Posted by KarenC on November 10, 19103 at 16:53:14:
In Reply to: Stinky (clean?) diapers ... posted by Michelle in WI on November 10, 19103 at 15:09:42:
First thing I would check is the temp of your hot water. I can never remember what the recomended temp is but it's sometimes higher than some people have it set (especially if you've purposely lowered the temp to help protect against burns). I know some people hesitate to do that because of the safety risk and I understand that but it really is necessary to properly kill the bacteria.
Second thing I would check is the detergent build-up. I know you said you recently stripped them but if you are using too much detergent it could simply be back again. How did they smell after the strip wash? Check your final rinse after a regular wash routine, if there are still a significant amount of suds, then you are either not rinsing enough or using too much detergent.
I don't know much about the hard water issue (I don't even know if it could cause odor problems, I've heard of greying and scratchy fabrics but I'm not sure about the odor thing). I would assume you'd have to use it fairly frequently for it to prevent this problem if it is the cause.
The tea tree oil isn't a bad idea, I believe you'd use a couple drops (I've heard everything from 2 to 10 per washload) maybe during the first rinse or wash cycle. Someone with more experience can probably give better advice on that.
You could also try an enzymatic cleaner once in a while. There is one especially designed for baby use (clothes etc..) and it's called Mother's Little Miracle (I think) and it helps for all kinds of odors and stains and is 100% safe on all fabrics (not a bleach or anything like that). If you can't find that, pet enzymatic cleaners are supposed to be the exact same thing just marketed to a different group. Check your local pet store for a product used to clean up pet messes.