The Importance of Rinsing

October 19, 2010

Washing

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It seems too easy to say rinse, rinse, rinse.  But, most of the time that is the solution.

I’ve had ammonia, dead animal smell, rashes and leaking all within the last 6 months.  Every time I set myself on a rinsing campaign the problem is fixed.

Most recently my Bum Genius Elementals smelled terrible every time Sterling would pee, they were also showing signs of some major wicking.  Since I have been using Tide I knew that sooner or later these problems would creep up.

In order to combat these issues I ran the normal Heavy Duty cycle with a prewash.  After that cycle I added bleach and ran the diapers on a Normal cycle.  And after that I ran a Normal cycle on hot/cold with nothing added.

Not only did the diapers come out with no stains but when peed in they smell like pee.

The only diapers I washed with the bleach were inserts and Bum Genius diapers.  If you are concerned about using a tiny bit of bleach check with the diaper manufacturer for their recommendations.

The reason I mentioned Tide leading to buildup and wicking is because of all the additives it contains.  Optical brighteners will create buildup and major leaking. Tide is not a detergent I would recommend to everyone.  But, when faced with an overwhelming situation (like chronic ammonia) I suggest it be used to treat this problem, especially if you have very hard water.

Ideally, one in this situation would overcome the ammonia, return to using a more natural detergent and only use Tide on an as-needed basis.

Here are some ways you can tell if you have buildup:

  • wicking: the moisture soaks through the PUL and the outside of the diaper is wet
  • smells: either the diaper smells dirty right out of the dryer or upon contact with pee.
  • repelling: the inserts do not absorb liquid
  • rashes: baby suddenly develops a rash which can be due to a sensitivity to the detergent near baby’s skin

The easiest way to spot buildup in the washer is to watch the rinse cycle.  Do you see suds?  Even a small amount of suds is bad.  There are a few ways you can get rid of suds using just water: HOT HOT rinses, multiple washes with no detergent or boiling the inserts.

Regardless of whether you are currently having problems, thorough rinsing is a necessity.  I’ve found that with a FL if I set the spin speed to low during the initial cycle, it will allow for more water in my 2nd cycle.


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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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101 Responses to “The Importance of Rinsing”

  1. Ashley Says:

    I finally solved my stink issue….I tried the original dawn trick several people have suggested on here. I was doubtful let me tell you but it worked wonders. We go a whole night without any urine smell in the morning. Who knows how long it will last but at least I can always redo it to fix it again. I’m so excited…I was afraid I’d never fix the problem before the new baby is born and I’d have to buy new diapers.

    Reply

  2. Kim Says:

    So much useful info here! Thanks so much! I have a much younger sister, so had lots of experience with CD over 20 years ago. I can’t believe how many options there are now! At that time, it was pretty much just prefolds with pins. I am now going the CD route with my own daughter (now 1 month old) and it seems like there is so much to learn! We have all BumGenius – mostly 4.0 pockets. While they are waaaay easier to use than those old-school ones, it seems like the care and upkeep is tremendously complicated by comparison. I feel like the eco-friendliness of cloth is severely compromised by the massive amount of water and electricity it sounds like I’ll be needing to use to keep them clean and non-smelly. Bummer. :( Okay, I swear I’m finally getting around to my question here: Have many people tried the BumGenius detergent? I bought that, and with the exception of the first wash I did in All Free and Clear, I am using it exclusively. We have pretty hard water, and I’m wondering if anyone has any insight on how the BG detergent performs over time. I am hoping to “get it right” from the beginning so that I hopefully don’t have major issues that will require correction later. Sounds like it might be wishful thinking on my part, but I can dream, right? :)

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I haven’t used the Bum Genius detergent. I use a lot of BG so maybe I should! I didn’t start having laundry issues until Sterling was over a year and his pee became stronger. I’m enjoying this easy time with Camden :)

      Reply

      • Kim Says:

        The washes I’ve done so far have gone well with it, with the exception of some staining on a couple of inserts (from those really massive mustard poos!). I’ve gotten the impression that it’s fairly new, or at least maybe in new formulation. Not a lot of reviews out there that I can find. We’re still on our first few washes with it, but I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

        Reply

  3. April Bowen Says:

    So, I have a question: I have a plain old washing machine. Is it best to wash cloth inserts with a high or low spin? What about the aggitation – high or low? I’ve really just started transitioning to CD full time and want to keep them in the best condition. :-)

    Reply

  4. Faith Says:

    Help! I’m having some issues with washing – been CDing my twins for about 4 months.

    1. I have a FL, which has only an automatic water level setting, and does not allow me to mess with the spin cycle (meaning I have to remember to dash in there and interrupt it before it squeezes every drop of water out of the diapers) – I currently do a Heavy Duty cold/cold rinse, a Heavy Duty hot/cold wash with 1/2 scoop Country Save, a Heavy Duty warm/cold cycle, another Heavy Duty warm/cold cycle, each cycle with 22 liters of water ADDED into the detergent dispenser via a bucket – meaning it takes several hours a few times a week just to wash the diapers.
    2. We live in Denver and have really hard water – used Rockin Green a couple of times with mixed results.
    3. The problem? Build-up of some kind – leading to a bad rash on one twin, and STINK when the inserts come out of the dryer and immediately upon babies peeing in the diapers, and the diapers leak a fair amount but the repelling is not very noticeable compared to the other issues.
    4. We use Kawaii pockets, which I loved, until now.

    I’ve heard of using Tide, but my twin with the rash is extremely sensitive to enzymes (Bac-Out and Biokleen detergent) so I am fearful of Tide causing breakout when the pee activates the enzymes that I’m sure will still lurk in the diapers. I’m also wondering if my wipes solution is a culprit for build-up – I use a mixture of baby wash with baby oil and water, and I toss all the wipes in with the diapers. Could the oils be causing build-up?

    I’m curious for anyone with a FL to tell me exactly how much water needs to be added to the cycles – shouldn’t 2 huge bucket-fulls be enough to rinse them thoroughly? I want to simplify, not add extra steps to my already busy life. Rinse, rinse, rinse, but exactly how many times?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Have you first tried soaking them in the bathtub? RnG recommends first a soak in Hard Rock then Funk Rock if you are having ammonia smells. I’d stop using the wipes solution you are and just use water for a while. Try using a full scoop of Country Save. For rashes I love just plain ole coconut oil. Works amazing.

      Reply

    • Ashley Says:

      Okay so you’re going to think I’m crazy….but I was having huge rash issues after a possible yeast rash….I went crazy with the tea tree oil. Well the tto built up in my diapers without me fully realizing it. I had instant redness every time I put a diaper on my son. His foreskin was all swollen. It looked like more yeast so I then resorted to bleach. The problem still existed. I have finally solved the problem and learned it was the tto. I bought the original dawn. It’s the blue stuff and only original. I went to the laundromat and put my detergent in and a couple drops of dawn. I did my normal cycle then rinsed rinsed rinsed until no more bubbles. yeah it cost a few quarter I think I did 8 rinse cycles but we can wear our cloth again without any stinkies during the night even. We only wear cloth at night and when we go out now because we’re peeing and pooping on the potty at 22 months old. I’m so proud of how well he’s doing…maybe it’s true cloth diapered babies do want to train early. Anyways I know it was the tto causing the rash b/c the dawn brought it out so well that the whole place wreaked of tto. I did a second cycle with just dawn since the smell was so strong so perhaps that’s why I needed so many rinse cycles. Do you have a friend with a top load who would allow you to do it at their house?

      Reply

    • Bb Says:

      Try RLR laundry soak. Then wash as normal and rinse rinse rinse rinse and rinse.

      Reply

  5. Ashley Says:

    Hi Autumn, I have a couple of storing/washing questions for you.

    -Do you separate the insert from the diaper before washing?

    -I was planning on separating them and then actually storing the inserts in a separate pail from the diaps. I have heard this is helpful for reducing stink and wear & tear on your covers (have you ever heard of this?)

    -Do you think it helps to sprinkle baking soda over the dirty diapers that are waiting to be washed?

    Thanks so much!
    Ashley

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      1) yes
      2) you could do that, it’d be more work. i haven’t ever separated them and never had problems with my covers/shells
      3) it would help reduce smell

      Reply

  6. Hester Says:

    I know realize I need to do an extra rinse after my washing cycle. I do a short wash cold/cold w/o detergent then a hot/cold wash with 1/4 detergent and an extra rinse, but his inserts are starting to smell more and more, so I think it’s detergent built up?
    I have another problem though, I wash the covers (I use the FLIP system) with the inserts, but they stain. I have two covers now with a yellowish stain on it. Plus they smell as well. Any idea what I can do about that?
    I wash my inserts and covers (the dirty covers) every other day. And I don’t rinse the poopy ones right after I change them, since it’s BF poop, but I am thinking now that I should?
    (As you can see I am new to all this :o)

    Reply

  7. Michelle Says:

    I have been very happy with my cloth diapering, which I’ve been doing now for about 5 months. I have a small set of diapers, and therefore wash almost the whole set every three days. I use mainly BumGenius dipes for daycare (only have 7 of them, so they get used a lot!), and then cotton and bamboo fitteds with Thirsties Duo and Flips covers. Just this past week or so, I have started to both smell ammonia and get more leaks than ever before. I have only used BacOut in first wash, and then Kirkland Free HE until now, and have generally been very happy. I thought of trying Tide HE powder to get rid of the ammonia, along with bleach treatment, and then rinse like crazy with lots of hot water. My question is how much should I use of these products in a front loader? We do have hard water here in Columbus. Thanks so much for your advice, Autumn!! And best wishes to you!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I haven’t had much success with bleach combating the ammonia. When I do use bleach though it’s about 1/4 cup. As far as detergent, I use the middle line.

      Reply

  8. Stephanie Says:

    Autumn,
    Can you explain how Tide strips diapers? I thought that stripping means to get the detergent and mineral buildup off the diapers, so how does Tide work to strip them if it supposedly leaves detergent buildup behind? I’m new to the cloth diaper world and already having dead animal and amonia smell…
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Tide will strip diapers in that it will break down the mineral composites and “clean” the built in gunk. However, over time the additives in Tide will collect in the inserts/diapers leading to detergent buildup. Many times the ammonia smell and dead animal smell can be from the diapers simply not being cleaned. Washing with Tide and then rinsing a lot can solve this problem. Not always. I always recommend a try with Tide if you are having persistent problems. I would use Tide on a rotation not every time.

      Reply

  9. Annie Art Says:

    I don’t have any of the problems described above: no smell, no leaks, etc. But several of my soakers (BumGenious and Rumperooz) have turned gray. I use Kirkland Free HE, only because I have a ton of it and so don’t want to buy special detergent. Also, I wash my dipes in with regular clothes. I still have a small stash and with twins and two older boys, I do a lot of laundry. It doesn’t make sense to segregate the diapers. At first I thought the gray was from being in mixed loads, but none of the other white items have suffered so it doesn’t strike me as color bleeding. Is this a detergent problem or somethnic else? Anyone else have this problem?

    My wash routine is as follows:
    Spray and let soak in utility sink
    Prewash
    Wash on sanitary setting
    Extra rinse
    Sometimes use the water plus option

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Microfiber can turn really really easy from other colors. I’ve used Kirkland HE (I liked it) w/o any real problems. What are you soaking them in? It really sounds like they have been dyed. If they aren’t performing bad then I wouldn’t think twice about it.

      Reply

      • Anonymous Says:

        I just rinse them in cold water, then stop up the sink and let them soak in cold water (nothing added) until I’m ready to do a load. I usually only soak dirty dipes, but occasionally I throw wets in to soak as well.

        Thanks for your thoughts,that helps a lot. I suspected they might be more susceptible to absorbing colors, but wasn’t sure. It’s only a problem in so far as it will affect re-sale value, but I’m a ways off from that anyways!

        Reply

        • Victoria Says:

          I saw you mentioned you use the sanitary cycle. As far as I understand, this option can break down the elastic in you diapers and wear out your PUL much quicker and will greatly affect re-sale value on your diapers. Hot wash is good, but not the sanitary each time. Am I correct in thinking this? This is what I was told by my diaper package rental store. Thanks.

          Reply

  10. Julie Says:

    I use Bac out when we start to smell. If I out a little in the first cold rinse then super hot wash with a teeny bit of method free then a cold rinse again and that has worked for us. My guy gets what looks like yeast infections. But tons better since I started this routine. Messed it up last time and he is having problems so next wah back to the way i always do it.

    Reply

  11. Meaghan Says:

    I have herd of using oil of oregino for disifecting cloth diapers. Does that work?

    Reply

  12. sonja lange Says:

    I noticed that I really have to do extra rinses when we use the bac-out…if I don’t my son’s bum gets totally blistered…and I use it in my first cold wash, then hot wash with soap, and then another short wash with warm and that still isn’t enough with a front loader…rinse rinse rinse…

    Reply

  13. Rebek Says:

    What’s the technique with dawn? I know I could go back posts and scroll, scroll, scroll, but I’m lazy. Could someone fill me in?

    Reply

    • Tessa Says:

      Rebek- I have the same question. What kind? How much? How often? How many wash/rinse cycles?

      Reply

      • Autumn Beck Says:

        Squirt or 2 of Dawn in the wash cycle. Regular Dawn. You will be rinsing a LOT…really a lot. Use Dawn to strip diapers or if you have a cream buildup that needs to be removed by scrubbing individual diapers.

        Reply

  14. jessica V Says:

    Wow this post couldn’t have been more timely! Autumn your previous ammonia posts mentioned your Elementals were often spared the stink….I wondered what I was doing wrong with mine because the stink is terrible after one pee.

    Many folks including Cottonbabies suggest a wash with original blue Dawn…anyone know how you can find it? I’ve checked all my local stores only to find ultra concentrate blue Dawn…do they even sell the original stuff anymore? Can you use the concentrated stuff, like just a tiny squirt?

    Reply

  15. krys Says:

    I use flats and wash them in All Free and Clear since my husband and I are allergic to many of the detergents out there. It works great for us. I did buy some used fitted diapers and have never been able to get the smell completely out. I think I will try someof these suggestions though. Sunning them helped a little.

    Reply

  16. Lisa Says:

    I had a big problem with ammonia stink when DD was around 10 months old. We switched from Purex Free and Clear to regular Tide. I also started adding either washing soda or white vinegar to the rinse cycle and that seems to help a lot.

    Reply

  17. Nicole Says:

    Wow! Now I am super terrified on the stinkies!! MY baby is due in almost 8 weeks and I prepped her dipes with rNg hard rock and plan to use that detergent for every wash. Autumn, my question is how many diapers can I do in a load, can I wash her BG AIOs with all the others, do i need to wash inserts and covers separate, and with rNg should I use the full 2-3 tbs they say on the directions. Also is it really that bad to dry my diapers with PUL in the dryer every time or should I think about line drying. And another question if I line dry is it possible to do so in the winter?? Sorry so much just all this talk about the stinkies has me anxious so i want to make sure im doing things right!!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      all diapers can be washed together. a friend of mine only uses 2 teaspoons and this has been working better (she has a TL). i dry diapers in the dryer every time, always have. line drying is great for helping with stains and stink. you can line dry anytime. if you don’t like the crunchiness just toss them in the dryer with some dryer balls for a few minutes.

      don’t worry about stinkies. like with anything there will always be little speedbumps to maneuver over. there are so many benefits to cloth that it truly is worth it.

      Reply

  18. Kristin Says:

    I have been battling ammonia as well. I have pretty much thrown out all my microfiber inserts that were over a year old. I haven’t used detergent when “washing” mydiapers for 3 cycles now, only 1/8 cup of Calgon and most of my diapers are almost free of ammonia smell. I felt weird about not using soap because I was afraid my diapers weren’t getting clean, but out of the wash they smelled pretty normal. I have a FL and although the cycles are clear of bubbles in hot washes, I can’t help but make the assumption that there is still some buildup left behind. I have now begun to separate my pee only smelling diapers and ammonia smelling diapers so that I can wash the pee only smelling dipaers with a small amount of detergent and continue to wash the ones that smell like ammonia with onlu Calgon. We have extremelu hard water so my guess is that most of our issues was mineral buildup. It has been a long journy but I have decided also to no longer use microfiber. I use help/cotten blend inserts from Thirsties and I love them. I also own the duo wrap diaper and I thin I will invest in more. I love the Thirsties brand.
    Good luck ladies, maybe some of you could benefit from this solution that seems to be working for me.

    Reply

  19. hookshsehld6 Says:

    I use All Baby detergent instead of Tide and do 2 rinse cycles after the hot wash. Once a month I use bleach to remove the build up. It’s worked very well for me.

    Reply

  20. Jill K Says:

    DD2 has been daytime trained, but is still hit or miss @ night. I have also noticed a very bad ammonia smell in her trainers (I use a cloth trainer that has PUL & a wool cover over it just in case it leaks.) My regular wash routine in a TL is cold pre-wash w/bac-out, then a hot wash w/Crunchy Clean, then another cold wash. I have tried stripping w/Dawn, but now it is not working anymore. Would you suggest using Tide or Bleach. The trainers are basically like a AIO.

    Reply

  21. erica Says:

    I should have mentioned it above but I have been using prefolds and flats and I am having the problems I stated above, I am totally lost at what to do!

    Reply

    • La Says:

      Erica I use flats and wash with Planet. I get it from Whole foods for like $12.00. It works great with my flats! I do a soak/hot wash with no soap. Then a full wash with 1/4 detergent with an extra cold rinse. Not one smell! I hope you find your solution! :)

      Reply

  22. Deborah Says:

    For the first while using cloth diapers, I used all the special natural detergents for my diapers. Everything seemed peachy keen. Now it’s been almost a year and I have had real stink issues. I tried one extra rinse cycle, still smells like poo in the dryer. I now use Norwex laundry detergent ( just 2 tbsp.) 1 tbsp. bleach, wash once cold with nothing and once hot with cleaning stuff and an extra rinse cycle. Diapers come out smelling like…nothing! Phew and I was on the verge of giving up on cloth! ps- We have very hard water.

    Reply

  23. Raychel Says:

    Wow, reading this I’m nervous about my boys getting older. They are not on solids yet so I really don’t have any problems with smells or rashes just yet. (Of course if you use sposies, rashes are the norm when babies are older, not a sign of an issue like with cloth) I use mostly prefolds, I know your not a huge fan, but they are my favorites, and they seem to get so clean. Also, from what I’ve read most everyone with stink problems seems to be using AIO’s. Is there something to that?

    Reply

  24. erica Says:

    Pamela I have had a similar problem to you, but tide hasn’t even solved my problem, i have rinsed at lease a dozen times in hot water, even started using micro-fleece thinking somehow now she is allergic to wetness. So for right now I have given up and for around a month now use disposables!

    Reply

  25. Marissa Says:

    What fixed our ammonia & rash problem was WOOL!!! Every night diaper would reek so bad. Just walking into my son’s room the smell from the diaper on him was horrible. I started using prefolds and or a fitted with a wool cover and BAM, no smell. I also do a quick wash before a regular wash & once a month bleach my
    Inserts.
    Good luck ladies!

    Reply

    • Tiffany Says:

      Same here. The kids wear wool longies at night that I made from sweaters. $6 for two sets of longies and four shorties out of two sweaters for they boys, and the smell in the morning is NORMAL! Best $6 and two hours of cutting and sewing I’ve ever spent!

      Reply

  26. Pamela Says:

    I am very close to switching to Tide (part-time, or full-time if need be.) I have been CDing all 3 kids for 7 months now (4.5 and 2.5 yr olds at night only, and 10 month old full time). I am sick and tired of the constant pee smell. I can hardly stand to open the wet bag when I go to wash my diapers, I feel as though my eyebrows are going to be burnt off because the ammonia smell is so bad! I have a FL washer and have been using Country Save. I have used RnG to soak but the smell comes right back. My baby’s bum seems to have a non-stop rash. I have rinsed, rinsed and rinsed with hot water. I just want a sweet smelling bottom with no rash. Any tips to the kind of Tide to use? What about Kirkland brand?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I used to use Kirkland’s and liked it. The powdered Tide seems to be much better as far as buildup goes.

      Reply

  27. Tina Says:

    I didn’t have any stink issues until I tried RnG in the spring. I think that it just happened to be at the same time that my daughter’s pee got stronger (about the time she turned 2) I ditched the RnG and went back to Purex Free and Clear and Bac-out (in the initial rinse). That was o.k. for a couple more months, but then the stink came back. If I do a hot water/Bac-out soak every-other washing (so every 4-6 days) it is o.k. I wish that it wasn’t a problem, though…..I’m hoping that my daughter will potty train soon and we can move on (plus I’ve got baby #2 coming within the next 6 weeks, so having only one in diapers would be nice). I’m wondering, does anyone know if I put the newborn’s diapers in the same pail/wash as the toddler’s diapers will the ammonia ‘spread’ to the baby’s diapers?

    Reply

    • Ashley Says:

      I would separate and wash them separate. It took months for my diapers to develop an ammonia problem. I bought a few new ones recently to try and washed them all together (after the prep was done of coarse) and they had the same ammonia problem within a couple washes…doubt it’s an issue with the diaper and that it probably just was “contaminated” by those with the issue. I think I might have it under control now :)

      Reply

  28. Amelia Says:

    I too have a problem with chrinic ammonia stink, leaks, and rashes with my elementals and fitteds. I have gone as far as to only CD part time because of all of the issues we’re having. My regular wash routine in a FL is a rinse cyclex2 with the spin set on low. Then a heavy duty wash with RnG, then a normal wash cycle. I did this today with an extra rinse and they still stink!

    So my question is, how much bleach do I use? And won’t it wreck the color?

    Reply

  29. Kristy Says:

    I was wondering if you have had a problem with you BG tearing. I only have a couple and they have holes in them. I’ve only had them a few months & they are washed & worn only every other day.

    Reply

  30. jill Says:

    i’m just getting into cloth diapering and was wondering what kind of Tide to use. the detergent we currently use for everyday was is the ALL free and clear…will that work with the CD. i have a bag of rockin green, but don’t want to use it every wash. i’m taking ideas for some of the detergents that are sold at target/walmart stores…anyone help, please.

    Reply

  31. Heather Says:

    One thing I have heard of doing – but have yet to try it – is to use ammonia neutralizer for fish tanks on your diapers. It would definitely be worth a try if you are having serious ammonia problems!

    Reply

  32. Kimberley Patterson Says:

    Same for us. Chronic ammonia. I really wanted RnG to work, & tried every possible variation in terms of rinses & additives, but no go. Tried many other detergents too. Using Tide Free for several weeks worked, & I’ve been able to use both 7th Generation & Planet since then with no issues. We always run a regular cycle with no detergent for rinsing purporses. Then, wash.

    Reply

  33. Candace Says:

    I too, am using Tide because of ammonia at the moment but after reading this I think it’s time to do a strip. I hadn’t given it a lot of thought yet as I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks but my baby has had some wicking at night.
    I agree that rinsing is very important! I have been doing a cold rinse, full hot wash and then full cold wash and sometimes I do an extra rinse if I check for bubbles.

    Reply

  34. Jeniver Says:

    I use Dawn Dish Detergent to strip when necessary, but would love another option. I am not sure I ever get it all out. I and all my children are allergic to bleach and I have reacted to Tide as have several of my children. Would RLR or Rockin’ Green possibly be a good option? I use unscented Purex or All when at all possible. Our diapers are homemade pul and alova or microfleece with FOE. We use mostly Microfiber towels for inserts.

    Thanks! Love your Blog!

    Reply

  35. julie Says:

    I have stink issues too! I have mostly BG 3.0s and BG AIO organics and just stripped them all with Dawn. They smelled great! But then it seemed that after just one use, they smelled like ammonia again – you can smell it as soon as you open the diaper. I have a top loader and extremely soft water so I have been using RnG Soft Rock. I was going to bleach the inserts of the 3.0s, but not sure what to do about the AIO organics. Maybe I will try Tide. Powdered Tide, correct?

    Reply

  36. Liz St. Says:

    I am so happy that you use bleach, too! Since DD has entered toddlerhood, nothing kills the smell and the rash problem she was having like bleach! I totally didn’t use it for the first year because the cloth diapering world said how horrible it was. So I tried everything under the sun (literally!) but I had to do what worked for us…I rather use bleach than have my DD have open blisters!

    Reply

  37. reana Says:

    We have chronic ammonia too – nothing worked, not even our beloved RnG…until we used fish tank ammonia remover!

    Reply

  38. Julia Says:

    Autumn, help me! I thought I had chronic ammonia and my 1 year old has had flare ups of a flat, red, burn-like rash which definitely fit the description. My morning diapers reeked of ammonia and I have tried various stripping methods (bleach, vinegar soak, top fin from the pet store, dawn, Everything!). The smell is much diminished and I think if anything the remaining morning smell is normal. What isn’t gone is the rash. It fades and reappears almost daily and nothing seems to really get rid of it. I’ve been washing with tide for a few months without incident and all of this (ammonia and rash) have been in the last 3 weeks. Any ideas? I’m so stumped! For what its worth, I use mostly BG pockets, BG Elementals and some flips and WAHMs mixed in.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Do the nighttime diapers have a different inner lining? Do you notice the rash appearing more with one type of diaper?

      Reply

      • Julia Says:

        I have been using all my diapers in a rotation such that he sleeps with any and all of them. I don’t have a particular go to for night. The rash seems to appear at random. It was in the morning especially at first and now it is diminished and comes back indiscriminately. Perhaps there is still a lingering ammonia issue? They all smell clean out of the dryer so I’m not sure how to tell.

        Reply

        • Autumn Beck Says:

          I’d try 4 (just a random number) really hot washes and make sure they are fully rinsed. You may try Rockin Green Hard Rock or Clean B’s hard water formula. The hard water formulas will break down mineral buildup.

          Reply

        • Emily D Says:

          Does it seem to make a difference if it’s a poopy diaper or just pee? My daughter was having the same problem. It was worse with poopy diapers. I made 2 changes: switched to RnG from tide free, the first time I did a soak with it and lots of rinses, and I used Booty Balm, which is cloth diaper safe, it worked wonders ( I know the cream made a difference cuz it started getting betyter even before I used the soaked diapers). Booty Balm was from sweetbottoms.

          Reply

    • Holly Says:

      Maybe your child is having a reaction to the Tide? It’s pretty strong stuff! I only use it for stripping – I use Arm & Hammer Free & Clear the rest of the time, and for his clothing.

      Reply

      • Julia Says:

        It could be the tide. I did about 5 hot washes last night and today we seem to have no rash or ammonia smell. I am REALLY hoping we are on the mend!

        Reply

        • Julia Says:

          Argh! Yesterday seemed all better but this morning his overnight diaper reeked of ammonia and he is all red! I happen to have used microfiber pockets all day yesterday and a BG Elementals overnight. Is the organic cotton worse for a longer duration? I am so frustrated. I hate seeing the redness and knowing its hurting his little tush! Any suggestions would be welcome. FYI, every diaper I own was put through a RnG soak and many hot hot washes Wednesday night.

          Reply

  39. Jennifer P Says:

    I am glad to know I am not alone! I just switched to Rockin Green and bleach (I use bumGenius O/S). I do an extra wash/rinse on all of my inserts. It is hit and miss. I do have a few inserts that are still stinky. I am hoping that by diligent rinsing I can keep the reek at bay. We also have VERY hard water, though it is testing soft.

    Reply

  40. Steph @ Nap Time Notes Says:

    Yes, Tide was the only detergent that worked on our chronic ammonia smell. I tried stripping multiple times, with seemingly endless rinsing. I tried lots of detergents…Allen’s, tiny bubbles, and was very hopeful when I tried rockin green, but nothing worked. I finally tried powdered tide (no more than 2 tablespoons) and after two washes, the smell was gone and has not returned. It’s been about 4 months that I’ve been using Tide, and we have no leaking issues (yet.)

    Reply

    • Melissa Says:

      I am going through chronic ammonia right now! I was at my very end when I received this email and have now tried tide. This is my first day without the terrible ammonia smell! I too tried EVERYTHING! Can’t believe tide “fixed” the problem for now. Thanks ladies

      Reply

  41. Michelle Dry Says:

    I have a problem with stink. I use the Thirsties AIOs. I have fairly soft water. I do a full cycle (wash and rinse) on cold with no detergent, then a full cycle on hot with whichever one of these I feel compelled to use that day. …Allen’s, Thirsties, Rockin’ Green, Dawn dish detergent, Nellie’s, Borax, even tried the Gain once. Then, I ALWAYS do a full cycle (wash and rinse) on cold with no detergent every time I wash. I will sometime use a little non-chlorine bleach in the hot cycle and every once in a while I’ll use a little white vinegar in my last rinse cycle. But my diapers still stink. What gives?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      soft water, as you know, is notorious for sudsing! i would cut back on the amount you are using and stick to one detergent for a stretch. that way you can access what works best.

      Reply

    • Ashley Says:

      I use Allens and finally figured out the trick to getting rid of the ammonia smell. I assume we have fairly soft water because the city softens it but we do not have a water softener hooked up in the house. I use 1/4 oz of detergent or 2 tsp. The pump for the gallon is pretty accurate, I measured. I do a pre wash, no detergent. Then I run a hot wash cycle…my washer has a sanitary setting that I use I don’t know how hot that gets but if you don’t have that just use a hot wash. It then does a cold rinse with an extra rinse. When this is done I do a rinse and spin cycle with another extra rinse. This is the only way all of the detergent comes out of my diapers. The stink was really all due to extra detergent. If I don’t do this every time they stink again. Just a little detergent makes it come right back.

      Reply

      • Allison Says:

        I use Allens and have had success with almost the same wash routine.
        Cold wash w/ detergent, hot wash w/ detergent, and another cold rinse.
        No smell, very little staining and no diaper rash!

        Reply

  42. jill Says:

    Sorry, but what do you mean by ”chronic ammonia”? I’m not certain I understand. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      chronic ammonia= no matter how many soaks in RnG Hard Rock or RLR it is still there. it means no matter how many rinses in hot water it is still there.

      Reply

  43. Holly Piper-Smith Says:

    I have a top-loader washer and I have to rinse FIVE TIMES when I strip my CDs with Tide!

    Reply

  44. Jill Says:

    Just wanted to share my two cents about rinsing:
    We (thank goodness) have a diaper sprayer and bucket. My husband made it himself with about 35 dollars worth of items from the hardware store. It has absolutely made our cloth diapering experience 100% better. We of course use the sprayer to rid the diaper of poo before storing it for the wash, but we also rinse all pee diapers as well. The diaper never has a chance to get too smelly this way and you aren’t fighting as much built up ammonia on wash day. Maybe we luckily have the perfect water type to use with Charlie’s soap, but I’ve never had to run an extra rinse or cycle after washing.

    Reply

    • Reanna Says:

      I would love to see a picture of your diaper bucket, your husband made. Is it possible to post a picture? It sounds like a great idea.

      Reply

    • krystal Says:

      I totally recommend rinsing off all diapers before tossing in the pail. I live in a rental apartment with no way to attach a sprayer (I’ve checked the pipes are weird) so I just rinse every diaper off in the tub before tossing it in the pail.

      My pail barely smells as a result and I am able to go longer between washes which really helps since we have coin op laundry. It also lets me keep my wash routine simple since everything is already pre-rinsed. Just wash on cold with detergent then another full wash on hot with no soap at all since I don’t have an option for more rinses.

      No stinkies, or ammonia here. Before I did this the stink was an issue.

      Reply

  45. Kiersten Says:

    Why don’t you use a detergent like Rochin’ Green Hard Rock for your hard water and ammonia issues??

    I know for me switching to more natural fibers, BG Organic AIO’s & the flip organic inserts and using Rockin’ Green, I have not had any smell problems since.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Rockin Green Hard Rock did not help the ammonia. However, Kim is working constantly on new formulas so that everyone will be able to use RnG successfully. I can’t wait to start using it again!

      Reply

    • Natasha Says:

      rockin green is aweful-will never use the stuff again. My baby girl got blisters. I know it’s brill for others-but aweful for us. Not the “perfect” diaper detergent, they have a loooong way to go before they can say that. So many other people like me have probs with it- I know the majority it does work for. Shame it cannot just work for all of us.

      Reply

      • Kristin Says:

        Natasha – I heard there was a problem with one batch that did cause some bad rashes on babes. They made a facebook annoucement I saw – maybe you got one package from the bad batch? You could email them to see if that was the case? I like Rockin Green, but need to supplement with Tide every once in a while for smell. HTH!

        Reply

        • Natasha Says:

          No it is not the batch-Kim her self sent the samples (just from using the hard rock samples was what gave her the burn)before that was using classic r&g. R&g was all I have ever used. I have e-mailed been on the phone to Kim,- changed wash rountines- added more water to soap dispenser you name it. Not getting them clean. Of course I have also soaked and soaked too (followed by lots of washing and rinsing) I know the bad batch was May-june time frame. I ordered 2 bags a hard rock from sweet bottoms and Beth said I can send them back-and possibly try the thirsties pre wash and super wash (plus it is a liquid) that would work waay better for me, as r&g clogged my drains and made them smell (after a bath tub soak) just think r&g is no good for Italy water/washing machines/drains etc. I also have tried the lu~sa booty balm someone mentioned that did not even touch her burn at all. Not strong enough. Hence why trip to the docs was needed. Now she in huggies and airing out, followed by the cream doc gave. Despite what people say about desitin Of course only used when in disposables) it is help out on the actual bum bit (the burns were more near crease of bum cheek) I also have cj’s butter. I am not taking her out of disposables until all cleared up. I have stripped cloth with dawn. I just hope this gets sorted soon.

          Reply

          • sonja Says:

            We too had a burn problem – but I contacted Kim and she sent an unscented batch right out for free and we haven’t had a single problem since then…I have read about others that say the same thing, that the natural scent change caused some babies to have burned bottoms. Not trying to get you to switch back – but just letting others know that I have no stink, no burns, rarely a stain that sunning can’t handle.

            Reply

          • Tanya Says:

            We had stink issues with RnG and the only detergent I have never had any issues with is Bum Genius Deteregent I think it is very resonible for the price too!

            Reply

  46. LaNita Says:

    Flats with thirsties duo wraps! I have never had a leaking, smell or any other problem. The flats clean easily after one soak/pre-cycle and one wash with an extra rinse. Don’t forget about flats! :)

    Reply

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  1. Treating ammonia build up in cloth diapers | Momma Words - June 3, 2012

    […] a couple great websites that were full of helpful info! The first is Pooters and the second is All About Cloth Diapers. These are both great resources if you would like to use a method other than the one I chose. I […]

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