Cloth diapers and ammonia odors

Some of you this past week were asking about ammonia odors in wet bags and pails. In past articles we have addressed this as really the two times where ammonia is normal. When urine leaves the body, it will start to break back down into ammonia salts, which the body converts as it cannot process ammonia internally. Old pee will stink, especially when kept in a dark and warm pail for 24-48 hours. Overnight diapers will also stink, and this can almost literally happen overnight, if your baby pees early after you put him down, that pee is usually 8-12 hours old by the time you change it, depending on how long they sleep. Diapers are fabric, so those odors will be present, disposables do a pretty good job at masking them with chemicals.

When ammonia is not normal is when diapers come out of the dryer, or if they smell like stale ammonia when the diaper is freshly peed in. If that occurs you have some washing issues we need to go over, please e-mail us.
You may see the morning odors improve as the baby gets older, as they start to have bladder control as toddlers, they may start holding it more at night and flooding the first diaper in the morning, or very close to waking time. Even though the diaper is soaked, it is relatively fresh, and won’t have that strong ammonia smell.


September 6, 2010. cloth diapers, FAQ.

One Comment

  1. Allyson replied:

    Could you email me back at I assume you received my comment on your last blog entry about smells to be concerned about and what not to be??


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