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Thread: Cloth diaper Smell

  1. #1

    Default Cloth diaper Smell

    Does anyone have any ideas/methods to removing
    the pee smell from a cloth diaper? or preventing it
    even.

    I washed mine and... well... still smell s a lil and it
    makes my hiding place smell bad whenever i open
    it x.x

    Also, any ideas to storing it? I just put mine inna
    bucket of cold water for a few hours till the washing
    machiene was available. Any better ideas?

  2. #2

    Default

    Man... you've just said what I've been trying to solve for a few weeks.

    I've just recently switched from cloth to disposable. At first, the cloth was just fine when wet. After a while, it developed a permanent odor that got worse whenever it was wet. I couldn't get it clean, even after running it through the washing machine several times. The diapers just didn't smell fresh even when they came out of the washer.

    For washing methods, your best bet is to wash (or at least rinse) the diaper when you remove it and then wring out the excess water before storing in a waterproof bag. Definitely wash it no more than 2-3 days after removing it or it will begin to smell moldy. If you rinse out the diaper (to keep the water in the pail from reeking of urine) and then store it in a pail of water before washing, that will prevent the mold from forming.

    As for removing the smell, you have several options (but NOT chlorine bleach if at all possible: it will make the diaper prematurely wear out). I'm beginning to find that cloth diaper washing is a bit like a chemistry experiment, and how well certain things will work depends on what kind of water you have (softwater, hardwater with differing mineral contents...). For a persistent urine smell, a typical cause is using too much detergent when washing (it will build up and cause a really nasty smell). For a full load of diapers, you should only be using 1/2 the detergent recommended for a full load of regular clothes. If you're only washing one diaper at a time, chances are you're overdoing it on the detergent. You'll have to 'strip' the diaper of detergent if this is the problem (Stripping Cloth Diapers - Strip Cloth Diapers).

    For more troubleshooting, try these sites; they helped me a lot:
    Why are my cloth diapers and covers stinky?
    Cloth Diaper Washing

    My current solution is to do this:
    Remove diaper, rinse out in shower or sink in laundry room, put in a pail of water + baking soda to soak (I'm still evaluating the usefulness of the baking soda for wet pail soaking). Wash every 3 days in hot water (I have white cotton prefolds) with 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent and 1/4 cup of baking soda for a full load. Baking soda apparently makes the detergent more effective; works great for me. Cold rinse (keeps smells from setting). Dry in machine. Line dry if it isn't snowing.

    If you can soak the diaper in the detergent + baking soda mixture for at least a half hour (the longer the better, I do an hour if things are getting stinky) before washing, it will help. Make sure the detergent and baking soda are actually mixed together: fill the washer with water, add detergent + baking soda, let the washer agitate for a bit, and then add the diapers.

    Oxyclean is reported to work wonders on diapers without harming them, as long as they haven't ever been chlorine bleached--apparently the leftover chlorine + Oxyclean causes a reaction.

    If you have a bulky AIO, that may be part of the problem; it can be hard to clean those...

  3. #3

    Default

    White vinegar solves this problem, soak them in 1 cupfull of white vinegar and about 1 gallon of water, leave them overnight and bingo no nasty smells:-)

  4. #4

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by 999999rock View Post
    White vinegar solves this problem, soak them in 1 cupfull of white vinegar and about 1 gallon of water, leave them overnight and bingo no nasty smells:-)
    White vinegar can be a good solution, but not always. It depends on what your problem is. I tried soaking mine in this, but it didn't do the trick for me; baking soda did. If you try vinegar, be aware that too much vinegar can result in an even worse stink, and make sure you use WHITE vinegar (not the brown apple vinegar stuff, which can leave diapers looking discolored).

    Here's the purpose of adding both vinegar and baking soda to your diaper laundry (from this site: Stripping Cloth Diapers - Strip Cloth Diapers)



    White Vinegar
    naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue. The acid in white vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. It also prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew. Vinegar can be added to your final stripping rinse to remove the last of the detergent residue and to soften your cloth diapers - try 1/2 - 1 cup. Don't worry, your diapers won't smell like vinegar after they're dry.


    Baking Soda
    has been trusted for over 100 years as an effective yet natural and gentle cleaner with no harsh chemicals. Baking soda natural effect is to balance pH, keeping things neither too acidic nor too alkaline, and it resists further changes in the pH balance. Add 1/2 to 1 cup to the wash cycle to neutralize and eliminate odors. Then rinse until there are no more bubbles.
    If you think you've used too much detergent, the white vinegar soak would be the first thing I'd try. If that doesn't work, try washing with baking soda + (half recommended amount of) detergent. If that doesn't work, Oxyclean (AKA, non-chlorinated hydrogen peroxide based bleach).
    Last edited by Tygon; 05-Nov-2009 at 18:09.

  5. #5

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Tygon View Post

    I'm beginning to find that cloth diaper washing is a bit like a chemistry experiment, and how well certain things will work depends on what kind of water you have (softwater, hardwater with differing mineral contents...). ...
    You know...Even though I was raised on Pampers, I remember way "back in the days" the big boxes of powdered clorox said "Safe for diapers" on the side of the box. I remember that because anytime I saw the word "diapers" as a kid I got giddy

    -Gus

  6. #6

    Default

    I once read vinegar solves the smell issue with cloth. While I personally have never used cloth, nor do I intend to, most will probably tell you either vinegar or baking soda will do the trick on the smell.

    Best of luck!

  7. #7

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    I rinse mine out in the shower every morning and they are allowed to dry(except on washday which is Sunday). I then wash mine using the hot cycle and Tide laundry detergent. I also only pee in my cloth diapers too. I have and wear Adult Cloth Diaper flat cloth diapers and Babykins pull on diapers. On a side note I go to a local laundromat and have no problems there washing, drying and folding my diapers. Good luck and I hope that all our solutions will help you with your cloth diaper odors.

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Tygon View Post

    As for removing the smell, you have several options (but NOT chlorine bleach if at all possible: it will make the diaper prematurely wear out). I'm beginning to find that cloth diaper washing is a bit like a chemistry experiment, and how well certain things will work depends on what kind of water you have (softwater, hardwater with differing mineral contents...). For a persistent urine smell, a typical cause is using too much detergent when washing (it will build up and cause a really nasty smell). For a full load of diapers, you should only be using 1/2 the detergent recommended for a full load of regular clothes. If you're only washing one diaper at a time, chances are you're overdoing it on the detergent. You'll have to 'strip' the diaper of detergent if this is the problem (Stripping Cloth Diapers - Strip Cloth Diapers).

    For more troubleshooting, try these sites; they helped me a lot:
    Why are my cloth diapers and covers stinky?
    Cloth Diaper Washing

    My current solution is to do this:
    Remove diaper, rinse out in shower or sink in laundry room, put in a pail of water + baking soda to soak (I'm still evaluating the usefulness of the baking soda for wet pail soaking). Wash every 3 days in hot water (I have white cotton prefolds) with 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent and 1/4 cup of baking soda for a full load. Baking soda apparently makes the detergent more effective; works great for me. Cold rinse (keeps smells from setting). Dry in machine. Line dry if it isn't snowing.

    If you can soak the diaper in the detergent + baking soda mixture for at least a half hour (the longer the better, I do an hour if things are getting stinky) before washing, it will help. Make sure the detergent and baking soda are actually mixed together: fill the washer with water, add detergent + baking soda, let the washer agitate for a bit, and then add the diapers.

    Oxyclean is reported to work wonders on diapers without harming them, as long as they haven't ever been chlorine bleached--apparently the leftover chlorine + Oxyclean causes a reaction.

    If you have a bulky AIO, that may be part of the problem; it can be hard to clean those...

    you just made my day. i believe i used too much detergent ^^;

    ill soak it in the white vinegar solution (whitch i have plenty of in my pantry)

    Thanks for all the help guys!

  9. #9

    Default

    Funny I don't think I have ever had an issue with lingering smell. (though I never have a full load of cloth diapers) I just wear the diaper in the shower to rice it then was with my other clothes.

  10. #10

    Default

    I agree with the white vinegar and the baking soda as solutions. But I also found that hanging the diapers out on a clothsline in bright sunshine for a whole day is a great solution, too. Of course that depends on whether public view is possible...

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