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Strong ammonia smell in nappy bucket - to be expected? Or am I doing something wrong?

(12 Posts)
ToastAddict Fri 08-Aug-08 10:28:20

I've been using cloth nappies for a month or so, most are second hand but were all lovely when I got them.
This last week, the nappy bucket has been unbearable when I take the lid off, an incredibly strong ammonia smell.
I only wash twice a week, on a Monday and Friday, so this may be the reason, simply that they are sat there for so long.
I dry pail, do a prewash with no detergent, then a 60C wash with Ecover non-bio, about half the normal amount. So far I haven't used vinegar or done extra rinses.
Today out of desperation, I used Persil non-bio, again half the usual amount, but had so many suds at the end that I had to do about 4 extra rinses! They smell OK-ish, but not that lovely "just washed" smell that other washing smells of (and these used to)

Any advice? Thanks x

BigBadMousey Fri 08-Aug-08 10:43:02

You are leaving them in the pail for too long - especially in this warm weather.

If they are just wet, you could add them in with your normal wash load so they aren't hanging around waiting for a nappy wash day.

Once the smell is set in, it is harder to get out. If you want to try and strip the nappies to get rid of the lingering smell I'd do so now before they start to get worse.

ilovemydog Fri 08-Aug-08 10:50:37

Do you wash the bucket too?

I wash mine about twice a week and the nets every other wash.

ToastAddict Fri 08-Aug-08 10:54:39

BBM - how do I "strip" the nappies?
ilovemydog - I wash the net with the nappies and rinse the bucket each time I do a load, then leave it outside to air

LackaDAISYcal Fri 08-Aug-08 10:55:12

I wash at least every other day in this weather. I have two buckets, one with a lid that locks tight and one that is a bit looser. DD kept going into the bucket so I started using the lock tight one and that made things so much worse smell waise as it wasn;t getting the cahnce to escape.

Try stripping them and then doing a further wash with no detergent and some vinegar in the rinse to see if that helps. Microfibre nappies tend to get whiffier quicker ime.

A few drops of tea tree oil around the rim of the bucket or at the top of the net (not on the nappies though) should help a bit as well.

BigBadMousey Fri 08-Aug-08 11:02:30

There are several techniques to strip them but I've nicked this from needaholiday on another thread to save typing blush

Soak them in white vinegar and cold water (500ml bottle of vinegar and top up the nappy bucket with water) overnight. Then put the whole lot in the washer, do a prerinse on cold, wash hot with a full dose of biological detergent. rinse two times with warm or cold water to shift the detergent and the nappies should smell ok.

LackaDAISYcal Fri 08-Aug-08 11:04:57

I routinely do a vinegar rinse every other week as I find it keeps the smell down.

ToastAddict Fri 08-Aug-08 11:06:13

Brilliant, thanks everyone for their help

BBM - stripping - am I right in thinking I am doing this to clean nappies? Thanks

BigBadMousey Fri 08-Aug-08 21:11:24

Sorry, yes - it's like a deep clean. The method I quoted should make them softer too.

ToastAddict Sat 09-Aug-08 14:28:58

Thanks BBM - did the soak last night and wash this morning and they now smell gorgeous grin
As Lackadaisycal says, it was mostly the microfibre ones (Fluffles and Little Lambs) which were the worst offenders
Sorted now though, thanks

lollipopmother Sat 09-Aug-08 14:57:52

How often should you strip the nappies?

BigBadMousey Sat 09-Aug-08 17:27:57

Whenever you feel they need it. Some people do it as routine once a month though. If you have microfibre nappies or inserts then I think it is best to do it as soon as you detect a strange whiff coming from a clean nappy.

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