Cloth diapers smells and questions

Zernesti333

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I have been using cloth diaper on and off for the last two years, I really like how they absorb in any positive without leaks. One thing I notice is when wet they have a musty smell like old laundry? Am I not washing them right or is this normal. Second what do you use for creams, lotions, and or powders? And will this help with the smell. Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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The musty smell is the build-up of oils, diaper rash prevention, etc. You need to deep clean them. I would recommend that you visit the website of the organization you purchased your cloth diapers from and look for their deep cleaning instructions. Since there a small variation between the different blends, it is important to use they recommendations.

No, it is not an issue of a specific 'product' that you use, although some have quicker build-up. Commonly, oils based products build-up faster.
 
I go through at least eight diapers every day so I do a dedicated wash load daily.
I use two tide pods and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of borax and hot water for washing and rinsing. I had to program my wash cycle to achieve this water temperature combination. I also typically use color bleach but maybe once per week I use chlorine bleach to whiten and kill odors. I also occasionally use 1/4 cup of Lysol in the wash to remove stubborn odors.
I think that the main secret to odor free diapers is washing daily and borax certainly helps a lot too. Anything beyond occasional use of chlorine based bleach will weaken the cotton material and prematurely wear out the diaper. If you’re able to hang your diapers outside to dry, as i sometimes will do here in rural Texas, the bright sunshine will bleach and deodorize naturally!
 
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Try adding about 1-1/2 cups of white vinegar to your first rinse cycle. It not only removes odors but also dissolves hard water deposits that can retain detergent while the second rinse cycle removes many of these remnants along with the vinegar. Residual detergent can cause the barnyard odors in otherwise clean diapers or ammonia odors when urine combines with these deposits. White vinegar also has sanitizing properties which lead to fresher smelling laundry. If you can line drying your diapers on bright sunny days is another way of sanitizing them and eliminating stains that may have accumulated.
 
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Agreed.
I think a lot of it is one’s body chemistry too, including but not limited to pH.
I seldom use vinegar but I do from time to time if things get out of control.
 
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Ellyn said:
This has been my savior as well. I have hard water, and if I don't presoak in borax and add some to my wash, my cloth diapers will hold onto smells. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda is a borax alternative that I've also found to work really well.

Zernesti333 said:
Second what do you use for creams, lotions, and or powders? And will this help with the smell.
I generally don't use any of those things, though occasionally I'll end up with a rash and will use some rash cream until things have cleared up. The general rule with creams and cloth diapers is to avoid anything petroleum-based, as it can coat the fibers and reduce the diaper's absorbency. (Although any creams will eventually wash out of your cloth diapers if you use those creams only infrequently.) Here are some cloth-friendly creams.
 
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Do a google search of "How to strip cloth diapers." You will find numerous natural ways to accomplish it. It's a standard procedure when using cloth diapers. You will be surprised how your diapers don't stink the moment you wet them after they've been stripped.
 
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All of my cloth diapers go through a rinse and spin cycle ~before~ they go through the wash cycle. Followed by a rinse with a cup of white vinegar. And then one more rinse. Never ever using any bleach, my cloth diapers come out so white and fresh it almost hurts your eyes. It's like none of my wet or dirty accidents never happened 👶👶👶
 
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Thank you all for help I appreciate it.
 
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Ellyn said:
Cottontail said:
This has been my savior as well. I have hard water, and if I don't presoak in borax and add some to my wash, my cloth diapers will hold onto smells. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda is a borax alternative that I've also found to work really well.
I am looking into switching to cloth diapers at night. I am trying learn as much as I can about the care/cleaning aspects of cloth. I am not familiar with borax. What function does it add to the cleaning process?
 
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smnapp said:
I am not familiar with borax. What function does it add to the cleaning process?
It’s useful as a presoak solution and as a detergent booster/enhancer, especially if you have hard water. In short, it prevents stuff from building up on fabric. You’ll find it with the laundry supplies at most big stores. If you don’t have hard water, there’s a good chance you’ll get away without presoaking or using additional products. Certainly try without first and see how it goes, then adjust your routine as necessary.

I used to be on city water, which was soft and allowed me to treat my diapers like ordinary laundry, no special steps. Now I’m on a private well and the water is quite hard. If I don’t presoak and add hard water treatments like borax to the wash, my diapers don’t get clean and come out still smelly.
 
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Cottontail said:
It’s useful as a presoak solution and as a detergent booster/enhancer, especially if you have hard water. In short, it prevents stuff from building up on fabric. You’ll find it with the laundry supplies at most big stores. If you don’t have hard water, there’s a good chance you’ll get away without presoaking or using additional products. Certainly try without first and see how it goes, then adjust your routine as necessary.

I used to be on city water, which was soft and allowed me to treat my diapers like ordinary laundry, no special steps. Now I’m on a private well and the water is quite hard. If I don’t presoak and add hard water treatments like borax to the wash, my diapers don’t get clean and come out still smelly.
Thank you for the information. I have city water. It’s pretty soft. I will see how it goes without and adjust accordingly. I did see Borax that a store today.

Just today I noticed the wash cycle on my machine was not adding detergent. Everything will get rewashed tomorrow now that I have the machine set correctly.
 
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