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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's that smell?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers has to do with some sort of smell issue. It isn't normal for cloth diapers to smell so we want to help you solve your problems and never have them again! There are two types of stink issues: 1. "Burn your nose ammonia stink!" When you diapers comes out of the wash, they seem clean. The minute your child pees in them (you'll often notice the smell when you go to change their diaper), your nose burns from the smell. This is often accompanied by a red bottom and possible leaking or repelling of the diapers. Culprit: Detergent build-up Solution: Deep cleaning- To deep clean your diapers, start with clean cloth diapers. Fill your washer up to the highest water setting with hot water and let your diapers soak for several hours (or even overnight), agitating them occasionally. Drain your washer and run several hot washes without detergent to remove any build-up. Prevention: Cloth diapers should be washed with a clean rinsing detergent, like Country Save, Bum Genius Cloth Diaper Detergent or Tiny Bubbles, to prevent build-up. These detergents can be used in a top loading or HE washing machine. 2. "Barnyard" or "Fishy" smell. You will often smell this when you diapers come out of the dryer or off the of line. They just don't smell clean even though they appear clean. Culprit: Cloth Diapers not getting clean enough Solution: Add more detergent and water- It probably goes against everything you know about washing cloth diapers, but you likely need to add more detergent. Cloth diapers need detergent to get clean! Perhaps you are running larger loads for the amount of detergent that you're using or your diapers are not getting enough agitation in the amount of water they are in. Prevention: It may take some trial and error to find the correct amount of detergent that you need for your diapers. If you are using a clean rinsing detergent (County Save, Bum Genius Cloth Diaper Detergent and Tiny Bubbles are all clean rinsing formulas) then you are much less likely to get detergent build-up when you are experimenting. Always set your water level to the highest setting so insure proper agitation of the diapers (add a soaking wet towel to your HE machine to "trick" it into adding more water).
Don't forget you can always ask any questions on our facebook page or feel free to email me at I'm always happy to troubleshoot :)


The Durhams said...

Rockin' Green cloth diaper detergent is also a GREAT clean rinsing option as well.

Krista said...

What do you do with really hard water? I think that's causing some of my "stink" problems.

Jamie said...

Krista: Rockin' Green makes a formula for Hard Water, "Hard Rock"

House of Payne said...

I've tried Rockin Green among others and the one that works best for us is Charlie's.

nicoley said...

I've got hard water too and can't seem to find anything that works well, except oxi clean.

Laura said...

Do you stock Tiny Bubbles at the Madison store?

Rebecca said...

Hard Rock by Rockin Green is great for hard water. Nickis doesn't carry it anymore because of the recall, but it works really well. You can order from many retailers online. It's all I use! It works a lot better than Country Save (at least for me)

Annie said...

Laura- yes, we stock all of the detergents that are on our website at our Madison Store, including Tiny Bubbles! :)

Sarah said...

Great tips. We're new to cloth diapering, so hopefully this will help us avoid some "smelly situations."

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