Stink Stripping Washing

It’s on now!


Yesterday I decided to declare war.  It’s full fledged warfare, me vs. the diapers.

I started by soaking them in bac out and lil outlaws most of the day.  Then I did a cold heavy duty wash with a 3 hour soak and extra rinse.  I followed that up with a hot heavy duty wash with an extra warm rinse.

Then, it was just me and the inserts.  My diapers hung over the washing machine and the inserts gave them a panicked look.   They should know better than to mess with me!

Next…yeah, I did it.  I heard tiny, stinky screams as I plunged the inserts into boiling water.  (Don’t try this at home kiddos!)

I filled the washer with hot water, lil outlaws, and bac out (put in the liquid pre-treat dispenser).  I added the inserts and boiling water, plus an extra 7 quarts of boiling water.  I closed the lid and gave one more loathsome and triumphant look at the washing machine before turning off the light and heading upstairs.

As the inserts lay stewing and thinking about what they did, I lay thinking about my HE washer.  I love it, except for those cases where I want to be able to add more water.  I heard some people say they tried to dump additional water in, but the washer sensed it and drained it out.  Mine doesn’t do that, but it’s a pain to try to fill a pot and dump it in the washer.

Then, it hit me!


This morning, I ran another heavy duty cycle with an extra warm rinse and added extra water from the utility sink.  In the last rinse, I still noticed some residue on the surface of the water, so I did ANOTHER heavy duty wash with a double warm rinse, and I added extra water to the wash and the rinse.  I didn’t add any detergent or additive, just water, water and more water!

After all that, I’m still noticing sudsy-ish residue on the surface of the water during agitation (I think I was able to capture it in a photo).  So, another cycle. 

The only problem is that I’m down to my last clean diaper.  The diapers are all dry, so if this wash does it, I can have the inserts dry in time for the next diaper change.  If I have to wash any more, I will have to put him in a disposable.  Ick.  (Had to do it since he pooped as soon as I put the last clean one on him.  *sigh*)

I’ve tossed around the idea of bleaching them to really kill all the ickies, but I think as long as I’m still getting stuff out of the inserts with hot water, they are still going to stink.

I think I’m just going to continue rinsing until I see NO residue, or until I run our well dry.  Whichever comes first, hee-hee. 

I’ve been rinsing all day, I’m going to let them soak overnight and rinse some more tomorrow.  I did discover that more water does not equal better though.  Adding enough extra to completely cover the diapers is good, but adding too much means the agitator dealie at the bottom of the washer doesn’t draw the stuff at the top of the washer down as much.

I hope I get this resolved soon because his hiney is so red with raised welts from the sposies.

P.S. I did try one on him this afternoon about 4 rinses ago (LOL) and it still smelled like ammonia, but not in the make your eyes water way it did before.

P.P.S. Please learn from my mistake and be very cautious with stripping if you have an HE washer/soft water.  It totally slipped my mind that if I have trouble getting shampoo out of my hair in our soft water, the soap may leave residue instead of removing 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 13, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I know you typed this awhile back, but have you tried clr?

    • May 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

      I emailed you too, but I struggled w/stink for 6 months (this post is over 2 years old!) until I gave up on “safe” detergents & switched to Tide. 2+ years of Tide now with great success!!

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