Help with ammonia? — The Bump
Cloth Diapering

Help with ammonia?

I thought I'd handled my ammonia problems a few months ago, but alas, it's back. It seemed to be just ON diapers but now it seems to have infected my day time diapers! I've also got little pink spots on my natural fibers, which I've been told is normal sometimes for natural fibers, but maybe it's not?
Wash routine:
Cold wash cycle, no detergent, Super water setting
Hot wash with Tide between the 1 and 2, Super water setting
2 cold rinses

Should I give Bac Out a try?

Re: Help with ammonia?

  • Can you describe the ammonia?  Do they always smell?  Just when baby pees?  How strong is it?

    What type of what do you have?  Water softener?  

    What have you tried so far to solve the problem?
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  • How many diapers do you wash at a time?  What type of diapers?  Hard water or soft?
    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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  • CLLDLL said:

    Can you describe the ammonia?  Do they always smell?  Just when baby pees?  How strong is it?


    What type of what do you have?  Water softener?  

    What have you tried so far to solve the problem?
    Sorry I could've given more info! I wash 2 days of diapers so about 14. Slightly hard water but I do add some Calgon to the wash. Last time I had issues I did an rlr strip, hot water strip, then increased the tide. The smell is like stinky old pee, with a burning of ammonia on top. Yummy! They smell good usually out of the wash, just when he pees.

  • TJ1979 said:

    How many diapers do you wash at a time?  What type of diapers?  Hard water or soft?

    I've got all kinds. Hemp and MF inserts, bamboo prefolds and fitteds.
  • Oh, and I increased my pre rinse from a light wash to regular wash last go round.
  • It sounds to me like they still aren't quite getting clean.  How long did the tweaks to your routine work before you started having issues again?  If it worked for more than a week, I'd guess you did the right things, just not enough.  I'd RLR and hot water strip again. Then maybe try increasing the tide a bit more and maybe adding a little more Calgon.  

    Another option would be changing your pre-wash to warm instead of cold, but it can backfire and make things worse for some washer/water combos.
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  • @clldll Why do you think it's not enough detergent, rather than too much detergent?  I wash 24 AIOs at a time, and only use tide to the 1 line, with slightly hard water, and no calgon.  I wonder if it's detergent build up?
    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
    image
    imageimageimage
    [Deleted User]
  • TJ1979 said:
    @clldll Why do you think it's not enough detergent, rather than too much detergent?  I wash 24 AIOs at a time, and only use tide to the 1 line, with slightly hard water, and no calgon.  I wonder if it's detergent build up?
    I guess gut feel.?!?  IME too much detergent is usually a crazy knock your socks off chemical smell that you smell just upon peeing.  The way she describes the smell as stale pee with ammonia on top it sounds more like bacteria stuck in the diapers.  Plus the fact that the RLR strip and hot water strip worked for a while. 

    But I could be off base.  It could definitely also be detergent build up.  Maybe try a few hot water rinses as see if you see suds?  If it's detergent build up you'd see suds.  Right?  
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  • Does Super Wash refer to the water level or something else? I ask b/c sometimes you can have too much water and the diapers don't agitate against each other enough to clean well.
                 

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    Rrrrrachel
  • I thought about that as well @unaveragejane

    Good point about the stale smell @CLLDLL.  Any time my diapers have been unclean though, they have smelled even right out of the dryer.  The fact that it pops up after LO pees is what made me think build up.
    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
    image
    imageimageimage
  • Doh! I said cold but meant warm. I'm already doing a warm pre rinse. Maybe I need to go to cold? @unaveragejane super is the water level. I've played with that in the past too. I don't know why this is so hard for me haha! Last time around I think my diapers weren't getting clean enough, but when I went up all the way to the 2 line, the soap didn't rinse out all the way. I thought I'd finally perfected everything, now I don't know where to even begin.
  • TJ1979 said:
    I thought about that as well @unaveragejane

    Good point about the stale smell @CLLDLL.  Any time my diapers have been unclean though, they have smelled even right out of the dryer.  The fact that it pops up after LO pees is what made me think build up.
    I get your point on the popping up only when peeing too.  That definitely indicative of build up ammonia. 

    I will say we had barnyard that was super subtle on clean diapers (as in I didn't notice it at first), that got considerably worse when he peed.  I thought it was ammonia because I thought it was only popping up with pee. After I tried a bunch of things to eliminate ammonia, I realized that it was actually barnyard and once I treated it as such my problem was solved. 
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  • @CLLDLL I remember that.  It sounds like she's been on both sides.  OP maybe you need to do a hot water strip, maybe another RLR strip, and start fresh.  Lower the water amount, choose maybe 1.5 for the tide.
    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
    image
    imageimageimage
  • TJ1979 said:
    @CLLDLL I remember that.  It sounds like she's been on both sides.  OP maybe you need to do a hot water strip, maybe another RLR strip, and start fresh.  Lower the water amount, choose maybe 1.5 for the tide.

    Thank you! I needed clear direction. Fingers crossed.
  • Oh, and what do you think about the pink splotches on the natural fibers? It's mostly on hemp and bamboo inserts. Has that happened to anyone before? I was thinking maybe iron deposits?
  • @tj1979  has excellent advice I think!  

    As far as pink spots.  I had pink-ish orange ones on one of my bamboo inserts.  They popped up shortly after I bought the insert and didn't grow or shrink.  I attributed those to the material.

    Then I got lighter pink spots on one of my other bamboo inserts.  Those grew/spread.  I think that was mold/mildew.  I threw it away.  I'm paranoid though.  I think @mapleme recommends bleach to kill mold/mildew and then you can continue to use the diaper/inserts as long as you're sure it's not still growing. 
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    haileyq
  • When you did the RLR strip last time, did you do it on all the diapers or just your ON ones?
                 

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  • When you did the RLR strip last time, did you do it on all the diapers or just your ON ones?
    All of them. I think we were still using disposables at night because we hadn't found a good night time solution. I almost wonder if the added urine from the soaked TTNN is giving us these new issues?
  • haileyq said:
    When you did the RLR strip last time, did you do it on all the diapers or just your ON ones?
    All of them. I think we were still using disposables at night because we hadn't found a good night time solution. I almost wonder if the added urine from the soaked TTNN is giving us these new issues?
    I've been battling ON ammonia too and wondering the same thing. Either I'm dealing with stinky toddler pee or my TTs just aren't getting clean. I've started soaking them when I can, and that seems to help some. I've just spent the last few days doing hot water strips on my ON diapers, and a good soak and lanolizing of my wool cover. Too soon to say if it has helped.


    haileyq
  • Ate you rinsing out the TTs in the morning?
                 

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  • haileyqhaileyq
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Ate you rinsing out the TTs in the morning?
    Usually, not consistently though.
  • We had some ammonia buildup and we got rid of it with a bit of vinegar in the presoak cycle. I had the pink mold stuff growing on the wipes in the wipes warmer so I boiled them and they don't seem as funky anymore...although I also don't use the warmer anymore. Now I just wet them as needed in a bowl of water.
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