing, I have never rinsed the inserts really clean! I have now rinsed them probably 15 times both in hot and cold water and the soap is still coming out of them. Any suggestions on how to get them totally soap free? and any recommendations on what to use w/ my hard water so this doesn’t happen again? Also–what exactly is RLR or Rock Hard? Are they they just detergents? And what does stripping mean–just washing in hot water…w/ soap or not? I am probably asking questions you have already answered but I’m so confused! Please help!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      1) Rockin Green Hard Rock is a detergent. RLR is a laundry additive. Both are great for removing buildup.
      2) Stripping is completely removing all buildup from your diapers and inserts.
      3) If you have a huge pot boil the inserts. Or pour boiling water in a bucket with the inserts. You could also turn up your hot water heater (don’t forget to turn it down though!) and run a HOT wash and let them sit.
      4) To help prevent buildup you need to always do a second rinse, especially if you aren’t using a clean rinsing detergent (Rockin Green, Clean B, Crunchy Clean..). Also, I recommend a pre-rinse/pre-wash with Bac-out.

      Reply

  19. Brianna Says:

    Autumn,
    Have been wondering if the RLR soak worked. I am having terrible ammonia problems and my son too has woken up many times screaming in pain. I can’t get any answers from fuzzibunz or rockin green other than the typical “wash with lots of water, adjust amount of detergent, strip with hot water, etc.” I really want to keep using the diapers but don’t know how to fix the ammonia problem. I am willing to try the RLR if you think it worked. And if you have any other suggestions I am open to them also. Thank you!

    Brianna

    Reply

  20. Melissa Richards Says:

    I would love to try a sample of the hard rock. I am also new to cloth diapeers and have hard water. I am thinking about getting a water softner, but they are so expensive. My son is only six months but I think we are starting to get the ammonia problem also.

    Reply

  21. Kim Webb Says:

    Those of you that I haven’t sent hard rock samples to yet, send me an email to kim@rockingreensoap.com. Thanks!

    Reply

  22. Jaunae Bacon Says:

    I would love to try rocking green hard water sample too! please! phoenixbacon@yahoo.com

    Reply

  23. Laura Says:

    Hello Kim,

    Is it too late to try the Hard Rock? I have an HE machine and don’t know about hard water, but I’m definitely having the ammonia problems with my diapers. Thanks! Email is rinoa_angelstar@hotmail.com :)

    Laura

    Reply

  24. km Says:

    hi Autumn,
    I just bought my twin boys Bum Genius organic AIO and Flips for night. We’ve ben using them for a month and now all of a sudden my poor boys have private parts on fire! We use disposable liners (yes, I’m still adjusting. Could this still be amonia burn. I’m back on disposables until I get this figured out. Will try a night time soak and some natural diaper lotion (when it arrives from the on line order)

    Help! I will keep trying with cloth but I’m feeling awful for my little ones who are crying in the bath at night.

    thanks!

    Reply

  25. Grateful for Grace Says:

    Cates Mom-
    Very interesting info.
    1) I keep my “pail” (it’s actually just a wet bag) on top of my dryer. Probably the hottest spot in my house. Gonna move it now.
    2) My cd wear-er is 27mo so he fits the “older kid”. Will be looking into those tablets.
    3) Tried vinegar already and heard it’s not good to use in hard water. You say to use it. Now, I’m not sure what to think.
    4) How does one boil diapers? Seriously. Little batches, I’m guessing. Are you saying I could boil the Rumparooz ‘cover’ as well as the inserts? Just let them stay in the water til it cools? This would negate my warranty, so I’m unsure of doing that. Would appreciate any other thoughts.
    5) I wash every other day because I only have 13 diapers. Go through them quickly. I will check the amount of detergent I should be using. I really just approximate. Will remedy this.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  26. Cates mom Says:

    So I was telling my Grandmother about the ammonia smell in the cloth diapers and she said that she would have to boil hers once a week. I found this info on baby center thought it would help.
    I found that the best remedy for my stinkies (mind you I have hard water so this may not be needed for everyone) was to boil my diapers. Any diaper can be boiled (EXCEPT WOOL ITEMS) but LET the water COOL before pulling out any diapers containing PUL material because they will distort in shape if you try to take them out while they are hot. ( I usually cheat and dump the water out, leaving the diapers still in the pan and refill w/cool water). I boil for 15 minutes. You shouldn’t boil hemp w/other diapers either because of the oils it releases. It CAN be boiled though, I just do it in a separate pan.

    Ammonia can be caused in two ways:

    1. Chemical formation because urine contains urea ((NH2)2CO). The body really wants to get rid of ammonia (NH4+), but ammonia is toxic, so it is converted to urea in the liver. Over time and with sufficient heat, urea will convert back to ammonia in your diapers;
    and

    2. Biological formation due to bacterial buildup in the diapers. Often older babies have more ammonia problems, probably because they have started solids and have more bacteria in their intestines and therefore in their feces.(so the baby needs to be put on a good probiotic and I use Klaire Labs infant formula that is dairy free and gluten free http://www.klaire.com/index_proddetail.asp?id=K-TIF
    And can be found on Amazon.)

    You can do a few things to keep ammonia at bay.

    Keep an open pail. Many of the reactions that turn urea back into ammonia are anaerobic (don’t use oxygen), so keeping the lid off will keep a higher concentration of oxygen circulating around your diapers.

    Wash frequently with vinegar in the pre-rinse. Ammonia is basic and vinegar is an acid. An acid plus a base makes a salt and water. Usually the salt is water soluble, which makes it easier to get rid of in your wash. Unless you have hard water do not use.

    Keep your diaper pail somewhere cool. Reaction rates double for every 10 degrees celcius rise in temperature. Therefore, if your house goes from 20 degrees in the winter to 30 degrees in the summer, you will get ammonia problems twice as often in the summer.
    Use enough soap in the wash to actually get your diapers clean. Getting rid of the bacteria (soap doesn’t usually kill bacteria, just interacts with their ability to adhere to the fabric), will keep your ammonia problems at bay.

    After your cold prerinse/soak, wash in the hottest water you can to completely dissolve the ammonia salts that are present in the diapers.

    Reply

  27. Melanie Says:

    Hi Autumn,

    My little guy started to develop a mystery rash and I discovered with my front loader that I have to do three rinses in addition to the pre-wash and long hot wash cycles. I add a towel for more weight and use a fraction of the detergent suggested. I really find that the front loader does a poor job at rinsing everything out. Makes me wonder how clean the rest of the laundry is … Maybe try doing a few consecutive washes with no detergent or cleaning agent of any kind. That has helped me.

    Reply

    • nanamarcia Says:

      front load machines only need a small amount of detergent. 1/4 inch up from bottom of cap. extra rinses are important. add extra bath towels.

      30 years ago I soaked my diapers in “diaper pure” a bluing, washed them with cold water and bleach. never had ammonia smell. Can’t use bleach with a septic system. I strongly recommend you boil the diapers to kill all bacteria, weekly, until you have no ammonia smell. Then boil again when it returns. Sun disinfects.

      good luck to all ~

      Reply

  28. Brittany P. Says:

    I’m struggling with ammonia too :( I have rocked two soaks, sunned and stripped :(

    I am so dedicated to cloth, but am so frustrated I am thinking about going back to disposibles :( :( :(

    Reply

  29. Lissa Says:

    Hi Kim,
    I would love a sample of the new Hard Rock. I use Charlie’s Soap now but I’ve been considering switching. My email is wizcrackspoon@gmail.com
    Thanks!

    Reply

  30. Kim Webb Says:

    What’s your email address Melody?

    Reply

  31. Trenna Says:

    So was the ammonia burning a result of the hard water only, or the vinegar? is RLR suggested for all hard water situations? Specific to cotton or synthetics?

    I have a one month old and we’re using cotton GMD flats – we have 3 dozen, and about every other day we wash 20. They’re starting to feel slightly crunchy and I’m curious whether it’s hard water (how do you find out if you have hard water)?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      crunchiness is normal in hard or soft water. there are fabric softeners that you can use with cloth diapers. or you can check out wool dryer balls. the ammonia is from baby initially and is made worse through many factors (vinegar use in hard water, too little detergent, too much detergent, mineral buildup…). rlr can be used in any situation.

      Reply

  32. Jennifer Says:

    Kim, I’d be willing to try a sample of the new Hard Rock. I wasn’t entirely pleased with the Hard Rock I bought and am trying Tide for a change. Like many others, I have a front loader and hard water. Kinda frustrated with it all now, but don’t wNt to give up. Ugh.

    My email is grdngod@gmail.com

    Thanks, Jen

    Reply

  33. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks for all of the suggestions. The RLR worked ok but the smell came back when I took DS’s night time diaper off of him. It’s not as bad but it did come back so I’m going to try it again and see if stays away.
    How often do I need to use it? Once a month or so after I get it gone right now?

    Kim- I’d love to try a sample. My email is allison_j22 (at) yahoo . com thanks for the offer!

    Reply

  34. Kim Webb Says:

    We are revamping hard rock, so if anyone wants a free sample let me know guys!!

    Reply

  35. Jessica Says:

    Hi- didn’t you recently get a front loader? I think this is your problem!! I’ve had the same problem for awhile now and after trying a million things and reading all over the internet I’m convinced it’s the front loader plus hard water combo. RLR never really worked for me, sorry to say. Good luck!

    Reply

  36. Jae Roth Says:

    I’m researching the use of cloth diapers for our second child and had to comment. Our boy had ammonia irritation with disposables. A short term fix for the irritation…our doctor recommended dabbing MOM (milk of magnesia) on our son’s bottom and letting it dry a bit before we add any creams or lotions. It’s a base and neutralizes the acids.

    Reply

  37. Brenda H Says:

    Thanks Autumn for posting this. I’m having this problem and have extremely “yucky” hard water – even with a water softerner. I have a HE machine, and have tried tide, rockin green hard, and adding calgon to the machine as well. I was about to give up CDs for my 3 yr old son, :( but keeping them for my 3 mo old daughter. For some reason, the microfiber inserts are worse than the prefolds or AIOs that I use on her. After reading this, I’m going to try my mom’s top load machine and soft water, strip, strip, strip, and give it another go. Thanks for the encouragement – being fairly new to cloth diapers, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one with this problem! One thing that I have found that helps with HE machines is to add a bath towel or two. I also do a normal wash with no soap first, and do not spin out the water before I wash with soap and hot water. Maybe that will help you.?. Thanks again for all your help!

    Reply

  38. Grateful for Grace Says:

    I’ve did another Rockin’ Green one hour soak, followed by a wash cycle (no soap) with warm rinse and another cold rinse. STILL my baby cries and has some redness. It’s not my diet or his (as another posted suggested), I’m sure. He eats the best out of all of us (no dyes, no HFCS, no MSG, etc). I’m getting to the point of no return and that bothers me.

    I may try the fish tank stuff. I haven’t tried the washing soda (did try baking soda). I’ve tried everything else.

    I really do feel like a cd failure.

    Reply

  39. Amy Says:

    This is going to sound strange but there was a thread on babycenter not to long ago about using an Ammonia Remover for fish tanks in your diaper wash. Lots of moms on BBC were having this issue and tried the remover and it has worked for almost all of them. From reading it seems the main ingredient, when mixed with the ammonia in diapers, is neutralized and made into water. Since your ammonia is pretty bad it might be worth a shot! Good luck!

    http://community.babycenter.com/post/a23042415/ammonia_is_gone?cpg=19&csi=2172897608&pd=1

    Reply

  40. evsmarie Says:

    Well – I don’t officially CD yet since my wee lady isn’t due until September, but I’m stocking up on diapes and “stalking” several different sites learning all that I can! There has been a thread on BabyCenter’s CDing that is interesting. Of course, because I don’t have stinky diapers yet, I certainly haven’t tried it (fish tank amonia remover) myself. It’s a lot of reading to do but this seems interesting. My initial concern would be any chemicals within the product(s), but that has also been addressed on the thread. I’m writing down anything/everything that works since it seems as though everyone gets the stinkies at some point or another.

    Best wishes!

    Reply

  41. Elizabeth Says:

    To answer the questions about my wash cycle…I used to use Country Save on my diapers (still use it on all other laundry) but DD started getting a burn-like rash that I read somewhere that Country Save could be the culprit. So I switched to Tiny Bubbles. Like some PP have mentioned, I found that once my daughter was eating more solids the diapers began to smell to a whole new level! I have used some Rockin’ Green and personally have not seen a difference in performance between the two detergents. I have continued to buy Tiny Bubbles because my local baby store carries it and I can get it on sale :)
    To answer the question of TTO use…I wash my diapers in an HE machine. I use one cold normal wash- no detergent. One Heavy Duty hot wash with an additional rinse (this can be done at one step for my machine)- I use one scoop of Tiny Bubbles and about 10 drops of TTO in the softener dispener. If my load is smaller and I notice a strong TTO smell, I do another rinse. But most of the time my diapers just smell clean…which is the way they should smell. If they smell dirty, then they are still dirty.
    If laundry day has been streched and the diapers are particularily stinky I put a squirt of GSE in the bleach compartment. I have read that GSE can banish yeast, which my DD has battled.
    I also use TTO and GSE in my wipe solution…two drops of each with a squirt of baby oil and a squirt of baby wash.
    I occasionally use California Baby and Grandma El’s diaper rash cream. I have used Northern Essence Better Butter but it has not helped DD when she had yeast rashes. I would have to put her in sposies and medicated rash cream. Also, if your child is dealing with yeast and is still nursing, make sure you are eating yogurt and taking GSE (I would put it in OJ and there is hardly a taste). Sorry for the long reply! HTH.

    Reply

  42. Kristy Schafer Says:

    Autumn,

    I have had the same problem, but I do not believe that it is an ammonia burns. It is actually due to acid in the diet. I am still nursing so I know that it is from what I’m eating. Too much gluten, acid, sugar, processed foods & dyes will cause diaper rash in cloth diapered babies. If we’re not directly giving this to the baby, but are ingesting it and nursing you’d better believe they’re receiving some too! I’ve had a stinky diaper problem that a vinegar soak took care of, but that wasn’t what was causing the rash it’s all in the diet! I actually don’t eat very much processed food except maybe some organic corn chips, the occasional organic cracker. But if I have too much chocolate I tend to have more problems & don’t have any food or drink with dye in in. I won’t touch it and will not give it to the kids!!!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      completely agree with you ;)

      Reply

    • Aubrey Says:

      Thanks for posting this! I’ve been a choc-o-holic lately and we’ve been having all sorts of issues! My 12 month old still gets a lot of his nutrition from nursing, so I guess I will bite the bullet and cut chocolate out for a bit to see if this helps.

      Also rocking a soak, I use hard rock but we have super hard water. I might try some calgon if this doesn’t work. Poor baby is so red!

      Reply

  43. Jessica Says:

    I know you have tried Rockin green since your blog actually led me to it, but have you tried her new Hard Rock formula? She added all kinds of stuff specifically to battle ammonia, it couldn’t hurt to buy a sample and do a massive soak of all your diapers for like 8 hours. I love Hard Rock, nothing else even comes close to working with our hard water and front load washer. Not to mention rather infrequent washes since we EC.

    Reply

  44. Jennifer Says:

    I love this blog!! I’m having this same issue with my poor little Nicky. His poor penis had been burned so bad that he cries when I change him. I’m glad I subscribe to your blog and I’ll have to give this a shot. Thank you soo much!!!

    Reply

  45. Cathy Says:

    Okay, so it sounds like most people that have this problem have hard water. I have softwater and have this problem too. I’m so glad you wrote about this. I noticed the redness on my little guy a while ago and didn’t realize that it was from the ammonia. I washed my diapers at my moms about a week ago in her top loader and all the smell went away. Well, it’s back again using my HE front loader. I have been using Allen’s (very little) and sometimes I use baking soda also. The ammonia seems to stay at bay when I can hang the diapers outside in the sun. So will calgon really make a difference if I already have soft water? My mom and I both have well water that is both softened and goes through an iron curtain. So the only difference between washing at her house and at mine is the machine itself.

    Reply

  46. Angela Says:

    I was having major ammonia issues as well. I did a extremely hot tub soak with a few tablespoons of dawn dish liquid follow by several hot wash cycles with no detergent to get rid of the build up. Then I started using RNG hard rock. I do a cold prewash followed by a hot/cold wash/rinse cycle on heavy duty with two scoops RNG in my top loader and have had no issues since even after starting solid foods.

    Reply

  47. Katie Says:

    Washing soda (NOT baking soda) will work! It’s the main ingredient in Calgon and Oxi Clean and lots cheaper. Look for it in Grocery stores (Walmart and Target don’t usually have it). I’ve bought it at Kroger’s and Meijer. You add about 2TBSP in each wash cycle. You shouldn’t have to strip ever again once you start using washing soda.

    Reply

  48. Julie Kieras Says:

    I am starting to have problems with ammonia smells but no burns on baby’s bum yet (he’s not that heavy of a night wetter at this point – 4 mos old). I was finding that the dipes still had a faint “bleachy” smell after washing (even though I don’t use any bleach at all in my washer), so I washed the dipes again in hot with no detergent, just a 1/2 cup of baking soda. This took that “bleachy” smell away, but still when he pees in the diapers, they get a really bad ammonia stink until washed. The other day I got a whiff from the diaper pail that took my breath away! Is this common? Is this kind of smell what eventually leads to ammonia burns later on? I just want to start taking care of the problem NOW if it’s going to build to something worse!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Look into the detergent you are using. Maybe you need to add more. Do you have soft water or hard? Sometimes diapers stink b/c they aren’t getting cleaned, other times they have too much detergent buildup in them.

      Reply

  49. Grateful for Grace Says:

    If I read this post right, I’m the “friend”. ;-) We are still having issues. My Wee Babe will grab his diaper and cry. The ammonia smell has lessened, but it’s still stronger than I think it should be. He still gets the ammonia burn every once in awhile, though it’s much smaller now. I gave up on the Motherease I have for this kind of rash and worse (blisters). I bought my Rumparooz and have been thrilled for quite awhile. Not a single poopy leak and they are great for his skin.
    BUT THE STINKIN AMMONIA BURN! Egad. I’ve almost given up on cloth diapering. Honestly, I started cding because I wanted to help my family’s budget. I don’t want to have to do back flips to make it work.
    So… I’ve tried Dawn, vinegar, and bleach. Finally ordered Hard Rock Rockin’ Green. Did a one hour soak and heard that wasn’t enough (still seriously ammonia stinky). Did a three hour soak. Had wicking problems, but then I did some hot water (no det) rinses and washes. Cured that. The ammonia is still there, though it’s lesssened. Breaks my heart when he grabs himself and cries. So…
    I’m a bit at a loss. I really want to make this work. I really like my Rumparooz. I really DON’T like my baby hurting.

    Reply

  50. Brooke Says:

    Have you tried a wet pail and washing every day? Once the urine has had time to really soak in and/or dried on the diaper, it is much harder to get it out. If you can, wash diapers first thing in the morning so the night time diaper gets washed ASAP. If you need to wash at night, try putting the diaper in a small bucket of water until wash time. Washing daily has totally eliminated any ammonia smell or issue we’ve had. I’ve been CD’ing for 8 years and this is the only method that has consistently worked. Also, since you have a front loader, you may need to add 3-4 pitchers of water straight onto the diapers when you put them in. This will make them heavier and force more water into the washer. IMO, my front loader does not use enough water to get my diapers as clean as my top loader did.

    Reply

  51. Christina G Says:

    Hi Autumn. I was batteling with serious ammonia smell and bum burns a while back too. In fact, I think I even commented here somewhere on your blog asking for some help? I, too, tried the vinegar soaks. But although it seemed to work the first time or two, it seemed to fail us here too. Still ended up with eye watering ammonia smell and my baby’s bottom was so burned, I was forced to put her in disposables and slathered in heavy duty cream. I used to use Country Save detergent and then I switched over to Rockin’ Green. Soaking in this stuff really helped a lot, and then every 2-3 weeks I would notice the ammonia was back. Then the formula was changed and the Rockin’ Green that is available now has more “ammonia busters” in it. I ordered some samples and have not longer had ANY ammonia smell or burns (been using the new formula now for about a month and I wash twice a week). Since your water is so hard, maybe give the Hard Rock formula a try. You may need to do more than one soak the first time.

    Oh ya, just wanted to add too that using Imse Vimse liners also gives my LO a rash. Any ideas why that would happen? I thought they’d be a good way to deal with my daughter’s mooshy poo, but every time I use one, she turns red!

    Reply

  52. Shawnna Says:

    Give Rockin’ Green a try! After you do a few overnight soaks the ammonia will be gone!! Kim is super helpful in helping you figure out where the issue comes from and how to fix it. They sell samples of the hard water formual for .80 cents
    http://rockingreensoap.com/

    Reply

  53. Kim Webb Says:

    We are revamping hard rock again to have more active stuff in every tablespoon- can I send you some???

    Reply

  54. Megan Says:

    I’m so glad you posted this! I am dealing with this with my 18mo old. She’s not crying in pain, but I can’t get the diaper rash to go away. It has been hanging out in some form or another since CHRISTMAS! ARGH. I’m going to go order RLR right now :)

    Reply

  55. Angie Says:

    I used to have this problem and still get a slight smell every now and then, but nothing that burns skin. What I was suggested by a lady who works at Nicki’s Diapers in Madison, WI was to soak individual diapers in the hottest tap water you can draw. She also said it really helps to keep changing the water as it cools to room temp. It totally solved my problems! Before I had tried hot water, I tried calgon because I have hard water, and that didn’t work at all. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that no additives are sometimes better. I remember my son waking up many times in the night with a burnt butt. It was totally red, and then there were spots that were actually pussing because it was burnt from the ammonia so bad.

    Reply

  56. Jen Says:

    Rocking is amazing stuff :)Tide leaves so much resadue in the diapers all my diapers leaked until i switched to rocking green!!!!! <3

    Reply

  57. Cory Says:

    Seriously. If you try anything, try RG. You can get little sample packets for less than $1. The stuff is amazing!

    Reply

  58. Cory Says:

    We have super hard water and I was using rockin green when we started with a similar problem. They just weren’t coming clean, ammonia, bad rash and liners weren’t helping. I was putting my little one in disposables while I did soak after soak with only slight progress until Hard Rock came out. One soak with it and our diapers are perfect. Diaper laundry is SO easy now!

    Reply

  59. Kerri Says:

    I began having the ammonia problem within weeks of cloth diapering. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago I found the same info online that your friend did. I have very hard water and was using a front loader. I started using the Calgon softner (never thought I would use a product from calgon) and the problem is solved. No more burns and no more stink. Yeah!

    Reply

  60. Shannon Ropp Says:

    What does the ammonia burn look like? My DD has had a rash for months. We have switched to rockin green reg. (I have hard water and a front loader so I will buy the hard rock next time), tried only using natural fiber diapers, used liners and loations, soaks, you name it. She is only diapered for bed and naps as she is 2 1/2. She asks to be changed in the middle of the night when she wets her diaper. The only thing that has taken the rash away is sposies at night :( Any ideas?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      ammonia burn is an even red all over the diaper area. i’d get hard rock now, not wait.

      Reply

      • Richelle Says:

        Is it in the creases as well? My baby has it only on his genitals and near his anus. When I give him a bath he cries while touching them? He doesn’t notice the rash throughout the day just when taking a bath. Do you think it could be ammonia burn? Or something else? What could it be? frustrated . . .

        Reply

  61. Kristin Says:

    I am fairly new to cloth diapering (only 1 year) but I did have this problem about 2 months ago. I have never used vinigar, bleach or anything other than my regular laundry detergent (melaluca Melapower, which does have biodegradable brightners and enzymes) I have hard water and an HE machine so I have a lot going against me here :) But I have resolved the problem, here is what I did:
    When I did have the problem I washed my diapers (PUL included) in hot water with no detergent at all. I did about two washes like this with a couple extra rinses until I didn’t see any bubbles at all. Then I air dry my PUL diapers and dry the rest on low heat. It took a couple cycles of this but eventually the amonia went away and I have never had the problem since.
    Ever since I had that problem I do a pre rinse with no spin and then a hot wash with another rinse and and extra rinse. I wash my diapers with as little detergent as possible (dime size amount of detergent) and make sure the rinse cycles rinses clear of bubbles.
    I know this seems very basic, but I have learned less is really more when it comes to cloth diapering :) I have friends who will bleach or use vinegar and even grapfruit seed abstract and it just seems like too much. You have to remeber anything you use on your diapers is going to be next to your babies skin…But, like I said I am fairly new, I am definitely no expert :)
    Good luck! Keep us posted!!

    Reply

  62. Elizabeth Says:

    I use tea tree oil in my wash (in the softener dispenser) and my diapers never stink after I take them out of the wash! Sometimes I also use GSE (grapefruit seed extract). Also, I try to rinse the nighttime diapers with the diaper sprayer to cut down on the stink :)

    Reply

    • Grateful for Grace Says:

      Elizabeth- how much of each? I have both of these on hand. My son grabs his diaper often and cries to have it take off. We’ve already tried vinegar, Dawn, bleach and Rockin’ Green. Sigh.

      Reply

  63. Erin Says:

    Both of my 2 kids struggled with those rashes. It was so bad DD could barely walk! After trying 3 perscription Dr. creams and other things, I turned to prayer – and it was the ONLY thing that made a difference. In the mean time, breastmilk makes a great diaper cream and will work better than anything on the market! Seriously, after spending much time alone with the Lord asking Him to show me the root of the problem, which turned out to be my own issues in my heart, I repented and the next morning after months of struggles, the rash began to clear up! I’m not saying this is your problem at all, I just enjoy to spread the word that God heals and loves to heal and wants to heal, and I’ve seen Him do it over and over again in my life and my kids’ lives, and for us and persistent diaper rashes, God continues to lead me to Him to pray about it and seek first the kingdom and His righteousness.

    Reply

  64. Christine Says:

    Have you concidered going diaper free?

    If my DD gets a red bottom I go diaper free as much as possible. I lay several prefolds out across the bed at night and let stuff air out.

    Reply

  65. Jessica Says:

    Before toddler pee set up shop i had great success with hot washes with 1 cap of Calgon. I’d repeat until no suds or film were left when the washer stopped agitating.

    Once toddler pee came to live here the only thing that has worked has been using Crunchy Clean hard water version. I use more than they call for, but i’m washing in rotten water, and my DS is 4.5 yrs now so he’s got man pee. :)

    I tried RLR and it didn’t make a dent in my diapers (or anything else i’ve tried it on). Calgon works better for me, and the liquid is better than the powder.

    Reply

  66. Jessie Says:

    I have very hard water, so we have a whole house water softener. I was having trouble with ammonia only when I used cold water only (possibly because cold water is not softened and hard water does not rinse out soap well). Now, I wash 2x. Once with Country Save detergent in cold water. Next time with Country Save in the prewash compartment (so the wash cycle has no add’l soap), hot water, vinegar in the fabric softener slot, and an extra rinse. I use the vinegar in the hot cycle (the hot water is softened) No burns and the diaper pail doesn’t smell too terrible either.

    Reply

  67. Melissa O Says:

    I’ve had serious ammonio problems as well. I’m temporarily in disposables because I can’t get the diaper rash under control! I’ve tried Clean B, Rockin’ Green, vinegar, baking soda, liquid Dawn. None of the “cloth diaper friendly” butt creams help the rash either! I feel so bad seeing my little guy with his butt burned and sore! The classic Rockin’ Green burned his butt and with the Soft Rock I got really bad ammonio smell and burns. I used some leftover Rockin’ Green on our clothes and now my son has a rash all over his torso. The Clean B didn’t seem to clean the diapers well, they still smelled dirty. My little guy seems to have sensitive skin anyway, so using cloth has proven to be a bit of a challenge. I feel like I’ve tried it all and nothing is working! I’ve had to cut all acidic foods from his diet, as well, because they “burn” his butt.

    Thanks for this post, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one struggling! I want to use the cloth. I have a large stash of Rump-a-rooz that I LOVE, I just wish I wasn’t having so many issues.

    Reply

    • Melanie Rogers Says:

      Melissa O,
      I am sure you have tried or thought of this, but I eliminated all cow’s milk products from my 15 month olds diet (13 months at the time), and we saw huge improvements. I still have a sensitive skinned girl and we still have issues with finding the best detergent.. but thought I would mention it. When she was having cow products…. her poo would literally burn her bum. I also used soap nuts for a while to clean out the dipes of any and all detergents.

      Reply

      • Melissa O Says:

        I hadn’t thought to eliminate cow’s milk products. I guess I haven’t noticed a correlation, but it’s worth a try! Soap nuts? I am not familiar with these. I’ll Google it. I don’t have any trouble with Melaleuca soap on my son’s clothes or bottom, but I get build-up in the diapers when I use it and they start to get stinkies after just a few weeks.

        Reply

    • Danielle Says:

      My little guy was waking up in the middle of the night in pain.
      I use rumparooz and thought that maybe I needed to replace my inserts. Finally a friend told me to try Planet http://www.planetinc.com/ull.htm laundry soap. It has been a week and so far so good. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it does not come back.

      Reply

  68. Emi Says:

    I have yet to try RLR, although a GF of mine did and it put a weird stain on her dipes. Didn’t follow up with her to see if it came out. Overnight diapering was our biggest challenge for months, although ammonia burns weren’t our problem. Do you have hard or soft water?

    Reply

  69. aya Says:

    my cd’s were getting so bad i was contemplating using disposables at night, and maybe during some of the daytime when i couldn’t handle the smell. ugh!!!…i know, shame on me. bac-out didn’t get all the stinkies out. i knew i had some bad build up. then my friend told me about sol-u-mel and i took away all the stinkies. ALL THE STINKIES WERE GONE!! woohoo! i use a capful (about 1/2 oz) with rockin green and the diapers are fresh everytime. since sol-u-mel has tea tree oil in it, it also kills any bacteria that may be lingering, especially from stool. also, i didn’t cause a rash at all (i didn’t think it would b/c of the natural healing properties of TTO, but i watched for it anyways).

    Reply

    • Julie Kieras Says:

      in a HE Front loader where would you put the Tea Tree Oil? Right in with the diapers? In the detergent section? Fabric softener section? I just don’t want to hurt either the machine or the dipes with the oil. Thanks!

      Reply

    • evsmarie Says:

      I love Sol-U-Mel and use it for all of my cleaning (w/ water added)!!! Although I’ve had to get it through someone who sells Melaleuca in the past, I see that you can also get it on Amazon. If it takes out the stinkies, I’ll have another reason to love it! :-)

      Reply

  70. Cassandra Says:

    We had the burn your eyes/nose ammonia smells. RLR would only work for so long. We have super hard water and I use Rockin Green. Did an overnight soak and then continued to wash with RG and never have ammonia stink anymore!!

    Reply

  71. Jennifer Says:

    Do you put the whole packet of RLR in the washer? And do you put it in the soap “spot” or the softener one? Also, what detergent are you using? I have been using crunchy clean but I don feel like it has been getting my diapers clean. We have super hard water so that might have something to do with it, but I need something that will actually get the job done.

    Reply

  72. Rita Says:

    Try Rockin Green!!! I used to have the same problem, I could control the smell in my DD nighttime diapers using baking soda but she was still getting the rashes/burns till I went to rockingreensoap.com and ordered a sample pack to “rock a soak ” with. I was so amazed at how fast the water got dirty when my diapers where clean!!!

    Reply

  73. Joy Yoder Says:

    I only ever had this problem when I was using my mom’s front loader, but it was terrible. Bright red sunburned looking bottoms :(
    I’m down to adding just under a teaspoon of country save in the HE washer and throwing in a heavy wet towel to make the load heavier (washer automatically adds more water).
    I wash cold with the detergent and follow it with a hot wash with no detergent. I’m amazed how so little soap does the job, but I haven’t had ammonia even in my morning diapers yet with this solution.
    I follow the same routine in my non-HE top loader minus the wet towel and I use just under 2 teaspoons of country save.

    Reply

  74. Diana Says:

    Rockin’ Green Hard Rock for hard water worked for me! http://rockingreensoap.com/

    Reply

  75. ashley K Says:

    i had the same thing and i switched over to sun and earth laundry detergent .
    i do 2 spin outs and one cold water wash then a hot water wash only use about 2 tbs of s&e though.

    My 2 older kids looked like there bum where burnt. 2 weeks ago now they are sooo much better.
    please use the site I posted as a guide not all Detergent for cloth diapers work for every baby no matter how grate everyone raves about it. and also before thinking that its the diaper or pee (Ammonia) remember the smell can also mean tract infections or dehydration.
    hope everything works out :)
    Ashley

    Reply

  76. Wendy Buhlman Says:

    I’m glad you posted this! I’ve had this problem with my son pretty much since his diet went to mostly solid food….oh, 15 months ago or so! I’ve tried every “magic” nighttime diaper solution suggested to me and he wakes up every time with a horrible, painful rash. With no cloth alternatives left, I’ve been putting him in 7th Generation disposables at night.

    I’m anxious to see how the RLR works for you Autumn. If it’s successful, I might just have to give nighttime cloth diapering one more try. I have a new baby on the way so I’d certainly like to have found a solution by the time this one comes along and ditch disposables 100% of the time!!

    Reply

  77. Melissa Says:

    I have been having issues recently with diaper rash or ammonia burn. I’m not sure which it is as Lilly is my 1st baby. This also started right around the time I began giving her solid foods, too. So, not sure if it’s the food or the detergent I’m using or the diapers. I use the flip diaper and according to their website, they suggest using a 1/4 c. bleach every 6 mo or as needed. I’ve done that and I’ve switched back to a detergent I know for sure works and I’m taking a week off of solid foods. Hopefully, Lilly’s bottom will be better soon. Thanks for this post!

    Reply

  78. Stacy Says:

    Ammonia burns are the WORST!!! Since I got my Rock’n’Green, I have NO ammonia stink! Even the diapers that have been sitting in my diaper pail for… 5 days now aren’t smelling the bathroom up. YAY!!!

    But the diapers are still sitting there because for some reason the BG Organics I washed in R’n’G are giving my baby butt burn… I haven’t figured out the culprit yet. But I know it’s not ammonia! :)

    Reply

  79. Whitney Scaramella Says:

    We are in the same boat!!!! Sawyer wakes up almost every morning with a red bum and his privates tend to be swollen-sorry about TMI but it’s been bad. He screams and cries. So I am really hoping you find the best solution!

    Reply

  80. Laura Says:

    I’ve found that I can get the ammonia smell out using vinegar, but it keeps coming back, after a week or less. To keep it away, I’ve started using Tide (powder). I know it’s not very earth-friendly, but it sure works. I haven’t had even a hint of the ammonia smell since I’ve started using it. I make sure to do an extra rinse to get the Tide smell out, and it’s amazing how well it works.
    I read on an online forum awhile back that some of the more earth-friendly detergents aren’t strong enough to fully clean a toddler’s diapers, and that’s why something stronger like Tide will work better (the ammonia smell is coming from a build-up of nitrogen compounds in the diaper).
    I was initially afraid of using Tide 0n my diapers (and actually shocked that some people might use that!), but I’ve been using it for about 8-10 month now, and I haven’t noticed any extra wear on my diapers, and I haven’t had any leaking problems either.

    Reply

  81. kira Says:

    We had similar issues when we moved and started using well water (albeit softened). I was doing my normal routine and using small amounts of vinegar & baking soda. Averie was getting crazy amonia burns. We resorted to sposies for a while but I knew I had to figure out the problem since we were expecting a new baby & had his stash ready to go. I stopped using all vinegar & bs & had to switch to using small amounts of dawn dishsoap rather than my normal charlie’s. The burn doesn’t happen anymore but we definitely have the amonia smell, which I thought was just all a part of it. (Ave is only in them at night so I don’t notice smell as soon as she pees.). I’m going to try the rlr and see how it goes.

    Reply

  82. Majaliwa Bass Says:

    Hey Autumn,
    so sorry to hear this is happening to little Sterling. Let me know how the soak goes. I know some moms have complained of not getting enough water in the front loader washers to do a really good rinse on their dipes so they trick the washer into adding more water by putting a heavy towel in with their diapers. I have a top loader so I’m not able to test this theory myself but one of my girlfriends who does have one swears by it. That could also be worth a shot.

    Reply

  83. Michelle Says:

    I just wanted to share that I was having the very same issue. My 2 1/2 yr old was so red in the mornings and sometimes even blistered. I tried everything I could think of. I switched to Rockin Green diaper detergent, for a day or two I saw a slight improvement. I called Kim at Rockin Green, after finding out where I live, she told me that my city is at the top of the list for hardest water in the country, and told me to switch to her Hard Rock formula. Which I did. So I did a cold cycle with no detergent then I filled the washer up with hot water, diapers, and 3 Tablespoons of the Hard Rock and did an over night soak. An extra rinse in the morning. The first thing I noticed after taking the diapers out of the dryer was the lack of smell. After using that first night time diaper, the next morning there was still a slight amonia smell, but not the “burn your nose hairs off” stink from previously. Two more overnight soaks and no more amonia issue. I am so happy with the Hard Rock. I recomend you try it!!

    God bless!
    Michelle

    Reply

    • Autumn Jones Says:

      I wish that had worked for me. I got samples of the Hard Rock because I loved the smell of some of her mixes. Did an overnight soak and a rinse and unfortunately for my boy he broke out in the worst rash I’ve ever seen on him. Poor kid, it took a while to heal too. To save my dipes I had to wash in bleach, then my old detergent and then rinse the snot out of them. Unfortunately after he pees the smell kicks right back up. Still searching for the right amonia smell fix for my extremely sensitive skinned boy. I’ll have to try the RLR after I read how it worked for Autumn.

      Reply

  84. Melanie Rogers Says:

    I have been wondering about RLR. Your poor baby. I have had similar issues.
    Have you tried the Thirsties wash and pre-wash? Supposed to get rid of bacteria with some kind of pro-biotic. Do you think you will review it?

    Reply

    • Melanie Rogers Says:

      Oooh- another question. So, I know you tend to like Clean B over RG or CC… but I know you also said you were not sure of long term affects of Clean B due to there being no surfactants. Do you feel Clean B has enough to “clean” dipes and keep stink issues at bay? (I know, make fun of me… but I am obsessively looking for the best detergent for my sensitive skinned girl) :) Okay, done with questions for now. LOL

      Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Melanie, I may in the future.

      Reply

  85. Erin Says:

    Hi Autumn….
    What I normally use are either a blueberry minky or a fuzzibunz pocket diaper with a knickernappie superdo insert. She NEVER leaks and in the morning, when I take it off of her, I often question whether or not she actually peed since there is very little to no smell. I wash with country save detergent- one light cold cycle, one hot heavy cycle and then I do an extra cold light wash with no detergent. My machine only uses the amount of water needed for the amount of laundry in there, so I don’t worry too much about wasting water. I love the country save detergent so much that I use it on all of my family’s laundry.

    Reply

  86. Olivia Says:

    I have had the same problem and have found RLR to work great but never have soaked them just used it in the wash. Please let us know how the soaks work. And how much are you supposed to put in of the package? I try to sun bleach my diapers once a month and that seems to really help the ammonia smell. Also doing numerous hot water rinses helps.

    Reply

  87. Michelle Says:

    I had ammonia smell problems in my overnight diapers as well (BG AIOs with an extra full size insert) and one of them had a mildew smell problem (I accidentally left a pee diaper at home when i left town for 2 weeks! Eeek!) I did an overnight soak in Rockin Green detergent, then a hot wash with an extra rinse, then a second overnight soak again followed by a hot wash (no extra detergent) with an extra rinse and the smell was gone!!!

    Reply

  88. Misty Thanem Says:

    How do you strip diapers with pul? I’m having trouble with my BG Organics! I’ve tried everything except soaking and bleach.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I’ve never had a problem with my BG organics but every few months I add a bit of bleach to the wash. That most likely keeps them from having issues.

      Reply

      • Stephanie M Says:

        I got my BG organics used and try STUNK BAD!!! I don’t know if i should have but I did a loooooong soak with oxyclean and rinsed rinsed and rinsed again and then did a soak and wash with Rockin Green and the stink is gone.

        Reply

  89. Melissa Says:

    I stopped having ammonia stink the day I started using Tide HE (powder, to line 1). It’s been almost a year and the dipes are in perfect condition and never had stink again.

    Reply

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