Several months ago I was struck with some terrible ammonia stink in my diapers and my usual routines were not working. It’s amazing how much this stressed me and occupied my mind. I am terrified that something unfixable will come between me and my cloth! My typical solutions (bleach soak, hot water stripping, Rockin Green soak, etc) just weren’t cutting it because they either weren’t working, were too time-consuming and/or were only temporary fixes. I was desperate to find something that was easy and worked, not temporarily, but all the time. I didn’t want a band-aid; I wanted a real fix. In my research I found countless numbers of moms struggling with ammonia so I know I’m not alone, but in this case misery does not love company. I didn’t want to hear other horror stories; I wanted to hear that this is something I can overcome easily and quickly.
In my trial and errors I think I have come up with some solutions. Two of them seem incredibly reliable and, dare I say, easy. I am eager to share my findings because I know other moms out there are struggling with this. We love our diapers, but the ammonia smell and rashes just aren’t acceptable. I feel confident in the new routines, but I have to tell you, I’ve always got my eye out (or rather my nose) for that evil stink. Every diaper that comes out of the washer gets a search and pat-down that would rival any airport security measure!
1. BioKleen Bac-Out:
I have had Bac-Out sitting in my laundry cabinet for months, but I was wary of trying it. I don’t like additives or complications in my wash routine because 1) I relish simplicity and 2) the more involved the wash gets the more room there is for error, build-up or the like. I started with a good, overnight soak in hot water with ¼ cup of Bac-Out. Now, I don’t want to have to do this all of the time. Since I have a front loader, doing soaks (in bleach, Bac-Out, Rockin Green, whatever) is annoying, messy and difficult, but I wanted to tackle this problem head-on so I figured a soak would get me on track.
After the overnight, a full washing and lots of rinses I figured my diapers were back to square one, smelling fresh and free of odor and build-up. Now I started experimenting with a daily routine to maintain this freshness, avoid having to do any big soaks and, most importantly, avoid ammonia. I started by adding ¼ cup of Bac-Out to my initial rinse (which I do on the “Quickwash” cycle on my front loader with warm water). I then washed with my normal routine (hot wash with 1 tablespoon detergent, and another Quickwash for my rinse after that). When things seemed to do well with this routine for a week or two I reduced the Bac-Out to about 1-2 tablespoons. So far this has worked perfectly and my diapers haven’t had any odors coming out of the washer.
2. Rockin Green Funk Rock:
At about this time Rockin Green was launching their new product, Funk Rock, aimed to combat ammonia. I decided to give this a try as part of my wash routine as well. Instead of my Bac-Out I used the recommended 1 tablespoon of Funk Rock in my initial Quickwash rinse and then washed as normal. Using only this method (no Bac-Out) for about a week or two the results were equally as good. My diapers smelled perfect coming out of the washer and we haven’t had any strong ammonia smell when my daughter is wearing them.
Months later, I am still testing out these two methods by using one or the other additive, exclusively, in my rinse cycle for a week or so and believe they are just about equal in terms of results. However, I have found Funk Rock to be a bit pricey to use with every wash and the bag is quite small. If I poke around online I can find Bac-Out on sale for less than $6 for a 32 oz bottle. If I use 1-2 tablespoons per wash I end up getting several months of washing out of one bottle.
Stay tuned next week for Part #2!