Help with ammonia stink! HELP HELP HELP..

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2002
Help with ammonia stink! HELP HELP HELP..
Tue, 03-13-2012 - 1:28pm

OK ladies..I havent been in for a while as Ive been feeling fairly icky with my new pregnancy..but I need your advice..Im using cloth on my now 6 month old(and have since she fit into her newborn prefolds) but I am having a continuing issue with smell..When my daughter wets..her diapers smell so bad I cringe..its only when she's wet..I have read it could be detergent build up or that it could be that they are not getting clean.Ive tried numerous things to remedy either of those possibilities and yet the smell persists..not only is it affecting my prefolds..its clinging to her covers and can't be wiped off..What could possible be causing this? I don't have and HE machine at home but I do at my sisters house and I follow the washing directions for each machine respectively..Honestly...her diapers literally smell like a horsebarn..not even kidding..They smell find out of the dryer but the min she pees you can smell her across the room...HELP HELP HELP..

 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Tue, 03-13-2012 - 2:43pm

Horsebarn stink doesn't sound like ammonia to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2002
Tue, 03-13-2012 - 2:53pm

Thanks bunches..I was a bit flustered because as i said i was getting a barnyard smell and sometimes I was getting this really strong ammonia smell and right now its kind of a combo of is strong enough that it burns my nose..Im going to do a dishsoap run when we get home but I'll have to boil them as my hot water heater isnt working properly all the sudden and we get about 2 mins of HOT water then it just gets warm..blah..I love my cloth but it sure is a pain..LOL

 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2006
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 6:41pm

Did you get it fixed yet?

Community Leader
Registered: 08-23-1999
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 3:44pm

Good day,I know this is more difficult during the winter,but I have found,that if you are able to hang the washing on a line outside,the sun will help with colour and smell in diapers very well.

The way I have always handled dirty diapers is to have a pail with 1/2 and 1/2 water and bleach,once you stip

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 1:42pm

I know a lot of folks use bleach on their cloth diaps without problems.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2005
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 2:21pm
Some of the new washing machines use so little water that I don't see how you could possibly get a diaper real clean in them. I used to put mine through an entire cycle, rinse and wash, without detergent. That was with the kind of machine that fills up with water. Then, I washed them with detergent and a little bleach, rinsed, put them through a third cycle, with a little bit of soap flakes, followed by another rinse. The soap flakes took out any residue of detergent and bleach and made them real soft. Ivory Snow used to be soap flakes, but now it is detergent. I think White King still makes soap flakes, but don't know how easy they would be to find. You could just take a soap bar and grate it. It was a lot, but the diapers came out fluffy and soft and you could literally put them up to your nose and breath through them and they smelled great. My diapers also lasted a long time. My SIL just put hers through one small rinse, detergent, and another rinse. You could smell her kids coming, and her diapers fell apart a lot faster than mine. She thought they would last longer, with less beating up in the washer, but I think the ammonia was probably hard on the fibers. It wasn't too easy on her kids' skin, either!

One time,we spent a week at my MIL's house and I had to wash my son's diapers they way my SIL did, because she thought I would use up too much electricity. To top it off, they had very hard water and their dryer was broken. You could literally fold the diapers like a card and stand them up. When we got home, I took all of his diapers and washed them my way. He was about 2 and, while I was folding them, he picked one up and smelled it said, "Mmmm, clean", then rubbed it on his cheek and said "sof". That proved that he appreciated the way I washed his diapers!

Good luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 10:49am

I just wanted to give my vote also to the Rockin Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer.

Our overnight bamboo fitteds (MEOS and Bamboozles) have been a horror.  I have tried everything under the sun and nothing had helped.  Here is the list of what I tried before the Funk Rock:

1. Stripping with blue Dawn dish detergent

2. Fish tank ammonia remover

3. boiling diaps

4. Vinegar soak and vinegar rinse

5. Rinsing all the bamboo diaps with a diaper sprayer before they went into the pail and treating them with bio-kleen, lemon juice when in the pail.

6. Sunning

7. Boiling with baking soda

8. Boiling with vinegar, for an hour

9. Changing detergents to something harsher (not one of the general cloth safe detergents--Tide Free)

I was about to try bleach, but I generally strive to avoid this because it does void the diaper warranty in pretty much every case.  I had stopped using all my bamboo diaps because there was no way to get them really clean.  They sat in a drawer unused for months.

I decided to pay the $$$ for the Funk Rock and give it a try since I was pretty much out of other options.  We did the 4 Tbsp hot soak, as the package suggests, and let it sit overnight.  Then we ran the regular wash like we always do in the morning: hot wash with Vaska unscented detergent and then 2 rinse cycles.  The bamboo diaps are clean and no longer causing red blisters on DS's bottom.  I am beyond thrilled and will continue to use 1 Tbsp in my prewash per the package instructions on-going if it saves my expensive bamboo diaps!!!  Also, FWIW, everything that was treated in the Funk Rock load feels much softer and the fabric is more flexible.  It's just nicer to touch--cloth wipes, inserts, everything came out really well.

I have no idea what is in the stuff, but I am a big fan after this weekend's laundry experiment!