Diaper sprayers, cloth wipes and Tide

July 21, 2010

Cloth Diaper Extras, Washing


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.


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. Mariah Says:

    I’ve been cloth diapering for about 10 months now. In the beginning the diapers were really absorbent and great. However, they don’t seem to absorb as much as they used to. (I use the BumGenius.) I am wondering if it is because of my washing method. I had heard that 1/2 cup of bleach and 1 TBSP of DAWN is a great alternative to detergent. So I have been using that every time. Has this destroyed the longevity of my diapers? Also, I just read today about a wet bag, which I am really interested in trying. I’ve just been rinsing out the mess and then throwing them in a pale of water with very diluted bleach. As far as washing alternatives, you’ve mentioned TIDE, but I thought that would ruin the diaper. So I guess my concern is, how do I properly care for the BumGenius diapers, that’s not going to cost me and arm and a leg? THanks


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Oh, Mariah. That is a very harsh laundering method you have been using. :(( Yes, you have shortened the life of your cloth diapers. I would immediately switch to something safe like Country Save, Planet, Ruby Moon, Rockin Green (there are many!). If you are using bum Genius pockets I would buy some new inserts and see how things go from there. Your elastic and PUL are what is most likely damaged or affected from the repetitive use of bleach and Dawn.


  2. Ashley Says:

    Hi Autumn,
    Been reading a few of your posts about ammonia and washing etc etc. I read in this one that you don’t use tide all the time now, what do you use? I’ve been battling with ammonia. Trying out RnG hard rock right now only done 2 washes with it so we will see…Do you have suggestions? We have harder well water. No filters or softeners yet..Getting water tested to hopefully fix it. Oh and Tide HE didn’t agree with my DS skin at all..so that’s out.


  3. Kelsey Says:

    Ok so I’m totally new to CDs and I know very little about washing them, like for instance what kind of detergent do I wash them with, can they go through a normal wash cycle or should I do an extra rince, wash them on normal or delicate, hot or cold…..sooooo lost? and what about softner? and is there a how-to on stripping them?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      prewash, wash, 2nd rinse. i use hot water. if you have hard water try calgon water softener. detergent: country save has the best all around reviews.


  4. Leah Says:

    I’ve been using Tide free and gentle on my diapers and so far have had no ammonia smell or issuess with it hurting baby. Should I be using a different detergent?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I wouldn’t change if you aren’t having problems. However, be aware that over time Tide can lead to buildup problems.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    I personally don’t think that the enzymes in the tide hurt the diapers, they can bother your child. I cannot use any detergents with enzymes because my kids get WELTS from it. When the diaper gets re-wet by the urine it re-activates the enzymes in the detergent. They then eat at the baby’s skin. The only thing I have been able to use that has enzymes is Bac-out, and they are natural enzymes that only activate 1x, in the wash. I only use it in my first wash to kill the poo bacteria. I haven’t had a stink issue since, haven’t had to strip my diapers or anything. I do occasionally get that ammonia smell if they sit in the pail too long.


  6. Allison Says:

    Questions about wipes:
    Are there any ingredients to avoid in disposable wipes when using cloth diapers- aloe or other lotions for example?
    What about when making solutions for cloth wipes? A lot of the recipes call for essential oils but that seems like it could be asking for trouble. I appreciate any wisdom you have to offer.


  7. Stacy Says:

    I must say, I wished I had known about your site when I was getting my first CD’s. So much great information!

    I bought my stash of Fuzzi Buns in 2008, recommended by people who I knew had them, but like all the other comments, I had the ammonia smell, and the pooh stains and the constant leakage. Going through clothes like it was out of style. So then I found Smartipants, loved those for a while until the same problems occured. No matter what natural detergent I used it was the same dilemma, so after months I just gave up and went to disposables, which I didn’t really want to do. (Especially after we had spent all that money on them) I wanted to use Tide but I thought it would ruin the diapers because of the enzymes. Now since all the comments and reviews I will definitely try it on my next child.

    My question is, repelling? Not sure what that means. Meaning non absorbent anymore? I am wondering if that could be a contributer to my leakage problem I had when she wore them. She is now two, and potty trained so I will have to figure out things on the next child. Also, if I wasn’t washing them right, meaning enough rinse cycles (after reading some of your postings, I don’t think I did that) would that contribute to the leaking and staining?

    Stripping them? What does that mean?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Repelling means when you drop water on the inner fabric it balls up and rolls off. This can be due to rash cream, buildup or dryer sheet usage. If you are having this problem you can wash them with Dawn. Make sure to rinse a ton though. You could also soak them in Rockin Green Hard Rock. Staining is pretty unavoidable. You could sun after every wash but it seems futile when they’ll just return the next time child eats blueberries :P


      • Kelly Says:

        Are you still using Tide? Tide has so many choices so which would you recommend? Do you think it makes the diaper wear out faster because it’s harsher?


        • Autumn Beck Says:

          I am not currently using Tide. I have the liquid original Tide on hand for an occasional (maybe 1x/month) use. I did use it for many months and I never noticed any visible wearing of the diapers. From readers’ comments I would go with the powdered Tide.


          • Tiffany Says:

            I am brand new in the diapering world. What do I do? Please just a simple step by step. What is stripping and all of that?


          • Andrea Says:

            We are having rash/burning issues. Have been treating son for a yeast infection, but not sure if that is it. The diapers smell anytime they are wet. They smell when they come out of the wash, they smell when he pees. We use Allen’s Naturally, have an HE machine. If I use the Tide to see if it works, how much would I use in an HE machine if it is just regular Tide? I see most readers recommend the powdered but you used the liquid? I know this is an old post, but there really is nothing new under the sun, is there?


            • Autumn Beck Says:

              I did inadvertently use the regular Tide for a couple of weeks before I discovered my husband’s purchase mistake. You don’t need much because you will have bubbles. Maybe 1/2 way to 1st line?? I’m really just guessing. Do you happen to have regular in the house?


              • Andrea Says:

                Oh my – I just got back to this because our diaper issue went away and now it is back. I can’t figure it out, so I am going to try the Tide. I don’t have either one in the house, so I am going to buy the HE. Let me know your thoughts. There isn’t a rash anymore, but the smell – blah! We do have hard water. We have used Allen’s ever since we started with cloth. Thank you for your posts! You are so helpful!


                • Carolyn S. Says:

                  I have had trouble with the smell in the past too, and the two things that have helped the best have been to a) make sure my diapers are soaked well in a bucket of water and vinegar, and b) to hang them out to dry in the sun. My mom swears doing this helps “bleach” some of the ammonia out of them. I’m not sure if she’s right, but they definitely smell better and seem to be easier on my daughter’s bottom.



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