The often heard myth is that cloth diapers stink. Most parents balk at the idea of cloth diapering as they have heard a lot of hair raising stories about the horrors of stinky diapers. But the reality is quite different. If you can manage it well, cloth diapers will be a great alternative to disposable diapers in terms of economy, wellness and the environment.
Your baby’s Fig-o-honey cloth diapers should smell only of the detergent you use to wash them with and fabric softener. Sunshine and sweetness are what little babies smell of.
What you can do to resolve smells of ammonia and poop
The major unpleasant smells that wet diapers can emit are the noxious smell of ammonia or the barnyard type smell of poop. Both are smells that can be completely avoided if the diapers are washed well and maintained properly.
Stripping and bleaching your cloth diaper
Diapers can be reset by bleaching or stripping. The process is quite simple.
- Stripping involves removing mineral deposits left behind on the diaper with every wash, if the wash cycle is not optimal, or the diapers have been in continuous use for over a month.
- Stripping is required only for highly absorbent padded inserts. The Fig-o-honey pocket style diaper needs no stripping at all. Do remember that stripping is an extreme measure and is resorted to only when you wash diapers in very hard water over a long period of time.
- Diapers can be bleached from time to time to remove residual smell. Stripping is not mandatory before bleaching. Bleach can be commercially available fabric bleach. Do thoroughly wash with a mild detergent post bleaching to normalize pH values of the diaper. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residual bleach to keep baby’s skin healthy.
- A very good Do it yourself bleaching agent is vinegar. Just soak the diaper and inserts in a vinegar rinse and rinse thoroughly with plain water for an effective odour removal.
A healthy wash routine can eliminate any smell at all without going through these tedious processes. It is important to wash off the entire poop using a hand shower very thoroughly. Rinse the diaper very closely and toss into a dry diaper pail for washing. Try not to wash too many diapers at the same time as agitating the diapers is integral to a good wash.
It might be beneficial to soak the diapers before a wash and then machine wash on a high water level setting to avoid smells. If you live in a sunny area it is a good idea to dry the diapers and inserts in sunshine as sunshine is a natural deodorizer.
Get rid of the smell, not the cloth diaper. Cloth diapers are much more economical and parent friendly than disposables. Make the most of parenthood and enjoy the process without the guilt of burdening the landfills with tons of non-biodegradable garbage.