photo by Surely Sweet Photography

Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the "A" word.

This post should be about my review of Country Save laundry detergent.  However, I am going to have to put that off until a later date.  I have had some major issues, with only 3 diapers, so I am unable to give an honest review of Country Save at this time.  So instead, I will share all about my battle, and how I've had to strip multiple times in just a few weeks.

For those who are new to my blog (welcome!), I did a review on the new (at the time) Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted diaper for overnight use.  I loved it!!  It seemed bulletproof.  But after only 1 short month of use, there were issues.  They never leaked, they were definitely great in that aspect.  Every morning when changing E, I was nearly knocked out by the strong smell of the dreaded "A" word......


For an entire year of cloth diapering, I only once experienced this, after a brief affair with Tide Free & Gentle.  But one stripping and back to Tide original did the trick, no more stinky and leaky diapers.  I didn't even use anything special to strip them, just did multiple hot washes.  I knew my current ammonia problem was not caused by detergent build up.  After all, the Fab Duo's never leaked, even after all night.  And no other diapers, even the thick microfiber AIO's, smelled of ammonia.

In January, I tested EcoNuts Soap nuts.  Towards the end of that month, I started smelling ammonia every morning.  I suspected it was because the Eco Nuts just couldn't get the thick microfiber fitted clean enough, since the thick microfiber AIO's also had a faint ammonia smell.  I thought a good stripping would take care of it.

At the end of January, I soaked half of my clean stash in RLR Laundry Treatment. Then the entire next day I did hot wash after hot wash.  I think it was about 5 hot wash/cold rinse cycles (a few days later I did the other half of the stash in the same way).  I figured the diapers would have no more residue of any kind after this.  So I started my month long test of Country Save detergent.

For the first week or so, I could not smell any more ammonia.  Yay!!  But my joy did not last long.  This time it was only the Thirsties Duo Fab Fitteds.  Once the ammonia returned, I stripped the diapers again (all of them).  That only lasted one use.  After washing them again, I smelled the ammonia yet again.  Over the next couple of weeks, I tried multiple things to get rid of the stink

Adding white vinegar to the pre-rinse.

Adding an extra rinse, and even an extra hot wash.

Soaking in white vinegar.

Soaking in OxyClean.

Soaking in a white vinegar/OxyClean mixture.

Soaking only the Fab Duo's in boiling water.

Adding a little RLR to each wash.

I also bought Bac Out, and soaked them (and all of the other microfiber while I was at it, just in case) overnight.  I did this twice.  The inserts came out a brighter white!  But the Fab Duo's still had the stink.  This was the last straw.  I do not want high maitenance diapers.

Everyone told me to try a few drops of blue Dawn dish soap to strip.  And I was told to use Rockin Green's Funk Rock.  Or to spray them after each use with Bac Out prior to putting them in the diaper pail.  I know all the tricks, but I was tired of trying to get rid of ammonia that just did not want to stay away.  I even thought about ditching my detergent reviews and going back to Tide original.  But, I decided not to do that.  I figured if I was having problems with ALL of the diapers, not just these 3, then I would do that.  But it was only the 3 Fab Duo's that made a nice home for ammonia.

I'd had enough.  I am done with the Fab Duo's.  I am a little sad, though, since the diapers worked so well. 

In case you're wondering, I have an older top loader, not an HE machine. This is the first time I have ever had a problem with my wash routine in over a year of cloth diapering.

So for the last few nights E has been wearing a Thirsties Duo Diaper with an added bamboo/hemp gFlapper.  I only have 2 of those, and they are set aside for my husband to use (easy hook & loop).  So today I bought a Knickernappies OS Pocket, which includes 2 LoopyDo inserts (microfiber and hemp).  I hear amazing things about these LoopyDo inserts.  If this works, then E may have a new nighttime diaper. 

Next week, after getting back into a normal wash routine and stripping all of the diapers yet again, I will start my month long test of Rockin Green.  Without the Fab Duo's, I am hoping to be able to give an honest review.  I have another detergent planned for May, and will return to Country Save in June.


  1. Sadly we are having the same situation with our thirsties duo fitted now as well. Nothing will make this diaper stop stinking. And nothing else we have stinks. Rylan is about to grow out of it so it's ready to be retired. I really liked it :(

  2. :( I really liked it, too. That's why it was so frustrating. I am going to email Thirsties, just to let them know my issues. I otherwise love Thirsties products.

  3. ohh, i do love country save. the smell has improved since i switched from all free & clear. i have BG 3.0, 4.0, and fuzzi bunz.

  4. What a bummer!!! I've refused to use any microfibre for that very reason. I'm just too paranoid of stink! Let me know if you need another baggie of Country Save.