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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Getting The Stinkies Out- Stripping your cloth diapers

So you've been using your diapers for a few months and one of thee things start happening A. your once wonderful diapers can't hold an ounce of pee and your little one is constantly getting soaked now, B. Every time your little one goes #1 it smells like someone poured a bottle of Ammonia into their diaper or C. Both A & B. You start getting flustered and think maybe Cloth diapering wasn't such a great idea, and maybe it's time to toss them away. Well don't do any tossing just yet, chances are all your diapers need are a good old fashion stripping.

Depending on who you ask you will get different versions of stripping diapers. I however like to go in phases from "Hmm maybe my diapers need a boost" to "Time to bring in gas masks,this baby is a toxic nightmare".

To begin, Always strip with clean diapers. The main problem with diapers usually points to too much detergent buildup so getting that out will be priority #1 :)

If I begin to notice my diapers are just not "cutting the job" I go ahead and give my clean diapers and inserts a soap-less hot water/heavy duty wash. Since I have a HE washer I can't do the "Bubbles test" which is to run the diapers through and see if "Bubbles form"and wash until they no longer do. I give them an extra rinse and hang to dry outside to help sun out any "issues". I do add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the fabric softener tray (since I have an HE washer and can't toss it in during the rinse cycle) This helps break down the soap that is probably causing the build up.or  I add in Baking soda if the problem is the stinkies.  Both of these will help cut the build up in the diaper and get things fixed from the get go.

I try to add vinegar to my wash once a month just to  help cut down on the need to further strip diapers. Sometimes "prevention" is the key to further problems.
Phase two
If the above didn't work, I move on to phase two ,which is to use a little "boost".
I like to begin with RLR I empty a packet of it into my wash using hot water and no detergent. I wash as I would a regular cycle and add an extra rinse. You may need to do two extra rinses with this stuff but it usually does the trick. You can find RLR at Kissed By The Moon

If you have hard water Calgon is a great product that can be used. Please don't mistaken it for the Calgon that "will carry you away" in the beauty section. It is the one found in the laundry aisle. Just add 3 tablespoons to a hot water wash. (no detergent)

Another great product that I've used in the past with Ammonia issues and hard water was the Rockin Green "Funk Rock"product. It was great in combination with the Cloth Diaper Detergent Rockin Green.

An item that works great for stripping that you may already have at home is Dawn.
(original blue)*Remember to start with clean diapers*. Run a hot wash with just your diapers and Dawn Dish Soap add 1 teaspoon for an HE or 1 tablespoon for a regular washer remember don't over do it because a little bit of this stuff goes a long way. I suggest doing two extra rinses to get all the suds out. Dry as usual.

Now you've tried everything and you are literally about to throw all your diapers away. DON'T! Here's your last resort and must be done carefully and only on inserts and prefolds. Plus make sure and check diaper manufacture instructions because some will say not to use this....

If you've come to the point where  using bleach or throwing you cloth diapers away is the only choices left, bleach may be the answer. If you've tried everything else and your diapers still stink, add a little bleach to the hot wash and then you must RINSE like a mad woman. Probably about 2-3 times.
*Note :DON'T add this to wool covers, fleece covers and use extreme caution when using on the actual diapers. This will wear away the elastic!!!So Please check with diaper manufacturer before going this route.

Finally, The main thing to do is rinse rinse and rinse. Because we are using cloth diapers and well dealing with poo we automatically think we need to go overboard with the detergent when in reality all that does is make life more difficult. Hot water and sunning is the trick to keeping your diapers picture perfect and clean. Treat your diapers with love and make sure to upkeep them and they will return the love!



Rachel N said...

I have only had problems with night diapers and stink/ammonia. I found that I have to use natural fibers at night and I have to rinse them well in the morning. This has fixed the problem for us.

Jessica Douglass said...

Thanks for these tips. Our baby is not born yet, but I'm filing this away for useful info later!

Jennifer said...

Because I have such hard water, I use Calagon with every load of diapers.

Tracy Adler said...

This is exactly what I was looking for. Just Incase when I start cding when my little one arrives in October, I want to have a good stripping method. I've read several, but none give you actual amounts of the product to use. This one does! Thank you!

Suzi said...

Some great tips! Just a reminder, though: if you have hard water, vinegar will make your issues worse because it binds with the minerals in the water. As for the front loader issue: if you've got a clear door, you can do the bubble test, too. Just add water until it's high enough to be in front of the door. :-)

ConservamomE said...

Are the diapers maybe too tight? Sometimes adjusting them helps?

ConservamomE said...

I should know better and have noted the the vinegar and hard water considering I lived with it for 9 How quickly one forgets. Thanks for the reminder!

Jenna Guizar said...

I know how frustrated people get with this problem. Hopefully these tips will really help them out :) Thankfully, I've only ever stripped once due to yeast invasion - the worst!

Heather Johnson said...

Great tips. Fortunately I have not yet had to deal with terribly stinky diapers.

Nicole said...

Suggestions on regular washing with a front loader HE machine? I currently use 7th Gen detergent with a little OxiClean in pre-wash or mixed in detergent slot. Run it on sanitation cycle - sometimes with an extra rinse. Worked well until a few weeks ago when my some had some irritation (on his thighs where the elastic of the leg is & a little above his penis) so I stripped the diapers & treated him with Apple Cider Vinegar followed by a little tea tree oil & GroVia natural ointment. Went away but keeps creeping back only in those same areas. Wondering if I need to re-strip, change my wash routine or if maybe it's not really a rash but just irritation from my son starting to crawl in combo with 80 degree weather. A nurse friend said it didn't look like a rash so I'm at a loss & getting frustrated with the diapers!

Ashley Feit said...

Thanks for the tips, we've battled some ammonia that has cleared up with a blue dawn strip and some bleach. My daughter sleeps 12+ hrs through the night and I have found that rinsing/soaking overnight diapers and inserts in the toilet is a great way to cut down on ammonia.

ConservamomE said...

About half a cup add it as if it were the detergent. If you really want
some power to it, add vinegar to the "fabric softener" tray and let that
hit the rinse cycle. Add an extra rinse and you should be good to go.

ConservamomE said...

About half a cup add it as if it were the detergent. If you really want some power to it, add vinegar to the "fabric softener" tray and let that hit the rinse cycle. Add an extra rinse and you should be good to go. :)

Vanessa V. said...

I had these exact questions! You beat me to it lol ;)

Jessica said...

How much baking soda do you use, and when do you add it? (With the detergent, by itself, and do you do it with clean diapers or when you are washing diapers as usual?)

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