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Old 07-25-2011, 02:13 PM   #1
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I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

I need some help. I CAN NOT get my diapers clean and I feel like I have tried everything. They are not just stained, they are simply not clean. Pockets, PF, fitteds, you name it...I can't clean it.

I have a top-loading HE machine. (I actually returned my other top-loader last month thinking it was a defective machine, so this one is brand new) I have tried every conceivable combination of cycles on my washer. (Even adding buckets of water to the wash cycle) I have tried a bunch of different detergents, I have stripped them almost weekly. And I have spent HOURS pouring over blogs of various washing routines...and still they are dirty. I am so frustrated I thought this was supposed to be easy...

I know I have a buildup problem (even after rinsing as much as 6 times) because once the diapers finally look and smell clean (after stripping), I only have to wait until DS pees and the diaper turns super smelly. She doesn't have sensitive skin, so I'm thinking of switching to a mainstream enzyme cleaner. (I'm desperate)

I hope there is someone out there that can help me...

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:17 PM   #2
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

Have you tried adding a cap or two of bleach? I know that diaper fabrics are delicate and bleach isn't recommended, but *I* think that clean trumps all.

You may want to consider an easy-clean stash. If you use pockets, stick to flats as the inserts. If you use fitteds, make sure there aren't too many layers.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

I'd go retro,

Get some He Tide. Use up to the 3 line. Wash on the hottest setting with bleach. I'd do that a couple times, in between which I'd run a regular wash setting with nothing but a cup of vinegar.

That's only to strip/kill everything in your diapers. The enzymes in the Tide will work away at the nasties, and the bleach will kill the bacteria (which is what causes that immediate ammonia smell after pee in otherwise clean smelling diapes).

Use more detergent. A buildup problem would show up as repelling. As in, drops of water roll off your diapers. Stink is a 'not clean' issue, not buildup.



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Old 07-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

Come on over to the Dark Side and switch to a mainstream detergent. It'll change your world.

And yes, I've been known to occasionally use *gasp* bleach, too.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

I'm going out to buy Tide today!

Thank you SO much, I'll let you know how it goes
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

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Originally Posted by Faith and Granola View Post
I'm going out to buy Tide today!

Thank you SO much, I'll let you know how it goes
I use Tide, love it! Tide Free and Gentle with a cap or two of bleach or a scoop of OxiClean every few washes.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

I wish they didn't change tide because I LOVED the old stuff.. It finally solved my ammonia issues and now I'm back to square 1. My advice though - Do a GOOD stripping with dawn..rinse, rinse, rinse, a soak in RLR or rockin green, and wash with some bleach. Once they're good and stripped, use a heavy duty detergent and plenty of it. I never understood the "only use half the amount on cloth diapers" rule. It never got them clean enough. Now I use whats recommended, sometimes more. How long do you go between washes? Since ammonia has been an issue for us we wash every other day opposed to every 2-3.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

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Originally Posted by JnS Mama View Post
I'd go retro,

Get some He Tide. Use up to the 3 line. Wash on the hottest setting with bleach. I'd do that a couple times, in between which I'd run a regular wash setting with nothing but a cup of vinegar.

That's only to strip/kill everything in your diapers. The enzymes in the Tide will work away at the nasties, and the bleach will kill the bacteria (which is what causes that immediate ammonia smell after pee in otherwise clean smelling diapes).

Use more detergent. A buildup problem would show up as repelling. As in, drops of water roll off your diapers. Stink is a 'not clean' issue, not buildup.


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I agree with the bold above. You may not be using enough detergent, especially if you have hard water. Contrary to what many have said, you do need to use more detergent than most cd sites recommend if you have hard water. This is because most of the detergent goes toward softening the water and then if you don't use enough, there is nothing left to actually clean the diaper. To counteract using more detergent, you will have to do extra rinses. The other thing you can do is to use a water softener when you wash.

If you have soft water, then ignore what I've said.

2nd, Tide is good for super cleaning, just make sure to do an extra rinse or even a short cold wash cycle with no detergent to make sure all the suds are out. This is what one of the big diaper company reps recommended to get clean dipes.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by plumpkin; 07-25-2011 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

You might want to also share your current wash routine, e.g. what cycle, how much water, how frequently you wash, how many diapers (and how full), what detergent and how much, any additives, etc etc. That way, the super experienced mamas here can help you figure out things that you can tweak.

But I agree with the pp's. You need a stronger detergent, and more detergent (and possibly more water - no idea how hard it is to trick an HE machine to add more water), then more rinses to make sure everything is out.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #10
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Re: I CAN NOT get my diapers clean! PLEASE HELP!

For those who hate the smell of Tide: I use a "safe" detergent mixed with White King water softener and Oxiclean. I add hot water to the machine for every wash cycle. Sometimes I have to run extra wash cycles, but I always get them clean.
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