Re: Diaper Stink/Diaper Stripping Remedies
I think the key to non-yucky smelling diapers is two-fold. One, you have to wash them in VERY hot water on a regular basis, and two, you have to strip them every once in a while whether they smell terrible or not. Here's what I do:
1. Cold rinse with small amount of water (since the point of CD's is to save the world and our money, less water is a good thing here)
2. Hot wash (using adequate water) with 1/2 recommended amount of detergent, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/2 recommended amount of Calgon. (We have hard water.) If you have iton your machine, use the "sanitize" wash. If not, either turn up your hot water heater 30 minutes before washing diapers or just boil wateron the stove and use that. (That's what I do, and even just a teapot or two dumped in can really make a difference.)
**Notes on detergent, etc.: I use ALL Free & Clear or Melaleuca Unscented. Both have essential oils in them (which is said to build up on diapers and ruin them) but neither has caused me any trouble in the last 18 months. I also spray Melaleuca's Pre-Spot (seriously the BEST stain remover spray ever - totally worth the cost) on my poopy diapers. Oh, and on newborn breast-fed poopy diapers, I often use a spritz of hydrogen peroxide after rinsing them into the toilet.**
3. Cold rinse (using adequate water). Don't use anything in the last rinse, or it will stick on your diapers.
Strip Washing: (no, this is not a game that will make your husband want to do laundry with you...)
I do this every 6 months OR when the diapers start smelling terrible out of the dryer OR when my final cold rinses in the regular routine start consistently having suds in them. Of course, there's always the time your mom tries to help out by doing laundry and puts fabric softener in the load. UGH!!
1. Cold rinse with plenty of water.
2. VERY hot rinse with plenty of hot water. If you have to spend 1/2 an hour boiling water, do it: hot water is a serious MUST. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of Dawn dishwashing detergent (esp. if you suspect fabric softener poisoning) or just use 3/4 - all of the recommended amount of your regular detergent. Add Calgon if you have hard water and a tablespoon of OxyClean if you feel comfortable with it. I also put in 5 - 6 drops of tea tree oil if I'm not using Melaleuca detergent (which already contains tea tree oil.
3. Interrupt the cycle and do a second hot wash (make it very hot if you can, but if not, that's okay.) to get out the rest of the detergent.
4. Cold rinse with lots of water. Repeat this until there are NO suds at all.
This works for me. Hope it helps someone else!
P.S. I've found that vinegar--which is supposed to be an anti-ammonia agent--just makes my diapers stink like vinegar and gives my daughter diaper rash. So be careful when using it...in my opinion.