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Old 08-22-2006, 09:04 AM   #11
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Re: I'm STILL rinsing over and over! Someone PLEASE help me!!

Is it possible you aren't using quite enough detergent? I don't remember where I read it, but one of the diaper laundry articles I read indicated that if a diaper is still smelly after washing, it might not be clean yet, and that part of the problem may be not using enough detergent.

I've been dealing with smelly diapers this week because of a medication I'm taking (guaifenesin) that I've noticed makes both my urine and the (breast-fed) baby's urine smell very mediciney. Baking soda didn't seem to help much, but what did help was soaking in oxi-clean. I've been running a cold pre-wash cycle, then a warm soak with oxi-clean, with the water level set on medium. I use 4 oz of oxi-clean (fill the green scoop to the top line) and let the load soak for at least an hour. Then without draining the tub I start the regular wash cycle, reset the water level to the highest point and fill it the rest of the way with hot water, add my detergent (I use about half of what is recommended for a small load, but it's more than a tablespoon) and let the cycle finish with a 2nd rinse. Sometimes I line-dry, sometimes I tumble-dry, it just depends on what my day is like that day. Line-drying (in the sun) seems to make them smell fresher, but I fluff them in the dryer afterwards.

How much vinegar have you been using? And what kind? It should be white, distilled, NOT cider vinegar. And you shouldn't use more than about 1/4th a cup, and it should be in the rinse, not the wash. We have a well, too, and I've used vinegar without any odor problems--at least, ever since I read how much to use. My MIL (who lives next door) uses it, but she didn't say how much/when to use, and the first few times I tried I used the wrong kind and used too much and in the wrong cycle. DH's t-shirts reeked anytime he got hot and sweaty.

Good luck!

Edited to add:

Found the following info at http://www.punkinbutt.com/easywash_diapertype.asp#fb%20wash

Stinky Cloth Diapers!
If you find that your prefolds, inserts or any other cotton or hemp diapers, are constantly stinking despite being washed there are several factors to consider.

1. You may be using too much detergent. Cloth diapers are made to absorb and they do a great job! They will also absorb the detergent from the washing process. If you are using too much detergent, it is possible that it is not all being rinsed out during the washing process.
2. On the flip side, if you are not using enough detergent this could result in extra stinky diapers since you may not be getting your diapers clean enough.
3. You may need to start using vinegar. Vinegar brings pH levels down, killing more germs and balancing the pH back to a more neutral level. Vinegar works best with hard water; if you have soft water the vinegar may react with minerals in the water and cause an acrid odor in your diapers – especially noticeable every time your child urinates in them! Do not use apple cider vinegar – it will leave a dingy brown hue to your diapers. You can find a big jug of white vinegar in the condiments aisle at the grocery store – usually on the lowest level.

How do you know which of the above is the culprit? Here are a few tests to try:

1. First, to test if detergent build-up is the cause of your stinky diapers, wash your diapers as you normally would. Then run a short wash cycle with no detergent. Open the lid (or look through the glass if you have a front loading machine) and see if there are suds forming. If so, you do have a detergent build up that needs to be rinsed away. You will need to 'strip' your cloth diapers.
2. If no suds form, then you may need to use more detergent, pre-rinse your diapers before washing or try one of the options from the 'Add a nice touch' section of our Easy Wash instructions. Adding vinegar, if you have hard water, is another way to get your diapers cleaner.
3. If no suds form and you are using vinegar this could be the cause. Vinegar works best with hard water; if you have soft water the vinegar may react with minerals in the water and cause an acrid odor in your diapers – especially noticeable every time your child urinates in them! Even hard water may have trace minerals.

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Last edited by halyled; 08-22-2006 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:36 AM   #12
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Re: I'm STILL rinsing over and over! Someone PLEASE help me!!

Thank you everyone who took so much time helping me out with this!! I'm going to do some diaper laundry today so I'll be testing some of these new ideas out! But keep the ideas coming...I need to have this figured out before the NB gets here. I don't know what I'd do without you mamas!! Thanks SO much!!
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:48 AM   #13
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Re: I'm STILL rinsing over and over! Someone PLEASE help me!!

Guess what everyone! My well pump is going out!! I think that is what has been happening!! Last night we ran out of water again for the second time this month. I had only done 2 loads of laundry and bathed my lil' girl- thats it! The first load I did was just to stripe my machine like one of you recommended- the second was diapers but I didn't even get to double rinse and it went out. Last night before we went to bed the water had built back up and was doing great- full water pressure. This morning I was helping my lil' girl go potty and the water was gone again. We didn't use ANY water during the night other than flushing the toilet!! So I think this has had ALOT to do with my diaper washing problems.
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