We travel a lot, and my daughter is only 14 mos old, so, we've had to was her diapers in at least 5 different machines/locations in that time. Different machines function differently of course, and I don't know what amount of stink is normal or not (I'm also VERY sensitive to smells every since being pregnant- my pregnancy nose never went away!). We just arrived in Latvia and have washed her diapers twice here, and this morning her brand new BG AIO stunk already. Just mostly like a strong pee smell maybe a little "off" in some way...
I guess I'm just a little frustrated in feeling like I don't know if the smell that exists is "normal" or if the diapers should really not have ANY smell at all besides the smell of the pee and poop itself. And, if there is a smell that shouldn't be there, what am I doing wrong in my washing routine??? I wash every two days with a scoop of BumGenius detergent with a cold rinse, hot wash (40C just like it recommends right on the diaper) and an extra cold rinse.
I seriously feel like I need to set up a spreadsheet for data collection, super middle school science experiment style. Like I need to keep track of all these different factors to try to find a water temp/# of rinses/days between washes/amount of detergent perfect equilibrium to not have any stink.
I'm just annoyed. Mostly I love our cds, and I love that we use them. But, I'm annoyed by the smell, the constant smell. And I feel like I just don't have the energy to figure out exactly what I need- especially since there are SO MANY FACTORS that could be affecting it- it's not like just adding more soap (which would generally work to get other items cleaner) is the answer.
We are moving to Laos at the end of the month, and will be there for the next two years, so hopefully I'll be able to find a routine there that works. I guess we'll see.
Mara & Joel, 2009
I completely understand where you are coming from. When I was using cloth with DD2 I never did end up figuring out how to get rid of the stinkies. I stripped and stripped and stripped those diapers and the very first time I'd use and wash them they'd stink again. Eventually I went and started putting a squirt of Dawn in every wash which helped a tiny bit...or maybe it didn't, more on that in a minute. I didn't figure it out completely until I started cloth with DS, again the stink came back and I ended up on the Rockin Green website because they have what wash routines have worked for other people on specific machines on their website and I noticed that with my machine (a front loader) people were doing lots of rinsing. So I started and pretty much ever since I haven't had stink problems, so I'm thinking maybe the squirt of Dawn 'worked' because it made me rinse my diapers more. I've also figured out how to trick my machine into adding more water (setting the spin on the initial rinse to low so it doesn't spin all the water out, leaving the diapers heavier for the wash). I hope you can find something to help you, I'm sure being somewhere with the same water/machine for a longer period of time will help.
DD1- July 2004
DD2- April 2006
DS1- December 2009
DS2- August 2011
I've only use 1 machine so far (although we are moving at the end of the month), but I've never had a problem with stink.
It is a front loader, so I do a cold wash without soap, hot wash with soap and an extra rinse, and sometimes I do an other wash without soap for the heck of it. It might be overkill but it seems to be working. This is the routine I was told to do when I initially did a diaper trial.
Hopefully when we move the new machine will work with my current routine. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to struggle with keeping them clean!
That's go to be super frustrating. Have you tried other detergents? It took us a good three months to work through our wash routine problems. Turned out it didn't have anything to do with how hot the water was or how many times I rinsed. I just needed something to deal with our water. We've been using Rocking Green Hard Rock for about 6 months now and don't have stinkies.
I've heard front loaders require the most patience! For the most part we've done well with rinse, hot wash, extra rinse with our top loader. Like Erin, we have hard water and I've switched to Crunchy Clean and it's going well. Once a week I do an extra hot water wash without detergent and check it mid cycle to see if there's any soap residue. That was my problem with the stinkies. I wasn't getting enough soap out and I wasn't as consistent with using the same detergent every time.
Oh and fitteds are the worst for me and stink. I started playing around with a new night time solution while out of town just because those stupid fitteds need like a billion rinses to get all the detergent out!!!
We've used three different detergents as well... for a year we used Allen's Naturally, and then we used Rockin Green (that is what I have shipping to our new home in Laos) and we are using the BG stuff now because it was the smallest box I could find to buy to take along on this trip we're on now.
The thing is right now we're staying in my BIL/SILs house, and they live in a place where water is very expensive, and I feel bad doing SO MANY RINSES- when we lived in Angola, I did 3 rinses with every wash (after the hot wash which also included an extra rinse) and I still had issues. If there is even the smallest possibility of a top loader in Laos I'm buying it, but, I don't reckon it will be possible. Sigh. I honestly hate front loader machines.
Mara & Joel, 2009
In your situation, maybe give flats a try? The more layers of material, the more rinsing seems to be needed.
I don't have the option of buying more diapers right now- but we are mostly using FLIP stay-dry inserts and covers... so they are not a whole lot of material.
Mara & Joel, 2009
How often do you strip them? We do the same for our wash routine (but we just use a free arm and hammer detergent). The only time I notice any kind of lingering smell is if I haven't stripped them in a while. If I do it every month or two they're fine. I hope you're able to find something that works for you.
I've had really good luck with Rockin Green. The BG detergent left mine still stinky. I'm onto CDing baby #2 and so far so good. I have a front load. I set it for an extra rinse and I have a button for extra water (if I didn't have the extra water button, I'd throw in a wet beach towel with it to trick the machine). The one thing I've found that makes the most difference for us is to use Thirsties Pre-Wash solution. I tried to go without it and couldn't stand the smell of the dipes, it wasn't bad, but my nose is sensitive especially since we've stopped using all dryer sheets and switched all of our laundry to rocking green detergent. My nose just isn't used to harsh smells anymore (we also switched all of our bath stuff to natural scent free stuff).
I've only just now noticed that maybe I need to strip DD2's dipes and she's almost 10 months old and that's not because of the smell, it's an absorbency thing. I swear by the Thirsties Pre-Wash!
I can't imagine how much patience you must have doing all the moving and with all the problems and still holding out hope to get it all resolved. Hang in there momma, I hope you get it figured out quickly!