Monday, August 15, 2011

Knickernappies Cloth Diaper Q & A: How can I get rid of the Ammonia smell?

Ammonia, the killer of cloth diaper dreams.  It's a beast, we've all battled it, even the most experienced cloth diapering mamas; retailers, manufacturers, one's immune to it.  It's the number one reason why families give up on cloth, the funky ammonia smell that they just can't get rid of.  It makes your eyes water so you know it's got to be bothering the baby, they just can't tell you.

There are products that treat the ammonia odor, yet it persists?  You can't figure it out.

So what's the answer?  Well everyone's cloth diaper washing routine is different but there's no denying that the longer you let your urine soaked diapers sit in either the wetbag, doorknob pail or diaper pail, the more the ammonia seems to hang on for dear life when all you want to do is get rid of it!

Try this simple tip and see if it doesn't help you conquer the ammonia beast.

TIP:  Before placing your urine soaked diaper into the diaper pail or wetbag, take it to the sink or toilet, and rinse it off.  Often the diaper sprayer is only used for poopy diapers, but there are benefits to using it on pee-only diapers as well.

Personally, I'd take my pocket diaper to my bathroom sink, pull out the insert, let the water rinse it and then squeeze it out really good before placing in the pail or wetbag with the diapers.  The same could be done with the pocket shells.  Rinse in the sink and then wring out or spray them into the toilet with your cloth diaper sprayer.

The more urine you can rinse before allowing them to sit until laundry day the better off you'll be.

What are your thoughts?  Do you spray or rinse your "pee" diapers before putting them in the pail or do you only do that with soiled cloth diapers?


Amanda said...

I have always done this. I think that it helps on preventing stains and smell. However, the wet bag I have is only to hold in the smell. When it gets wet it goes through the bag and makes the whole bathroom smell. I have been trying to figure out something to make a bag out of so that the outside of the bag won't get wet. I ring out the diapers and inserts as much as possible, but still it leaks through the bag. I quit rinsing them and now I have the horrible ammonia smell. I am going back to rinsing after I strip my diapers.

Jena said...

I don't have a sprayer (yet), but I have yet to deal with ammonia cling. I suspect it's because we wash our diapers every night (cold cycle right before we go to bed, hot cycle when we get up in the morning) instead of letting them sit a few days. Next time we're away for a few days, though, and will have a bag full of peed-in diapers going home with us, I'll probably rinse them first. Last time the smell when I opened the bag about knocked me off my feet.

Eco-Mom said...

After our first ammonia debacle we learned of the rinse and wring technique and promptly bought a diaper sprayer. Works like a charm. Of course we have to wring really well, otherwise the bag leaks and we end up with other problems, namely mold or bacteria buildup, but rinsing and wringing allows us to wash our dipes every other day with no problems. We do have to make sure our 15 month old drinks enough water though...otherwise the pee will come out of him already smelling like ammonia!

Jill said...

I have only been spraying poopy and overnight diapers before putting in the bag. I'm not sure I could talk my husband (the daytime caregiver) into spraying all of them!

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