I’ve already professed my love for cloth diapers here. There are some days, of course, where my love staggers. Like when I have the stomach flu… Or when Baby Girl has the stomach flu…
My tummy flutters just thinking about it. Excuse me. (Burphg.)
But, for the most part, things have gone rather well in our cloth diapering adventure. Sure, there have been mishaps and missteps. But parenting is nothing if not a learn-as-you-go kind of deal.
Please tell me there’s not a secret to this.
Anyways – the only real problem I’d say we’ve run into with our diapers is FUNK. Oh, yeah. Funky funk. It’s to be expected. I’m actually rather proud that I’ve managed to care for my diapers as well as I have. I’m an absent-minded procrastinator by nature – but apparently being MOMMY helps cure that at least a little.
I wash our diapers every other day as part of our routine and very rarely miss by half a day if we have a schedule altercation or sickness. I rinse, wash with diaper detergent, and rinse some more. But it seems that the microfiber inserts that I use in some of the pocket diapers – and mainly those that she wears overnight – retain quite a bit of ammonia despite my keeping up on routine cleaning.
Again, understandable. Most babies my little girl’s age probably wouldn’t be going potty in the middle of the night as much as she is. Even though she is nearly fifteen months old, we still wake her up at 10:00 pm to give her a 6 oz bottle of milk to help regulate her blood sugar due to medication she is on to treat an infantile hemangioma in her mouth. So, until we stop giving her that bottle there is no chance she is going to wake up with a dry diaper. (Oh, potty training. I will see you someday. Sigh…)
Back to stinky pants: first thing in the mornings, BG’s diaper would be unbelievably smelly. Terribly smelly. Horribly smelly. Hold your nose and run smelly. After a few days, I decided there was no way that this was because of something we were feeding her or just from normal overnight wear.
TIME TO STRIP.
Stripping your diapers is basically a way to super clean your diapers. There are a few different methods. Some involve simply lots and lots of hot, hot, hot rinses! Others use classic blue Dawn dish soap to remove oil build-up. I decided to purchase an ammonia bouncer to try – because ammonia build-up from overnight use seemed to be what I was fighting.
This stuff was actually pretty great. It did require me to use disposables for a day so that I could soak all of my diapers at once and then run them through a wash cycle – but hey…disposables happen. I picked a day on the weekend when my husband was home so that I could spend some time sorting through the diaper drawer while he kept the kiddo and set to it.
All in all, this was an easy process. I washed any dirty diapers first, although I didn’t worry about drying them before moving onto the soaking process. I dumped every single diaper we owned (stinky or not) into the bath tub, filled it with lukewarm water and added 4 TB of the FUNK ROCK. A little stir and I closed the door to forget about them for a few hours. Once they were done soaking, they were a bit of a hassle to wring out but all part and parcel of ‘What-Must-Be-Done’.
Because once the diapers were all rinsed, washed, and dried – you know what? They smelled GREAT. They even felt better! I had begun to notice that even when ‘clean’, some of the microfiber inserts were starting to feel stiff and not as soft as they used to. Apparently the culprit behind this was ALSO ammonia, because after the Funk Rock they were almost back to form.
I now occasionally use the Ammonia Bouncer as part of my pre-soak routine and will definitely do a big soak again in the future. I highly recommend using this if you are getting some strong smells from your wet bag or your sweet baby! There is always a way to fix what is going wrong and usually the solution is pretty simple. Don’t immediately think that you are doing something wrong, don’t give up on your cloth diapers, and don’t live with the stink!