Ammonia Busting Solutions for Cloth Diapers {+ Eco Nuts Laundry Soap Review}

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included throughout this post. Regardless, all opinions are my own. 

It has been no secret to my cloth diapering friends that we have had ammonia issues since early on in our cloth diaper experience. I have no idea what causes it, maybe M just has extra stinky pee? Whatever the initial cause, we’ve had to play around with our wash routine and extra measures to bust the ammonia smell.

Ammonia smell has got to be the worst! It burns the nose and can definitely be hard to conquer, let alone prevent! We have found many ways to help with ammonia, some have resulted in extra money out of our pocket to buy special ammonia busting solutions. This was not an option for me, we use cloth diapers, in part, to save money and buying extra detergents or additives that is only available online (i.e., shipping costs), it just wasn’t cost effective for us so I started doing research on other ways to beat that ammonia smell.

Here are the top ways that we have found to bust the ammonia stink:

  1. Wash Every 2-3 Days – This is just best practice. If you are washing frequently enough then you are better able to keep the stink out and you aren’t risking other problems from diapers sitting around for too long (e.g., mold – EW!). This is the #1 secret to beating and, hopefully, preventing some stink issues. However, it may not always be enough, especially in our house.
  2. Extra Rinses During the Wash Cycle – Adding in that extra rinse at the end of your cycle will make sure that all the detergent is washed out of your diapers. I also recommend a pre-rinse to rinse out pee (and poop!) before actually washing. If you have an HE washer, the pre-rinse is almost mandatory.
  3. Liquid Dawn (just a squirt) – When washing frequently, using cloth diaper safe detergent, and extra rinses just aren’t cutting it, you can try a squirt of the blue Dawn dish detergent. It really does work well, but isn’t usually recommended for every wash and you will probably need more than one additional rinse at the end as dish soap is very sudsy. 
  4. 1/4 Cup Bleach – First and foremost, check your diaper’s brand and make sure they allow for bleach to be used. With that said, I’ve used the 1/4 cup bleach, up to, 2 times a month on all my diapers (regardless of brand) and have had no issues. I regularly use bleach, at least, once a month, but I’m not sure I use a full 1/4 cup, it may be closer to an 1/8 cup. This is truly a great way to fight ammonia stink, but use it with caution because I’ve heard of the bleach ruining the PUL and elastic.
  5. Sunning – I am so excited that the weather is getting nicer again and the sun is shining! Sunning diapers is such a great way to get out the ammonia smell and get out stains! It truly works great and is completely free! It also saves on dryer costs since I’m a rebel and throw all our diapers into the dryer. But there’s a reason I go the rebel route and toss everything in the dryer, I’m usually short on time and line drying does take longer. I love it, but it’s not always feasible for us. 
  6. Eco Nuts Laundry Soap Eco Nuts Laundry Soap is a cloth diaper safe detergent, which is highly recommended when using cloth diapers. However, I classify it as its own entity because it does the job of cleaning AND busting ammonia with no other additives or steps – well, I still do pre-rinse and extra rinse at the end, but that’s just a reality of cloth diapers.
Eco Nuts sent me a sample of their Eco Nuts Laundry Soap. Truth-be-told, I was skeptical when it said half a cap for an HE washer and I was really temped to use a full cap. I resisted the temptation though! I knew that I had to follow Eco Nuts’ instructions to really be able to give all of you a truly honest review of their product. Temptation resisted and I was truly amazed by the outcome! Now, let me tell you, I sniffed those diapers left and right when they came out of the washer. I was trying to find the slightest bit of stink or ammonia smell, out of the washer, I smelled nothing. I sniffed those diapers left and right again when I took them out of the dryer (remember, I’m a rebel!), no stink!

What are Eco Nuts?

Traditionally, they are soap nuts, which is a berry shell that naturally contains soap. These berries actually are able to remove dirt and stains from fabrics! They are gentle enough to be used for those who have sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, and allergies (even nut allergies, since they are technically a berry, not a nut). They are even safe to use on newborn clothes and cloth diapers. Eco Nuts soap nuts are organic and contain the USDA organic certified seal.  
You may be wondering about the liquid soap that I tried. The liquid soap is the soap berries put into liquid form and is recommended for those who have an HE washer, hard water, or wash mostly in cold water. The liquid soap only contains 3 ingredients…that’s it! What other laundry detergent can you find that has only 3 ingredients? I haven’t actually done my own research on this, but my guess is very few. I know none of the ones we have in our home have 3 ingredients, they have a laundry list of ingredients (catch the pun?).

Eco Nuts are phosphate free, contain no fillers, optical brighteners, dyes, fragrances, or enzymes. They naturally soften and fluff your clothes and diapers. Not only are they all natural, but they are even much less expensive than your standard store brands of detergent (let alone other cloth diaper safe detergents!). I am saving $0.31 per load by using Eco Nuts, sure, there’s shipping costs on orders under $49, but the amount I’m saving per load is definitely worth any possible shipping charges.

My only complaint? I’m not a huge fan of the smell right out of the bottle. But clothes and diapers come out smelling like nothing but clean so I could care less about that and if they were to make it smell nicer then they’d be adding in fragrances and you’d no longer have a fantastic natural product. So, yeah, really no complaints from me!

Get Your Own:

Online – and you can currently save 10% off your order with Code: SpringClean (don’t miss out on this!)

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16 thoughts on “Ammonia Busting Solutions for Cloth Diapers {+ Eco Nuts Laundry Soap Review}

  1. I use and love EcoNuts! My only complaint (and why I no longer use them for cloth diapers) is that like most natural laundry cleaners, it just can’t get out oils (or at least not a lot of oil) so if we are using coconut oil for diaper rashes it won’t get them clean enough and then I had to deal with ammonia/yeast issues.But that’s my only complaint. I love EcoNuts otherwise! 🙂


    1. That’s interesting! We couldn’t use coconut oil because my son had a reaction to it (it was a bummer!) so we’ve used Earth Mama or Grandma El’s and so far no issues with it washing out. We’ve had so many ammonia issues and so far Eco Nuts seems to be resolving a 2 year issue that we’ve had, which is so nice! Even Tide didn’t seem to cut it for us.


  2. Interesting! I don’t cloth diaper and I never really thought about that ammonia smell lingering. This sounds like a great product to help deal with it. I’m actually going to share this post with a friend of mine who just started cloth diapering – I think it would really help her!


    1. Thanks for sharing Jennifer! Hope your friend can get some support! She can always request to join my CD group on FB, we’re called Cloth Diapering Mamas, we’re a small and supportive group of mamas.


  3. Oh man, our microfiber inserts love to hang onto that ammonia smell. About every other month we do a little bleach in the wash, but I love the idea of not using bleach. I need to give eco nuts a try!


  4. Haha! My husband washes our diapers by hand every couple days and he’s always complaining about the ammonia smell. Right now our system is to rinse out each diaper as we take it off several times in the sink and then toss it in the diaper pail. It’s not the most elegant solution. I’ll have to give the EcoNuts a try.


  5. My first CD load with the actual Eco Nuts is in the wash now! I love that I can use them for baby clothes when the times comes for baby 3, so that cuts me down from using 3 detergents (CD, baby, and regular clothes) to only 2.. but if I LOVE it as much as I think I will, maybe I will use it for all of our laundry!


  6. So glad you posted this! So much useful info, I will definitely refer to this again later on, and point some friends in this direction when/if the issue arises for them. Thanks!


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