Friday, August 5, 2011

do your bamboo diapers smell like dirty dish water? read this:

*note* this post is not for my regular readers. Although, I know you REALLY want to talk about stinky diapers and how to clean them. Really, you do. Skip this post and I'll be back to the regular blah blah blah soon.

If your baby's diapers stink, like really smell dirty when they are wet, but there is no sign of poop, you probably have detergent and/or mineral build up in the diaper fibers. Too much build up can lead to your diapers repelling and well, stinking. Much like you do if you have ammonia build up, you are going to need to strip your diapers. Stripping diapers is easy, but it can be a process. Here are some simple steps to strip detergent/ mineral build up from your diapers:
  1. Take your clean diapers and put them in the washer or tub
  2. Fill it with HOT water-- as hot as you can stand
  3. Allow the diapers to soak for a couple of hours, adding more hot water through a tea kettle or pot of almost boiling water, to the tub, as the water in the tub cools. 
  4. Agitate the water every now and then, to allow the water to really penetrate the layers of bamboo
  5. Drain the water and put the diapers in the washer (if they are in the bathtub) 
  6. Run a hot water wash without detergent  
You do not want to use detergent during this process because it will only add detergent to the build up, and be pretty much pointless. 

OR, you can run 3-4 hot water washes with extra rinses without detergent.

At this point, it is helpful to use RLR. RLR is a laundry additive that helps break down minerals and leaves your diapers nice and bright. And let's be honest, it has the most awesome packaging around. Truly. So to use the RLR, you are going to do a regular hot wash, with a little bit of detergent. Just sprinkle the RLR into the washer drum and start your wash cycle. After the wash cycle is done, run another few rinses, or if your diapers were pretty grungy, run a couple of hot washes without detergent. RLR breaks down all of the nasties, but if there are too many nasties in there, RLR will break them down and bring them to the surface of the fibers, but they will need a few more rinses/ washes to fully come out.

Once your diapers are free of detergent/ mineral build up, it is very important to change your wash routine to keep build up from forming again. Like with ammonia, you can do one or a combination of the following:
  1. change your detergent amount (you will most likely need to use less)
  2. get more water into your washer during the wash cycle
  3. add another post-wash rinse 
You need to be sure you are using the right detergent for your water type. If you have hard water,  you should use a detergent formulated for hard water and/ or add calgon to your wash routine. If you have soft water, you are going to need to use a detergent that is formulated for soft water, so it is easily rinsed out. If you have regular old city water, then you can probably get away with using a cloth diaper safe detergent and playing with the amount you use, and the water levels in the wash cycles to find a good, stink free balance.

I love using RLR about once a month just as maintenance and to help keep any build up at bay. If you have hard water, you can use it more often. Just be sure to do those extra washes/ rinses after you use the RLR, to wash away all the grossness.

If you have any questions or need clarification on something, please let me know! I'm happy to help :)

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