I've been noticing that our Little Man's cloth diapers smell – especially when he's wet.
The BumGenius diapers smell the worst. In all fairness to them, we use them on the longest stretches (nights and naps) because they hold most and best. (I've listed the variety of cloth diapers we own and use in an earlier post.)
Does "hard water" cause cloth diapers to keep a residue (of ammonia)? The diapers do smell like ammonia. The water here at the house (where we've been staying for two months and will be for another month) comes from an underground spring; it's referred to as "mineral water" and leaves white chalk-like deposits on sinks, etc.
What do you do if you don't have a "sanitize" option for wash cycles? What do you do if the washer doesn't even fill with hot water? The water in the washer here is heated as diapers sit in it. As you might imagine, a hot wash cycle takes a very long time! Could my using the quicker setting at times (with warm instead of hot water, for instance) be contributing to some kind of build-up?
Here's my cleaning routine:
We rinse the diapers right away and put them in the wet bag. We wash them (at least) every other day. We start the laundering with a cold rinse (and often two cold rinses). We wash (using Charlie's Soap) in hot water (but, as stated above, the water gets heated in the washer). The wash cycle is followed by two cold rinses. We usually dry the diapers in the dryer, but I do line dry them when our schedule and the weather permit.
We've never used bleach, fabric softeners, or any other items forbidden for cloth diapers. Once in a while, we have spot treated poo stains with Spray & Wash or an equivalent. And we have used diaper rash cream sparingly and with a barrier.