How to Cure Ammonia Build-Up in Cloth Diapers

by Jaime Sanderson – co-owner of Babes In Arms

There are couple tell-tale signs of ammonia build-up in diapers:

  • Do your diapers smell fine when they’re clean but stinky after the first pee?
  • Does your child have a red bum (mild rash) everywhere after a wet diaper?

Both are signs of ammonia build-up (also known as urine residue).

* For me, once I do a heavy soap wash (I recommend Rockin’ Green’s Hard Rock for Calgary’s hard water) followed by multiple (3-5) hot rinses & a hang dry in the sun, it usually eliminates the problem.

* One of the key things I find though, is that I need to INCREASE the water level with my rinses — it’s not enough to just do multiple rinses with a small load water level, the key is to use a full tub of water.  (I have no idea why this works, but it REALLY does!)

* Another thing to try is bleaching your diapers.  While we don’t recommend this on a regular basis, you can use an oxygen bleach (such as Oxy-Boost or Nature Clean Oxygen Bleach) to get rid of stains (but no more than once every month or so).

* Also, here’s a link to the Residue instructions that Bummis offers:


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