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Old 09-06-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
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Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

I took DD's night diaper off this morning and her whole crotch looked sunburned and so angry, and the diaper had such a strong ammonia reek it almost knocked me backwards. The diaper was barely even wet, maybe one pee's worth damp. We have recently moved, and are using a HE front loader for the first time. The house also has a water softener, so the water is verrrry soft. Unfortunately, we are living with family, so the softness of the water is non-negotiable. I need help figuring out what to do! I strip my dipes with dawn every few weeks, use a diaper safe detergent, use half the amount, run an extra rinse, followed by an entire extra cycle with an extra rinse. I have had dd in cloth for over 10 months now, and have never had any issues with ammonia until we started using this washer. Seeing my poor baby's raw skin this morning made me want to scream! It seems to only be her night diapers, which are GM goodnights, none of her pockets are doing this. Do I boil them? Bleach them? Throw them away? Please help mamas!

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Old 09-06-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

I have a front loader and have to add water thru the detergent dispenser. I also had to go to a regular detergent and use the regular amount. Even though the detergent I use is cloth diaper safe many people use over the shelf detergents and have sucess. I use Vaska detergent and fill the cap. I have to do a couple of rinses after but it works for me and not problems so far. Since I don't have to wash but every three or four days, I don't mind the extra work. My son was getting really red too. He hasn't since I've done this. I hope you find what works because i understand how much of a pain it is and how frustrating to see your little one like that. Good Luck.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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Like pp said, I have to add water thru the detergent tray also. You need to make sure you are getting enough water to really wash your diapers. Mess around with the setting to get as much water from the machine, then add water (bulky or delicate settings are good). (On my washer there is a point where it won't allow more water or it thinks the washer is messed up; there is a certain point where I can't fill it anymore) I took 2 old gallon milk jugs and cut the tops off so i can fill and dump easily. Also, I can't do very large loads; I wash every other night with probably 12-15 diapers.

Here is my routine:
1) Quick rinse on bulky (no options for hot or cold, but I imagine it's tap cold) with a fast spin, no detergent
2) fill jug and dump onto diapers to trick washer to think it's a big load. Bulky setting, with water plus, hot water, with detergent*. (I have a custom button that I stored this wash setting; just have to push custom button to start load). Then when detergent is gone from the tray, dump jugs of hot water into tray. I probably do 12 partially filled jugs? I haven't counted honestly!
3) bulky setting, prewash, tap cold, water plus, no detergent. I dump one jug of water onto diapers in tub, not into the tray this time. (my detergent is very suddsy so I need this long wash to get rid of it all)

*I use he tide ultra, powder filled between the 2 and 3. Works fine for us.

Another thing I've heard of, rinse overnight diapers in the morning; we use Sposies at night so I don't have first hand experience there. (Got tired of the ammonia rashes from the "cd friendly" detergent I was using before and haven't tried overnight diapers again; just can't get up the courage!)

Sorry so long; hope you can get it figured out!
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:39 AM   #4
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

I use Planet free and clear HE detergent and have been using it for a while, since my samples of RnG ran out and I wasn't impressed with the cleanliness of the dipes enough to buy more.
Currently my cycle is this: rinse, with no spin. wash on whites setting (hot) with med spin and extra rinse to finish. Then I run a short cycle with no detergent and extra rinse. I haven't tried adding extra water or the delicate cycle yet, so I'll have to experiment with that. Currently it's about a 3 hour cycle, which I find ridiculous.
Also, I'll have to try rinsing the night dipes, that might help.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananasfoster
I use Planet free and clear HE detergent and have been using it for a while, since my samples of RnG ran out and I wasn't impressed with the cleanliness of the dipes enough to buy more.
Currently my cycle is this: rinse, with no spin. wash on whites setting (hot) with med spin and extra rinse to finish. Then I run a short cycle with no detergent and extra rinse. I haven't tried adding extra water or the delicate cycle yet, so I'll have to experiment with that. Currently it's about a 3 hour cycle, which I find ridiculous.
Also, I'll have to try rinsing the night dipes, that might help.
Total, my wash routine is about 3 hours also: 1st rinse is 25 min, 2nd wash is 1:15, 3rd is 1:30.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #6
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

I just soaked all the night dipes in vinegar and they actually crackled and bubbled like rice crispies in milk! I was a little freaked out so I got online to see what might cause that and found something about not mixing bleach and vinegar because it releases chlorine gas??? I bleached them a few days ago to try to get control of some stinky issues, but I rinsed by hand as well as rinsing in the machine with some vinegar added. Would ammonia cause it to bubble like that?
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

Here's what you should do:

1) Strip your dipes (there are many ways, but VINEGAR IS NOT one of them).... RLR is good, but at this point, bleach is ok...you don't need much...you may have to do 2 or 3 loads to get your entire stash..then RINSE RINSE RINSE! esp. with a FL

2) Maintain them properly with a FL HE (which you know now...unfortunately the hard way, like us!) Here are 2 REALLY good tips on how to do this:

#1 TiP) You can add 2 pitchers of water to the soap tray, but we've found a MUCH easier & less time consuming way.

Do your prerinse, THEN Start the washer.....let it go for about 10 min...make sure all the water has entered the machine....turn it off / pause. Do this at night so you can leave it overnight...it soaks....in the morning, run the dipes a normal wash. This soaks them...not to the extent that a TL will, but ALMOST AS good & with the WHOLE overnight, it works great.

#2 Tip) RINSE your night time dipes in the morning. Just rinse in the sink & throw in your diaper pail. Reason why: the pee sits for a day or more & creates the ammonia smell....diapers are truly meant to be washed DAILY...I'm not kidding.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

@Taylor's Soap

Do you do the full prerinse and then when you are going to start the washer for your full cylcle, do the soak step?

Also when do you add the detergent?

Always looking for a good way to wash my dipes, I think I will try
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Last edited by amhuerta; 09-06-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor's Soap View Post
Here's what you should do:

1) Strip your dipes (there are many ways, but VINEGAR IS NOT one of them).... RLR is good, but at this point, bleach is ok...you don't need much...you may have to do 2 or 3 loads to get your entire stash..then RINSE RINSE RINSE! esp. with a FL

2) Maintain them properly with a FL HE (which you know now...unfortunately the hard way, like us!) Here are 2 REALLY good tips on how to do this:

#1 TiP) You can add 2 pitchers of water to the soap tray, but we've found a MUCH easier & less time consuming way.

Do your prerinse, THEN Start the washer.....let it go for about 10 min...make sure all the water has entered the machine....turn it off / pause. Do this at night so you can leave it overnight...it soaks....in the morning, run the dipes a normal wash. This soaks them...not to the extent that a TL will, but ALMOST AS good & with the WHOLE overnight, it works great.

#2 Tip) RINSE your night time dipes in the morning. Just rinse in the sink & throw in your diaper pail. Reason why: the pee sits for a day or more & creates the ammonia smell....diapers are truly meant to be washed DAILY...I'm not kidding.

Hope this helps!
Thing is, I just bleached them the last time I washed, and rinsed by hand, then again in the machine with vinegar to neutralize the bleach. The machine has a setting to rinse without spinning, so the dipes are pretty saturated going into the wash cycle. This has happened since I bleached them, and never before it.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:10 PM   #10
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Re: Ammonia burn after switching to HE washer, HELP!!!

I've found doing an extra rinse with no spin before washing gets a lot of water in my wash cycle.
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