THIS IS AN URGENT MESSAGE TO ALL CLOTH-DIAPERING PARENTS: I am thisclose to never using a cloth diaper again, and I need your advice to fix all my problems. If I can't fix them, these diapers are getting packed away and I will contribute to the landfills.
I have MULTIPLE issues at the moment, but I believe they come back to this:
The diapers REEK. They have in the past, and I have tried to remedy the problem with extra washes, stripping the diapers, leaving outside in the sun, and even adding bleach to the hot wash cycle, with some success, but now they are not responding to ANYTHING.
I believe that all my excessive washing (I am running them through the washer a minimum of FOUR times before I'm like "Meh. They don't smell good, but they smell better.") and adding more and more detergent has led to 1) my diapers breaking down prematurely (I had 12 bumGenius 4.0s replaced by cotton babies because the velcro no longer worked, and I have 12 bumGenius 3.0s that were NOT purchased from cotton babies and have no warranty, but are literally FALLING APART. I will not be able to use them much longer at all), and I hate to admit, 2) A god-awful rash on Josephine's bum the other day.
Using more detergent (I use Nellie's All Natural Laundry soda which the cotton babies representative told me was in their top five "best" recommended detergents to use) seemed to be helping with the odor a bit, but I could never get them completely clean and smelling good. This wasn't a problem early on, but has been happening for a few months now. I stripped and bleached once, and they were back to good as new, but then a month later they were so bad that nothing has been helping anymore.
Here is my routine (which is basically the manufacturer's suggested care):
1. I wash the diapers every other day
2. I do a cold spin and rinse or an entire cold wash cycle, without detergent
3. I follow that with a hot wash cycle with 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent, then an extra hot rinse
3. I dry the inserts on medium and hang the shells to dry
And now, because this no longer works, I have been adding wash cycle after wash cycle after wash cycle, and even stripping and bleaching the diapers, to no avail.
FYI, because J's poo is solid, we just dump it in the toilet, so there is no poo residue being added to the washer. Just in case you thought it might be that. The smell is undeniably urine, and I am fed up.
When Josephine got her rash, which I thought could be from detergent build-up, but the doctor thought that was unlikely, I bought 30 disposable diapers. Unlike when she was young, I found I really liked them, and I liked how dry Josie's bum was, where in her cloth diapers she is ALWAYS wet. We went back to cloth for a week, but this morning when I was washing a load for the bazillionth time and I could smell my kid's diaper even though it was dry, I just gave up and went to the store and bought a big box. I told Jeremy we are disposable diaper people until I find a solution, and that means I need your help!
It will still end up having saved money if we only used the diapers this long (the cost of the cloth diapers is much less than if we were buying disposables for the past year), so if we are over cloth diapers, it was still a win, but I want to keep this going. I like the obvious benefits of cloth diapers, but at this point we are using a LOT of water to wash these things, and I spend ALL day EVERY day just to try to get like ten diapers washed -- that's a huge waste of time and energy, no matter what your opinion is on what my time is worth. However, I feel a sense of duty to make these things last until she is potty trained, like I originally intended, since almost every single diaper I own was a gift from my mother or mother-in-law.
Help me, CD experts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I implore you!