Nickis Diapers

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Ongoing Saga of Cloth and Ammonia

***new note! I now wash every 2.5 to 3 days.  I use 4-5 tbs powdered tide and calgon in each wash. 5/6/14

Well, my tried and true method of getting rid of ammonia failed me a month ago.  My son's overnight diapers reeked in the morning of ammonia and he even got an ammonia burn from one.  I washed, stripped, boiled, soaked in cloth safe detergent, soaked in ammonia bouncer, and even tried fish tank ammonia remover.  Nothing worked.  These methods would improve the ammonia for one time, but weren't fixing the problem.

Understandably I was frustrated!  I mailed the company that made my CD safe soap and worked with them for a few weeks.  None of their methods were working.  I turned to my local diaper circle leader and pleaded my case, and gave my attempts at fixing the problem.  It turns out the solution was in two things I had been told.

First, switching to a non CD detergent.  Tide was recommended by Nicki's Diapers after they had been testing it on Best Bottom diapers for quite some time.  The other part that was needed was a good soak.

I used 1/4 cup of Tide and soaked my diapers overnight.  After that I washed and rinsed until all bubbles were gone.  This took hours, but the end result is diapers that no longer stink or burn my son!

I tried switching back to my CD safe detergent, and after 1 wash, the ammonia was back, so I stripped again, soaked again, and we were back in business!

I now am washing my diapers with a different routine that I posted below.

First is still a pre-wash/rinse.  My setting for this is the comforter setting because it adds more water.  I do this on WARM because it will rinse the ick better.

Next is a heavy duty wash on HOT with 3 TBS tide and 3 TBS Calgon water softener with an extra rinse.

At the end of this cycle, I remove PLU shells, wetbags, and pail liners.  These hang to dry.

I then run cold rinses until there aren't any more soap bubbles when I stop the rinse cycle.

So far this is working and it's again, a simple wash routine. 


  1. Update, I now use 2-3 tbs tide and calgon in my washes.

  2. How many hours does this wash routine take?

    1. It takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours. However, that's my machine. The long wash cycle runs for 2 hours on its own. It's not labor intensive, just time. I've started the wash and left to run errands many times. When I get home I run the rinses as needed. I'm only in the laundry room for 15 minutes tops with all the cycles, hanging, and drying with "help" from my toddler. Less if he doesn't help.