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Ammonia Stink in Your Cloth Diapers?

Ammonia cloth diaper issuesGood news, diapers aren’t as complicated as we might like to think. At the end of the day it’s just fabric and needs to be clean. Ammonia is a natural part of the breakdown of urine, so don’t freak if your diaper pale knocks you over, but if your baby’s diaper puts you on your back the moment you pull it off – you have ammonia problems!
Parents and physicians often mistake ammonia burns for yeast rashes, leading to ongoing issues as the result of misdiagnosis.  A good wash and some EMAB Bottom Balm could be all you need to get back on track.
Most people notice ammonia for the first time when their child moves onto solid foods or tries a new food. Their little bodies are learning how to process these new foods and their bodies are not getting rid of more waste, thus making the diapering situation a whole new ballgame, so to speak. It’s nothing to worry over, only to recognize so that you can be prepared and take a new tactic with your washing routine.
If you are battling ammonia the first thing you want to do is get your diapers clean. (Be sure to use a cloth diaper safe detergent – I will include a list at the bottom of this post.) You want to start with diapers free of urine and feces before you attempt to fix any cleanliness or buildup issues. 


Wash your diapers as you usually would. Then try one of the following.

  • Option 1: Try adding RLR in a hot wash (without any other detergents).
  • Option 2: Try Funk Rock from Rockin’ Green.
  • Option 3: Using your cloth diaper safe detergent, give them a deep-cleaning wash – or strip your diapers, which is essentially a hearty wash.

I found that the EcoSprout Detergent is my favorite detergent for getting rid of and deterring ammonia issues.

If you find that your problems coincide with dietary changes, there is a good possibility that your diapers are no longer getting as clean as they once were with your wash routine, so change it up! Add more detergent or an extra wash cycle and see if that helps. If not you might consider trying a new detergent that will help get them cleaner.

Vinegar Solution

If these methods aren’t helping, vinegar could be your solution.
Yep, plain old white vinegar! This method is not approved by all, but I have used it myself with success. Here’s what I did:
  • Cold wash as usual (with detergent if you normally do)
  • Warm wash – NO detergent – add 2 cups of vinegar
  • Hot wash as usual (with detergent), but to final rinse add 1/2 cup of vinegar – or put it in a downy ball.
  • Dry as you choose 🙂

Open Pail Solution

Another tip that I’ve seen and used with great results is an open pail.  I kept our pail in the bathroom closet or laundry room and simply left the lid off. It prevented the diapers from “fermenting” so-to-speak and worked very well. You’d be surprised at how much less your diapers will smell when allowed to “breathe.”

Cloth Diaper Safe Detergents

Allens Naturally Laundry Detergent
BumGenius Diaper Detergent
Charlie’s Soap
Country Save
Crunchy Clean
Eco Nuts
Eco Sprout
Rockin’ Green

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