A few weeks ago, I wrote about having a horrible ammonia stink in our cloth diapers and my attempts to get rid of it. We tried several methods of stripping (including boiling them on the stove!) and changing soaps, but to no avail. They still stunk like death every time C peed. The secret that saved our diapers (and sanity)? RLR Laundry Treatment.
The package looks like its straight out of the 70's, but it works like magic. I bought ours from Jillian's Drawers, but its available at several other cloth diaper selling websites and some grocery stores, or so I've heard.
RLR is not a soap, its a powder that removes mineral and detergent build up from fabric that builds up over time (especially with hard water). You sprinkle about half a packet directly on the cloth diapers and run a cycle as normal with absolutely no soap. I repeat - there was no soap in the cycle and RLR does not make suds by its self. A few minutes into the first rinse, this is what my diapers looked like in the machine....
See all those suds?! All of that soap was sitting in the microfiber inserts making them repel and stink to high heaven. After a bazillion rinse cycles (like 6 or 7) the water was finally rinsing clear. The microfiber was brighter, fluffier, and most importantly, didn't smell. For good measure and some guaranteed germ busting, I then ran them through a sanitize cycle with oxygen bleach (which I also purchased from Jillian's).
We haven't had a problem since. We are still using Rockin Green Hard Rock to prevent more hard water build up, but plan to run a sanitize/bleach cycle about once a month to keep things really clean. I was always cautioned not to use a washer's sanitize cycle for cloth, but I figure if I only use it on microfiber, it can't hurt anything.
As a side note, when you order washing and stripping supplies from Jillian's Drawers, they send you specific directions on how to safely use them with cloth diapers. If that's not awesome customer service, I don't know what is.
The next cloth diaper escapade in this house will consist of researching and acquiring newborn cloth. Squeeeeee! We didn't cloth diaper C until he was 3 or 4 months old because he was so tiny, but now that I know more about the plethora of cloth options out there, I'm excited to start looking into teeny tiny options. If you did newborn cloth, any suggestions are welcome!