Deodorizers Mailbox Mondays Stink

Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 5/14/12 – Bac Out & Ammonia

Bac Out & Ammonia in #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

If you have a cloth diaper question, have it answered in a Mailbox Mondays post, and get help from other Moms.

Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Melanie says::

I have a question about using Bac-out. It was recommended to me me because now that the weather is warmer, the diapers in my dry bag have begun to get ammonia build-up (I wash no less frequently than every other day). No one can seem to give me a good sense of how to properly use it. I was spraying the inserts before bagging them which definitely helped with the ammonia, but after they go through the wash and dryer, they still smell like lime. I don’t like the idea of an enzyme spray lingering so long there. What do I need to be doing to prevent this?

I tried Bac Out long ago, and I sprayed directly on inserts before washing them. I also tried pouring it right in the washer, but it didn’t really help my smell issues long term. What ended up solving my ammonia/stink issues was switching detergents.

Are you noticing an ammonia smell after washing & drying your diapers, or just in the pail (in the pail is normal?) If the smell lingers after washing, instead of adding the Bac Out, you might try using a bit more detergent, or trying a different detergent.

Have you used Bac Out? Did it solve your ammonia issues? How did you use it?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • May 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I use a diaper pail and find far less ammonia smell when I leave it fully open. My husband is sensitive to even slight poop smells, though, so I keep a spray bottle of diluted Bac-Out next to it. Anytime it starts to stink, I spray a bit into the pail. I don’t do it with the intention of getting anything clean, but the lime smell is SO strong (I really like it!) that it usually covers up any poopy smell my hubby might complain about 😉

    • May 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      I love the spell of the lime, too. I think the dilute idea sounds great!

    • May 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      that sounds like a great idea!! I need to find it and try it out on bad kitty smells too…

  • May 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

    What might work better is rinsing out all your diapers (yes, ALL of them!) before putting them in the bag. Annoying? Yes, slightly. However, what is causing the ammonia smell is simple the urine breaking down as it sits in the bag. If you rinse as much pee as possible out of the diaper before storing it, there will be less urine to turn into ammonia! Also, do you leave the bag open or close it? I’m guessing if you let the bag open (or moved to a pail system, for greater air flow) it might slow the accumulation of the bacteria that breaks down the urine into ammonia.

    • Tamara
      May 14, 2012 at 11:26 am

      I agree with Carolyn. Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve greatly reduced my stink issues. It also helped me to add Calgon to my wash since we have hard water.

    • May 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Great tip on the pre-rinsing! I also find far less ammonia smell when I leave the pail cracked.

    • May 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      I agree too…we had been stuffing our wet diapers in wet bags and then zipping them and we had some stinky diapers…we were also traveling twice a month, so had to seal them up…once home we just left them on the dryer…now in the utility sink since we have moved and have one, and do not have the same stinky issues…I too have also change to all free and clear detergant or tide and have had much better luck…

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