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Old 03-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
SnuggyBaby
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Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

My diapers come out of the wash smelling clean, but after my DS wets them, they smell really strong ammonia. I always know when it is time to change a diaper. I thought that it was something about his body chemistry,(never had this problem w/DD2) , but I have read that this is due to bacteria in the diapers and the best way to get rid of them is to bleach or boil them. I have some colored diapers, so I do not want to bleach them, so I am boiling them.

I am getting ready to boil my diapers for the first time, but I have a few questions. If this problem is caused by bacteria, do i need to boil all of my pocket shells and wipes too? Is the bacteria on these as well? And will it get back onto my inserts if I don't boil them? I have some diapers that I will not be able to boil. The ones that he has used this morning. Again, if the bacteria is in these diapers, and I do not boil them, will they contaminate the rest of my diapers if they are all washed together next time?

I am nervous about boiling my AIO stash because of the PUL . I understand that the biggest concern would be if I let the PUL touch the sides of the pan, so would it still work if I put the diapers in the sink and just poured boiling water over them?

One last question. I think that I know the answer, but would appreciate a confirmation about. I washed all of my diapers and I am boiling clean diapers. When I am done boiling me is the next step another full wash cycle (rinse, wash, and rinse again)? Just a wash and extra rinse, or just dry? Thanks for all your help

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Old 03-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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Re: Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

I would not boil anything with PUL or snaps. Why can't you use bleach? It will not harm your colors at all especially if you are talking about synthetics like pockets and AIO with PUL outer. It won't do anything to those. It sounds like they are just dirty so yes it will come back because they aren't being cleaned fully. This just sounds like a basic wash issue and I would think it can be fixed easily. What detergent are you using? How much of it and what is your wash routine?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

I know you didn't ask this specifically, but I would totally bleach them. The first time I bleached my diapers, I thought I was going to have a panic attack. But, they came out looking and smelling great!
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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I agree with pp, don't boil anything with PUL or snaps. I use bleach on all my diapers (PUL, MF, cotton, hemp and bamboo) every wash and there is mild fading over time, but nothing significant after just one wash. The only fading was on my cotton that I noticed. Even my UB prefolds still had some natural color to them after bleaching 5-6 times.
I use about 1/4-1/2 cup for each wash depending on the load size. You can either pit the bleach in and fill the washer up then as diapers or if you have an empty liquid detergent bottle you can fill it with water and then add bleach to it, then pour it in after the washer is filled with water and diapers.

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Old 03-26-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

I was afraid to use bleach because I have some cotton inserts and fitteds that are made with colored cotton. I was afraid that the bleach would mess with the colors. I also have covers that are made with cotton prints (colors) and was concerned about bleaching these (if I did it as part of my regular wash)

I have the same wash routine that I used with DD2 and never had to strip once with her. I never had any problems with my diapers with her. I have a front loading washing machine. I do a wash with vinegar in the rinse cycle, then a hot wash with a WHAM soap with an extra rinse then dry in the dryer.

I found the recipe for the soap that I used. It is
22oz washing soda
8oz baking soda
7oz oxy clean

I recently stumbled onto a thread on here that said that I also needed to add a surfactant to my wash routine so I bought soap nuts, but I have only done a couple of loads of laundry with them. I have not really noticed an improvement in the smell, so I figured that they needed a good strip.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

Some people use RLR laundry treatment to strip their diapers, I think it would work similar to bleach for you (it really brightens whites). You can buy it from a variety of websites or sometimes there are coops on Facebook, etc.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:33 PM   #7
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Re: Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

I am not familiar with RLR. How is it with colors? I have several cotton prints in my stash that I would not want to fade.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Stripping/Boiling Diapers?

I have never had any prints or colors fade. Sunning has lightened my unbleached flats and prefolds but repeated bleaching over years has had no ill effects. Prints, colors, cotton, bamboo etc.

ETA: Different babies sometimes have different needs. My youngest's pee I swear is toxic. Sometimes it smells so strongly and so I have needed to tweak my wash routine for him when previously it works for 3 years with my older two. It know it's him and not the wash because my toddler's diapers smell just the same as they always did and they are washed together. So maybe you just need more detergent and an occasional disinfectant.
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