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How To Get The Smell Out Of Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers have a lot of benefits over disposables. However, if your cloth diapers develop a funky smell, it can be unpleasant for you and your little one. Fortunately, there are effective ways to get rid of the odor and keep your cloth diapers smelling fresh and clean.

 In this post, we’ll explore some of the best methods for removing odor from cloth diapers and preventing it from returning.

cloth diapers smell

Why do Cloth Diapers Smell

Cloth diapers can develop unpleasant odors over time, and understanding the reasons behind these odors can help you prevent them from occurring in the first place. One common cause of diaper odor is bacteria, which can thrive in a diaper’s warm and moist environment. 

When left untreated, this bacteria can multiply and create a strong smell. Another factor that can contribute to odor is detergent buildup, which can leave residue on the diapers and cause them to retain odors. Additionally, hard water, insufficient rinsing, and improper storage can all lead to unwanted smells in your cloth diapers.

Best Practices for Cloth Diaper Cleaning

Keeping your cloth diapers clean and fresh is crucial for your baby’s health and comfort. Here are some best practices to follow when washing your cloth diapers:

  • Select a good-quality detergent that is formulated for cloth diapers. Avoid fabric softeners or other additives that can leave residue and cause odors.
  • Pre-wash your diapers before the main wash to remove any solids and urine.
  • Wash your diapers in hot water to kill bacteria and remove stains. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for temperature and cycle length.
  • Use the appropriate amount of detergent, as too much or too little, can cause problems. Avoid overloading your machine, as this can prevent the diapers from getting clean.
  • Consider adding an extra rinse cycle to ensure that all detergent residue is removed.
  • Hang or lay flat to dry, avoiding high heat or direct sunlight, which can damage the fabric.

Tips for Removing Odors

If your cloth diapers still have a lingering smell after washing, don’t worry! There are several effective tips and tricks for removing odor. Here are some methods to try:

  • Add a half cup of baking soda to your wash cycle to neutralize odors.
  • Use a vinegar rinse to help remove buildup and freshen the diapers.
  • Try a natural laundry booster, such as borax or oxygen bleach, to help remove stains and odors.
  • Use a specialized cloth diaper detergent formulated to clean and deodorize cloth diapers.
  • Sun dry your diapers, which can help remove odors and stains naturally.

Preventing Odors from Returning

Once you’ve successfully removed the odors from your cloth diapers, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from returning. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Proper storage: Make sure you store your cloth diapers in a dry and well-ventilated area. Avoid storing them in an airtight container, which can cause bacteria to thrive.
  • Diaper rotation: Use a diaper rotation system to ensure that each diaper is washed and used. This helps prevent some diapers from being used more frequently and developing stronger odors.
  • Wash regularly: Don’t let your dirty diapers sit for too long before washing. Aim to wash them every 2-3 days to prevent bacteria from multiplying.
  • Use a diaper pail liner: A diaper pail liner can help contain odors and make transporting your diapers to the washing machine easier.
  • Consider using a deodorizer: A cloth diaper deodorizer can help keep your diapers smelling fresh between washes.

How To Get The Smell Out Of Cloth Diapers FAQ

How often should I wash my cloth diapers?

You should aim to wash your cloth diapers every 2-3 days to prevent bacteria from multiplying and odors from developing. Here is everything you need to know about how to wash cloth diapers.

Is it safe to use bleach on cloth diapers?

It’s generally not recommended to use bleach on cloth diapers, as it can cause damage to the fabric and reduce absorbency.

How do I store my dirty cloth diapers before washing?

Use a diaper pail with a liner or a wet bag to store your dirty cloth diapers before washing, and make sure to store them in a dry and well-ventilated area. Here is everything you need to know about how to store dirty cloth diapers.

How can I tell if my cloth diaper needs stripping?

If your cloth diaper is no longer absorbent, has persistent odors, or has visible buildup, it may need to be stripped to remove the excess detergent and bacteria. Here is everything you need to know about how to strip cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers are a great option for parents but require proper care to prevent odors from developing. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your cloth diapers remain a healthy and comfortable option for your baby without any unpleasant smells.