There comes a time in every cloth mama and papa's adventure when you need to address a little thing known as "the stinkies".
If you're wondering what the stinkies are, then you're still safe. Trust me, when it happens, you'll know. When dear baby wets his diaper, you'll notice it's quite smelly when you take it off. When you crack that diaper lid on wash day and your eyes start to water as if you're dicing an onion, you know you've got the stinkies. For whatever reason, it seems to be more of an issue for microfiber inserts. Not surprisingly, synthetic fibers trap the ammonia smell more intensely than organic cotton, hemp or bamboo fibers.
There are a few things you can do to get the ammonia out of your diapers. Washing them frequently, adding vinegar to the rinse cycle and storing your diaper pail in a relatively cool spot (warmth increases the intensity of the ammonia smell) will all help the problem.
I have used vinegar in the rinse cycle a few times and it works well, especially for prefolds. However, if you have hard water, vinegar may not solve your problem. Also, microfiber can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to ammonia, so if you feel that you need something a little more aggressive, I would recommend that you try a product made by Rockin' Green detergent called Funk Rock Ammonia Blaster. I personally have had excellent results with this product. I've mentioned Rockin' Green in previous posts; their detergents are made with all-natural ingredients and THEY WORK. As I've said, they aren't cheap- but then again, neither are your cloth diapers and you want to keep them in good condition so that they will last from infancy to potty-training. The Rockin' Green website describes their products perfectly, so rather than losing some of the beauty through paraphrase, here is what they have to say about Funk Rock:
"This 100% natural compound is unlike anything you've tried before. It targets funk at the source and leaves no prisoners. Just four tablespoons is enough to de-funk up to 20 diapers in one sitting. Add a little to your pre-wash to keep the stinkies from coming back. That's right, one little bag will keep the diaper funk away for over a month!"
So there you have it, folks. You can attack the funk and stay green while doing it.