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Old 10-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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Some ammonia smell in the pail is normal, right?

A few months ago we got an apartment sized TL because my FL wasn't getting my diapers clean. I immediately noticed a difference and my diapers smelled clean!
well about a month ago ds started getting a rash, it was kind of where the elastic is so I thought the diapers. I did some extra rinses and think I wasn't getting them rinsed enough(I was using too much detergent). So that went well for a couple of weeks then I noticed it again this week. I had cut the detergent down and they sometimes have an odor if he has peed a lot. But the pail smells like ammonia.
I always thought the ammonia smell was not clean enough but how can they not be getting clean enough? I use Tide, to about the 1 line and am washing every other day for the most part, he is changed about 5 times a day mostly but I think he is getting ready to potty train because he keeps telling me when he has peed. But we have a baby coming in January so I need to get this under control just in case he doesn't and for the new one.
I am not sure if I should try another detergent or what. I don't want to cut down more if it won't clean them. Out of the washer and dryer they smell clean. And only a few here and there can I smell when he is wearing them. The pail however gets very strong, even after only one day?

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Old 10-27-2012, 04:57 PM   #2
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Re: Some ammonia smell in the pail is normal, right?

I have always struggled with my pail smelling after a day (when we had ammonia issues before and even now that we have our wash routine figured out and no issues with ammonia in our diapers). I have never understood how people have pails that don't stink? What I would give for that!!! Urine is eventually going to smell if it sits around long enough... haven't you ever smelled a nursing home?? I don't think that they have detergent residue issues I did start rinsing out all of my diapers with the sprayer before tossing them in the pail (night time diapers especially). I do think that helped some, but by 48 hours there is a smell when I open the lid for sure. I tried using pail freshener and baking soda and didn't think either made much of a difference if any.

Are the red marks a fit issue maybe? When we did have ammonia problems and my son got some burns, it was never where the elastic was but rather in the center part of the diaper where it was the most wet.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:12 PM   #3
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My pail always smells within 24 hours, but my clean diapers never smell like ammonia, so I don't think it is an issue of them to really getting clean. I think pee just smells when it is trapped. I do leave the lid to our pail open until DD has a poopy diaper. The air circulation does help the ammonia small, but once she has a poop I've gotta contain the stink from that!

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Old 10-27-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Are you leaving the lid cracked for airflow? The pail will always smell, it is the chemical process when urine dries, but I find it smells less when using a hanging wet bag with good air flow, also older kids who drink more juice and eat more foods and are holding it longer have more concentrated urine. I would either see if he needs to drink more water (doubtful, I'm sure he's fine) or if you need more airflow. I use a hanging wet bag and my friend who was over the other day couldn't believe my sons room had a bag full of dirty diapers sitting in it.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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Re: Some ammonia smell in the pail is normal, right?

I put a quarter cup of baking soda in the bottom of my wet bag and a couple drops of tea tree oil on a cloth once a day and that helped with the smell. You can also rinse wet diapers by hand before putting them in the bag/pail. It might especially help with a nighttime diaper if it's really wet.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Re: Some ammonia smell in the pail is normal, right?

I had pail smells until I started using an open top dry pail. It only gets stinky is I miss a wash day. (every 2-3 days) I rinse poo and rinse diapers that she wears for extended period of time (long car trips, naps or overnight) those drip dry on the edge of my pail and then get tossed in. I also noticed a huge decrease in amonia stink when I switched to natural fibers. We use mostly prefolds for stuffing pockets and I have a few fitteds with natural fibers. I hope that helps!
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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I started rinsing every pee diaper. It's a PITA but the ammonia in my pail is gone. Also, like pp said, leave the pail open so it can get some air.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Re: Some ammonia smell in the pail is normal, right?

Thanks for the ideas!
I have a hanging pail that I use sometimes, I also have 2 pail liners. I don't always put them in the pail and sometimes don't close it. But for some reason my dh is super sensitive to the pee smell, I swear it is the only thing he can smell!
I may have to try the rinsing though!
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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Yes it's normal. As long as your diapers don't smell like ammonia during the day changes when it comes off your LO, your LO skin is fine and the diapers smell clean after washing and drying, there is no reason to be concerned. Over time, Urine breaks down into ammonia salts. Rinsing every diaper sounds like a PITA. I only rinse our nighttime and poo diapers. Try washing more frequently too and this will help as well.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: Some ammonia smell in the pail is normal, right?

I actually noticed a bit of smell when I changed him this morning
I think I need to strip them, I have never used Dawn to do it but got some to try. How do I do that? Just a squirt? I have my little TL washer so I will have to do a few loads but I never did the dawn before cause of the FL and worries about bubbles. Just a squirt then rinse till clean?
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