Cloth Diapering Inserts Stink Stripping Washing

Not that kind of stripping

>Well. I’d hoped that since I’ve been using Lil Outlaws detergent and cloth safe diaper cream, I wouldn’t have to strip my diapers.  I’ve finally succumbed to the microfiber stink!  They weren’t particularly offensive, just rather musty smelling.  This particular smell appears to be very common with BumGenius diapers.

To strip diapers, you use the classic blue dawn, or plain ivory dish soap, suds the diapers up, then rinse until there are no more suds.  This can be a lot of rinsing, so I did only 5-7 at a time, since I only have 15.

The rule is, if your diapers smell like anything other than “clean,” they’re not. My guess is that since I have an HE washing machine, the diapers just weren’t quite getting rinsed clean.  Extra warm rinses can get rid of residue. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have space and money for a second washing machine, a regular old washing machine seems to be best for washing diapers.  If you’re in the market for a new machine, it’s something to keep in mind.

For the record, you are not supposed to use any sudsing “stuff” in an HE machine, so if you have an HE, do this in a sink or laundry tub until the majority of the suds are gone.

After stripping, my diapers smelled great.  I didn’t even notice any “stinkies” in a fully soaked nighttime diaper.

It really wasn’t that big of a deal or that much work, so I’m planning on stripping diapers anytime I notice more than a little stink!


OK it’s been maybe two days since I’ve written this and I am going crazy!  Yesterday morning I opened up his diaper and I almost fell over from the strong ammonia smell.  I thought maybe it was just because he had been ill the night before, so maybe he was dehydrated & his urine was  concentrated.  Later that day I had another eye watering ammonia diaper, and his diaper this morning was the same way.

It seems to only be the bumgenius diapers.  They are my favorite diapers, but these inserts are horrible! 

Moms in my cloth diaper group suggested RLR Laundry treatment, so I am going to try it.

It irritates me that it’s just the BG inserts, especially since they are otherwise my favorite diapers.  If I had the funds, I would buy some Blueberry Combination One Size inserts to use in them, along with a few hemp inserts or bamboo doublers to use at night.  The O/S insert came with the Blueberry Minky diaper I have.  The microfiber quickly absorbs, while the hemp locks the moisture in, away from baby.  It’s all one piece to make stuffing easier, but it has a loop design (vs. being “sandwiched” together) for more effective washing and faster drying.  Synthetic fibers supposedly stink more than natural ones, but I’ve had no trouble with any other microfiber, just the BG.

In my dream world, I’d have a laundry room big enough to house my HE washer & dryer, as well as a cheap, mega capacity, standard washer.  I want to be able to fill my washer to the brim for diapers and other loads as I see fit.  I’d love my HE washer so much if only it had some sort of manual override to add more water.

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • Brenda
    April 12, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Funny, I don’t have a problem with the BG inserts but those combo Blueberry inserts we are using for overnight smell beyond nasty. Yes, they absorb great, but I am about to toss them out if I cannot solve the stink problem!
    We use RnG!

    • April 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

      I find that anything I usefor overnight ends up smelling disgusting! Every other month or so, I wash (just inserts) with a dab of bleach and then rinse rinse rinse. It seems to take care of it! It sure took me a lot of trial and error to figure it out though!!

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    >Thanks for the tip! I'm pretty happy with the lil outlaws detergent I'm using. It's also made so you don't have to strip. I think my problems are from my HE washer!

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    >I've switched to Rockin Green Soap for our BGs. Once I start to notice a strong stink I will rinse in cold, follow up with a hot soak with RNG, then run 2-3 rinses. It usually works pretty good. The RNG is made so you don't have to strip. Good Luck!

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