How do I get rid of diaper odors?
Even when you properly rinse and store your used cloth diapers, you will still deal with the odor that naturally comes from soiled cloth diapers.
Diapers, in general, contain some of the smelliest messes around. Keeping odors at bay can be a concern, but it is easy to deal with. The first step to dealing with odors in cloth diapers is to wash them regularly and rinse them well. The longer dirty or wet diapers stay wet, the longer the fumes have to ingrain themselves in the material. You should be washing every two days or so.
Another chief culprit of cloth diaper odor is the product you're using to remove the odors. Items such as fabric softeners and detergent can build up residue in the diaper material and trap odors. Use the recommended amount of detergent for washing cloth diapers, and when the wash cycle is finished, take a big whiff to see how the diapers smell. Not fresh? Wash again.
Then, run the diapers through another load with no detergent to be sure all current detergent is completely removed from the material before drying. Using a detergent with a heavy perfume to try and mask the odors can also lead to worse odor problems. Stick to a basic detergent without soap, fabric softener or extra ingredients.
A Note About Microfiber In Your Cloth Diaper Stash
Some fabrics, such as microfiber, are especially good at trapping odors. Microfiber in cloth diapers are fabulous because they provide for a very trim fit, yet absorbent insert for pocket diapers or for fitted cloth diapers. However, the material can easily build up with detergent residue which makes them less absorbent and a bit less than fresh - even after washing. For this reason, it is especially crucial to rinse the microfiber inserts well. Once a week or every three washes, you should consider running the microfiber inserts through the wash without any detergent to ensure they are free of any residue.
It is worth repeating that how you rinse and store your used cloth diapers, will have some effect on the amount of cloth diaper odors you will deal with in your cloth diaper pail, decreasing the time between your cloth diaper washes is the best method for cutting cloth diaper odors.