Ammonia Smell in Cloth Diapers: How to Get Rid of It?

There is no need to keep on struggling with these ammonia smell cloth diapers.

You can get rid of them if you follow some clear-cut strategy. Smelly diapers are tough to bear and stand and you should come up with authentic solutions to tackle this issue.

This post has brought amazing solutions in this regard! No matter how heavy wetter your baby is, follow these solutions and you can eliminate the presence of nasty smelly diapers from your home.

In this cloth diaper world, it has become the biggest issue on how to deal with ammonia smell cloth diapers. The smell of ammonia is unbearable.

There can be lots of reasons regarding why the cloth diaper is giving out such a nasty smell.

Like, there can be a reason that you are using too little or too much detergent or your baby is dehydrated.

If you leave this issue untreated, then your whole house will become stinky.

There is a clear cut connection between urine and ammonia, so understand this concept and follow the tips to eliminate the problem of stinky diapers:

Defining Ammonia?

ammonia smell cloth diapers

You might be wondering what ammonia is, here you can see the details!

The smell of ammonia comes out when the waste amount in the urine becomes greater as compared to the amount of fluid.

If your baby is not drinking enough water, then the waste amount will always be higher in the urine and this aspect brings the problem of ammonia smell cloth diapers.

The by-product of urine is urea and when it starts to further break down itself, then it turns into ammonia.

If your baby is well-hydrated and he pees a lot, it means no smell will come out from his urine and his diaper will remain odor-free.

What Causes Ammonia Smell In Cloth Diapers?

What Causes Ammonia Smell In Cloth Diapers

Here you can see the list of causes that originate the problem of having ammonia smell cloth diapers!

Lots of causes have been identified and if you can think of some other reason concerning why cloth diapers give off a bad smell, you can forward that to us.

Once you will identify these root causes, then it will be easy for you to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Hard Water:

One of the noticeable reasons that bring up the issue of ammonia smell cloth diapers is this hard water factor.

Most importantly, hard water is composed of high mineral content.

Washing cloth diapers with hard water will surely inject an ammonia smell into them.

Furthermore, hard water does not allow the detergent to work effectively and this practice ends up having a smelly cloth diaper.

If you want the detergent to work at its full potential, then avoid using hard water.

Hard water does not properly clean the cloth diapers and then a stinky smell remains trapped in them.

If you fail to find out whether you are using hard water or soft water, then we can give you a tip in this regard. Get a water testing strip and test the water.

Use the fish tank water. This test will be performed in just 10 seconds and you will get to know whether your water is hard or soft.

The Longer The Area Sits On The Diaper, The Smellier It Will Come Out To Be:

If you delay washing the cloth diapers, it means you will end up having only ammonia smell cloth diapers.

Whenever you see that the diaper has reached its absorption limit, wash it as soon as possible.

There is this rule that the longer the area sits on the diaper, the smellier it will come out to be.

In addition, there is no need to keep on leaving the stinky diapers for the whole week and you should not keep on delaying washing them.

Avoid following this practice! Lots of parents leave the cloth diapers in diaper bags for days and days and those diapers develop a heavy and nasty smell.

You Are Using Too Much Detergent:

If you are using too much detergent, this practice will give you ammonia smell cloth diapers.

All in all, you have to understand that the more detergent you use, the less refreshing the diaper will be.

Consuming too much detergent makes it tougher for the person to get rid of stinky diapers that are filled with the ammonia smell.

There has to be no detergent resident left behind.

If there is even a minor or little detergent residue, then there is a high chance that the cloth diaper will surround itself with the ammonia smell.

You Are Using Less Detergent:

In the same way, if you are using too little detergent, this practice will eventually give you lots of ammonia smell cloth diapers.

We recommend you maintain the balance when using detergents on the cloth diapers. Keep the amount neither too much nor too less.

Once you wash and rinse them, double-check and verify that there should be no detergent residue in them.

To better deal with this situation, you can keep a measuring pot and look for tutorials regarding how much detergent a single cloth diaper needs.

You May Get Stinky Diapers Because Your Baby Is Growing Up:

The last reason that gives us stinky diapers is because your baby is growing up. A grown baby diaper is usually the smelly one.

Their in-take includes fluids and solids, that is why their pee and poop start to give out nasty smells.

To eliminate this problem, you should keep on giving fluids and water to your grown-up babies so that their urine may develop less smell.

Also Read: How to Make Fleece Liners for Cloth Diapers?

How to Eliminate Ammonia Smell Cloth Diapers?

Eliminate Ammonia Smell

Now, you can check out the details on how to eliminate and get rid of ammonia smell cloth diapers:

Using An Enzyme Cleaner:

It is recommended to make use of enzyme cleaners if you want to solve the problem of having ammonia smell diapers.

With the use of enzyme cleaners, they will eat up the bacteria residing in stinky cloth diapers.

Their use will make them odor-free. What you can do is spray the diaper with any good quality enzyme cleaner and see the results. In addition, before washing the diapers, you can go on with this pre-treatment.

Go On With The Practice Of Bleach Soak:

If you think that enzyme cleaners are not helping out, then you should bleach soak ammonia smell cloth diapers.

By following this practice, you will be able to perfectly sanitize the cloth diapers. In addition, this tip will break down the ammonia and the diapers will become ammonia-free.

So, to perform this bleach soak, you need to place your diapers right there in cold water. Add bleach and let them soak for a time duration of 30-45 minutes.

After that, you should give a regular hot wash to your stinky diapers. Hot wash them by using a good quality detergent.

We hope that with this tip of bleach soak, you will spot no ammonia smell and none of the buildups.

Stripping The Cloth Diapers:

Stripping The Cloth Diapers

The next solution that we have available for you is to keep on stripping the cloth diapers, this tip may support you to solve the problem of having ammonia smell cloth diapers.

Take a bathtub and strip up to 30 cloth diapers. You can even use a top-loading washing machine, fill it up with hot water and start stripping the diapers.

Make sure that you agitate the diapers on a lighter note. In addition, let them soak in that bathtub or washing machine for 6 hours.

When the time duration is passed, then you have to run the water and give multiple hot rinses to smelly cloth diapers.

The other option that we have for you is to divide your diapers completely into groups of 24. Now, you need to throw one pod right into the washing machine.

Turn on the machine and set it on the heaviest wash cycle. Furthermore, use hot water and you should not be adding any detergent or additives.

As soon as the cycle is done, then you need to give the warm wash cycle to those ammonia smell cloth diapers.

We hope that with this practice, you will get rid of these stubborn odors coming out from smelly cloth diapers.

Using Baking Soda:

Coming to the last solution, to eliminate the presence of ammonia smell cloth diapers, you can use baking soda. This is a budget-friendly tip that you can go for.

Furthermore, it is marked as an additional pre-treatment that you should pursue.

Keep in mind that baking soda comes in the form of a natural deodorizer. It possibly removes all stinky and ammonia smells from cloth diapers.

You only have to prepare a water-baking soda mixture and use that mixture on the smelly diapers.

How To Prevent Ammonia Smell?

Can Ammonia Smell Be Prevented

Now, you might be thinking about whether it is possible to prevent the ammonia smell from injecting into the cloth diapers?

Below you can check out the possible answers in this regard. There are a few of the measures that you can take to prevent the presence of ammonia smell cloth diapers in the future.

Washing Cloth Diapers More Often:

The first tip is that you should be washing the cloth diapers more often.

If you follow this simple tip, then you can get rid of and prevent the arrival of ammonia smell cloth diapers in future times.

Like, you should not bring a big gap while washing and using the diapers. Wash them often and frequently, in this manner, no ammonia smells will get immersed in them in any case.

It is advised and suggested to wash the diapers every two to three days. This is a recommended washing routine that you should go for.

Keep Your Baby 100% Hydrated:

For those parents who do not want to spot ammonia smell in their baby diapers, what they can do is to keep their babies 100% hydrated.

If your baby’s fluid and water intake is 100%, then his urine will not give out any smell.

The injection of adequate amounts of fluids will keep your baby hydrated and their urine content will come out to be less concentrated.

Those babies whose hydration rate is not up to the mark, their urine carries more concentration and also gives out a bad smell. In addition, the urine of de-hydrated babies gives out orange streaks as well.

Using Natural Fiber Inserts In The Cloth Diapers:

It is suggested to use good quality natural fiber inserts in the cloth diapers if you want to get rid of ammonia smell cloth diapers issue!

We have seen that microfiber is a very tight-knit kind of material. This fabric has the potential to trap ammonia.

So, always use these inserts in your baby diapers and see the magic.

On the other hand, you should not use inserts that are made of cotton and bamboo. These inserts lack the tendency to trap the smell of ammonia.

In addition, inserts made of cotton and bamboo have smoother strands and this aspect reduces their ability to trap the stinky smell.

Adding A Water Softener If Using Hard Water:

If you have no other option and you have to use hard water, then do add a little bit of water softener to it.

We have already mentioned to you that hard water brings up the problem of ammonia smell cloth diapers, so it is advised to use a water softener.

This tip may help you in preventing the issue of having smelly diapers.

Most importantly, the usage of water softeners will help and support you in preventing the presence and buildup of minerals in the cloth diapers.

Always Pre-Rinse Diapers:

There is an easy way to prevent the situation of ammonia smell cloth diapers.

It is better to pre-rinse the cloth diapers. If you think that ammonia smell is going nowhere and the odor has become diluted enough, then it is suggested to pre-rinse them for at least an hour.

Moreover, you should pre-rinse these smelly diapers in hot water.

Also Read: X Best Cloth Diaper Inserts in 2021 (Complete Review)


So, the above-mentioned solutions may have given you enough guidance on how to get rid of ammonia smell cloth diapers.

This struggle may come out to be less hassle-free and quick if you follow every single point and tip of this guide. We know that none of the parents wants to spot ammonia smell in their baby diapers.

If none of the solutions have worked, then this guide will work for you.

Cleaning cloth diapers has always been a challenge. Though investing in these diapers is a budget-friendly and eco-friendly choice.

But the drawback of such cloth diapers is that they get filled with the smell of ammonia.

First of all, you should identify the cause of why diapers have started to develop an ammonia smell, and then you can work on the possible number of solutions.

Using too much or less detergent, not hot rinsing the diapers and dehydrated babies bring the problem of having ammonia smell cloth diapers.

You can keep tuned with us so that our experts can further guide you on how to better deal with this smelly diaper problem.

You can pour your feedback as well and let your fellows know how you eliminate the problem of smelly and ammonia-filled diapers.

It is time to make the diapers ammonia-free and this is possible while following the above solutions.