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Friday, October 19, 2012

Diaper Stripping: Heavy Duty Edition

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!


  1. I will have to keep this in mind. Ours are not bad yet but I am sure they will get there just like yours. Thanks again for the awesome guidance with cloth diapering!

  2. I have 3 little ones and used cloth diapers for all three. Using rlr laundry treatment was the only thing that kept me sane. Love this product.

  3. Hi there! Have you ever heard of soaking in RLR? I have so many problems presently and I feel like I am going bananas. I did a vinegar soak/strip with my diapers. I made the assumption that because we're in the city we had soft water. But now I think we have moderately hard water, so I fear the vinegar really messed things up. Shortly after I started having crazy leaks. Just the urine was repelling. I feel so defeated. And frustrated. And other things. The diapers are repelling. I was using a cloth diaper safe cream- olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin e, calendula. I think safe for cloth diapers. But then since they were repelling I thought that it was that. Stripped in vinegar baking soda, and then scrubbed with blue dawn- which seemed to help some, but it is my pockets that are the problem. Not the inserts. I don't have stink. I want to use them as pockets. I even emailed cotton babies. I'm not sure how helpful they will be as their website says no cream ever at all. Oops. But, anyway.. If you have any time and would be able to offer any feed back I would appreciate it so much!