Why cloth diapers stink and how to fix it?

Cloth Diapers Stink – Ammonia and Barnyard Smell

Clean cloth diapers should not smell, period! If you’re having issues with diapers that smell, something is wrong with your wash routine and must be corrected. 

There are 2 most common stink issues – Ammonia smell and Barnyard smell.

Ammonia issue signs:

  • Urine smell on diapers straight out of the wash
  • Diapers smell clean out the wash, but like ammonia after the first pee
  • Persistent diaper rash; can cause chemical-like burns to baby’s skin if left untreated

Barnyard issue signs:

  • Barn smell on diapers straight out of the wash
  • Noticeable musty or manure odor when you are pulling the diapers out of the dryer
  • Persistent diaper rash

How to solve stinky cloth diaper problem

STEP 1: Wash cloth diapers first

STEP 2: Strip cloth diapers, find instructions here: How to Strip Cloth Diapers

STEP 3: Sanitize cloth diapers, find instructions here: How to Sanitize Cloth Diapers without Bleach or How to Bleach Cloth Diapers

STEP 4: Change your wash routine, find instruction here: How to Properly Wash Cloth Diapers in HE and non-HE Washing Machines