Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dance of the diapers

Do you cloth-diaper?
well, I'm no expert. That's for sure. But I've definitely learned my fair share over the past nearly 11 months. Our "stash" as some would call it includes some prefolds, and some all-in-twos, but mostly one-size pockets. If you didn't understand any of that then this may be a post you'd prefer to skip :)
So anyway, over the past few months my diapers began to smell more and more of ammonia. That's normal. Babies pee in diapers, pee is FULL of ammonia. Eventually, diapers will smell. The trick is getting the smell out, or altering your wash/dry system such that smells don't linger in the first place.

My stink issues were BAD. I won't lie.
Thinking there might be an *easy* solution, I tried the frequently suggested "calgon" - a product designed to remove sediment from clothing which has been washed over and over in hard water. We have hard water, I figured this might be our issue. Sorry, that wasn't it.
So my second course of action was to bleach them. "BLEACH??" (I can hear the screams from across the country) yes, bleach. It's ok to bleach your diapers once in a very great while. Do it too much and not only will you break down your diapers, but you'll burn your baby's sweet little tush. But once in a while it's ok. Well - lo and behold - bleach didn't do the trick.

Then I turned to my favorite bio-safe cleaner and yours: Bac-out. I had high hopes for it's lime peel and bacteria-eating enzymes - but alas, no dice.
Then it was time to pull out the big guns: Stripping. Stripping diapers. (Get your mind out of the gutter) Like bleach, I've been warned that this is a "once-in-a-blue-moon" procedure. So I proceeded with caution. Diaper stripping is done with Dawn unscented dish soap. The theory is that some diapers stink because there is left-over detergent and other crud built up in the diaper's fibers. Add a squirt of dish soap to the laundry, do about a million hot rinses until all of the bubbles disappear and viola! your diapers should be stink free. - unless of course they're mine, in which case they will mysteriously still have a faint odor. Maybe I'm the only one who can smell it, but DUDE, it drives me NUTS!I was lost for words.

Then, as I was perusing reviews on The Pin I came across this stuff: Rockin' Green Soap. Ok, Ok, I'd heard about it before, but I wasn't a believer until I watched their two videos. Still skeptical, I ordered two samples of "Hard Rock" (made for folks like me with extra hard water, and, consequently, a non-functional water-softener) in lavender-vanilla, and fresh linen scents. ("woah woah woah - you mean to tell me you used scented detergent on your diapers" yes. yes I did. but it's safe for diapers. I promise. Keep reading)It arrived, I kid you not, just as I was getting diapers started for the morning. Following the directions I rinsed my dipes in cold, then let them hot-soak with 3TBS of Hard Rock for one hour. I continued with a wash cycle, then a cold rinse (no second rinse needed!) and PRESTO CHANGO! no more stink!

Sold. I'm SO sold.
If I could post a scratch-and-sniff picture I totally would.


Joyce said...

Amazing!! I will have to try this, as our hemp prefolds have a recurring ammonia problem. I tried boiling them this last time, after they were washed of course, so we'll see how long they last. I've also done vinegar soaks for ammonia. The vinegar is supposed to react with the ammonia and break it down into compounds that wash out more easily, but vinegar is hard on elastic. Anyway, thanks for the tip/review!

Mamae do Nicholas said...

Your post made me not regreat my decision for disposables, though it kills me everytime I empty the diepper gennie...