Question about stink... — The Bump
Cloth Diapering

Question about stink...

Hi ladies!  I am still pretty new to cloth (just started using cloth on my 2 year old about 2 months ago) and mostly lurk on The Bump, but did post a question about leaking issues a little while ago and you were a big help so I figured I'd throw another question at you :)  The majority of my stash was purchased used from an acquaintance and I have also bought 6 various other kinds of diapers new to try out.  

My question is... when you have to strip your diapers due to a stink issue... what do the diapers stink like?  My diapers don't smell like poop or pee or ammonia when they are clean, but I think they smell like toilet water.  It isn't necessarily a bad smell, but it isn't good either, ya know?  Does this mean I am due for a strip?  Or when people strip their diapers because of stink, is it like poop and pee smell?  I have never stripped the diapers before and really hate to do it if it isn't necessary because I have a front loader washing machine and think this means I will have to strip in the bathtub, which sounds like a hassle.  Really, it is mostly my pocket diapers and diaper covers that smell like toilet water (both the ones I got new and the used ones) and the inserts that I use don't have an odor when they are clean.  Is that just the way the PUL starts to smell after being used and laundered?  Any light you can shed on this issue would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

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Re: Question about stink...

  • Are you open to doing a bleach cycle?  Just add 1/4 cup bleach then do an extra, extra rinse.  I'd bleach any used diapers before using anyhow.  But I'm not anti bleach.
    TTC with PCOS since November 2009
    IUI#1 Femara/Ovidrel (cd 3-7) = BFP, m/c
    IUI#2 Femara/Ovidrel (cd 5-9) = BFN
    IUI#3 Femara/Ovidrel (cd 3-7) = BFP!
    beta #1 11/23 = 270, P4 = 75
    beta #2 11/28 = 2055
    Our daughter E was born 7/29/2012!
    Surprise, our 2nd daughter P was born 5/22/14!
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  • Or multiple hot washes. Even with a fl no need to drag the bathtub into it.
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  • I don't know enough about cloth diapering to know if I'm opposed to bleach haha :)  I have read conflicting things about it not being good for the diapers I think.  Is that not so?  If it isn't going to hurt my diapers and I assume the extra extra rinse will keep it from irritating my son's tush, then I don't think I am opposed to bleach and will give it a try.  Thanks for the suggestion!  


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  • I think a lot of people who are opposed to bleach are opposed to it on a general basis, not just specifically in relation to cloth diapers.  It's a chemical.  Some people are anti chemical.

    Depends on the dipes as to whether it's "safe."  Prefolds and flats would totally be fine with bleach.  Bum Genius actually recommends monthly bleaching.  There are a few other specific brands that specifically mention not to use bleach, but I can't tell you off the top of my head what they are.  But you have to remember that by the time you put 1/4 cup bleach into all the water used in your washer, the chlorine level is like a swimming pool.  So IMO, you aren't really going to hurt anything by doing it once.
    TTC with PCOS since November 2009
    IUI#1 Femara/Ovidrel (cd 3-7) = BFP, m/c
    IUI#2 Femara/Ovidrel (cd 5-9) = BFN
    IUI#3 Femara/Ovidrel (cd 3-7) = BFP!
    beta #1 11/23 = 270, P4 = 75
    beta #2 11/28 = 2055
    Our daughter E was born 7/29/2012!
    Surprise, our 2nd daughter P was born 5/22/14!
     image
    imageImage and video hosting by TinyPicimage
    image
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    imageimageimage
  • I agree with the bleach suggestion.

    Also, what detergent are you using and what does your wash routine look like? PUL diaper shells shouldn't really smell.
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  • No, I'm not opposed to bleach in general and agree that 1/4 cup for the whole cycle isn't a ton anyway.

    Current wash routine is washing every other day and doing a cold rinse cycle, hot wash cycle using 1.5 tbsp Rockin' Green detergent, followed by cold rinse cycle.

    It is possible the diapers only smell to me and maybe I am extra sensitive to smells because of pregnancy. I don't think my husband is a reliable source to ask, so I will see if my mom thinks they smell the next time she is over :)

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  • MegRN2008 said:
    No, I'm not opposed to bleach in general and agree that 1/4 cup for the whole cycle isn't a ton anyway. Current wash routine is washing every other day and doing a cold rinse cycle, hot wash cycle using 1.5 tbsp Rockin' Green detergent, followed by cold rinse cycle. It is possible the diapers only smell to me and maybe I am extra sensitive to smells because of pregnancy. I don't think my husband is a reliable source to ask, so I will see if my mom thinks they smell the next time she is over :)
    If your mom thinks they smell, switch detergents. Your wash routine seems fine.

    Even though Rockin' Green markets itself as a great cloth diaper detergent, based on reading this board for the last 2+ years, I get the impression that it doesn't work so well in practice. Nearly every single 'why do my diapers stink?' post is from a mama who uses either RnG or a liquid free & clear like All.
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    bumpuser5078523[Deleted User]
  • That is interesting about the detergent. I received the bag from the person that sold me the diapers so didn't put much research into detergents. Thanks for the heads up!

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