Sunday, January 15, 2012


I am going to drop some truth on you guys here.... cloth diapers sometimes get a case of the smells. How will you know when it strikes? It should be easy to detect... An ammonia smell that takes your breath away or a poo smell that no amount of washing can get rid of. If this happens do you know what to do about it? What about how to prevent it in the future?

The cause of these smells is often buildup on the diapers. The buildup can be caused by a number of things: detergent that did not get rinsed out completely, issues with your wash routine or cycle or even diaper creams that are not safe for cloth. If you believe detergent buildup is the culprit there are a couple of fixes. First is to make sure that you are using a detergent approved for cloth diapers- Country Save, Rockin' Green, Thirsties Super Wash and Planet just to name a few. If you are using a mainstream detergent brand make sure it does not have added scents, whiteners, brighteneners etc that can build up on the diapers. When it comes to washing your stash the more basic the detergent the better. You should also be doing an extra rinse (or even two) at the end of your wash cycle to make sure that all the soap is being rinsed away. Another important element is the way in which you wash your diapers. Most experts recommend doing a cold prewash with or without a soak (I soak mine in BioKleen Bac Out overnight to help combat the smellies), then a hot wash with more than enough water. My average diaper wash load of 10-12 covers and inserts is considered a large load. When it comes to cloth diaper washing- the more water the better!

You may need to "strip" your diapers to get the buildup off. One popular method utilizes Dawn dish soap (just the plain blue kind). Just a little squirt (key word being LITTLE.. the more you add the more you will need to rinse)in a hot wash with clean diapers will help remove any built up detergent. RLR Laundry Treatment is another option for stripping diapers to remove buildup. This economical option is available on our website and in the store: After you have stripped the diapers you might consider adding Rockin Green Funk Rock to every load. This "ammonia bouncer" is very popular and seem to do the trick for lots of people:

Another important factor in keeping your diapers smelling fresh is washing at least every 2 to 3 days. Too often I put off doing diaper wash because I have enough to get through but this inevitably causes issues. Think about it.. the longer the wet and dirty diapers sit the harder they are to get clean. When I wash every other day I find that smell is not even a factor anymore.

Are you fighting the good fight against smelly diapers? What has worked for you??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spontaneous Product Review: purEcosheet

Confession: I love fabric softener and/or dryer sheets. I love the smell. I love the feel of fluffy towels. I think part of my adoration stems from warm, fuzzy memories of my mom giving me clothes straight from the dryer that still smelled like Snuggle :)

Sadly, my love affair with "main stream" dryer sheets and fabric softener had to end when I started cloth diapering my son. Part of it was because I knew that they were bad news for the absorption factor of my stash. The bigger issue was my newly gained knowledge of what is actually in those products. Just a few of the ingredients found in fabric softeners like Downy and Snuggle: alpha-terpineol (causes CNS disorders), benzyl acetate(carcinogen-linked to pancreatic cancer), choloroform(neurotoxic, carcinogenic, anesthetic, ethyl acetate (narcotic), linalool (narcotic). Pretty scary, right?

After learning about the potential poisonous side of fabric softener I went cold turkey. I found that using better detergent like Country Save eliminated some of the static automatically but not completely. I've experimented with Ecover's line of fabric softeners but was not overly impressed. Bayla, our fearless leader here at Soft and Cozy Baby, ordered a product called purEcosheet and I was intrigued.

PurEcosheet bills itself as having "all the advantages of a traditional dryer sheet, with none of the chemicals. The perfume, dye and chemical free way to keep your fabrics soft, natural and free of static". I figure it was worth a shot. Two reusable sheets (good for 100s of loads according to the box) is $14.95 so fairly comparable in price to other options out there. The package gives instruction for how to prep (wash in any load of laundry after their first three uses) and maintenance (wash again every 3 months for best performance). After about a month I can tell you that these really do work! My towels and sheets feel softer and my clothes have less static. I cannot think of a single drawback!

Here are some other great things about purEcosheets:
*made in North America
*100% hypoallergenic
*safe for use on infant's sleepwear, cloth diapers, technical fabrics, fine linens and towels
*safe for allergy and eczema and allergy sufferers
*great for baby's sensitive skin
* sold at Soft and Cozy Baby!