horrable ammonia burns/buildup

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horrable ammonia burns/buildup

Postby sunnib » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:53 am

DS has horrible ammonia burns on his bum after being back in his cloth for about a 3 days :cry: Poor baby. Im pretty sure I have soft water and I use Country Save detergent. I use half the recomended amount because I have a half washer (apartment sized washer) and try to only do about 5-6 diapes at once. I let the water fill up to the small load level with hot water to disolve the detergent and then add the dipes, switch the size to large and let it fill up the rest of the way with cold water, let it do one full wash then 2 rinse cycles the first on hot the second on cold. Is there something wrong with this wash routine? I was thinking maybe they needed more time in the hot water but our water is extreamly hot and I thought it might damage the diapers in some way. Should I change detergent? If I do need to change detergents should I strip them first, and what is the best way to do that? I've tried dawn and it didnt seem to help, maybe I didnt do it right :dunno: Any suggestions would be great, DH wants to throw all the cloth away and just use sposies :(
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Postby NotBarbaraBush » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:12 am

I think ammonia and stink is from detergent build-up, meaning all the detergent is not washing out.
Depending on your dipes, I would wash with 1/8 c of bleach with your detergent. Then run about 3-4 cycles on warm (if you have that setting) w/ no detergent.

I've found with my washer that my rinse cycles do squat. I have to run a full warm cycle after my wash cycle to get the detergent out.
You should be able to open the lid while the diapers are agitating and see no bubbles. If there are bubbles, there is still detergent present.
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Postby stefanielynn » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:16 am

I'm wondering if it might be too much detergent. When I had soft water in NC, I used veeeery little detergent, maybe a couple of Tbs. It was no where near the recommended amount, even in my full size washer.
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Postby ivycrystals » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:12 am

I would try a hot wash without anything in it. Run your clean diapers thru and check during the rinse cycle to see if there are bubbles.
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Postby BeccaM » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:19 pm

Yes, probably some build up. I also only use prefolds and I do put a tiny bit of chlorine free bleach in the wash occasionally. I do a cold heavy wash and quick soak with baking soda and borax, and then a long hot soak with homemade detergent and washing soda or borax, then on the double rinse, I throw in some vinegar. I try to air dry outside when I can.

We have no rashes or bad ammonia smell here. I definitely suggest double rinsing with vinegar. That helps rinse all the residue out.
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Postby aimsy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:43 pm

I talked to a local cloth diaper store owner about my BAD ammonia problems. Her advice ...

Dawn will not do anything unless it's actually detergent buildup.

Vinegar can make it WORSE depending on what kind of water you have. (I tried this first and yes, it DID make it worse for me!)

She suggests soaking in 2-3 scoops of oxy-clean, then washing on a very hot cycle (sanitize cycle, if you have it.) If there is still a slight smell, do it again.

After this, to keep it away, wash your diapers with a couple T of oxy-clean (and your regular detergent) each time.

She said yes, it is a somewhat harsher thing to use, but it's not as bad as the "Funk Rock" that Rockin' Green sells. She said it's basically the same thing, but she says the Oxy-Clean works just as well in her opinion.

Anyway, I did what she suggested and it worked for me! She did say that in the summer, especially when I'm using something like the very thick Goodmamas, ammonia is going to be hard to avoid.

HTH. :) I swear the ammonia stink almost made me give up CDins once with my first DD, and once now with my second DD, too. And I love my CDs, just can't STAND stink.
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Postby prdmommyof2 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:30 am

My reg wash routine I do a cold rinse first, that way you are diluting the urine. Then i do a hot wash with crunchy clean followed by another cold rinse.

You could always rinse your dipes before putting them in the pail to help dilute the urine.

I would strip. I do a cold rinse, then a hot soak with oxyclean for a bit. Then i put some dawn, you shouldn't need much, and rinse rinse rinse. Make sure there are no bubbles left. Agitating can cause a few natural so let it sit a min after opening if there's still bubbles then keep rinsing. After that put them in the sun.

That should take care of it. It doesn't sound like detergent buildup so using dawn should work well. If all else fails, do a wash with a little bleach and make sure you rinse a lot.

You may just need to adjust adjust your wash routine to help prevent the ammonia buildup. Washing every other day I think works best so thar the ammonia isn't building up and sitting in the fibers. Also, if your dipes stink right out of the washer than you aren't using enough detergent.



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Postby Emmo » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:39 am

I swear I posted on this, but I don't see it :dunno:

Did you try calling Green Bambino? I just did my registry there and she was telling me that they specialize in getting stink and residue out of diapers. She seemed pretty confident that they can get anything out. And since they are here in OK, they will know about your water. I think our water here is supposed to be pretty hard. http://limeaway.com/hard-water.php

OTOH, they recommended I use Country Save also, which seems to not be working for you for the time being, hmm.
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Postby kellie84 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:54 am

My wash routine is a cold wash, then a hot wash with detergent ( I have really hard water so I usually do an hour soak before washing ) and then another cold wash.

Since you have soft water you may be using too much detergent. You may even need 1/4 the recommended amount. Also if you are washing 5-6 diapers I would stick to using a smaller amount of water too. When you fill the machine all the way up with water, the diapers will just float around. With a smaller amount of water they will be able to agitate each other. And hot water if fine, the hotter the better.

You could do a soak in oxi-clean and then run them through a few hot washes until there are no bubbles. That should help. And fyi, you can do vinegar since you have soft water, it's hard water and vinegar that doesn't mix well.
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