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Ammonia Smells

The diapers smell like Ammonia. How can I get rid of the stink? Should I try stripping?
Katrina O'Donnell
Written 3 years ago
How can you tell if what you smell is ammonia?
Ammonia will be a smell that really burns the nostrils and will generally be most potent after baby pees.

Ammonia is caused when the diapers are not properly cleaned, or perhaps going too long between washes. This causes the ammonia in your child's urine to crystallize an cause smell issues and in severe cases even burns.

So how do we fix it?
First we need to identify what is causing the issue.
Here are a few causes:
  • More than 3-4 days between washes (If you must go longer it is best to hand rinse all diapers each day)
  • Improper bulk (Causing not enough agitation)
  • Dirty diapers not getting enough air between washes
Here are some tips to preventing ammonia smells
  • Keep the lid off the pail for better air circulation. 
  • If you live where you can sun dry your laundry, try that too to see if you can kill a few bonus smelly bugs. 
  • Confirm you are using the proper detergent and bulking correctly (email delight@lilhelper.ca)

Air circulation and sun may help the smell issue at the beginning, think of it as a preventative measure.

If you can, do a rinse-and-wring before you store the icky dipes awaiting laundry. Again, I know that's not always possible. Best thing for storage is to have rinsed but not soaking diapers, with air flow.

Try your corrected wash routine for a few weeks to see if it improves. 

If the ammonia is severe we recommend bleach soaking the inserts first.

Stripping is the last resort. It's harsh but it does the trick. You do want to minimize anything you can so you don't have to do this very much (like, ever).

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