Cloth Diaper Ammonia Smell

I was living the life in my happy-go-lucky world of cloth diapers, that was until my daughter turned about one year old. At this time, I started to notice a cloth diaper ammonia smell unlike I have ever experienced before! I first started to notice it with my daughter’s night diapers, and then gradually over the next few months, the cloth diaper ammonia smell became almost eye-watering! I knew something had to be done! but where do I begin?

My first logical instinct was to strip my cloth diapers. After the stripping was complete, I noticed that the smell did get better. But to my surprise, after about one week, the smell was back in full force. I remember hearing people talk about this “dreaded ammonia” smell once their babies became toddlers, and I was experiencing this first hand now!

I did some research and determined a few things:

  • I needed a stronger detergent that would get my diapers cleaner and help them stay that way.
  • I needed to do a pre-rinse by hand before doing my diaper laundry.
  • I needed to especially rinse the night diapers right after taking them off my daughter in the morning.

tide for cloth diapers

How I Banished The Cloth Diaper Ammonia Smell?

I switched my detergent to Tide. I know, I know, Tide is not one of the “recommended cloth diaper safe detergents,” nor is it “fragrance-free,” “dye-free,” and all that other fun stuff. I broke the rules, and I admit it. But I must say, I love the results. My diapers are cleaner than ever before, and I have not had to strip since. Tide, however, does not work for everyone. My sister tried to switch because she was having some stink issues, but it did cause a rash on her sensitive baby. You may want to consider switching detergents to something that works for your family.

I now do a pre-rinse by hand on all my inserts. I have found that while this is time-consuming, it works well. I rinse the diapers by hand in the basement sink until the water runs clear. I then throw the diapers into the washing machine for a cold rinse, hot wash with detergent, followed by a cold rinse. This helps get the diapers cleaner before they even enter the wash. This made be needed for those of you who are dealing with potent toddler urine!

I also did a quick rinse with my night diapers right after taking them off my daughter in the morning. I found that these diapers tend to have the biggest stink issues as he is sleeping in them for 10-12 hours at night. After a quick hand-rinse, I throw them in my diaper pail. I have found that this rinse also helps keep my diaper pail smelling less like an atomic ammonia bomb every time I open it!

I know these are just a few ideas that have helped me battle ammonia, and there are a ton more products out there that people have great success with. Feel free to comment below and share some of your ideas and thoughts on outsmarting the ammonia smell!

Have you ever had to deal with ammonia before?

What techniques do you find help with your stink?

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