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Old 01-27-2015, 12:47 AM   #1
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Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

So the condensed story, my son is 14 months old and I am having trouble with ammonia now. I have a HE front loader, I am currently using Bio kleen, the one with the natural enzymes and some bac out on poopy diapers. However I have also in the past use country save, All f&c, Seventh Gen., and now the biokleen, all of these were powder as I heard it was easier on the front load washers. We started having trouble with ammonia a few months ago, and I started switching detergents to see if that was it. But I am starting to wonder if its not the detergent but perhaps something else in my wash routine? Or perhaps the more concentrated toddler pee I have heard about?

My routine in case some one asks, is I spray bac out on the poopy diapers and they all go into a dry pail. I was about every other day, a warm pre rinse on the delicate cycle to get lots of water in the diapers, a long hot wash(heavy duty) with detergent and occasionally some oxy and an extra rinse, and then a short quick wash as an added rinse cycle. I am getting the ammonia in the pail, and sometimes right off the diapers when I change him.

So when does toddler pee become a problem? Does it sound like this might be the problem or should I try changing up my routine? Because honestly I like this detergent and I liked the Seventh Gen. too and I would love to stay with one of those two if I can.

Thanks for any help and for reading it. I know for many washing question can become a pain as there are many.

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Old 01-27-2015, 05:40 AM   #2
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What kind of diapers do you have?

I would try rinsing every diaper before it goes in the pail, 1/4 cup bleach in the wash cycle and/or a stronger detergent.
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:40 AM   #3
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

How often are you washing? When I have a toddler in diapers, I wash every day, even if it's just a quick wash to get most everything off. If I just quick wash them, I'll hang them on a rack until I have more and can do a proper load.

Have you tried a vinegar rinse to neutralize ammonia?
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:17 AM   #4
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

I had some trouble with ammonia buildup recently.

I tried a hot wash with no soap, Oxiclean in the wash, Oxiclean soak, Grovia Mighty Bubbles strip, drying outside in the sun, and none of them helped more than a tiny bit. What finally worked to get rid of it was a bleach soak/strip.

And I found out that the problem was that our hot water heater was not heating the water as hot as it was supposed to be. (I put a thermometer in the wash when it was full of water. With a front loader, this may be more difficult for you. You could just run water at a nearby sink and take its temperature, then subtract a few degrees because the metal in the machine will steal a little bit of that heat.) We checked and found there was a bunch of sediment in the bottom of the water heater. Drained that out and now the water is hot hot again. Its only been a few days, but I think that will get the diapers clean and keep the ammonia away!

And I noticed you mentioned ammonia in the pail... that is normal. And a little ammonia as you take off an overnight diaper may or may not be normal. It shouldn't be TOO strong. But you always want to pay attention to ammonia so it doesn't build up and become a problem!

Last edited by NEkalmia; 01-27-2015 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernbelle View Post
How often are you washing? When I have a toddler in diapers, I wash every day, even if it's just a quick wash to get most everything off. If I just quick wash them, I'll hang them on a rack until I have more and can do a proper load.

Have you tried a vinegar rinse to neutralize ammonia?
I know I read here someone soaked in oxiclean & vinegar some diaper inserts & bthat helped lots wit their issue. I havent tried it yet.


Good luck to original poster. I dont have any advice as I ran into a wall to & I havent had time to try to figure it out.

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Old 01-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

Put some detergent in the pre wash, if you already aren't. I do to line 1 in the pre wash and between line 2 and 3 for the hot wash/double cold rinse. I had ammonia issues when I was using a free and gentle formula. Now I use regular and I never have stink issues.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

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Originally Posted by Jcurrie View Post
What kind of diapers do you have?

I would try rinsing every diaper before it goes in the pail, 1/4 cup bleach in the wash cycle and/or a stronger detergent.
I have a combo of cotton, and bamboo/cotton flats, with a few hemp inserts for over night, and a few prefolds.

I can try rinsing ever diaper, the pee ones shouldn't be too hard I can rinse those in the sink. I've been struggling with the poop because he has started solids, and I don't have my sprayer yet.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

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Originally Posted by Southernbelle View Post
How often are you washing? When I have a toddler in diapers, I wash every day, even if it's just a quick wash to get most everything off. If I just quick wash them, I'll hang them on a rack until I have more and can do a proper load.

Have you tried a vinegar rinse to neutralize ammonia?
I wash every other day, since he doesn't go through as many diapers in a day anymore. I may try just rinsing each diaper before doing a whole quick wash. Either way getting some of the pee out seems to be something to try.

I haven't tried vinegar yet but am more than willing, when would I do the rinse? Would it be in the first rinse before detergent? Do I have to have a certain water temp with vinegar?
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

Quote:
I can try rinsing ever diaper, the pee ones shouldn't be too hard I can rinse those in the sink. I've been struggling with the poop because he has started solids, and I don't have my sprayer yet.

You don't have to have a diaper sprayer. I just use an old spatula to scrape off what I can into the toilet, and than take it to the sink to rinse out the rest.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:59 AM   #10
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Re: Tell me about toddler pee and ammonia

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEkalmia View Post
I had some trouble with ammonia buildup recently.

I tried a hot wash with no soap, Oxiclean in the wash, Oxiclean soak, Grovia Mighty Bubbles strip, drying outside in the sun, and none of them helped more than a tiny bit. What finally worked to get rid of it was a bleach soak/strip.

And I found out that the problem was that our hot water heater was not heating the water as hot as it was supposed to be. (I put a thermometer in the wash when it was full of water. With a front loader, this may be more difficult for you. You could just run water at a nearby sink and take its temperature, then subtract a few degrees because the metal in the machine will steal a little bit of that heat.) We checked and found there was a bunch of sediment in the bottom of the water heater. Drained that out and now the water is hot hot again. Its only been a few days, but I think that will get the diapers clean and keep the ammonia away!

And I noticed you mentioned ammonia in the pail... that is normal. And a little ammonia as you take off an overnight diaper may or may not be normal. It shouldn't be TOO strong. But you always want to pay attention to ammonia so it doesn't build up and become a problem!
I figure a little smell in the pail but it is bad when I go to wash. plus when I changed him the smell wasn't strong I had to put my nose in the diaper to smell it, but this was off a normal daytime diaper. And he got a red rash on his willy about the same time that started peeling as it healed like a sun burn. which I had heard was from ammonia. I striped with some bleach and he healed up.
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