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Old 03-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
cfremming
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What to do for Ammonia smell- Please help!

I'm new to cloth diapering, and have been using pocket diapers on my DD for about a month now. She's potty training so we mostly use them during nap and at night. When I wash them they come out smelling clean, but after she wears them, especially at night they smell so bad of ammonia that it burns my nose.
Some of her diapers were bought new, but most of them were bought used. I have an HE Whirlpool Duet machine. My wash routine is to do a cold rinse, heavy duty wash on hot, followed by an extra cold rinse. I use Ecos free and clear detergent. They come out smelling clean, but I think there must be something on them to make them smell that bad after she goes pee in them.
Please Help! Are my diapers not clean enough? How do I get them clean? Should I strip them? How do I do that?
Thanks so much!

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Old 03-21-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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I had the same problem and talked to the pros at our local cd store. Basically HE washers do not use enough water to get the diapers clean so there is build up in the diapers. If you have hard water it is even worse. They suggested Eco Sprouts. There is stripping info on the back of the package to do the first time. Then when washing I do a prewash on warm on the water plus setting. I do a hot wash cold rinse on bulky with water plus. I also add a gallon of water in the detergent tray. Then I do a rinse and spin. I'm still playing with the amount of detergent. Eco Sprouts' website has some really good info about washing diapers too. Hope that helps!
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
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Re: What to do for Ammonia smell- Please help!

Thanks so much! I don't know that I can change the amount of water for my HE, but will take a look at Eco Sprouts. Thanks for the information I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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Try vinegar in the prewash to break up ammonia salts. Also rinse the overnight diapers really well before you pail them. You might want to try spraying them with Bacout too. These are things I did to get ammonia under control at our house.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Because you're only washing pee diapers, I would suggest rinsing/spraying the inserts in the sink before they go into the washer. Adding vinegar to the pre-rinse is a good idea too. If there's no poop diapers, I would use warm water for the pre-rinse.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
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I second the vinegar. We just got out of an ammonia battle, vinegar is our friend. I also started adding a little sport wash to the cold prewash, just to get a head start. GL.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #7
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Re: What to do for Ammonia smell- Please help!

I had the same exact problem. I did a similar wash cycle in my front loader (with Bumgenius powder) and then realized that the cold pre-wash setting on the machine was taking all the detergent. ??? I now run a 30 min "quick cycle" (no detergent) with cold water to wash away the urine. When it ends, I start an entirely new wash cycle with hot water, extra rinse and use Tide F&C (sometimes ALL F&C). They work SO much better. Takes longer, but I haven't had a problem since. Good luck!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Re: What to do for Ammonia smell- Please help!

BTW - I used to use Ecos on our general laundry, but it didn't work for us. My clothes still smelled like me after washing - not bad, but they just didn't smell "clean". I definitely wouldn't trust it with our diapers.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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I've been rinsing the beejeezus out of my diapers with good luck. Like 4 rinses

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Old 03-22-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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Re: What to do for Ammonia smell- Please help!

I use Ecos with regular laundry and diapers and love it After 2.5 years of diapering 2 kids tho, my diapers are finally getting an ammonia smell and I need to do something! I also use a little vinegar and baking soda, and have been thinking some natural dish soap and a lot of rinses to get all suds out to strip them?? I refuse to use Tide, Dawn, bleach, or any other unhealthy laundry additive so natural stuff is what i am needing, will do the vinegar in my prewash as well
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