Diaper sprayers, cloth wipes and Tide

July 21, 2010

Cloth Diaper Extras, Washing

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Over the past couple of months cloth diapering has undergone some changes in our home.  When I posted about having to buy Huggies when camping I shocked a reader in the comments by saying I didn’t use cloth wipes.  This got me thinking…why don’t I?

When I wrote about not using a diaper sprayer and then proceeded to read about all of your success with one, it got me thinking…why don’t I try one?

When I continued and continued and continued to have ammonia problems despite trying every suggestion I could find, it got me thinking…why don’t I try Tide?

So, I tried them all.  And guess what?

I LOVE THEM ALL! The diaper sprayer is fabulous (installation details in a minute), cloth wipes are amazing!, and ALL the stink is G.O.N.E after one wash with Tide.

bumGenius Diaper Sprayer:

Installation was not a simple 5 minutes for me as many reported.  But, after 20 minutes it was working.  I had some leaking but fixed it easily.  The diaper sprayer has cut down drastically on the wet bag smell and reduced the “debris” I clean from my washer.  It is in my bathroom so it’s not a focus for the children, however they’ve never shown any interest in playing with it anyways.

Oh, and if you read the diaper sprayer post I linked above, I’ve yet to be splashed with poop ;)

Cloth Wipes:

I purchased the Prince Lionheart Warmies Wipes Warmer along with the Prince Lionheart Warmies Reusable Cloth Wipes. I wanted to compare different wipes so I also bought Thirsties Fab Wipes 6 Pack and Punkin Butt Bamboo Velour wipes.  My favorite so far are the Warmies.  They’re soft, but not too soft, and easy to maneuver. RagaBabe wipes. Warmies began falling apart shortly after writing this post :(  RagaBabe is a new company that generously sent me some wipes after reading this post. Their wipes are simple and durable! I’ve washed them many times to make sure.  They are one layer of organic cotton. Smooth on one side, sherpa-ish on the other.

The biggest benefit I have found to using cloth wipes (aside from the money saving aspect) is that it takes so much less to clean up a poopie.  I was using 3-5 disposable wipes per change.  Now I use 1 cloth wipe.

For a wipe solution I dug out a sample I received a while ago.  I’ll soon be trying out different brands in search of my favorite.

Tide:

You’ve read of my relentless efforts to naturally solve the ammonia problem.  You know I’ve tried Rockin Green Hard Rock, Clean B, RLR, vinegar (which is not recommended in hard water) and even bleach.  Nothing would even begin to lessen this very frustrating issue.  I was tired of soaking and soaking and washing and rinsing.  I was tired of my son waking up crying from the burn. I was tired of using Flip disposable inserts every night.  I wanted to use cloth at night and for it to smell like PEE in the morning.  Is that too much to ask?

Right before vacation I purchased a bottle of Tide.  Mainly because I knew I’d need it at the beach where the water is ridiculously hard.  I tried it out on the inserts before I left and could have cried when the morning diaper smelled only of urine.  I’m not happy that I’m using Tide.  I hate the smell and I don’t like that it’s far from natural.  But, I had to compromise somewhere or disposables at night was where we’d stay.

Is there possibly a natural solution out there that will work for my water type? Most likely. But, I hate to continue to use Sterling as a guinea pig.

There’s my update in a nutshell! I’m most excited about the wipes warmer and cloth wipes.  Wiping Sterling’s hiney with a warm wipe makes me smile.


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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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195 Responses to “Diaper sprayers, cloth wipes and Tide”

  1. Sandra Says:

    So I always planned to do cloth diapers and disposable wipes but the more research I do the more I am beginning to consider cloth wipes. I have a potentially stupid question though. How do they work in terms of cleaning? Meaning, do I need to spray poop off of them also just like with diapers? I’m having some trouble wrapping my mind around, please forgive the graphic description, wipes with smeared poo. Any advice would be great!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I don’t spray cloth wipes. However, when I begin changing Sterling’s diapers I always use the front of the diaper to get most of the poop off of him. I don’t have a bunch of “stuff” on the wipes. I toss the wipes in the bag then spray off the diaper.

      Reply

  2. Lisa Says:

    I really haven’t heard many comments or how successful it is using a wipe warmer for cloth wipes.. So far I’ve only seen the Munchkin and the Prince Lionhear Wipe Warmer home and travel system, but not sure if they are a good investment. I want to make sure before I add it to my baby registry. Please let me know you’re thoughts. Thanks

    Reply

  3. Robin Says:

    My Prince Lion Heart warmer was given to me by a friend 4 years ago and it is falling apart. Someone recently gave me a Munchkin one. I really want to do cloth wipes but is this type of warmer safe for them? I was all set to make my own solution for the wipes, when I stumbled across a ton of information about NOT using tea tree oil and lavendar oil in baby wipes for hormone disruption reasons, so now I am scared to try it and don’t know what to do!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      This is my opinion :) , you would need to use a lot more TTO and lavender to cause hormone disruption than you would use in a wipes solution. Not to mention if one is to remove the use of TTO and lavender (which is only suggested for boys in those “studies”) then I would ask if the parents had chosen to remove the greater threats…pretty much any non-organic foods. Again, that’s just my 2 cents.

      You don’t have to use TTO and lavender. You could use peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass…. and in place of TTO you could use Thieves Oil or Grapefruit seed extract.

      Reply

  4. Jentrey Potter Says:

    Not sure if someone already commented about this, but I love the Tide perfume and dye free and its a little better (more natural) than the regular. My 3 month old son is allergic to dyes and perfumes, so this is a great alternative if you still need the power of Tide w/out the added chemicals.

    Reply

  5. Irit Says:

    I am a new mom-to-be and hoping to use cloth diapers. I’m feeling pretty confident about the first 6 months of diapering the ‘breastfeeding runny poop’ because it can just go in the wash as is, but I’m nervous about the sticky poop that follows. I was told by the company from which I bought my first few diapers that the disposable/flushable liners are a good way to deal with it. But the more I read, the more I realize that it only helps a bit because they bunch up and poop still gets on the diaper. I don’t love the idea of having to spray the sticky poop of the diaper and I’m definitely not interested in rinsing the diaper in the toilet water.

    I’m nervous that the sprayer will be a huge mess to use (with the poop back-splash), requiring me to basically wipe down the toilet every time after I spray/change a poopie diaper (plus splash that might go on me). Also, if the sticky poop is really sticky, will it even come off with a sprayer or will I need to scrape it off with something? :( I obviously don’t want to just leave the sticky poop on the diaper as it will probably get in my washing machine and possibly stay on the diaper?!

    Any suggestions? I really want to cloth diaper, but before I buy my full batch of cloth diapers I want to have an idea of what it will be like and whether I can handle it in the post-breastfeeding stage when the poop gets sticky and then after that stage – thick.

    Any help would be great!!! Thanks!!!!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      The bum genius diaper sprayer has an adjustable spray force. I think it is way worth it. To prevent messes get a bucket, make a hole in the bottom and use that to prevent splash. You’d sit the bucket on top of the toilet when spraying then use the sprayer to clean it out.

      Reply

    • Holly Says:

      Irit, one thing you will quickly get over (pretty much) is the grossness of poop, especially when it comes out of your own darling baby.

      Every baby is different, but the sticky poops you mentioned tend to come right at the beginning with the meconium. Those are awful to clean. We were in the hospital for my baby’s first week so he passed those in disposables. You may also need to use olive oil on his/her bum to clean that meconium off.

      The 6+/- months poops actually tend to firm up, especially if you start introducing solids. Very few of my babe’s poops even stick to the diaper at all these days (he’s 7.5 months) – I just shake them into the toilet, then spritz them with Bac-Out (a great product I haven’t really seen mentioned too much here.) I keep meaning to get a sprayer but never do and haven’t really found that I have needed it so far.

      Reply

  6. Irit Says:

    About using tide to get rid of smells…
    I’m going to be a new CD mom soon and I was told by every company that sells the CDs to only use soaps meant for CDs, and that if I use regular laundry soaps, it will make the diapers less absorbent because the soap residue stays on the cloth. Is that not the case?

    Reply

  7. MommyOF3 Says:

    So glad I started using TIDE!! it got rid of most of the ammonia smell on my diapers. i have been using cloth for almost 2 months and i was using Country Save with no issues. Then a friend gave me a few hand me downs and I suspect they may have had a little issue on the inserts…so i am gonna just buy new inserts as the covers are fine and bleach the old inserts and use them as cleaning rags. I could just bleach them and keep using them with my diapers, but my baby is sensitive so i would rather just buy some new ones. i can get new inserts from sweetdollbaby.com or nubunz.com for 1.25 each plus shipping if i purchase a diaper. I figure since i got these diapers for free, it’s really not a big deal, it’s only about 6 inserts i am having the issue with and replacing them is well worth the effort of getting rid of ammonia issues. btw, i agree with one of the previous comments….using 2 detergents works well, if u wash every few washes with one, every few with the other. thanks for this blog! it rocks!

    Reply

  8. Grandma Joan Says:

    Hi Girls,
    I’m glad to see so many young mothers are turning back to cloth diapers! I never did feel the disposables were totally safe. Would you want to wear a
    sanitary pad every day of your life? I kind of have to laugh though, at all the “newfound” items you’re using for your babies, as I raised all 6 of my children with cloth diapers. My first three were born before disposables were on the market. Back in the day, to remove the “poop”, we’d just swish the diaper a few times in the toilet, ring it out, and throw it in the diaper pail until wash day. Yes, I used rubber gloves! In washing the diapers, I found Tide to be too strong for the newborn baby’s skin, and I always used bleach in the water to kill bacteria.
    So, it surprises me that these new cloth diapers seem to have to be treated
    so carefully. Also, I used a clean diaper to clean poop off the baby and
    “heated” it with warm tap water. No need for a sprayer. The cloth diapers
    also served as a burp cloth. Pretty thrifty, wouldn’t you say?
    I haven’t checked the fabric store as yet, but I wonder if mothers couldn’t
    save a whole lot more by just buying cotton fabric (the right kind) and
    making your own diapers, or at least, the wipes!
    These new cloth diapers with the inserts sound really nice and are probably
    better fitting than what we used to use but sounds like a lot of unneccessary whoop-la to me. What’s with the diaper manufacturers anyway, like Gerber?
    They made the best ones! They’re sure missing out these days!
    Maybe everyone should write to Gerber and ask them to reinstate their
    old diaper manufacturing. You’ll need rubber pants to go along with them.
    But way cheaper than the cloth ones that are being sold now!
    Just something to think about! Love you all!!

    Reply

    • Jamie O'Hare Says:

      Grandma Joan,

      I think you made several great points in your comment! I started out using cotton prefolds and inexpensive velcro covers. (You can still get good prefolds, but the Gerber ones are only useful as burp cloths because they’re flimsy). This system was pretty effective until my very petite daughter started to walk and found them to be difficult to maneuver in. Then she discovered how to open the velcro. Then she started getting ammonia burns. I decided it was time to try pocket-style FuzziBunz, which will fit her for another 15 lbs.

      In response to your post, there are at least 3 reasons why cloth diapering has gotten more complicated:
      1. Clothing manufacturers have made babies’ clothes fit more snugly because disposables have almost no bulk now, so if we want our kids’ clothes to fit, we need a trimmer diaper, which a prefold with rubber pants is not.
      2. Detergent manufacturers now put a lot more additives into the laundry detergents than they used to, including optical brighteners and enzymes that cause serious burns on the tushes. The commercially available detergents from the supermarket are hard on diapers, on babies’ bums, and on the environment, so we have to find/make detergents that work for all 3 of those things and that work in our unique water quality situation. Bleach is no longer used regularly as it used to be when my mom and MIL used cloth diapers.
      3. Moms who cloth diaper now are NOT the norm, unfortunately. We are going against the tide of public (uninformed) opinion, so the cute and convenience factors of our cloth diapers help moms who might otherwise stick with the gel-filled disposables. The convenience of these styles helps caregivers like grandparents and babysitters to be willing to use cloth diapers since they aren’t any harder to change than disposables.

      I’ve spent about $500 on 18 months of diapering, and I have a great stash of 20 FuzziBuns that we use full-time, a lot of prefolds, and several covers. I could have spent $900 on disposables by now! The new diapers are pricey, but they’re still cheaper than disposables!

      Reply

  9. Rachel Says:

    I just started using bumg’s this summer and am now fighting horrible ammonia burns on my son. I was given lil outlaws detergent and have been using that, they come out clean and smelling great. However the ammonia smell is back after he goes. I have a top loader and we have city water, just stripped them 5 times and he woke up sore again this morning. I am frustrated, I want to keep using them, it is a big money saver, but I can’t let them keep burning my son. Any ideas? I do a cold rinse, hot wash and then a cold rinse again.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      For me it’s making sure they are really rinsed. I thought I was rinsing well enough by doing an extra cycle with no detergent but I paused the washer and looked inside to find suds! I did another hot cycle and finally had no ammonia just pee smell in the mornings. So, you might want to really really make sure there are no suds. Then, if that’s taken care of and you still have ammonia I’d try a different detergent. Country Save and Tide are 2 recommendations.

      Reply

  10. Jamie O'Hare Says:

    So I bought brand-new FuzziBunz in June for my 15 month old who had been in prefolds and Bummis/Thirsties. We were having ammonia burns, I didn’t like the bulk now that she was walking, and she was able to take off the covers and the snappi if she didn’t have another layer of clothing on. So we went all out and got 20 FBs and loved them until we got a good funk and ammonia built up in them while using Charlie’s Soap. Then we tried Rockin’ Green Hard Rock, which helped somewhat, but then the recall happened, and although we got a replacement bag, the funk returned. I bought Tide. Nothing changed. I still had a rotting-vegetable-type odor every time she peed. SO YESTERDAY I BLEACHED MY INSERTS! Hooray! The diapers smell like pee! Rockin’ Green Hard Rock will still be our diaper detergent, and Charlie’s powder for the rest of our clothes since I got a 5-gallon bucket for $100. A little bleach now and then is not my first choice, obviously, but it did a great job!

    Reply

  11. amy Says:

    If you don’t like the smell of tide, why don’t you use tide free&clear

    Reply

  12. Alicia B Says:

    Have you tried Country Save powdered detergent? That has so far solved all my issues with stink and leaking. I wash diapers in one cold wash with extra rinse, then one hot wash with extra rinse. I have a front loader, so I use one ounce of detergent per load. If I feel like the dipes are not coming quite as clean as usual, I add another extra rinse at the end of the hot cycle. Maybe this will help!

    Note: I will sometimes get an ammonia smell in the diaper bag after a day or so, but they still come clean and smell free, and smell only of pee when my babe has wet them!

    Reply

  13. laura Says:

    autumn-
    first off, thank you so much for this blog and your dedication to all of us cd junkies! yours is my go-to resource for suggestion, solutions, and just to indulge myself:) i was SOOOO happy when i found this post, and the prior one, speaking of your ammonia problems! i initially thought that the rash that my daughter was getting was from returning yeast, as she’d had a bad yeast rash a few weeks prior. but it didn’t look the same at all, more like a burn. so, i thought, maybe the hubs didn’t actually do the second rinse as he said he’d done (sometimes he’s just forgetful:)), leaving some of the charlie’s in the diapers. but after washing them again and running 3 rinse cycles, just to be safe….the problem persisted. so, i’m now assuming it is the ammonia problem, as they had also begun to smell worse and worse over time…duh! i read through all your posts and everyone’s comments before deciding my plan of action and, as i’m very strapped for money and don’t want to spend trying “solutions” that turn out to be nothing of the sort, i went straight for the Tide. i have several types of inserts/prefolds (cloth-eez prefolds, some other organic indian prefolds, grobaby inserts, and a couple of the bleached cloth-eez contours) and did them all in the same load, cold wash no detergent, hot wash with detergent, and 3 cold rinses. i have used one of each on her thus far (except for the contours) and she seemed to get a little bit of a burn only with the large cloth-eez prefolds (they are unbleached, but not organic). would there be a logical reason for this? should i assume that, whatever the reason, the ammonia did not get stripped all the way from these diapers and just do them again? i am getting frustrated, frustrated, frustrated….so any encouragement is welcomed!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      prefolds can hold buildup in pretty well. i remember one time doing a dishwasher strip and the prefolds had suds coming out of them forever. but they were like a different diaper by the time they were truly rinsed. if you can, boil just those prefolds in a huge pot. it often takes extremely hot water for the gunk to release.

      Reply

      • Kristy Says:

        Good to know (about the prefolds being harder to rinse)! I
        was baffled when the little one kept getting a rash only after
        wearing a prefold and not his other diapers. I’ve since then fixed
        the problem with extra rinses, but for a while I was concerned that
        he could have a cotton sensitivity as all my other dipes are
        bamboo. Phew! I use Nature Clean liquid and I find this works
        pretty well in my moderately hard water (95 ppm) and frontloader. I
        do a pre-rinse in cold with some baking soda, then hot/cold long
        wash with 20 mL detergent and oxygen bleach with a small amount of
        vinegar in the rinse cycle, plus extra rinse. Finally I do a 2nd
        hot/cold wash with plain water. And I always add extra water to the
        washes to the point that the diapers are sitting in a pool of water
        at the bottom of the washer. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a
        frontloader because it makes for extra work and time to get the
        diapers clean, but they are clean! Water, water, water gets them
        clean.

        Reply

  14. Esley Says:

    Hi
    I have been reading about the amonia stink. I feel for your babies! I recieved a care instruction packet from green mountain diapers. I followed her instructions. I use Country Save or Charlies and Borax or Oxy Free. I have not had any smell issues yet (7 months in) I also make sure to do a pre wash with a tad bit of soap and extra rinse and then a full load with extra rinse. I only use warm & cold water. As hot can be too hot & bake stains & smells in to clothes. Hope this might help someone.

    Reply

  15. Heather Says:

    We are fairly new to CDing (only been at it a couple of months on my almost 13 month old), and I have a pretty bad ammonia smell that seems comes and go. I’m currently using Rockin Green, and I’m not sure about my water.. I have to clean the tub and toilet often, and I’m going to test my water just to be sure.

    I use flats and hand-wash due to living in an apartment with expensive machines. I’m afraid to use Tide because it might be hard to rinse it all out. Do you think residue may be the issue in the first place?

    I’m at my wits end, and my husband is getting pretty fed up with all of the issues and wants to go back to disposables. I want to know that I tried everything before I give up. Any tips would be great!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Heather, flats should be pretty easy to “fix”. I’d try just a bit of Tide and do a couple of rinses. Do you use a top loader or front? A TL really allows you to see the suds better during the rinse cycle. So if you have one open it up to check.

      Reply

  16. Myra Says:

    Autumn,

    So are you now only using Tide to wash your cloth diapers? I’m getting prepared to cloth diaper and am wanting to know what I should use to get things clean, avoid the ammonia smell and also keep the absorbency in tact.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Myra, one commenter said something to the effect of “I found switching detergents around to be the key.” I think this person is right. You know when you switch shampoos your hair is amazing for the next couple of weeks? Tide was great for a month or more but now I’m having smell issues again, not ammonia though. I’m going to go back to Rockin Green (I have some leftover from before I switched) for a few weeks and see how that works. It’s quite frustrating for sure. A lot has to do with the front loader, I fear. Combine that with hard water and there are issues to overcome.

      Reply

      • Irit Says:

        What fabric are you using for your cloth diapers? Is it true that natural fibers (hemp/bamboo/cotton) vs synthetic don’t get ‘the stink’ from ammonia, etc?

        Reply

  17. Crystal Says:

    Does anyone know if you can get Bac-Out at a “regular” store? Like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Target, etc.? I’ve been having a funky smell in my dipes, and that is about the only thing I haven’t tried and I don’t want to have to order only that online. If not, is there anything that could substitute?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I haven’t seen it at a regular store. Do you have a health food store near you?

      Reply

    • Katie Campbell Says:

      I usually get it at Whole Foods. If there’s one by you, check there!

      Reply

    • Jamie O'Hare Says:

      Crystal,

      I’ve seen Bac-out in some high-end grocery stores in Indiana and WV when I was there for good produce. I’ve seen it in health food stores, too.

      Reply

    • Crystal Says:

      Thanks, everyone! I have a small health food store right down the street – I’ll check there first, and if not, then there’s a Whole Foods about an hour away and we usually go there about once every month and a half to stock up on goodies for LO anyways, I’ll check there then.

      Reply

    • Michelle Says:

      I saw it at Fred Meyer’s, but I don’t know if that is everywhere…I know my friend who came to visit from Chicago had never heard of it…

      Reply

  18. Eileen Says:

    Tide made my diaper covers repel and leak at the elastic. Had to strip them and go back to “all natural” detergents. Wish Tide would have worked! We do have ammonia issues, but I do a generous cup of vinegar in the cold/cold rinse and occasionally strip with RLR if it seems to get out of control. Seems like it’s helped keep the ammonia at bay.

    Reply

  19. Tyler Says:

    Wow! SO GLAD to hear this!!! My husband and I work in Central Asia and will be returning soon…we LOVE cloth diapering and were determined to continue over there (disposables there are SO expensive and such a mess to the environment over there) but I was struggling to know what detergent to use…we can’t exactly find all natural detergents in third world countries…so this news about Tide is a HUGE relief! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing – this is a gigantic load off of my back as e prepare to go back over with our little one! Thanks again!

    Reply

  20. Lizzie Says:

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone is having the same problem I am with a kind of musty or damp smell in the diapers – especially the fitted bamboo BG ones – even though I wash every 2 – 3 days. I don’t have the ammonia smell that so many people seem to have because I’ve never used anything but Crunchy Clean or Nellie’s on my diapers, so no detergent build-up, but the damp smell is really pretty unpleasant. I have tried both tumble drying and line drying, but the smell sticks around. We have quite hard water, so I’ve been reluctant to try vinegar.
    Any ideas?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      You might try a little bleach just in case you have some mold trying to grow. Ammonia isn’t necessarily from buildup only. It can also be the result of diapers not getting clean enough.

      Reply

  21. Laura Says:

    Hey there! Just wondering…is there something special about the cloth wipes? Are they that much better than just a normal soft washcloth? Just curious, as I’ve been using washcloths and they seem to be working fine. I also have a diaper warmer and got a wipes solution recipe online that I use. Also, thanks for the info on Tide. I plan to use it asap!

    Reply

  22. Jennifer Says:

    Autumn, thanks so much for all of your information. I read the article you posted above about ammonia, but I still am confused on a few things – can you or anyone else help me out? Here are my ??’s:
    1. My older daughter’s nightime diapers (training pants, really) don’t burn her bottom and they don’t smell when we immediately take them off, but they do start to smell horribly of ammonia as they sit until they are washed, and then they need to be soaked in order to remove the smell. Should I consider this an “ammonia problem” and switch detergents? (right now using Nellie’s)
    2. Should I NOT put these diapers in the same pail as my newborn’s diapers? (i.e. will they “contaminate” them?)
    3. Does using Tide violate the “no additives, etc.” rule that my diapers’ (Flips) instructions came with?

    AND on a different note, pertaining to the cloth wipes solutions – we are using a wipes warmer (not turned on, so not warm – just a container) with damp wipes (water only) and that little antimicrobial “pillow” thing on the bottom. The wipes still start to smell a little funny. I’m thinking of trying a wipes solution. I really like to have my wipes damp instead of having to spray them (and I don’t want to have to travel to the sink for every diaper change). Does anybody keep damp wipes in a container and successfully keep bacteria away?

    I have a zillion other questions, but I’ll leave it at that for now and find some other threads that are more pertinent to my other ??’s :) Thanks so much for the help! I’m new and feeling like all of this is getting way too complicated for my brain to handle!!

    Reply

    • Eileen Says:

      Re: #1 urine will start to smell like ammonia when left for a period of time. Just happens.

      We use washcolths and one of those coffee hot pots full of warm water. We’ve not had a problem with the hot pot getting moldy or stinky in our 2 years of using it. I use diluted dr. bronner’s soap and TTO in a foaming soap dispenser. A few pumps on a wet washcloth then one or 2 wet washclothes to rinse. Easy & I feel like she is actually getting a little bath.

      Reply

  23. Heather K Says:

    Our ammonia in the morning is out of control….I’ve tried everything: soaking, bleach, more soaking, vinegar, extra washes, NOTHING works. I finally broke out an old bottle of Costco’s Kirkland detergent I had in the garage hoping it would be close enough to regular Tide, but no dice. Guess I’ll have to pick up the real Tide at the store today….fingers crossed!

    Reply

  24. Anna Says:

    Tide recently came out with a Tide “Free and Gentle.” Has anyone tried this? I am just getting into the research on cloth diapers…my first baby is on the way. I’m trying to find out as much as I can before I make the decision to go cloth…so I am curious about Tide’s “free” lines.

    Reply

    • Michelle Says:

      I currently use Tide’s Free and Clear and so far it has worked for me.

      Reply

    • Michelle Says:

      And as for deciding whether or not to do cloth…just do it! :) You’ll be SO glad you did! It was a little intimidating before we started, but it’s second nature now and just makes sense!

      Reply

    • MichelleB Says:

      I switched to all the Tide “Free” products about 2 years ago because of DS’s out-of-control eczema. We’ve had good luck with it. Baby 3# is on the way and we are embarking on CD’ing (did it for 6 weeks with Gerber trifolds on baby #1–until she started daycare). Really looking forward to the new CD’s that are out now!

      Reply

  25. Emily Says:

    I have started switching over to cloth wipes. The homemade solution I have made includes some olive oil. Is it still okay to wash the wipes with the diapers, or will the oil make them repel? I wasn’t sure about that. It looks like many of you use just warm water, so maybe I could even go that route. I wasn’t sure if the warm water would clean as well.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      My homemade solution includes a bit of Jojoba oil and Thieves oil. I never feel like a get a good enough clean with just water. I haven’t had any repelling issues but I’m using a soapy detergent. Detergents that don’t contain soap may not break down the oil.

      Reply

  26. Michelle Says:

    I am starting to get the ammonia smell and got some Tide…but how much do you use? I use BumGenius diapers and it says 1/4 of the manufacturers amount, but is that based on a medium or large load? I have an HE washer and got the Tide Free for HE detergent… Any thoughts?

    Oh, and I LOVE my diaper sprayer and cloth wipes, too! My mom just cut some flannel into 8×8 inch squares and serged the edges so they didn’t fray…they work great and were super cheap! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle Says:

      Oh, and I too like Crunchymama just wet the cloth wipe from the sink (or with water from a water bottle if there is no sink around),wipe my daughter’s bottom and toss in the pail with the diapers. Super easy!

      Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I use up to about the 2nd line on the liquid Tide HE cap.

      Reply

      • Michelle Says:

        Thanks Autumn! One more question though…what is your wash cycle then? I was using the BumGenius detergent and did a cold cycle with a scoop, then did a hot cycle with a scoop and an extra rinse…per the box instructions. Do you still do a double wash using soap both cold then hot? Sorry…it’s all new to me with Tide! :)

        Reply

        • Autumn Beck Says:

          On my machine I choose Heavy Duty. It has prerinse in that cycle and it is cold/cold. Then, when I remember (which is 90% of the time), I run a Normal cycle which I choose hot/warm .

          Reply

          • Anonymous Says:

            And you use Tide both cycles? I tried it last night and they seemed really sudsy so I did another rinse…

            Reply

            • Autumn Beck Says:

              no detergent in the 2nd cycle. it’s a rinsing cycle basically. also i have an FL. i wouldn’t do it if i had a TL.

              Reply

              • Michelle Says:

                Gotcha! I’ll do that next time. And I have a FL so it should be good.

                Thank you so much Autumn..I really appreciate it! (Especially your patience :) )

                Reply

  27. Maralee Says:

    I am sooo glad to hear about the Tide! I have been struggling with REALLY stinky diapers for a few weeks now, and have been searching for a way to get rid of the smell. I am going to get some Tide when I go out today, and try it right away! Thank you for all the information that you put on here; it is so helpful. I am fairly new to the whole cloth diapering scene, and all of this helps tremendously! Oh, I have to get me a diaper sprayer now too! I’ve been considering it for a while, but I’m sold on it now!

    Reply

  28. Sara Says:

    This isn’t exactly natural, but has helped with the stinkies in our house. I buy regular powdered detergent, brand doesn’t matter, but we like ArmnHammer here for all our laundry. When washing the diapers, I mix equal parts detergent, washing soda, and powdered water softener. I do a pre-rinse with no detergent, cold wash with half the above mix, then a warm(not hot) wash with the rest, extra rinse. We have ridiculously hard water here, so if I skip part of the routine the stink and stains get stupid.
    I’ve spent way to much time and money on natural or cd friendly detergents. Every time we end up with stains, stink or diapers that aren’t clean. Give me a commercially made detergent any day.

    Reply

  29. Kama Says:

    I use Tide Original Powder and I find the scent to be very different from the liquid version and it’s much a lighter scent in comparison to liquid. Tide has allowed cloth diapering to work for my family. I gave up cloth diapering earlier in my daughter’s life because I couldn’t get rid of the ammonia stink. I just glad to have something that works that doesn’t greet me at the door to my daughter’s room in the morning with stench.

    Reply

  30. HereWeGoAJen Says:

    I love my diaper sprayer and my cloth wipes. I did stop using the wipe warmer because of the bacteria growth. We just use plain water in a squirt bottle now.

    Reply

  31. Lindsay Saladino Says:

    I too am having HORRIBLE ammonia issues. It’s making my daughters butt have a horrible rash. I finally soaked all my inserts overnight in bleach. That made a HUGE difference. However, I can’t soak my AIOs in bleach without ruining the colors, so I have about 6 diapers that I can’t use….unless I want my baby to get a rash. I used to use the Tide powder, but I started having repelling issues. I have even tried Rockin Green. I’ve done numerous soaks and nothing has worked. Finally the other night I decided to try a detergent I have from Sam’s Club. It’s natural(or mainly natural) and guess what….it didn’t work. I’m all for natural stuff, but if it doesn’t work, then there’s no point in using it. I’d rather use something that gets my daughters diapers clean and prevents a rash, than to use all natural and have my baby be in pain. There’s only so much all natural stuff you can use. I was feeling guilty about it, but I’m going to try Tide again tonight and hopefully there won’t be repelling issues this time around. I did a lot of research the other night about detergents and ingredients. It turns out there is a reason for each ingredient in detergents. To truly get things clean, you have to use a good detergent. Now, I know that detergent with added softener is bad, and I understand what enzymes are. But, if your baby is not sensitive to enzymes, then they are actually a good thing. Also, all the diaper manufactuers say not to use the “sanitize cycle” on the washer because it’s too hard on the PUL. PUL was invented originally for use in the medical field and it can withstand lots of heat and chemicals. When Dr’s offices and hospitals use it, it is washed in very HOT water and holds up for many many washes. Soo, I say use what works and if you have issues, try something else. As for me, whe I wash my diapers tonight, they will be washed in Tide on my sanitary cycle. :-) Good luck to everyone with issues! I’m hoping mine are solved tonight!

    Reply

  32. Karen Says:

    Tide is the only thing that works for us too! I tried many other things as well. I can’t stand the smell of regular Tide too, so I buy the Tide Free in the powder. Works great!

    Reply

  33. kristen huss Says:

    What kind of Tide? Free and Clear, or just regular old Tide. Arg. I got rid of all my Tide when I started using cloth diapers, and while I love my natural detergents, I miss the soft, bright, and clean scent Tide gave my laundry…

    Reply

  34. Andrea Says:

    Thank You Thank You Thank You!!! We have been fighting the endless war of ammonia for a while now. Its so embarrassing talking about how wonderful cding is to people and then you change the diaper only to get a wiff of the worst smell in the world! Can’t wait to get my hand on some Tide! =)

    Reply

  35. wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas Says:

    Is there a specific kind of Tide you’re using? A free and clear, or something like that? There are so many different recommendations!

    We’re having the same ammonia problem, and I’d like to give Tide a shot. I’ll admit it would be a big relief to use something that I can just go to a store and buy.

    I don’t mind the extra laundry with cloth, but it’s so frustrating when I put the time and effort in and it doesn’t even work…

    Reply

  36. Kelly Says:

    I learned about an amazing product to remove that nasty ammonia smell…ammonia neutralizer for fish tanks! I washed my diapers as usual and then soaked them in the washer with the ammonia neutralizer for 4 hours. The stink is GONE! I realize this isn’t a “natural” cure either, but it’s working great for my daughters sensitive bottom. Fish are pretty sensitive little creatures, so I figured if it’s not too harsh on them it will probably work ok for her little bum. I’m hanging on to this little trick for the next time the stinkies sneak up on me.

    Reply

  37. Beke Says:

    Had the same problem with the natural detergent I was using so I just went the next step up and bought regular detergent instead of starting with Tide. I got Era and the ammonia smell is gone. I use probably 1/3 the recommended amount and now they can even stay in the pail an extra day or two without developing the stank. Just a thought since Tide is so very expensive…

    Reply

  38. Crunchymama Says:

    That surprises me still that so many cloth diapering moms don’t use cloth wipes! It just doesn’t make sense to me, it seems so simple LOL! Glad you gave it a go! I really love flannel or even the cheap/thin baby washcloths as wipes. SMJAE on hyenacart makes great flannel wipes for a great price too.

    I keep thinking about getting a diaper sprayer but I just dump/swish the poop in the potty, it’s just easier for me…but that is a huge part of your diapers getting clean is getting the poop off, only for small breastfed newborns can you get away without rinsing.

    Also as for stink (and we have hard water), my key as been to do a quick wash cycle as a pre-rinse cycle (no detergent) I have a small frontloader and it has 3 wash options so I choose the smaller cycle and that rinses all the pee/poop gunk out…then I turn it on to a full wash on the cotton cycle on the highest water setting and then put in my detergent (biokleen liquid 3/4 of a cap) and wash in COLD water…washing in hot seems to make them stink more, but the cold cleans them better and no stink….but the key is the prewash/rinse. I also have a extra rinse option and I use that with the wash cycle. I’ve never had stinky diapers since doing this.

    Reply

    • Crunchymama Says:

      And someone asked about rinsing the wipes, but no I don’t rinse the wipes, I just wet them with water from the sink, wipe baby and toss in the pail. And they don’t even stain! I think it is due to them being wet before wiping the poop. Every now and then if baby seems to have more poop stuck to her bottom than on the diaper, I will grab some TP and wipe the big stuff and toss that in the potty.

      Juts can’t help but repeat that rinsing/prewashing your diapers before washing is key to getting CLEAN diapers. Otherwise you are washing them in poopy/pee water.

      Reply

  39. Katie H Says:

    Another Prince Lionheart warmer here. I love that contraption! I didn’t know they also made wipes, I might have to try those. I’ve been using some BumGenius ones I ordered…they sent me the ones I like…and a ‘gift’ of 12 more, that were coarse, so I don’t like the gift, but the others were a nice flannel. I might have to order some of the PL ones.

    And I agree, much less needed in wipe quantity per dipe change!

    Glad you found a solution for your ammonia problem.

    Reply

  40. esley henkes Says:

    How were you not using cloth wipes with cloth dipes? Its so much easier with. I made my own using a 6″ quilt block as the pattern the one side is old bath towels (scrubby side) other is flannel scaps or old flannel shirts (super soft side) to make changing super easy I use a pump thermos I bought at goodwill ($3) and plain water. When pumping water you must pump on to the bath towel side or it runs from the wipe making a mess. Never a rash.

    Reply

  41. katie Says:

    I just started using Tide also and am not having any troubles anymore with stinky dipes. I’m with you on not wanting to use a natural detergent but its working so why worry.:) Even with soft water I was getting ammonia smell. I also use cloth wipes I made myself they are so much softer and less harse on my babies bottom. I had a very busy month of April and June so used disposibles on my DD and found she was allergic to them so its back to cloth and shes doing great no rash!!

    Reply

    • Kelly Says:

      My little man is allergic to disposables too! I finally switched to Tide a couple weeks ago to try to get the ammonia stink out. I have soft water also and I’m having a hard time figuring out how much to use…if I use just 1 Tbsp, half my diapers are coming out stinky, and if I use more than that, I have to rinse five times before the suds are all out! Any advice?

      Reply

      • Autumn Beck Says:

        maybe cut your load in half? how often are you washing?

        Reply

        • Kelly Says:

          I wash every other day. I only use gdiaper inserts and an occasional prefold, so it’s not a huge load – barely covers the bottom of my washer and I fill the washer as full of water as it’ll go. I tried using baking soda in the pre-rinse and vinegar in the 1st rinse last night, which seemed to work well. Hopefully that will be the trick! But it was still a little sudsy after the 2nd rinse…

          Reply

          • Autumn Beck Says:

            you need to do several hot rinses until there are zero suds. then you know you are starting clean. then tweak from there.

            Reply

  42. Emily D Says:

    Have to say I adore my diaper sprayer! Can’t imagine poopy diapers without it. And super cheap as my husband just bought a kitchen faucet sprayer and attached it to the toilet. So do you spray your wipes too then? I can’t convince myself to try cloth wipes for that big reason- I would have to separate the wipes from diapers anyways, no? And how do you hang on to the wipe while spraying?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      there’s not really a need to clean the wipe off with the sprayer. i wipe off most of the bottom with the diaper then clean up with the wipe. the wipe goes straight into the wet bag with the diaper.

      Reply

  43. Kirstie Says:

    I’m so glad I dropped by to see this post. I’ve been having so much ammonia trouble and didn’t know what to do. The dipes smell fine after I wash them but as soon as any pee hits them the ammonia stench starts, and my poor baby’s bottom starts getting red immediately. So, I’m going to go get me some tide! By the way, I just use water and a few drops of almond oil or olive oil in my spray bottle- my girlie has a very sensitive bottom and this works fab. Cheap, too.

    Reply

  44. Wendy Says:

    Wow! I had no idea you weren’t using cloth wipes. I love the fact that you can just toss them with the diapers into the pail. No separating. I just use a simple spray bottle and spray the wipe each time I need one. No need to keep the warmer clean, and saves on space too :)

    Reply

  45. Heidi Maxwell Says:

    YAY! Cloth wipers are awesome. I’m so glad you converted! My personal faves are ones I made with OBV on one side and flannel on the other.

    Be careful of the warmer though. We ended up with major issues when we started using a warmer. Even putting only a single days worth of wipes at one time – and spraying it out once a week with Clorox anywhere and letting it dry completely didn’t prevent some horrid bacteria from growing on the wipers. We ended up using some hard core Rx to cure the lesion like rash that had developed. No more warmer here. We just run a clean wiper under the warm tap to wet it. We keep wipe solution in a spray bottle and spray it right on the bottom for extra cleaning power.

    I upgraded my RnG to Hard Rock, and so far I’m not having ammonia issues anymore. I’m also soaking the night diapers after they are used. I spray them off real well, rinse them with hot water in the sink and then just let them soak until the next diaper change. Wring out and toss in the pail. No more night stench. I use specific dipes and inserts for nights and they are marked and treated special.

    Reply

    • T'sMommy Says:

      For the mommies who would like to use a wipes warmer but have the issue with bacteria growth: The Princelionheart Wipes Warmer comes with an antimicrobial pillow to keep at the bottom of the warmer below the wipes. The pillow helps to keep the ickies from forming and growing mildew, bacteria, etc. You can buy two replacement pillows for $10…each pillow lasts for around 3 months.

      Reply

  46. mrs spock Says:

    We’ve used a sprayer and Tide Free HE for over two years now. Not sure how anyone cleans diapers without a sprayer- and it’s great for more things than spraying diapers.

    My favorite cloth wipes are here, one side velour and one side cotton sherpa.
    http://hyenacart.com/smallwonderswipes/index.php?c=9

    Reply

    • gotchagomo Says:

      I don’t know how people get by without a diaper sprayer! It has saved my diapers! I’m convinced that’s why I have no stains on any of my dipes after 8 months. They still look new–must be the sprayer and/or Tide. I also use cloth wipes–baby washcloths. I couldn’t stand the prince lionheart wipes–too thick and they fell apart on me after 1 washing–every one of them began unraveling. Awful! Hopefully you got a better batch, but baby washcloths from a dollar store are cheaper and work MUCH better, IMO.

      Reply

  47. melissa Says:

    Glad you tried the Tide. Not sure why everyone’s so scared about it on our dipes. Our dipes are made of fabric, not some special material, and soap works well cleaning fabric.

    I ran out of Tide the other day and had to use what I used an old detergent I used to use with my dipes. Ammonia came back with a vengeance and took 2 washings with Tide to get the stench out. Never will switch again.

    Try the powder form of HE next time. You can save some cash that way.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I personally wasn’t afraid to use it as many manufacturers recommend it, however the chemical nature of Tide is what kept me from using it.

      Reply

      • Marcela Says:

        Is the Tide “clear free” just as effective as other Tide? We use the dye free scent free in the house anyway, because my husband and son have super sensitive skin

        Reply

  48. Kim Says:

    I’m s glad to see that Tide is helping with your ammonia problems. I was just reading about ammonia problems on BBC forums the other day, and I came across this. http://community.babycenter.com/post/a23042415/ammonia_is_gone?cpg=1 It looks like many people are having success with fish tank ammonia remover. Just thought I’d pass this interesting thread on.

    Reply

  49. Majaliwa Bass Says:

    I’m so glad you found something that worked!

    Reply

  50. Laura Says:

    If the smell of the Tide is too strong for you, you can try to use it only every so often, like every 3rd or 4th wash. You might have to experiment to see if that will work with your water. That way, you can keep the ammonia smell at bay, but yet you won’t have that strong Tide smell.
    And by the way, I’ve heard that the powder kind of Tide supposedly rinses out better than the liquid kind. Not sure if that’s true or not, but you could try that as well to see if you notice a difference. I use the powder kind, and half to one-third the recommended amount.

    Reply

  51. Sherry Says:

    I love that everyone seems to be so open to changing the products they use on diapers. A lot of the diapering blogs/sites I have been reading are very one sided. We are just starting out in October (baby #3) after 2 years of sposies with our second child. We initially used pre-folds but I just couldn’t get the hang of them. Hopefully with all these wonderful tips and suggestions we will be able to avoid many problems on the way.

    I have always loved cloth wipes and chose to use them even when we were not cding. They have saved use money and kept the girls bums clean. We have never had a diaper sprayer but plan to purchase one once we can decide what company makes the best one.
    I have started washing our diapers with Rockin’ Green to prepare for October and love it but will definitely purchase a bottle of tide for those tough days!

    Thank you Autumn and everyone who takes the time to comment, it really helps. I would be lost without all the wonderful suggestions.

    Reply

  52. Amy Says:

    I have an old Prince Lionheart warmer that we just have never used this time around. I am also waiting on my first set of cloth wipes and hadn’t thought about putting them in the warmer. How exactly do you do it? Are the wipes wet? Do you have to keep that ‘pillow’ in the bottom to keep the wipes from burning?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      yes the pillow is needed in the bottom. i put mine in there wet. the solution i’m making today will include Thieves oil which is anti-microbial to prevent any germies from growing.

      Reply

  53. Rochelle Says:

    To Katherine G: What shop on Ebay did you find the bidet? I’ll be interested in buying one once I return to the U.S., as I’ve become used to them here in India, but I thought you could only find the expensive ones back home.

    To anyone: this is a bit off-topic, but related to laundry smell. I have managed to keep out ammonia smell from my dipes in the front-loader by setting the washer temperature (my Indian machine heats the water on the drum) to 90 degrees Celsius. I no longer get ammonia smell, although some of my dipes–esp. those with bamboo velour–are wearing out a bit faster.

    However, I’m having a REALLY rough time getting stinky sweat smell from the armpit area of my husband’s undershirts! If Bac-out were available here, I’d try it, but it’s not, and I’m not gonna try importing it again (the last bottle leaked all over during shipment). So far the best thing that has worked is soaking them in bleach water for a bit, but I can’t do that with every wash. Vinegar helps only some, though putting the vinegar directly on the armpit area, soaking them in detergent water for a while, then scrubbing the area with a brush and detergent bar soap before throwing them in the washer machine helps a bit more. But there’s STILL some smell there! Any suggestions from the many laundry-experienced wives here?

    Reply

  54. Kate Says:

    Instead of using my wipes warmer I tend to just have a basket of wipes and I store my solutions in extra peri bottles from after I had my babies. That way I just soak the wipe with the solution right before I use it. It is also a very easy way to use cloth wipes out of the house.

    Reply

  55. Katharine G Says:

    And about the diaper sprayer… I bought a bidet sprayer off eBay for $20 and it’s fantastic! Easy to install and works like a champ!

    Reply

  56. Katharine G Says:

    I’ve always used Tide for my dipes and have used it on clothes for prob my whole life. It’s the best detergent I’ve found for removing stains and I happen to love the smell. From what I’ve read, you’re not supposed to use anything Free on diapers. I use liquid Tide for my clothes and powder Tide (both original, HE) for my diapers with some OxiClean thrown in there for harder stains. I try to sun my diapers every few washes for extra cleaning and stain removal. I love my Tide and it’s recommended by most diaper companies.

    Reply

    • Lisa Says:

      Katherine, what type of dipes do you use? Also, have you ever had a build-up problem with Tide? How much powder should I use for a top loader? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

      Reply

  57. Melanie Rogers Says:

    I am sure you have done or thought of this, but I now wash my diapers every evening. So there is just less time the urine is left on the diaper. Once the kids are in bed, I throw them in. Anyway, that has really helped for us.

    Reply

  58. Molly Says:

    After having months of issues with my diapers my husband talked me into trying Tide. It’s been working great! I don’t mind the smell of Tide, but nothing comes out of the wash smelling like it. I have a front loader/hard water combo, and use Flips stay dry inserts and regular microfiber inserts. I also just started using cloth wipes and love ‘em.

    Reply

  59. Jamie O'Hare Says:

    I didn’t see a need for cloth wipes until I saw that I had to set aside the dirty wipes for the trash as I put the diaper in the pail. I went out and bought 36 terrycloth baby washcloths on clearance in girl and gender neutral colors. They fit perfectly in a Huggies pop-up bin, and I’ve learned how to do a very easy pop-up fold. I store them dry because I have a lot of humidity here, and they get funky. Some essential oils would probably help, but I haven’t tried yet. Each time I just spritz her bum and the wipes with a little spray bottle filled with some homemade wipes solution. Very easy! No sprayer here because my DS’s (5 and 6) would totally use it to turn the bathroom into a water park. Maybe when school starts again and they’re not home all day…. ;) No Tide here since P&G is pulling such nonsense with the Dry Max and blaming parents for chemical burns, so I’m boycotting them. Glad it’s working for you, though!

    Reply

  60. Sonya Says:

    I have to admit, I was leery of cloth wipes at first too. Then I got a free sample in one of my diaper purchases and found they were so easy! I actually just keep them on the shelf by the clean diapers and wet them with a bit of warm water when he needs a change (then throw them in the pail with the dirty diapers). My son is so used to them, he gets mad when I use the disposables (say when we are out). I think he dislikes the feel of the cold on the disposables now. :)

    Reply

  61. Casey Says:

    Hello,
    I wanted to let you guys know a really useful tip for HE washers and cloth diaper ammonia smells. Do manymof you get the yucky mildew smell in your washers? We do all the time and we do leave the door open at night to tray nd fix it. Well, it wasn’t working. So I found out online with Mr. Fixit that you have to open the panel at the bottom of the dryer and clean out the drain trap. It was sp gross! There was even a sock stuck in it. Now the washer runs better, faster, doesn’t smell and cleans the diapers better. The ammonia smell is as good as gone! I hope this helps.

    Reply

  62. Jessie Says:

    I recently switched to cloth wipes and couldn’t be happier. However, I’m too cheap to buy official wipes at this stage in the game, so I’ve been using all the baby wash clothes that I never used in the tub. I’ve also cut up a few old swaddle blankets and they do the trick, though they fray in the dryer and leave strings.

    As for washing – my vinegar routine has failed me lately and I don’t know how many more rinses I can do. So, I’m going to try tide. I like the suggestion of varying it – seems like it would “hit” all the various causes at some point.

    As for a sprayer – I just grab a cloth wipe and use it to scrape the poop into the toilet. Nothing like a diaper sprayer to be turned into a water gun by my other two sons.

    Reply

    • Jessie Says:

      I forgot to ask about diaper solution. I just get them wet with water and then put them in the wiper warmer. I haven’t felt like I needed a solution – is there a reason that I would need a solution? Do you went the wipes with the solution and then put it in the warmer or do you add the solution to the warmer?

      Reply

      • Autumn Beck Says:

        a solution isn’t necessary. i like to try out different brands. water works fine or you can add a few drops of essential oil for scent and/or antimicrobial benefits. i wet the wipes with the solution and put them in the warmer. i usually go through all that’s in the warmer in a couple of days.

        Reply

  63. Crystal Says:

    I just found the cloth wipe love, too! My mom had bought me a 6-pack of cloth flannel wipes on Etsy because she thought the prints were cute, but she told me that she knew I wouldn’t be using them for that. Well, for about the first 8 months, they were used as drool-cathchers and spit-up wipes. Then, the other day, I had a super-sticky poo that would NOT clean of with the disposable wipes (and I had just gotten some free wipe cubes with a diaper order . . .), so I broke out the flannel wipes and gave it a try. I had a clean booty with 1 cloth wipe after having tried to clean it with about 5-6 disposables with no luck. As soon as my grandma gets home (this weekend), I plan on recruiting her and her sewing machine to make some more, so I can start using them full-time.

    As to the diaper sprayer, well, I haven’t quite convinced my hubby that we need one . . . yet ;)

    On another note, I have been having problems with my hemp inserts stinking. Not ammonia, just stink after DD has peed on them. The smell wasn’t there when we first started using them, so I can only assume it’s something to do with buildup, use, etc. I’ve tried stripping with Dawn, I bought Rockin’ Green and have done several overnight soaks with it, and for regular washing, I usually do a cold rinse followed by a 30 minute hot pre-soak in the detergent, then wash, hot rinse, and cold rinse. Should I try upping the amount of detergent I am using? I am open to any ideas, thanks!

    Reply

  64. Karla Says:

    I’ve only been using cloth diapers for close to 3 months and have been using Tide HE powder and haven’t had any issues. I love the cloth wipes too! Once my daughter starts solids I’m going to put a diaper sprayer in. Nice post!

    Reply

  65. Heather H Says:

    I’m glad you had so much success! We’ve used cloth wipes since day one with cloth diapers, and the times I’ve been stuck using a sposy wipe (at my mom’s or sister’s house when I’ve forgotten my wipes) it takes so many! And it feels just icky. I think the cloth wipe really protects my hands from touching poo, too. Most of mine come from WAHMs and are a mix of materials. My favorite are velour on one side, sherpa on the other. I’ve used a few different solutions, but often just make one of my own (lavender, a squirt of Dr Bronners, some apricot oil) because it’s faster than melting a cube.

    I don’t know how I could do it without a diaper sprayer. My kids don’t have that “roll off the diaper” kind of poo, so a sprayer is necessary. We’re going on a beach vacation (a whole week) with our cloth and I was concerned about doing it without a sprayer, but I’m going to try flushable diaper liners for the first time in 3 years of CDing.

    After trying so many natural detergents, I tried Tide and WHOA! Clean clean clean. No ammonia smell anymore. The ladies on the forums rave about Tide and they’re right. The problem for me is having an HE washer really cuts down on the choices. I’ll be so happy when Tide makes an unscented, free and clear, HE compatible detergent! With the HE, we can’t just use a squirt of Dawn like so many people suggest. We have hard water, too (another Texan here), so the Tide is awesome. I never thought I’d endorse it, as I’ve been using “natural” detergents for years. But it’s necessary and I love the way it cleans.

    Glad you’ve found stuff to work for you, too!

    Reply

  66. Alli Says:

    We just finished an 8 month long sojourn against burns and stink and a bacterial infection! I thought it was yeast at first. I tried Tide and Dawn, I tried soaks, diaper stripping, vinegar, and bleach, like you. The Tide and Dawn fixed the DIAPERS smelling like pee after being washed, but Arcadia was still getting burns from overnight diapers and terrible rashes. You know what finally fixed the problem? Talc. Turns out, that she was never actually getting dry, no matter how much I wiped her bum with the drying towel or washed her with soap and water and air dried her. Now I talc with every diaper change, and we haven’t had a single rash since! (we’re using the Vitamin E and Aloe Talc, btw)

    Reply

  67. Maria Says:

    Cloth wipes are great arn’t they?! Be careful with a wipes warmer because if you’re wetting the wipes all at once and leaving them in there its a perfect enviroment for mold and bacteria to grow. I had to ditch the warmer after all my wipes molded! Oh and diaper sprayer?! The best diapering tool!

    Reply

  68. Jennifer Says:

    I’m still in the learning phase of cloth diapering – just started with our 5th child in April, and don’t really understand how the ammonia thing works – can someone help me? Since we started with cloth diapers for the baby, I also switched to cloth nighttime training pants for my pre-schooler. I’ve been putting them all into the same container before they go in the wash (I wash every 2-3 days). After a day in the container, the training pants (from the older child) REAK of ammonia. Am I doing a bad thing by combining them with the cloth diapers (that generally don’t have any ammonia problem of their own)??? Thanks for any advice!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I found this comment to be very helpful: http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/ammonia-cloth-diapers-burning-your-baby/

      Cates mom June 30, 2010 at 2:25 am [edit]

      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

  69. Alexandra Says:

    Hi Autumn,

    I was just searching on teh web how to get rid of that awful ammonia smell this morning when your email came in! What a fab considence. I am going to have to try Tide if I can find it here. If not, I might just try boiling the heck out of my microfiber inserts. Out of curosity do people have problems with ammonia and hemp or bamboo inserts?

    Reply

  70. Kristina Says:

    Gosh, I’ve never bought any wipes… I just cut up stained tshirts. I also have a warmer but it is one that wraps around a wipes container then I put some water in it and have two small sprayers with water in them. I love spraying the water because it is so gentle and I can control the amount of moisture I need.
    I can definitely see a benefit in a change up on the detergent but I am also wondering how many of us exclusively line dry their diapers? Since sun does such an amazing job on stains visually, what does it do differently for the stink for those who just line dry?

    Reply

  71. Jessica Daugherty Says:

    Glad you found a solution to the ammonia. Tide is a lifesaver for so many. The natural equivalent for us is Country Save powder. My DS can’t tollerate the Tide but is ok with Country Save. My beloved Crunchy Clean is not working so well all of a sudden, so we’ll be going back to Country Save as well most likely. I can’t tollerate 1 more ammonia diaper or icky smelling diaper. Good luck to you!

    Reply

  72. Wendy Says:

    I make my own solution too….1C aloe gel, 4T vinegar, 4T almond oil, 4 drops tea tree oil, 4 drops lavender oil…I mix it in a 1L bottle, then top with distilled water. I don’t use a wipe warmer, I just fill an old plastic box from store-bought wipes with folded up cloth wipes, squirt in some of the solution then add water until they’re as wet as I like them. I just use cheap wash cloths for diaper wipes.

    I’ve also been nervous to try Tide (and have the same hard water, ammonia stink problems you describe) so maybe I’ll give it a shot!

    Reply

  73. Tricia Says:

    For cloth wipes, I’m just using the washcloths I can get for 4/$1.00 at my local dollar store and plain ole H2o!!! Toss em in with the dipes and easy, peasy!! And , unless a it’s a REAL bad poop, only need one at a time!!! Hey–it’s what my mom used and my bum turned out ok ;)

    Reply

  74. Kristin Says:

    Autumn,
    Have you ever tried Melaleuca’s MelaPower? It is very similar to Tide but it’s a biodegradable detergent so it is safer for the environment and your family. They have an HE option which I highly recommend, even for a top loader because it is soooo concentrated you can easily use too much. I recommend it and if you are interested email me and I can give you more details on how to get your hands on some :)

    Reply

  75. Rasa Says:

    Hi girls, I too was surprised to hear that you not use a textile cloth. Your the Lionheart warmer I’ve been using for more than a year. And if so, frankly, all that the wipes do not work your way works washing clothes. simple cotton napkins as I can about 30, to prepare for their children s homemade soap medicated oil, and I do not have any disposable. I acknowledge only Amway napkins, because they are perfectly designed for children.

    Reply

  76. Kristine Says:

    An economical way of doing cloth wipes is just to get some old t-shirts or recieving blankets and cut them into 8″ squares ….. Done!!
    For a wipe solution I just use water and a few drops of tea tree oil!!

    Reply

  77. Jessica Says:

    I love reading your posts.It always happens that you post something that helps a problem that I am having!
    Once again you have given some helpful suggestions!
    I will try the Tide.Can’t wait to save my Princess from the ammonia burn!

    I Love my diaper sprayer,glad you found it useful!

    For my cloth wipes I Love the basic Gerber washcloth, they’re thin, soft,& perfect poo grabbing amount of terry.
    I am actually using the Clean B wipes cubes(after your post on her detergent,which I Love ,but still didn’t solve ammonia prob ).
    I love the wipes cubes scent is great ,& 1 cube lasts a few days!
    Thanks again for all the helpful info you always have!

    Reply

  78. Sommer Says:

    Autumn,

    Thank you so so much for sharing your information! We have begun having ammonia problems lately and I wanted to try something that would actually work. I don’t like the idea of using Tide either, but I will give it a shot, as well as the suggestion to boil inserts.
    I’m glad to hear you like cloth wipes. We really enjoy using ours, I also have the Warmies but I prefer my own handmade wipes to them most of the time. I have some made of old soft t-shirts and some made from one side of terry and one side flannel. I use the t-shirt wipes for a wet bottom and the others for messes :)
    On a side note, do you use paper liners or some other type of liners to make clean-up easier? I am using homemade fleece liners right now and it does help but can still be messy at times. Swishing in the toilet is my pre-cleaning method for dirty dipes…ugh. I’ve not had the chance to try a diaper sprayer but would like to. What did you do before you had the sprayer?

    Reply

  79. Trenna Says:

    I’m going to remember this post when I’m stubbornly not trying something everyone suggests!

    Have you also thought of trying:
    — Biokleen All Temp Liquid Detergent (for me, it cleans as well as Tide does, in hard water, and it’s made by the Bac-Out people … I’m allergic to everything and love this detergent).
    — Just good old water with your cloth wipes (I do and my 2-month-old has had zero skin issues … I do add sea salt to the wipe warmer to keep it fresher, that’s nice to his skin too (and to my face, when his wipes are most convenient)).
    — A 4″ x 8″ wipe that is terry on one side, flannel on the other (I like Green Mountain’s, and sometimes use them as doublers).

    Reply

    • Holly Says:

      Bio-Kleen is great detergent! Pricey but you don’t have to use a lot.

      I’d love to recommend this Etsy seller for “soap” for the wipes: WeeEssentials.etsy.com
      She sells it in little cubes that are so handy! I actually don’t soak my wipes, but rather keep them dry and keep some of these cubes dissolved in water in a peri-bottle with my diapers, then just squirt the wipe as needed for that particular clean-up.

      Autumn, I don’t know if you are of the crafty persuasion, but wipes are SUPER-EASY to make! I make mine out of old flannel and t-shirts.

      Reply

  80. Manda Says:

    I haven’t used a diaper sprayer, and I think we’re fine without it.

    But I love cloth wipes! I’ve made some from flannel I’d had for 10+ years — by cutting it into rectangles about 6×8 inches and surging the edges. I also bought maybe a dozen infant washcloths, which work fabulously. At Target they are inexpensive, but Rite Aid was even cheaper: I think it was $1 for a 3-pack!
    I love this: http://thefeministbreeder.com/how-to-make-pop-up-cloth-wipes/

    Reply

  81. Beth Says:

    Hi Autumn! I am currently pregnant with my 4th child and as part of my “nesting” (due August 22!) I just finished hemming 5 dozen flannel wipes and also just made 2 dozen mama cloth pads. Also, I made 12 infant size fitteds, 12 infant size prefolds, and 2 PUL covers. Other than a few more covers to make and a dozen or 2 dozen flats to hem, I feel ready for this one! I am so glad that you discovered the cloth wipe love! I have been campaigning for a diaper sprayer because soon we’ll have 2 in diapers full time. I think my husband is about to “give in” — poor man, I think I’m driving him crazy! I’ll let you know how it goes! I will remember the Tide tip too-we have hard water and I just finished a battle with the ammonia monster. Also, how many mama pads for postpartum?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I have a dozen (i’m guessing). It was plenty for me as I would toss them in the wet bag and they’d be washed with the diapers.

      Reply

  82. susie ;) Says:

    You don’t need to use a wipe solution, just keep a basket of wipes near the sink, and wet your wipe before you change your baby. Use warm water, and you eliminate the need for a wipes warmer. Out and about? Use a small zippered wetbag to store pre-moistened wipes, or bring a peri-bottle or a spray bottle filled with water (assuming you don’t have access to a good old tap!).

    Reply

  83. Linda Says:

    “debris”??? What debris are you talking about? I haven’t start CDing yet so I have no clue. Are you saying I will find poop in my washer that I have to clean??

    Reply

  84. jan Says:

    I love my wipe warmer but the bamboo wipes that came with it fell apart shortly after purchasing it. I also have some Cotton Babies wipes but find them to be too thin. My faves are 2 ply flannel that I made myself. They are super durable and pretty easy to sew too :)
    Can’t wait to try some Tide on my stinky dipes. The ammonia is so bad it makes my eyes burn :(
    Thank you so much for all of your research and sharing it with all of us. You are a lifesaver :D

    Reply

  85. Leah B Says:

    I’ve tried a bunch of different wipes solutions over the past few years, but the one that I’ve found to be the best at our house is good old fashioned plain water. I just fold the wipes in half, rinse them under the tap, ring them out and plop them in the warmer. Scent free and doesn’t irritate anyone’s bum. We prefer single layer fleece wipes.

    Reply

  86. Jen Says:

    We cannot use Tide, I am allergic to it. I can only use homemade (Crunchy Clean) laundry detergent or Method. That’s it.

    We use cloth wipes at home and disposable ones out. We tried to use cloth out but with this heat, sometimes they get yucky.

    Enjoy!!!!

    Reply

  87. Sara Says:

    I think rotating your cleaning routine is often the best option. I start a wash with bumGenius detergent and do a hot wash with RNG. Sometimes I only wash with Dawn. I’ve been known to use the Sam’s eco-friendly stuff, too.

    Long story short, don’t depend too heavily on one item because diaper contents change and a rotation is often the best bet to getting a swipe at all the drama-causers.

    Diaper sprayers are invaluable…embrace them!

    The bestest cloth wipes, IMHO, are Quilter’s Nappies on HyenaCart. Handmade by Quilter and the same two-dozen I bought two years ago are still perfect! They even match my daughter’s room decor, LOL.

    Reply

  88. Adrian Post Says:

    Autumn,

    I know you said you don’t like Tide, so have you given boiling a chance? You can’t boil the diapers, but you can boil the inserts and they will be so soft and ammonia free. The boiling will kill the bacteria that is causing the urea to turn back into ammonia. It’s worth a shot. I boiled all my inserts and washed the diapers w/ bleach and I haven’t had ammonia for several weeks now. SO HAPPY!

    Reply

  89. Alissa Says:

    Uhm…we are having issues w/amonia and all of a sudden my son hates his dipe changed so I’m thinking it’s burning too. :-( I happen to have a box of Tide powder in my laundry room so I guess I know what I’m doing tomorrow! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing!

    Reply

  90. Diane Says:

    I am shocked you didn’t use cloth wipes before! LOL But I LOVE my cloth wipes & my diaper sprayer, too.

    About the smell/detergent thing…I have found that Country Save on a day-to-day basis, with a squirt of Dawn for stripping about once a month (as needed- I don’t do it until the smell is overpowering) works fine for our hard water. Of course, we are in the same general area as you, just a little further southeast, so I’m not sure how different our water is.

    Reply

  91. Katie C Says:

    What steps do you follow with the tide? (cold rinse, soak, etc). I have been going through the same thing with not being able to get our diapers clean, and right now it’s so bad that we are using disposables 24/7. Thanks, Autumn!

    Reply

  92. Candace Says:

    I have the Prince Lionheart warmies warmer and love it, though since it’s gotten warm out I haven’t had it plugged in. I love the warmies wipes best as well, they are the perfect size and texture.
    I’ve used Tide a few times because so many said it helped their issues. I think it helped ours, but didn’t resolve them. But I’m about to try again because even with the dipes getting sun now the Rockin’ Green just isn’t doing it. I’m like you though, hate using something that is so far from natural. Luckily my VERY sensitive baby isn’t sensitive to Tide.
    Haven’t tried the diaper sprayer and probably never will since we don’t plan on having more kiddo’s, but glad to hear it’s working for you!
    Glad your stinkies are gone too!

    Reply

  93. Beth Richardson Says:

    Autumn, I LOVED reading this post! Yay for cloth wipes and diaper sprayers – so glad you joined us! ;) And we’ve been having ammonia issues lately, so I may just have to break out my bottle of Tide and give it a try… I’m happy it worked for you and Sterling! :)

    Reply

  94. Amanda Schaefer Says:

    3 months with 2 in cloth at the same time. We are saving a TON using cloth diapers and wipes and yes they do clean a lot easier and better than the disposable wipes! I make my own wipes solution with essential oils. I mix a large amount (2 oz. bottle worth) of concentrated oils (Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Peppermint) and then use about 10-20 drops to a cup of water. Works great, smells amazing and the oils are naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibiotic so it is getting everything nice and clean. I will also put in with the detergent when I was the diapers and wipes.

    Reply

    • Amanda Says:

      This sounds heavenly! My LO has trouble with fungal rashes (I think we’ve FINALLY solved the problem after 4 bouts of the mysterious bumps…) so it sounds like this would be great to prevent it. But I know that Fuzzibunz doesn’t recommend using TTO or essential oils b/c they apparently can cause repelling issues….what kind of dipes do you use?

      Reply

    • Nicole Says:

      Amanda, I’ve always wanted to try my own wipes solution. How many drop of the tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint do you use? Do you use equal amounts of each? Thanks!

      Reply

      • Amanda Says:

        The ratio I use is 1:1:2:4. You can play with it until it is how you like it but that is how my family prefers it and I have not had any complaints from anyone and even had some people ask to buy some. Rremember that when making essential oil blends that they store longer and better in dark glass bottles (I use the brown ones myself). I also make my own bug repellant and room sprays so I keep several “base” mixtures on hand for quick refills.

        Reply

  95. Heather Says:

    I love Northern Essence Foaming wipe solution. It doesn’t take much and it is a magic poo taker offer. I tried making my own for awhile, but this is soo easy and its even better if the wipe is wet. I have not had any issues with their products causing buildup and the wipe solution wouldn’t really be an issue for that anyway. Glad to hear you found the cloth wipe love! I use a TON more wipes when I use disposables. They just don’t grab the same. Thanks for sharing your continued cloth adventure. I enjoy reading your entries=)

    Reply

  96. Corri Says:

    Isn’t Tide supposed to leave build up on diapers so they are not as absorbent? We too have been having horrible ammonia problems, and I am desperate to fix them, but is it going to hurt the diapers? We exclusively use Flip with the Stay Dry inserts, so while it would not be as expensive to replace as some, I’d still hate to suddenly need new ones. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply

    • Kristen Says:

      I’ve been using Tide original liquid in a TL washer for 3+ months on second-hand prefolds, and have yet to run into any stink issues. I also usually put some Oxyclean Free powder in during the prewash cycle.

      I have heard that certain free & clear detergents leave residues, but it sounds like that hasn’t been an issue for Autumn at this point — quite the opposite. But in all the research I did before my son was born, Tide original liquid or powder was the most common, non-specialty detergent recommended across multiple forums.

      Reply

  97. Tonya Says:

    I LOVE my wipes warmer and cloth wipes. The Warmies are nice (got them as a shower gift), but I also enjoy others I’ve had made. The main perk of the Warmies is that they roll up so thinly that you can fit tons in the warmer, which means less time is spent refilling it. I had a friend make me a dozen wipes that have soft terry on one side and flannel on the other. Those are great for a stick-to-the-bottom tar poo. Luckily we don’t have much of that at our house, but I keep two in the warmer at all times just in case.

    Glad your experience has been pleasant. I think cloth wipes are so much more convenient than disposable ones.

    Reply

  98. Michelle S. Says:

    I’m using Tide Free HE for cold water, and I’m having strong chemical smells lately. It was fine when I was using just the Tide Free HE, but when they changed formula’s, it hasn’t been working. :( I’m wondering if it’s coincidence or if the change in formula is to blame. I’m soooo not happy. I tried adding Calgon to our wash in case it helped, and it kinda got rid of the smell, it isn’t as bad, but the chemical smell is there.

    Reply

  99. Jenet Says:

    How do you wash the cloth wipees?

    Reply

  100. Crystal M. Says:

    What version of Tide was is that you used? Was it liquid, powder…There are so many varieties now it’s hard to figure out what works best! thanks, crystal

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      it’s liquid, said HE and I think that’s it. basic kind.

      Reply

      • Shelley A Says:

        I am so curious about Tide and so scared at the same time. We have an HE front loader so stripping diapers is a big deal. I also hate the smell of Tide. But I also hate the smell of ammonia on my diapers. We also have hard water. Please keep us updated as to how Tide works for you.

        Reply

        • Amanda R Says:

          I have been using regular Tide Free Powder and it has gotten rid of the ammonia in my BG inserts and they are as white as the day I bought them. There is no smell whatsover and no reaction from my little one. I tried Nellie’s laundry soda for about 4 or 5 months but it started to burn her little bum, then Rockin Green. The Rockin Green gave no rash but created an ammonia problem like you wouldn’t believe (though from the sounds of it, you would believe it). The past few weeks I have been using the Tide Free and both the stink and the rash are non issues, the diapers smell like NOTHING when coming out of the wash (no matter how many days I leave them in the wetbag). I also use a diaper sprayer or saok every diaper prior to tossing in the wetbag.

          Reply

        • colleen Says:

          After having ammonia issues myself. I did the vinegar soak/rinse and now use tide free powder w/ a little bit of calgon and 1/4c of vinegar in the rinse cycle. Line dry in the sun and fluff in the dryer for 20-30 minutes. My dipes are FRESH!!!! NO scents what so ever and even better they’re not stiff. They’re nice and soft and I LOVE it!!!!

          Before that I was using my own home made soap, but I won’t do it on my dipes anymore.

          Seriously, try the tide free powder if you can’t stand the scent. You only need about 2T for the he front loader and maybe 1/8-1/4c for a top load machine.

          Reply

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