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Stank Diapers and Leaks? What?

Continued from How Do You Deal With Poop When Cloth Diapering?

Mom, can we talk seriously about my stanky bootie? Something is just not right in my undercarriage, here.
Help! My cloth diapers are suddenly leaking!
If you find that your cloth diapers are suddenly leaking, there are a couple of possible culprits.

The first being size and fit. If baby is a big wetter, which is fairly common during the overnights, you can double up on your liners or inserts, you can practice night time diaper changes, or you can use AIOs or pockets which can help.

Another all too common issue with cloth diapers are residues, which not only cause leakage, but can also cause smell issues.

How do I know if I have residue build up in my cloth diapers?

  • Baby has a diaper rash
  • Diapers are not absorbing as well as they should
  • Diaper wraps are leaking
  • Diapers smell bad, commonly of ammonia
  • Diapers are discolored

Residue build up has a few relatively common causes. If you use a detergent with dyes, softeners, brighteners, stain guards or soaps, this can happen. Additionally, natural additives like grape seed extract or citrus oils will cause a residue build up.

Not using enough water in your wash cycles, not using enough detergent, or using dryer sheets can also cause this build up and some fabrics are just prone to it. Diapers made from fleece, suede cloth, and PUL often have bigger issues with residue build up.

Why do my cloth diapers smell like ammonia?

If the build up isn’t too bad, that is, you don’t smell a strong ammonia smell coming from the diapers, you can just wash your diapers a few times with hot water only, then toss them in the dryer. Always be sure that your water level is high enough when both washing and rinsing diapers.

One of the most common problems being seen with front loader washing machines and cloth diapers is urine build up residue. This one’s easy to spot by the strong ammonia scent. If your diapers come out of the drier or off of the line and still smell like urine, you need to address this issue. If after the first pee, the ammonia smell happens, urine residue is likely. This will also cause diaper rash.

To prevent this, make sure you’re using enough detergent but also, that you are always use enough water in both wash and rinse cycles.

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