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Old 04-21-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
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Diapers have an odor-problem?

This sounds like a stupid question even as I type it. My diapers don't exactly smell clean after I wash them. They still have a smell. Not a poop or pee smell, but just a smell. They don't smell clean necessarily.

I asked my CD friend and she said that was normal though. However if you recognize my name/posts you'll know I've been having problems with my little guy getting rashes/swollen penis from his diapers overnight.

I changed detergents from Country Save(1 scoop) to Tide F&G(line 3). I've stripped the diapers with a hot wash of tide and 1 cup of liquid bleach. I also rinsed them about 5 times after the wash. They still don't smell clean...?

I just put my little guy back in them so I haven't been able to see if they still cause problems. Is a smell normal though? Or should they be odorless? My CD friend (mentioned above) did mention that lately since she switched to Rockin Green there hasn't been a smell.

Thoughts?

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Old 04-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

I think it depends on the smell. If it smells like your son, then that's normal. But if it doesn't, you may have some residue there. You may be using too much detergent and residue is getting trapped and holding onto tiny bits of waste ykwim? I'm not clear on what type of cds you're using, but if you could boil them, that'd help! Also, try focusing your rinses in the beginning of the wash without detergent. I find that my diapers would be the cleanest smelling when they started their wash without much excrement. So try using your rinse/wash cycle that uses the most water to start your routine. Only do one medium wash with 1 detergent! Follow with a hot wash with no detergent. Then I'd do a second rinse with a bit of vinegar (less than 1/4 cup).

As far as your son's rash, it sounds EXACTLY like the rash my son got. It wasn't until I had my daughter and she had the same thing that it hit me! It's their OWN urine! We'd been to 2 pediatricians, 2 dermatologists, used 3 different types of antibiotics that was supposed to treat 3 different things (yeast, staph, etc), we tried all the diaper creams, went to sposies, did oatmeal/baking soda soaks, AND we cut out juice and acids from their diets. You know what cleared it for both of them? Potty-training. When I stopped googling and searching for the "normal" problems (dirty diapers, yeast, staph, detergent, etc) and started checking out how many of us actually had little ones with sensitive skin, it was alarming! It's changed my perspective! It's not always our fault our kids rash up! And it's not always the answer to keep redoing our stashes when it's not helping. Finally, I found the answer! So now with this baby coming in September, I know exactly how to take preventative measures from the start. Just fyi, it rashes and swells from the acids in the urine. Over time, the rash will bump up or have small breaks in the skin. The sensitive layer under the skin then becomes exposed to the urine and can get irritated leading to a type of dermatitis. In order to get it to go away, you need to give it tons of air, keep urine off of all the areas, and allow it time to heal. You may need to go to sposies at night! You may need to change him in the middle of the night - inconvenient I know! What ended up working totally for us was using pockets with natural inners. We changed diapers no longer than every 2 hours and for nights, I would stuff a Tiny Tush pocket with a flip nighttime insert that had a Bigger Weeds Hemp Doubler in the middle and sometimes we'd lay another fleece liner on top of the pocket fleece! It kept him dry, the pee stayed in the insert and spread around and it wasn't bulky, so we could get a snug fit. The worst thing for them is a diaper that is too tight or too loose so it rubs. There's gotta be the right fit for air flow.

Remember, I'm no expert nor a doctor, but I just want to encourage you and let you know that you aren't alone and it's not your fault! Keep at cloth! Don't give in! There's something out there for all of us! I can't wait for our new baby to come because I just need to try GroVia's Magic Stick. I think we're just gonna keep that on with every diaper change and use the materials we know (can't get too adventurous with our kids' skin). Also, plain water and maybe a little baby wash in the water. I've done ALL the concoctions and we found just keeping it simple helped pinpoint more accurately what caused certain changes in their skin and in their diapers. I wish ya the best!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

I use cheep mexican detergent (ROMA currently just finished some Pinol) the stuff has a fairly strong odor comming from the package but the detergent rinses amazingly well.. Transfering to the dryer after a long hot wash and double rinse (also use baby oxyclean) their is a slight detergent scent if I inhale but nothing else the scent is pretty much undetectible once they are dried though..
Ive have noticed in the past when I get diapers washed in certain detergents they don't smell unclean but a little musty maybe, or I get really heavy detergent smelling ones, but I do notice a lot of kinda musty smells.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:11 PM   #4
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

So glad I read this. Both my boys ended up with problems in their area that only temporarily got fixed with steroid ointment and nothing else. Not sure exactly when the older one got over his problem and then the baby started with the same symptoms at about the same age (18 months). I'm talking about cracked skin that bleeds, is sensitive to the touch and swollen at times with raised bumps. Bath times and diaper changes are hard with him screaming don't touch it hurts. Now I'm going to be more vigilant with diaper changed and potty training. Thanks Kendra for sharing your experience.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:36 AM   #5
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

No problem! Glad that I could help!
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

About the urine issue. we kinda had the opposite problem. My daughter didn't have a full blown rash but she was always a little red and sometimes had 1-3 bumps. Researching threads here, I came across a poster that stated recommended she NOT clean after every pee (just use water if you had to use something) because urine helped the ph balance of baby's skin. I thought it was gross but I decided to give it a try for a day and the redness actually went away completely. Now we clean her with wipe solution after every other pee, which is about once every 3/4 hours.

OP: I agree with the rinse/wash idea. I have a diaper odor, too, occasionally. It's very subtle but it irks me enough that I do a detergent free pre wash, then regular wash with max water and extra rinse, and they are back to smelling fluffy clean.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:39 AM   #7
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IME, no, there shouldn't be any smell. They should smell just as clean as other laundry. The only times we've had smell issues there was a problem that needed fixed. We've had barnyard, ammonia, and just an overall unclean smell at different points.

IME "barnyard" smell was caused by detergent buildup. RLR worked best for me to strip out extra deyergent. Then I moved to a cleaner rinsing detergent and we were fine. Boiling would also be a good way to strip buildup, but I prefer RLR. If this is the issue you may try using a little less detergent in future washes and see if it helps.

When we had an overall "unclean" smell DS was also getting rashes. The diapers were not getting clean enough. IIRC adding 1/4c of bleach to the wash did help, but the stinkies would come back any time I didn't use it. I stripped by boiling and that was only a temporary fix too. That's when I went to washing more frequently (2x/wk to 3x) and started using a store bought detergent w/ an extra rinse in my wash routine. We've been stink and rash free since!

Something else to consider: if you're using MF it is notoriously had to keep clean. You may consider removing it from the equation if you get desperate.

GL! I know how frustrating troubleshooting can be but you'll figure it out!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:20 AM   #8
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

How hot is your water and what kinda diapers are we talking about?
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:39 AM   #9
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

IMO no a smell is not normal. Many people I know who cloth IRL think it is but in reality their diapers are just not getting clean. They should smell like pee and poop but nothing in between. It would be no different than pulling a shirt out that still had a faint whiff of B.O in the arm pit and thinking oh that's normal.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:29 AM   #10
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Re: Diapers have an odor-problem?

Thanks ladies! I actually do a pre-rinse in cold with no detergent before my wash.

So it goes cold prerinse, hot wash with detergent and bleach, 2 warm rinses.

I have a variety of CD: BG Elementals, BG 4.0, BG AIO, Fuzzybunz, Econobums, and Flips (stay dry and organic).
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