If you’re wondering how to get the stink out of cloth diapers, look no further! Our twin boys have been sharing the same 25 cloth diapers for the last 21 months so I KNOW how to get the stink out.
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From day one, we knew we wanted to cloth diaper our twins. You can read all about how we do it here, but suffice it to say it’s been the BEST choice we could have made. We’ve saved a lot of money, had less diaper rash to contend with, and cloth diapers are freaking adorable. We’ve come to love cloth diapering and so have our boys.
Except for the smell.
Oh, the smell of ammonia that starts emanating out cloth diapers after a while is enough to stun a skunk. We’ve tried a lot of things to get the stink out of cloth diapers, but three things have worked the best for us.
How to Get the Stink Out of Cloth Diapers
We aren’t the best at this (see also: twin toddlers), but rinsing our cloth diapers right after a diaper change goes a long way to keeping the smell at bay. We try our best to rinse both poop and pee diapers right after a diaper change, instead of letting them sit. The water seems to help dilute the waste that’s left on the diapers and that means we can go longer between stripping the diapers (see #3 below).
Sun, Sun and More Sun
I can’t emphasize this enough. Hang your diapers in the sun after every wash, every chance you get. There’s no better bleach than the sun, and in addition to helping with stains, the sun does a great job of cutting through the smelly funk. Even on chilly days, we’ll hang them up outside if they sun’s going to be out. The rainy winter is a little harder — we hang them on a rack near our bedroom window to dry. But as soon as the sun comes back out, they are back on the line. I’ve come to enjoy hanging diapers on the line. It gives me a few minutes outside in the fresh air and I feel very Laura Ingalls Wilder.
There are a lot of methods out there for stripping diapers, but we swear by the Rockin’ Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer Detergent. We’ve tried a few different products and this one seems to work the best for us. We throw all our diapers in the wash, set it as hot as possible (for us that’s XXTRA SANITARY), add an extra rinse cycle, and a few tablespoons of the Funk Rock. The load takes forever and then when it’s done I do a second rinse cycle on it. Then out in the sun they go!
While these three things aren’t going to keep your diapers from ever getting stinky again, if you keep up with it you’ll only have strip them every few months. Despite the stink that sometimes makes its way into our diapers, I would recommend cloth diapering to pretty much every parent. It may seem like a lot of work, but the cost savings and environmental benefits can’t be beat!