Diaper Update: Giving In.

October 3, 2011

We’re having ammonia issues again.  Not but a few weeks after the last time.  However – this time, I’m positive that I did everything right.

  • I’ve been pre-rinsing all the diapers in a 30 minute cold rinse + spin cycle.
  • I’ve been using a measuring spoon to measure the exact detergent.
  • Only using the diapering detergent.
  • Adding extra water to each cycle.
  • Increased hot water heater so the diapers are washing in hot water.
  • With all of these extra steps I’ve been taking, I am still getting the strong ammonia in my night time diapers.  So. While my daytime diapers aren’t going anywhere…



I ordered night time diapers. 


And guess what? 


I feel GREAT about it. 


  1. Good for you for doing what you need to do to keep your sanity. 🙂 I’m sorry you are dealing with the ammonia battle again, but cloth diapers should be enjoyable. And if you don’t enjoy the nighttime hassle – then save yourself and just stick to daytime, when you can enjoy it.

    • Thanks.
      I do not really mind the daytime diapering as much – although I did just start again dealing with leaks at church (They’re in the nursery for 3 1/2 hours and Andrew’s room doesn’t have a changing table, so they just assume the kids are ok…)

      But yeah, night time diapers were driving us mad, so Daytime is much better!

      • Tamara Sz says:

        Do you have any BumGenius pockets? I’ve found those work the best for me for those longer stretches. I add the little extra doubler and we’ve always been ok. That’s my go-to church diaper!

        • Jessica W says:

          I agree with Tamara. If you have any BG pockets try stuffing them with something else. I stuff ours with prefolds and thankfully haven’t had any ammonia issues. Good luck!

  2. I agree with doing whatever works best for your family. No need to feel guilty about it. :o)

    • Oh! and good job with those coupons/promotions girl!!!

      • Thanks 😉 I’m glad someone appreciated that! I mean, $0.21/diaper is usually on the high end for price, BUT because they are the night time diapers, this is a great price.

        I could have gotten about $0.18/diaper if I would have stuck with the pampers snug and dry…!

  3. I have the same problem at night. My boy is 15 months. I will occasionally use a disposable if it getss bad and he getss red. Really frustrating. I rinse all my diapers in the sink before putting in the pail and then leave the lid open. This has helped a lot. I also wash every other day. You DO NOT want uncomfy kids at night, so you need to do what makes them comfortable. NEVER feel guilty or let anyone let you feel guilty for your choices. BRAVO to you!!!!

  4. Good job doing what you need to do. Using dosposables at night does not make you less of a mom. Hope the rest of your experience using cloth diapers goes well!!

  5. Mary Michaud says:

    try an oxiclean soak

  6. tubbytelly says:

    Kind of funny, I am doing the opposite of you. I am closing in on finishing up with my packs of disposables and using wool/cloth more. I refuse to buy any more disposables.

  7. Yeah, do what works for you! As for the smell, I did trial and error and finally found a good soap, Rockin Green and they have Classic Rock for regular hard water and Hard Rock for really hard water and it works great for us- but like you said, I do 1 cold rinse, double rinse. And the second cycle is hot with a double rinse- takes like 4 hours but works and no smell.

    I use disposible at night sometimes and found a good chlorine free one from Europe on Amazon- Bambino or something like that and no leaks!! So far they are great!

    • Yeah, I’ve been using the Classic Rock because we have regular water.

      It’s not even so much the smells as it is the BURN that my son’s get on their butt from the ammonia. My son still has a 3″ x 2″ scar on his tiny butt from the last open oozing sore that he got from the ammonia burn – and this time woke up screaming and the boils had started but not broken yet.

      I’m not concerned about the chemicals in the disposables even remotely as much as I’m concerned about the chemicals that are burning my kids butts in the cloth.

      • OH dear!! That is just awful, poor baby! That happened to me when I used that Charlie’s soap. Poor things. I have no idea what makes one soap work and not the other, but I hope it gets better for you. Good luck and try those disposibles I found on Amazon- something like Bambino, cheap, chlorine free and no leaks so far at night!

  8. Amanda N. says:

    I have a friend who keeps a wet pail under her sink just for her night-time diapers. I also know someone who sprays the night time diapers off with the diaper sprayer so they’re nice and rinsed out before they go into the dry pail. And another who spritzes the night time inserts down with vinegar before dropping them in the pail.

    I found that frequent overnight soaks at the start of my wash helped me. Some people have luck with things like Rockin’ Green’s Funk Rock.

    …and some people just stick with disposables at night!

    As annoying as the ammonia stink in my night time diapers is for me, disposables have never worked for us at night. I’ve found I have better luck keeping the leaks away with hemp. So we’re sort of in the opposite boat over here, cloth-only for night-time! 😛

  9. I agree you gotta do what you gotta do! I have had some success by doing a warm rinse instead of cold and by using three squirts of bac out in that rinse. I also did the ammonia remover suggestion from the BabyCenter board. I used the ammonia remover to get rid of it and have maintained ammonia free diapers by doing the bac out.

    My daytime diapers get a little stinky now and then and the best thing I have found is to rinse and rinse and rinse on hot until I see no suds.

    But seriously, do what is best for you!

  10. heather stewart says:

    sorry to hear about that. I’ve never had ammonia issues with mine. Leaking issues are another story for night time though.

  11. I’ve battled with ammonia stink on and off for years. Ultimately, I just go for disposables at night. I know there’s more I could try, but after trying so many things, it’s not a hill to die on. I figure it’s mostly the nature of toddler pee, since I only ever started having issues with my older kids, even though the older one was wearing the same diapers, washed the same way, as the baby.

    It’s still keeping that much more diaper out of the landfill, and exposing baby to that much less chemicals.

  12. I know you’re probably getting tired of the subject, but if you want to, try switching to a different brand of laundry detergent and see what happens. Many kids have an aversion to Rockin’ Green and get exactly what you described with your sons.
    There Eco-Sprout, Country Save, Charlie’s Soap and even original powder Tide that can be used for CD’s.

    As far as leaks, I’m finding out that fitted diapers with covers works a LOT better in containing leaks.
    (I ended up sewing my own fitteds that are “fitted-pockets” with that stay dry feel fabric against the skin, we’ve been using it for 2 weeks straight along with a Thirsties cover at night and haven’t had a leak).

  13. Sonya Morris says:

    Great job in trying! I will not even cloth diaper at night because my little one leaks through no matter what I do. Plus I am too lazy (worn out from nursing all night anyway) to put more work on myself changing diapers, sheets and clothes constantly at night. Love disposable diapers at night!

  14. I used disposables at night too mostly because my husband hated the bulk of night time diapers. He wasn’t a fan at all and I didn’t want to push the issue so our compromise was cloth during the day and disposables at night. 😉

  15. That is wonderful that you are willing to just do what you need to do for yourself instead of being consumed by cloth. I however have been really lucky with my diapers. I use Country Pride OR EcoNuts <– which I love! When I wash I do 1 cold pre wash on large (no matter how many diapers I have in there) and 2 large HOT/COLD Wash cycles with a double rinse on both cycles. I have never had issues with ammonia. In the beginning of cloth diapering I was using a full scoop(recommended amount of soap) and was having issues with leaks. I contacted a great diaper maker (Blissful Booty) and she told me to use NO soap on occasion and when using soap use just a tiny smidge… maybe 1/4 of the recommended amount. Good Luck!

  16. I use sposies at night occasionally too and I don’t even have a good reason. LOL You do what you can, when you can.
    Babycenter.com has a cloth diaper board that is very helpful if you do want advice on ammonia issues. We have never dealt with it (knock on wood) but did once have a fish smell due to using Desitin. OMG I thought I would lose my mind before I got rid of that awfulness. Stripping worked in that case. The diapers, not me.

  17. Good for you. I am thinking about making the switch to cloth and am currently buying sposies through amazon as well…. Great deals!

  18. I don’t know if it’s been suggested already, but have you tried warm water washing with a bit of Dawn dish detergent? I’ve heard that can help with ammonia smells.

  19. I know that it has been over 7 months since you posted this but I was looking for a place that wasn’t a giveaway to comment on. So here goes! LOL I too am glad that you did what was right for you. My kids had very sensitive skin and it was way too hard to use cloth diapers. Oh and you are right ammonia stinks and it burns your eyes. Can’t imagine how it must feel if not all the residue isn’t rinsed out. I had Pampers and loved them. We didn’t have a lot of money while the kids were in diapers so money was tight. Thank God for coupons! =)

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