Saving Your Cloth from Ammonia

Saving Your Cloth from Ammonia

Erin Burt

There is no greater time in the cloth diaper journey than that of when your baby is exclusively breastfed. No need for rinsing, stains come out easy, and there is still not a whole lot of damage from urine. Fast forward to one year when they are eating more and more solids, drinking from a cup, and all of a sudden cloth diapering has become a whole different venture.

I was lucky in that I never had to find my perfect wash routine through trial and error, what I did from the beginning just worked for us. That is, until her diapers started smelling of ammonia. Particularly it was her nighttime diapers that would burn your nose hairs first thing in the morning. I realized that my perfect wash routine was perfect no more.

Ammonia build-up is no joke as it can cause burns that are quite painful. If you see an intense rash and/or blisters there is a good chance it was caused by your cloth diapers. Having faced this problem myself, my first instinct was to is throw out my cloth and start all over. But I scoured the internet looking for a solution and tried  one in particular that actually worked and saved me from trashing my cloth.

The diapers most affected were her overnight ones, so I made sure that those made it into the cleaning rotation each time I stripped a new batch. In the meantime I used I disposables because I wanted to be sure that her rash cleared up.

What I found worked the best was Rockin’ Greens Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer. It literally starting fizzing as soon as it hit the water.

Here's how you do it:

Start with clean diapers, using whatever is your preferred wash routine with your detergent.

Soak up to 20 diapers at a time in 4 scoops of Funk Rock on hot water for several hours (I left the worst of them to soak overnight). The package says you can use up to 4 scoops, so I went with the max. Stir around the diapers to make sure that everything is dissolved and covered.

Using a normal cycle, wash the diapers again with your regular detergent.

Dry as you normally would.

Voila! Clean, ammonia-free diapers.

Moving forward I started adding a scoop of Funk Rock along with my detergent for my regular washes and haven’t had a problem since. This has worked on both my microfiber and natural cotton diapers.

Lisa is a breastfeeding, cloth diapering mama that has battled ammonia build-up and came out the winner.

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