Cloth Diaper Kids Blog

FuzziBunz cloth diapers and other green baby products


2 Comments

My Cloth Diapers Smell – How Do I Fix Them?

When it comes to cloth diapers, there are different smells and different ways to deal with them.  But one thing that holds true in all situations is that your diapers are smelling because they aren’t getting clean enough in the wash.  Here’s how to fix them and how to tweak your wash routine so it doesn’t come back.

Diapers smell like a ‘barnyard’
If you have a smell that’s kinda like a barnyard (sorta poopy and gross) it generally means you need more detergent.  You are either using a detergent that isn’t strong enough to deal with dirty diapers or not enough of it.  Use the proper amount of detergent as recommended on the package for the size of the load you are doing (regardless of whether you’re using a mainstream commercially available brand or a cloth diaper specific brand).  Bigger load needs more detergent.  Have you added water to your load or increased the water level?  Then increase your detergent accordingly.  You need the proper ratio of detergent to water to clean properly.  Diluted detergent or incomplete rinsing = poop residue left on your diapers = barnyard smell.

Note: changing to a different detergent (Tide or Charlie’s Soap is great) or adding a water softener like Calgon (1/4 cup in with the detergent) to your wash can also help if you have harder water.  Remember, detergent that works well for one person won’t necessarily work well for you.  Water quality, type of washing machine, diaper fabrics and style (prefolds vs. pockets vs. all in ones) can all play a large part in finding a wash routine and detergent that work to achieve proper cleaning.

Diapers smell strongly of ammonia
If you have ammonia issues, see our post on how to deal with it here.

Still have questions?  Contact us or get in touch with the manufacturer of your diapers for more troubleshooting advice.

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

Is Tide The Devil?

Often one of the first questions we get from new Moms considering cloth is, “Someone told me you have to use special, cloth diaper detergent”.  Now, while there are certainly very good reasons to choose a zero-residue, hypoallergenic, biodegradable detergent made to work with cloth diapers as outlined here,  many people choose to use a store bought detergent on the down-low, secretly not telling anyone and wondering whether they’ll burn in Laundry-You-Know-Where.

Okay then, let’s clear this up.  Most detergents, when used in moderation with lots of water for rinsing out residue (preferably in powder form) won’t cause an issue on good quality diapers (wait, did I just say that out-loud?).  Now, I must say, if you care at all about your diaper’s warranty (if applicable), check the manufacturers detergent recommendations as some commercial detergents will void warranties).

HOWEVER, in a nutshell, you want to stay away from super cheap detergents that have lots of wax and fillers and those that have excessive fragrance, whiteners, optical brighteners, enzymes or anything else that’s designed to be left on the fabric after washing.  Reside = buildup = leaky/smelly diapers.  Period.

This is when the issue of Tide tends to come up.  Tide is not an amazing cure-all detergent, but yes, it is a commercial detergent that we do recommend on occasion (so no shame using it).  Tide is sometimes the solution for those with ammonia or smell issues that couldn’t be combated any other way and can work really well in many water types.  Some manufacturers like FuzziBunz even have Tide listed as one of their recommended detergents.  Therefore, if you’re going to go with a commercial detergent, Tide is what you should try.  Look for Tide Ultra Original or Tide Free in the powder form (not liquid) and only use 1/4 of the amount recommended on the package for your diapers.   

Now, keep in mind that since Tide is a mainstream brand it is not specifically made for cloth diapers and does not disclose all of it’s ingredients on the label.  It is not hypoallergenic and some babies will get a rash/allergic reaction from it being in close proximity to the very delicate diaper area.  This is one of the reasons why we don’t recommend it to everyone all the time.  However, it is considered a zero-residue detergent and works for lots of Moms and their little ones.

So, if you’re a Tide using Mama, hold your head up high. Heck I even use Tide Free on my diapers when I run out of Charlie’s Soap…and I own a diaper store lol.

Happy laundering!