Stripping Your Diapers
(to get rid of ammonia, ammonia burns, contact rash, and stinky diapers)
Over time you may notice that your cloth diapers no longer smell April fresh, even right after laundering. You may also notice an extremely strong (stronger than normal) urine smell in baby’s diaper after peeing in them. Both are signs that your diapers are not clean and need to be ‘stripped’. Stripping is the process of removing mineral deposits and detergent build up from your diapers in order to eliminate stink, prevent diaper rash, and improve absorbency.
How do I know if my cloth diapers need to be stripped?
- Are your diapers leaking but the inserts aren't fully soaked?
- When you sprinkle water on top of your diaper, does it bead up instead of soaking into the diaper?
- Does your baby get a rash when you put a diaper on, but the rash immediately disappears if she wears a disposable diaper?
- Do your diapers still stink or smell of urine AFTER they’ve been washed
- Do your diapers have a really strong ammonia smell that could burn your nose or make your eyes water?
What causes them to stink?
How do I strip my cloth diapers?There are several ways you can strip your diapers and I've tried just about all of them with mixed results. You can use baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil, etc. The steps below, however, have always worked for me though and that's why I recommend them. This is my tried and true method for easily stripping diapers.
- Start with clean diapers, and only place the absorbent parts in your washing machine
- Add hot water (as hot as you can get it)
- Add RLR or a DIY mix (3 tbps each of washing soda, borax and calgon)
- Add ½ cup of detergent
- Soak for 4 hours (even overnight)
- Finish the wash cycle
- Fill the washer with cold water
- Add 1 cup of bleach or a DIY mix (1 cup Borax + 4 cups Peroxide)
- Let soak for 30 – 45 minutes (not longer)
- Wash hot with recommended amount of detergent
- For hard water only – also add 1 cap of Calgon or ½ cup of Borax