An additional task that gets added when a child is born is the week's laundry day (or days). Even if newborn babies do not soil their clothes in dust or dirt or play outside, their clots get very dirty. This is mainly because of the drool, milk spills, throw up and vomit on their clothes. All of these lead to bacterial build-up and sometimes stains and stinks in the babies' clothes.
One of the most common questions we get from parents who are unsure about reusable diapers is if cloth diaper smells or not. It is excellent that they are washable diapers, but will they come completely clean? Are they hygienic? So, on and so forth. This article will help you answer all those questions about what causes the skink, how to wash cloth nappies, and how to get rid of stink in baby cloth diapers.
Well, here’s the answer – Cloth nappies do not stink Unless there is some reason.
What could the reason be?
Reason 1: Detergent build-up.
This happens when the right kind of detergent is not used to wash baby cloth diapers. Detergents loaded with chemicals leave residue behind that causes build-up. Use only SuperBottoms Cloth Diaper Detergent, which is specially formulated to clean the cloth diapers and does not leave any residue behind!
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Reason 2: The baby cloth diapers need to be cleaned more.
Let’s talk about detergent build-up – This usually happens with the detergent particles that are built up in your diaper, which react with the urine (1). This causes a strong ammonia smell in cloth diapers for newborns, mainly if they are used overnight.
If the diapers are not getting cleaned enough – This happens in rare cases when the cloth diapers are just not getting enough detergent to get completely clean. If the water at your place is hard water, that could also be a reason.
How to deal with the stink?
The first way is of course to prevent it. A few tips to prevent any stink are:
- Use enough detergent to wash the diapers – not more, not less. Ideally, we recommend using a little less detergent than you would use for the same size load of regular garments. If you go for SuperBottoms Cloth Diaper Detergent, use the standard measurement mentioned on the pack.
- The thumb rule is that if there are too many suds (soap bubbles) while rinsing and if it takes too many rinses to get rid of the suds, you might be using too much detergent.
If the diapers seem stinking even when just washed, it might be too little.
- Running a hot wash cycle once a month for the soakers (not outers) also helps maintain them
- If you get good sunlight in your area, then you can sun the diapers and soakers too once in a while
- You can bleach the diapers once every six months if they give any stink or leak issues which are not resolved by hot water rinses
- Quickly rinsing the diapers after removal can also help reduce the build-up. Please don't soak the diapers. You can only just rinse and keep them till washing time.
If you already have stinky cloth diapers, here’s what you can do.
- First step, check if you have hard water.
- Hard water reduces the detergent's effectiveness and causes a mineral build-up in the diapers.
- This can be the cause of your diaper stink.
Solution: Use a water softener to wash your diapers. Run a few hot washes (ideally till you see no suds in the water). If this doesn't work, try stripping the diapers using RLR (available on Amazon)
- If you do not get hard water, then the problem could typically be either detergent build-up or less cleaning.
- Do your diapers smell clean just after the wash? They should smell like clean clothes do. If yes, then the reason why they stink on peeing could be due to the detergent build-up.
Solution 1: Run a few hot wash cycles on your diapers.
- Rinse clean diaper inserts in hot water (not too hot – just enough for you to be able to dip your hand in comfortably)
- Do not use any detergent while rinsing the diapers in hot water.
- Run the hot washes till there are no suds in the water while rinsing.
Solution 2: If this does not work, then do a bleach rinse
- Soak clean diapers in a bleach solution (5 ml / 5 ltr) for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse off the bleach thoroughly, preferably in hot water
- Use regular liquid bleach for this purpose.
If the reusable cloth diapers are not smelling clean after washing, then you may need to increase the amount of detergent you are using since your diapers are not getting clean enough. You can include your pocket diaper shells in the bleach rinse to remove any elements, such as creams clinging onto it. Cover Diaper shells do not need the bleach rinse since there is no chance of any detergent build-up.