A Case of the Stinkies

Posted 07-27-2011 at 02:17 PM by Britt Schwartz

I was very nervous and excited when we decided to cloth diaper our two girls, Payton (2) and Sawyer (5 months). We bought our stash and decided that instead of using a pail liner and a trash can, that we would use a stylish cloth hamper from Target.

Why not?  It’s adorable and it serves the same purpose as the trash can!

We started using the cloth and for the first month or so we had to do laundry once a day, since we were running out of diapers. We decided to invest in more and when we received our new order, we were able to do laundry every other day. During the first month, we had no issues with our diapers. We loved cloth diapering but then we started having some trouble. At first, it started with the diapers giving off a horrible odor whenever we changed the girls. Shortly, after we started to notice the smell from the diapers, our laundry room took on the same scent. Our diapers then started to leak and rashes appeared on our daughter’s bums.

I decided to strip all my diapers because I thought the stinkies was from ammonia build up. I thought it odd to be having problems this soon with it but all the symptoms we were having seemed to point to ammonia. After our first strip we went two weeks before the stinks returned, I was beyond frustrated at this point. I had read literally hundreds of online posts regarding moms fighting the stinks for months and I was determined to avoid that. I grabbed all our diapers, filled our washer with hot water, added two stock pots full of boiling water, our prefold stash and a ¼ cup of bleach and as I was loading up the washer with the prefolds, I grabbed the liner of the hamper we were using for our to keep to it separate because I didn’t want it being discolored by the bleach.

When I rolled it up to set it aside, I was met by the same horrid smell that was coming from our diapers and filling our laundry room. A light bulb went off in my head, this hamper liner was NOT designed to hold wet diapers for two days. While I thought that I was getting it cleaned by washing and drying it with my diapers, the reality is that it wasn’t. It started to hold onto the smells and bacteria from our diapers and we were re-infecting our diapers every time we placed them in there. I immediately threw the liner away and told Matt that we needed to give the pail liners and a trash can a try. I figured it was best to start with fresh diapers so I let the prefolds soak in the washer for an hour and I also soaked the covers, p-pods and wipes in the sink with some Funk Rock from Rockin’ Green.

When all the diapers were finished soaking, I washed the diapers and rinsed them a total of four extra times. I made sure that I could no longer smell the bleach on the diapers before I added the sink full of covers to finish our strip off with a normal wash routine. The next day, I went to Eco-Baby (our local cloth diapering store) and bought a Wahmies pail liner and a new can. We’ve been using the liner and can for over a week now and I am happy to report no stinkies!

Our diapers smell great after each wash and our laundry room is now fresh! I’ve learned that there are as many reasons for stinkies in your cloth diapers as there are cute diapers to buy but for us it thankfully turned out to be an easy fix. If you’re struggling with the stinks, take a good look at your cloth diapering process as a whole and maybe you’ll find a simple remedy!


Britt is the owner of Nelly’s Nappies in Ft. Myers, Florida.
As a Mom of two little girls, Britt is always trying to find ways to make the world around them a lil’ bit better.

Filed Under: Cloth Diapering


One Response to “A Case of the Stinkies”

  1. lonslee on July 28th, 2011 3:22 pm

    Way to think outside the box (or inside the liner)! Thanks!

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