Bleach Soak Cloth Diapers? I’ll Pass

Let’s be realistic: the bleach soak for cloth diapers controversy has been done and redone a million times.  There are people who will bleach soak their cloth diapers on a monthly basis and “never have an issue.”  So I’m not going to tell you that if you bleach soak cloth diapers they’re going to burst into flames.  They won’t.

But I’m not going to tell you that your diapers will always be perfectly perfect after you bleach soak cloth diapers.  That would be a lie. [Read more…]

The Laundry Tarts Strip It! Review

Disclosure: The Laundry Tarts Strip It! review was not at all compensated.  I paid for the product myself and decided to write about it.

I generally pride myself on the state of my diapers.  They are clean, non-smelling, and rarely stripped.  I’ve been using Rockin’ Green for three and a half years, and only changed once to a different detergent… and hated it so badly that I didn’t even use up all of the other detergent before going back to my beloved Rockin’ Green.  And as much as I say that if your cloth diaper laundry routine isn’t broken, you shouldn’t fix it… I’ve been kind of going into sticker shock every time I’ve needed to get a new pack of Funk Rock.

When Norton and Eudora scattered baby powder all over her bedroom, they created a really, really big mess. [Read more…]

CLR is NOT for Cloth Diaper Stripping!

Sometimes, moms can figure out some pretty amazing ways to resolve issues with their cloth diapers.  After all, that’s why there are so many different methods for cloth diaper stripping.  Other times?  I see something come up that I just can’t get on board with using.  The first time that I’d heard of CLR for cloth diaper stripping was over the weekend. [Read more…]

Cascade for Stripping Diapers

Lately there’s been a trend: when someone asks about what to do for mineral build up, a suggestion to use Cascade for stripping diapers is offered.

Why Cascade for Stripping Diapers is Suggested

People often suggest using a product like RLR for stripping diapers of build up, stink, and other issues.  According to Cadie’s MSDS for RLR, it is 100% pure sodium carbonate… which is washing powder.  Prior to getting the MSDS, I would liken it to “washing soda on steroids.”  This is still essentially correct, as Arm & Hammer washing powder is 85% sodium carbonate.  RLR is roughly $2 per pack. [Read more…]

Stinky Cloth Diapers Solved #Throwback

On more than one occasion, I’ve posted about the stinky baby issues that arise with Norton.  Norton himself is not a stinky baby, but he does have this wonderful gift for causing stench.  I’ve blogged about stinky diaper pail issues and ammonia stink.  The good news is that I’ve found a product that helps with reducing the stinky cloth diapers issue.

Stinky Cloth Diapers Solved (Cloth Diaper Addicts)Okay, so his diaper still stink when I put them in the washing machine.  Considering the fact that his urine smells strongly of ammonia right now, even when he uses his potty, there’s not much that I can do about that beyond try to cover it up.  Rockin Green detergent now makes a product called Shake It Up! that you sprinkle into the pail to keep the stinky diaper pail at bay.  It helps, but it doesn’t completely vanquish the issue.

However, the problem that I was starting to have again (even after strips and rocking a soak) was that the diapers were smelling a little, um, not brand new fresh when I pulled them out of the dryer.  I suspect that the fact that I have slightly hard water and Norton has exceptionally potent pee make a wonderful combination.  I can handle stinky cloth diapers when it’s time to do wash cloth diapers, but I cannot handle stinky cloth diapers when they are supposed to be clean.

Rockin Green detergent has recently come out with their Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer.  I have to say, it helps.  What you do is use two tablespoons of the Funk Rock in the rinse cycle that you run before you actually wash your cloth diapers.  The first time that I washed Norton’s cloth diapers with the Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer and followed up with Rockin Green detergent (Hard Rock formula), the diapers came out of the washing machine smelling absolutely brand new fresh and divine.  They came out of the dryer, still complete with that nice diaper smell.  The second time I used it, it worked just as well.

I’m about half way through my first package of Funk Rock, and I’m already thinking that I should order more.  I’d hate to run out, particularly since it’s helping so much.  I remember that when I first started using cloth diapers, I struggled with a lot of things.  Washing, choosing the right type of diaper, and so forth.  But now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m a pro, but I’d definitely say that I no longer have any form of cloth diapering issues.  Now all that I have are cloth diapering solutions.

Have you ever battled stinky cloth diapers?  What worked for you?

Originally written December 6, 2010.  At this point, I absolutely do consider myself to be a cloth diapering pro.  Back then, though, I thought that “cloth diapers shouldn’t stink and stinky cloth diapers are a problem” included when they’d been sitting in a diaper pail.  I thought wrong.  I do, however, still use Rockin Green detergent religiously, and the Funk Rock is a consistent part of my cloth diaper laundry routine.  I no longer use two tablespoons per pre-wash cycle; one tablespoon is sufficient.

Where to buy Rockin Green products: CozyBums (Canada), Diaper Junction (US/Canada), Kissed by the Moon (US/Canada), Lagoon Baby (Canada/US), Nicki’s Diapers (US/Can)

Time to Strip Your Diapers? Troubleshooting Cloth Diapering Issues

At some time or another, it’s nearly guaranteed that anyone who is using cloth diapers will run into problems.  The three most common problems seem to be ammonia stink, barnyard stink, and repelling.  Whenever these things happen, the advice seems to be “strip your diapers.”  But the thing is, different methods of stripping are designed for different things and different machines.  When I first ran into issues, someone suggested that I “strip my diapers” and I was just so lost.  There seemed to be umpteen different methods of doing it and none explained that the different methods had different purposes.

Fortunately, cloth diaper resources have improved.  I’m going to take a look at the most common issues and tell you how to fix them.  Note: this may not be an immediate fix.  Depending on the severity of the issue, it may take a few attempts.

Ammonia stink

Your diapers come out of the washing machine smelling clean, but when you take them off, the ammonia smell is just overwhelming.

Cause: Urea naturally turns into ammonia and will build up in diapers over time.

How to fix it: Disinfect your diapers.  There are a few different ways to go about this.

A.) You can do the Rockin’ Green method, which is how I tackled it.  1.) Wash your diapers.  2.) Rock a soak in Rockin’ Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer.  (Soak for 4-8 hours.)  3.) Rock a soak in Rockin’ Green detergent.  4.) Finish out with running your diapers through the laundry as per usual with no detergents.

B.) Boil your diapers.  (Caution: Only do this with inserts, as it may cause diapers with PLU or TPU to delaminate, or ruin the elastics in fitted or contour diapers.)

C.) Bleach your diapers or use OxiClean.   (Caution: check your manufacturer’s warranty before doing so.  Most diaper companies discourage the use of bleach.  GroVia specifically says not to use oxygen cleaners.) I personally always reach for OxiClean and have never felt it necessary to use chlorine bleach on my diapers.

D.) Sun your diapers.

Not recommended methods ever: Some people suggest that you run your diapers through the dishwasher.  I’m going to say that this is a very bad idea.  Yes, it may work, but it’s also risky because it is a fire hazard.  As much as I love clean smelling diapers, I love reducing the odds of my house turning to ashes even more.


Repelling is usually caused by something getting on diapers that shouldn’t be, like most diaper creams.  As much as I love Boudreaux’s Butt Paste for clearing up the odd rash, it (and other zinc diaper creams) are not CD friendly.  Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can also cause repelling.

How to fix it: Use a degreasing agent.  Dawn is the most common fix.  However, before you do so, check your machine’s instructions.  My washing machine, for example, says explicitly not to use Dawn.  In my case, I would manually scrub the diaper with Dawn and a toothbrush.  Either way, once you’re done, rinse like there’s no tomorrow.  Run multiple rinse cycles until you have no bubbles.  (If you’re washing by hand, rinse, rinse, rinse, and rinse some more before you put it in your machine.)

Barnyard/Funky Poo Smell

I’ve had a few occasions where Norton’s diapers started to smell like a sweaty horse that had been ridden hard and put away wet.  Gross.  If I wanted to smell that, I’d start mucking out stables.  The cause is that diapers aren’t coming clean enough in the wash.

How to fix it: Run your diapers through the wash with double the amount of the detergent.  Rinse like mad to get out the extra soap.

Other methods that have worked for other people: Consider trying a wash with Tide Free and Gentle Unscented.  I consider Tide Free to be the devil when it comes to washing diapers, as it caused an ammonia funk that almost caused me to give up on cloth, but a friend of mine swears by it.

Need to increase absorbency

Diapers aren’t holding as much as they used to?  Your diapers are probably holding onto residue or have some detergent build up.

How to fix it: Run a couple of hot wash cycles with no detergent to work out the build up.  Or run a wash cycle with RLR and then do extra rinses to make sure that it’s rinsed clean.

Special thanks to Cozy Bums for helping me with my own early diaper stink issues!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small commission from purchases made through those links, which I use to support Cloth Diaper Addicts.

Legal Disclaimer: I am not liable for the results.  This is a list of suggestions.  It is up to the person using the list to decide what s/he is willing or is not willing to try.  Use at your own risk.