One drawback of using cloth diapers is the smell of urine or fecal matter that can remain even after the diaper is washed. The problem is that the more absorbent the diaper is, the more likely the smell will hold. While this may be a sign that you have a good diaper, no one likes the smell.
I’ve found that the best way to get rid of those tough smells that a simple wash through the machine won’t get out is through hand washing. This way you can see and smell the washing process without waiting for the machine to stop to get your results. You can also wash as many times as you like without running the machine, until the smell is gone.
Here’s my method and what you need:
You will need a large bucket as your washing machine and a sink with hot water. You can buy either regular laundry soap, soap flakes or baby laundry soap. Baby laundry soap is designed to work harder to get stains and smells out, which is why it’s preferred but not necessary. You will also need a bottle of apple cider vinegar and a pack of baking soda. Gloves should be used to protect your hand from the waste, the hot water and the harsh laundry soap.
1. Start by placing the diapers in the bucket in your sink. The key to getting tough stains and smells out of the diapers is to wash them in small batches at a time. Your bucket should contain about five to 10 diapers at a time using maybe two gallons of water. Just enough so that they are submerged.
2. Add about two to three tablespoons of laundry soap to your bucket. Turn on the faucet to the hot water and make the water as hot as you can get it. Once your water is added, start by pressing the diapers in the bucket to wash them. You can also use a plunger to give that pressure effect that the washing machine does to wash. Do so about 50 times.
3. Rinse out your waste water and ring out the diapers until water is clear and suds are gone. Add another tablespoon of laundry soap and more water. Once suds have formed, add about 1/2 cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda. Continue to wash again for 50 counts and then rinse out your bucket.
4. Ring your diapers dry and smell. If there is still a stench to the diapers, continue this process. If not, find a sunny spot in outside to sun-dry the diapers on. This will help rid the bacteria from the diapers and does a great job of getting rid of any remaining smells.
I like this method the best. It is affordable and very simple. You don’t have to presoak to use this method. I have used this method on some of the most soiled diapers and it has left them with no odor.