Even after multiple washings, these cloth diapers still stink.
June 19, 2012 5:48 AM Subscribe
Our cloth diapers have a permanent stink and lots of orange stains. What further laundry solutions should we try?
posted by bigboggle to Home & Garden (33 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Our son is 10 weeks old and is fed only breastmilk. We use a combination of prefolds (both bleached and unbleached cotton) with Thirsties covers and FuzziBunz with a variety of microfiber, hemp, and minky inserts. For several weeks now, as soon as we put them on the baby and he starts to wet them, they all start to smell very funky, like stale old pee, though they smelled fine after coming out of the laundry. Also, there are lots of set-in orange stains on the diapers--we don't especially care what they look like now, but we will want the stains out if we ever try to resell them, and perhaps the fact that they're not coming out now is another indicator that our laundry routine is not working.
Our laundry routine:
- Drop used diapers in a dry pail with a liner; poop diapers only are first sprayed with Bac-Out
- Approximately every other day, dump contents of pail and liner in washing machine (front loader)
- Presoak with cold water
- Wash on heavy cycle with hot water, detergent, and white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser
- Dry everything on medium heat for half an hour; remove covers and FuzziBunz shells to drying rack, and finish prefolds and inserts in dryer for another hour
We were using Allen's laundry soap but have switched to Seventh Generation Free & Clear detergent, which yields slightly better results but definitely doesn't solve the stink problem completely. We've also tried using Baby OxyClean in the washing machine and running an extra rinse cycle after the wash. I can't say we've been very scientific with those experiments, but at least initially they didn't seem to make any difference.
We seem to have fairly hard water, and some online sources suggest that this could be our culprit. Any particular tips for combating its stink effects?
Note that a wet pail is not a particularly viable option for us given the setup of our house. Also, we don't have access to a lot of direct sunlight for drying diapers outside.