Cloth Files |ammonia|

I haven’t updated much on cloth diapering lately, but it’s been going great, I love it, you get the gist.

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And then out of nowhere I started to get knocked over every morning by the ammonia coming from Kennedy’s diaper.

Guys. This was no joke. It burned my eyes if I got too close and it gave Kennedy an ammonia burn which made me super sad since she’s never really even had diaper rash aside from getting a little red when she’s teething.

So, I started googling ammonia in cloth like a crazy person. I found about 12847482 different remedies, but there’s a problem. Everyone has different washing machines, uses different detergent, has different wash routines, and on and on and on. So I didn’t know how to pick… I tried them all.

My situation looks like this. I have a High Efficiency top loader {Maytag Bravos}, use rockin’ green detergent, wash every other day {rinse, hot wash, rinse}, all my diapers are pockets, and I have hard water. So…

I started by stripping with dawn. No luck.

Then I boiled ALL the inserts. Took FOREVER. Didn’t work.

Then I did an RLR soak overnight. Didn’t work.

Then I just started running the inserts in hot wash cycles looking for bubbles {detergent build up}. I didn’t have any so that wasn’t my issue.

Then I did a soak cycle with about 1/2 cup of bleach and a couple rinse cycles. Halle-this took forever-Lujah it worked!

Now, we are officially ammonia free. I say all this for anyone else that was about to pull all their hair out trying to figure out their ammonia issue… Just use bleach! Amen.

{just an FYI it doesn’t have to be a strong smell or even an ammonia smell to have this issue… other people have referred to it as a barnyard smell… basically if your diaper doesn’t 100% smell like nothing coming out of the wash you might have issues}


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I’m a twenty-something wannabe city girl living in Tallahassee, FL with my husband and high school sweetheart, David, and our girls, Kennedy and Reese. I'm a financial analyst, much better with numbers than words, but this is my attempt at recording this wonderful, crazy life of ours.

12 thoughts on “Cloth Files |ammonia|”

  1. Oh gosh am I glad you posted this!!!! We’ve been in chlorine free disposals for a month now because of this issue. I’ll have to do this tonight. Was your soak cycle cold or hot?


    1. Ahhh! So annoying! My soak cycle is 30 minutes long and set to warm water. I just did 2 rinse cycles after.

      I probably had 40 inserts in there so is use less bleach {maybe 1/4 cup} if you were doing a lot few than that. I also only soaked my inserts because I read the bleach an affect the PUL.

      Hope it works!

      Sent from my iPhone

      1. No, I think they were fine from all the other methods I tried and the issue was with the inserts because they are so many layers. I know you can use bleach on the diapers themselves and bumgenius actually recommends it for their diapers every 3-4 months or something, but I just figured I’d start with the inserts and add the diapers if I needed to and it worked fine.

        Sent from my iPhone

      2. I’ll just do inserts first too. Then if she’s still getting a rash I’ll do the diapers too! Thank you!

  2. We had to do the same with ours! It only took about 2 tablespoons per load to get the smell out and keep it out. I am not having that problem so much with baby #2…but I am also using some calgon in the wash cycle because of our hard water.

    And just a note, I discovered in my search for a cure for this that if you have really really hard water like mine, vinegar makes it worse!

      1. We used it for about 6 months or so and I have noticed the PUL not being as water tight. I started only using it on the inserts closer to the end and will do the same if we run into stink again.

      2. Oh and yes, 2 tbsp in every wash. I had been searching for a natural remedy though since I despise having bleach in the house (the hardest chemical I use is normally vinegar or Dawn!)

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