Last week we wrote a rather lengthy article on Ammonia 101 in our advanced washing tip series, today we will keep it more brief with a solution to solving your ammonia problems.
For any sort of bacterial rash or odor issue, the solution that we advise for your diapers is to disinfect them. Your child may or may not need medical follow up due to these issues, but that decision is best made by your pediatrician. For the diapers though, the solution to ammonia is first to disinfect, then to change the wash routine.
Again, I am going to reference our fantastic washing article on our blog:
To strip and disinfect the diapers, we recommend using bleach. Chlorine bleach is the only proven disinfectant for bacterial issues, and is safe to use on any of your synthetic fabrics, prefolds, coves or AIOs. The only diaper chlorine bleach can fade is any cotton fabrics that are prints or dyed, but depending on the severity of the rash, it may be a risk you need to take for the safety of your baby’s skin and health. If you have some of these diapers in your stash, you can bleach them with color safe bleach (which uses hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine to do the bleaching), but if it comes back you may need to consider using the stronger, regular bleach. To bleach your diapers, wash and dry them as normal, then separate into piles of 12 diapers. You want to use 1/2 cup of bleach per 12 diapers per load, so you may need to do multiple loads. No detergent needed in this cycle, then rinse and dry as normal.
There are a number of methods you can research and google that suggest you can use essential oils, vinegar, oxi bleach, natural sunlight, plain hot water, or even drying on high heat to kill bacteria. Our official stance after years of research,working with hundreds of customers over the years, and continual reading on these method is that they are not as effective as chlorine bleach, and again, depending on the severity of the problem, may be the only thing that can fix the problem. A number of manufacturers approve bleach and recommend it for these issues.
I realize bleach isn’t “green”, but it is the more eco-conscious solution than disposable diapers, and when battling bacterial issues you really cannot work around the problem without disinfecting the diapers.
Additionally, we also recommend this treatment be used with any pre-owned diapers you purchase. Yeast and bacteria can live in diapers, and if you are buying from someone other than a family member or friend you know well, it is a process I highly recommend to avoid any contamination to your own child.
Next week we go over the wash routine itself in more detail.
Let us know if you have any questions!