Friday, April 20, 2012

Ammonia Blues (or Fighting the Good Fight)

I talked earlier this week about how I was fighting ammonia build up in my diapers. It really just came out of nowhere; one day everything was perfect, the next everything sucked. I have to say, it doesn't look like I will be using Rockin' Green again anytime soon. Sorry RG lovers!

So here is what I did to fight the good fight. 

1. Boil

I boiled the inserts 3 or 4 at a time in my 16 quart stock pot. It smelled pretty gross and I was surprised in a pleasantly disgusting way at how much gunk came out of them. I changed the water periodically, dumping it in the toilet so I could better assess the affect the boiling was having. The water was yellowish every time, and it smelled, did I mention that? 

Notice the soap suds? Not a good sign.
2. Sun

I used tongs to take the inserts out of the boiling water (watch out for steam) and transferred them into another, smaller, pot to cool while I threw a few more inserts in. After they'd cooled a bit I took them outside, wrang them out and hung them up to dry in the sun. If you don't want to wait for them to cool use kitchen gloves to keep from burning yourself. 

The Great Fence of Fluff.

The wipes were in the basket so I went ahead and let them sun too for good measure.

Random sock I found in the bottom of the laundry basket. 
3. After they were done sunning I took them back in and stripped them with Dawn in the washing machine with the diapers themselves. Make sure you use blue Dawn original. I used about a Tbsp (I really estimated it, I had a lot of diapers so it was probably a heaping Tbsp), ran a hot wash and then rinse, rinse, rinse. I rinsed my little heart out, took them out of the dryer and put them back up on the fence! 

Results: It's been sort of hit and miss in the ammonia department. Some diapers seem to immediately smell of ammonia after a single pee, others not so much. It's really interesting, since I stripped the diapers I've of course been smelling them to make sure I'm handling the ammonia problem, and a lot of times it just smells like pure urine. It's weird, like it didn't smell quite that pure before. My neighbor said the same thing after she stripped hers with Dawn too, so I'm assuming this is a result of the Dawn strip and not the boiling. Although I think the boiling did help. 

That same neighbor also gave me a good tip, and that's to rinse out nighttime diapers in the morning before putting the in the can. This is a great way to prevent ammonia build up and other problems. 

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