Join Date: Oct 2010
The No Stink, No Complications Laundry Solution!
How to get your diapers stink free the first time, every time:
Forget everything you've heard! Forget all of the conflicting information going around out there! Take a deep breath and clear your mind.
Now....think to yourself, "what would I do if my baby pooped on my shirt?"
Would you use the recommended amount of detergent, if not a little more for good measure, to make sure your shirt got CLEAN? Would you bleach it if it was an all white cotton shirt? If it still stunk like poop when you got it out of the laundry would you re-wash it with more detergent?
IF You Have:
Cotton Inserts and Doublers
Microfiber Inserts and Doublers
Hemp Inserts and Doublers
Bamboo Inserts and Doublers
PUL Pocket Diapers
Use the recommended amount of the detergent OF YOUR CHOICE, powder or liquid, as specified on the bottle/box for your load size, or more. For Tide, that's up to the "1 line" at least.
Do a normal wash or a rinse wash on COLD with no detergent to rinse everything out and prevent stains from setting in. Then do a wash with plenty of detergent on HOT, and add an extra rinse cycle if you're worried about buildup. That's it! Bacteria will be killed in the heat and cleaned out in the detergent, and you will have fresh dipes again! If need be and you're comfortable, add some bleach for extreme clean!
(Fabric softener has been known to cause issues so it's best to leave it out. If you choose to use fabric softener, understand that you won't be "ruining" your diapers, but you might find they don't absorb as well and will need to be rinsed thoroughly once in a while to increase absorbency.)
IF you have an HE machine:
Use HE specific laundry detergent and follow the directions on the bottle/box for your load size.
IF you have hard water:
If you notice that it takes a lot of shampoo to get a good suds going when you wash your hair, you have hard water. With soft water, you only need like a dime sized amount of shampoo to get plenty of bubbles. With hard water, that is unheard of, you need a ton of shampoo to get bubbles in your hair.
Use MORE soap than the recommended amount until your diapers don't stink when they come out of the wash.
IF you have waaaaay to many bubbles when you do your laundry and you're starting to notice "build up":
Rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse until the bubbles are gone and until you are satisfied that your diapers don't have extra soap built up in them.
Then, use a little less soap next time in your laundry.
IF your LO has developed an allergic or sensitive reaction to the laundry detergent you are using:
Try a different detergent. Possibly, you need to go with the milder, "free and clear" detergents that are out there, or a special detergent, etc. I am not familiar with allergies and that is a whole different issue.
Don't spend too much time researching the "best" way to care for cloth diapers. Remember that:
They are cloth, just like everything else. They are washable. They don't need special treatment unless they are made from some kind of delicate or special material, like wool.
Your babies are pooping on them. When in doubt, use MORE detergent, not less. And you will never have "stink problems"
Stink problems = Poop and Pee. They just didn't get clean enough the last time you washed them. Try bleaching them to kill all that bacteria. If you're not comfortable bleaching them (especially if they're patterned and colored diapers) then use plenty of detergent and try a strong store bought detergent like Tide.
(ETA) "Build Up" is less common than you think. Don't worry about it until you have it. If you do get build up, don't panic. All it means is that your diapers aren't absorbing as well (and have the potential to also chemically react with your baby's pee and poo to cause a strong smell) because they are full of detergent and/or fabric softener residue. Build up does not mean your diapers are ruined, it just means they just need to be rinsed thoroughly, possibly with a little Dawn, until all the residue is cleaned out.
Your diapers will eventually one day wear out and need to be replaced. There is no way to prevent this. You can treat them delicately in the wash but then they're not getting clean and you will forever be tortured with stinky diapers.
Don't stress out about which detergent to use, and which detergent is "safe". That is a myth IMO. They are all "safe" if they're safe for your favorite clothes and don't give your family any rashes or problems.
Don't stress about preventing problems with diapers. Wait until a problem arises, then address it. They are just cloth, and any problem can be fixed. If they get build up, it can be washed out. If they have a manufacturing defect, they can be replaced.
...If you made it this far, I apologize. I hope I didn't come across as harsh. But I feel bad for all the parents that are just getting into CDing that are being confronted with an overwhelming amount of laundry information when it really should be simple. It makes no sense to me how complicated diaper laundry has become. I was so confused when I first started out, and tried to "preserve" my diapers and clean them the "safe" way, and all I got was stinkies. Then I switched to Tide and used a lot of it since I have hard water and I've never had a problem since. My diapers smell so good when they come out of the laundry and they're still in great shape and they don't repel or build up or stink.
Last edited by SugarBooger; 07-18-2011 at 08:31 AM.