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Old 04-27-2011, 11:24 AM   #11
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Re: Ugh...ammonia

I hope it works to get the stink out for you! I'm such a nerd about laundry, I think washing diapers is one of the parts I really enjoy about CDing, am I crazy??? I just get such pleasure out of putting in dirty dirty diapers and having them come out soft and clean.

Anyway... some thoughts on REGULAR ROUTINE. I think your routine sounds pretty good, but some things that might make it better are:
- I'm wondering how effective your pre-rinse is... try opening the lid during the main wash and see how dirty the water is. If it looks really dirty you might have to do something else for the pre-rinse.
- You could try warm pre-wash instead of cold--warm might get more yuckies out
- Or, consider a short soak (with a bit of detergent) instead of a pre-wash -- especially if you wash 2-3 days apart, a soak might help loosen the soils better (don't forget to drain the water after the soak, I don't think the washer will do that automatically)

For the main wash and if you know for sure you have hard water, try using a little more Tide. (More on that below)

And now in more general terms... Sorry in advance if I get rambly here. I want to share the general principles as I understand them to be. Since we all have different water, different washers, different babies, I think this helps people experiment and find something that works best for them.

1) Detergent: how much to use depends on three factors:
- amount of soil (so dirtier diapers or more diapers = more detergent)
- water temperature (the cooler the water, the more detergent you need -- this is because hotter water has some cleaning power of its own, so when you use cooler water you have to add detergent to achieve the same amount of clean)
- water hardness (the harder the water, the more detergent you need)
For about 15-20 diapers and washing in very soft water, I use Tide HE powder, halfway to the 1 line. I think most people with a toploader and "regular" water use to the 1 line. If you have hard water you probably need to use halfway between the 1 and 2 lines, or all the way to the 2 line.

2) Detergent: how it works
Ingredients in the detergent help to loosen the dirt (that's why soaking works). Then other ingredients bind to the dirt particles and help them to rinse away with the wash water, instead of redepositing onto the diapers. That's why chronic under-use of detergent (I have seen mamas using as little as 1 teaspoon in an effort to get their diapers to rinse clean and not have build up) will result in dingy and stiff diapers--the soil is still there, wash after wash.

3) Hard water
Hard water just means there are minerals in the water (calcium, magnesium and potassium?). The reason you have to use more detergent with hard water is because the detergent will bind to the minerals in the water, which leaves less detergent to bind to the dirt particles. Hard water minerals can also bind to the diaper fibers and cause stink, so people with very hard water might find themselves having to strip for that. A softener like Calgon can help to neutralize the hard water minerals and let your detergent work properly.

4) Pre-wash: why it's important
OK we just talked about more dirt needs more detergent. But what if you could wash with less dirt in the first place? A pre-wash does that. You want to get out as much pee and poo as you can before you go into the "wash" part of the wash cycle, so your detergent has less to deal with.

5) Overnight Dipes
I don't know about you, but my kids' overnight dipes were super-saturated with pee, and these were the ones that would start smelling like ammonia. It really helped when I started wet pailing just the night dipes. (If you use pockets you probably only need to soak the inserts.) I was always amazed by how much pee soaked out in just a few hours. I had a laundry sink so I put a small container right in the sink and filled it with hot water and threw my diapers in to soak. As the water got stinky and gross I would drain the water and refill with new until I was ready to wash. Even with this pre-treatment I probably still had to sanitize my overnight dipes once every 3 months or so, but at least it wasn't all the time.

6)The Myth of One Rinse
OK, I admit it's not always a myth. For some people, usually with harder water, one rinse is enough. But others may require more rinsing, particularly if you have soft water. Having to rinse more, or having to run an entire second wash cycle without detergent as your rinse, does NOT necessarily mean you are using too much detergent. You need to use the amount of detergent you need to use to get your diapers clean. And then you need to use as much water as you need to get all the detergent back out. IMHO the holy grail is to find the minimum amount of detergent needed to get your diapers clean, not to find the maximum amount of detergent that doesn't leave suds at the end of the wash cycle.

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Last edited by poppan; 04-27-2011 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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Re: Ugh...ammonia

I have been having stink issues and swiched to to tide well kirkland brand like tide and the stink is still not gone do you think I need to get tide and if so what kind?
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:30 AM   #13
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Re: Ugh...ammonia

I was also thinking of trying bac out and calagon water softner I have already tried rkng hard rock and the ammonia stuff they have not worked for me. I did bleach for the inserts and that kept the smell away for about 1 wear. I feel your fustration.
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