So, you may ask, have Mommy and Sweet Pea ever experienced this diaper stink problem? Nah. Well, maybe every once in a while. OK, OK, we have had on-and-off problems for the last couple of months and I hadn't taken the time to really work on it. After our babysitter started putting the wetbag out on the back porch, I realized we really needed to deal with it. I did some research and found a lot of great ideas.
DiaperSwappers of course, borntolove.com, and the Cotton Babies blog all have good information on dealing with stinky diapers. I'm not going to repeat all that they have to tell you. Instead, I'm going to share how we have dealt with our particular stink issue.
Our brand of stink was an ammonia smell coming from the diapers as soon as Sweet Pea wet. Based on my research, I found that this was probably caused by bacteria within the diaper inserts that was not getting completely washed away, and reacting with the urine. Our diapers smelled clean coming out of the dryer, but terrible once wet.
- First, I stopped using Arm and Hammer powder. I read that they changed the formula to have more washing soda than it used to.
- Next, I did a wash cycle with hydrogen peroxide to eliminate bacteria hiding in the diapers. I have used bleach in the past but it only worked for a couple of wash cycles and I found I was using it more often that I liked. Hydrogen peroxide also kills bacteria, but is not as harsh as bleach.
- Then I added white vinegar back to my initial rinse routine. I had run out a while ago, and didn't buy any more when our diapers seemed fine for the next few loads. However, I think the vinegar really does aid the rinse-out process for us and am glad to have it back in our routine. Besides, it's only $2.00 for a big bottle so there's not much to lose.
- Finally, I have started adding a pot or two of hot water (boiling or nearly boiling) to the wash cycle, every couple of washes. Hot water helps to kill the bacteria, but I didn't want to turn up our water heater since Sweet Pea loves to turn on faucets right now. Some people have even boiled their diapers when they have encountered really bad stink issues but that sounded like a lot of work to me.
So far, the above methods seem to have knocked out the ammonia, and the diaper pail is back in Sweet Pea's room. For a while, we were keeping it in the bathroom. I am glad to have it back in her room right next to the changing table, and still be able to walk into the room while breathing through my nose!
What's your experience with diaper stink? Does it ruin the cloth diaper experience for you? Have you been able to successfully avoid it or combat it?