Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dead Fish Smell

We all know cloth diaper smell and that's one reason why people prefer disposable. Come on, cloth diaper has no additive on eliminating odour, we smell too on sweating clothes, isn't it? Moreover, urine smell is natural compare to chemical smell from disposable. This is very common.

I first encounter this horrible smell last weekend when I asked my maid to help me rinse the soiled diaper & inserts and gather together so that I could wash them all at once. I have a few pocket diapers and I have lots of inserts... made of hemp, microfiber & cotton. The reason I need to wash in hot because I found out my maid been using lots of detergent to wash especially the insert even I informed her not to.

The next morning, I got the dead fish smell from the microfiber insert, very bad one and I think I nearly vomit! Then I realized my maid never squeeze out the exess water after she rinse for the first time and dump them all in the pail even it's not soaking. I have no choicec but to handwashed again in clean water 2-3 times before I wash everything in hot. It's not that bad anymore but they just don't smell fresh.

The culprit could probably due to using too much detergent before this and soaking too long before wash. I notice it's not neessary to soak so long before wash even the diaper was changed half a day before wash. So, most probably the detergent from previous wash still stay in the insert and it accumulated over time. No wonder I felt weird as how come the insert is getting even more smelly than before?

After getting advise from the guru and referring to websites, I decided to try a few attempts to wash again. From that day onwards, I swear to wash all the cloth diaper stash on my own!

OK, these are what I had done:

First attempt - wash in hot. Pocket diaper and some inserts smell fresh after this wash but those with dead fish smell still remain but reduced than before.

Second attempt - soak 15-30 minutes with baking soda and abit of dettol. I never use vinegar for this round but rinse with clean water. By this time, almost 90% of the smell gone.

Third attempt - only comes in when the smell is still not totally gone or the insert I used from the second attempt (washed, dried, then used on dd, got new pee on it) still reveal the weird odour, then I will repeat again with second attempt but this time add in vinegar rinse after the baking soda & dettol soak. After that, rinse again with clean water before transfer into washing machine.

Quite a lot of work, but that's how the trial and error apply for cloth diapering. Right now I wake up earlier to wash diapers and I also wash them when I'm back from work in the evening for the day. I just don't like to leave the soiled diaper till next morning especially with the smell. Even I'll put them into washing machine the next morning but I'll make sure I rinse out the urine or feces by evening.

Maybe you have better solutions to share? Do share with me how did you overcome the smell issue.


shooi said...

hi, i am a newbie to cd. RIght now i will rinse the cd & insert in water as soon as I change my son. Then wring out the water and leave in a dry pail. I wash everything at the end of the day.

First few times i use FAB powder...I noticed there is a slight smell eventhough i use Dettol, baking soda + vinegar. Then yesterday, i use TOP liquid detergent. THe CDs appear smelling heavenly! Not sure if TOP is ok though.

wHOisBaBy said...

like shooi, i also rinse the insert or fitted diaper immediately, but not the PD, that one i just leave it on the side dry.

you may want to try using tea tree essential oil. it acts as natural disinfectant as well as odor eliminator. since i use earth friendly detergent, there's no scent, but after adding a few drops of the essential oil, the diaper smell so much fresher.

lotus said...

Maybe ask your maid to use less detergent, or show her how much to use?

For my nappies I dry pail them immediately, except for pooey nappies which I rinse off first. I machine prewash cold and machine wash on warm (because cotton, hemp and bamboo may shrink) using 1/2 the recommended dosage of detergent.
The nappies come out clean and smelling fresh, even the microfibre.
Occasionally I will do a cold prewash/hot wash with normal detergent to eliminate germs and odours.

Tea tree oil is fine, however check the manufacturers instructions. Some PUL cannot tahan essential oils. Also some babies may be sensitive so make sure baby is ok with tea tree oil.

The ozclothnappies information website has lots of cd info.

For laundry recommendations and FAQ click to this link and scroll down to 'Laundry':

Note: if you want to use this information please ask the webmaster first, she is very friendly.

Sandra@miabambina said...

there is top liquid? I didn't know that.....

Peridot&Sapphire said...

shooi: which one u got? super White or anti-baterial?

anna: how to determine it's earth friendly? Got special chop?

lotus: you also use liquid detergent? you mean wash cotton, hemp or bamboo in old will shrink them?

this is the look of Top liquid detergent

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