How to Get Ammonia Smell Out of Cloth Diapers

Are you having trouble getting rid of the strong ammonia smell coming from your cloth diapers? Nobody wants to be stuck with a stink problem, which is why it’s important to find an effective way of dealing with it.

It can be difficult to tackle odors in textiles like cloth diapers but don’t worry—there are some things that you can do to make sure those pesky smells vanish.

How to Get Ammonia Smell Out of Cloth Diapers

This blog post will provide useful tips and tricks on how to get ammonia smell out of cloth diapers for good! Keep reading for more information about getting rid of nasty diaper smells once and for all!

What Causes Ammonia Smell in Cloth Diaper?

The ammonia smell in cloth diapers is caused by urine breaking down and releasing ammonia gases. Urine contains urea, which breaks down over time to form ammonia gas. The longer the urine remains on the diaper, the more pungent the odor gets.

In addition to this, if your cloth diapers are not washed properly, soap residue and bacteria can build up in the fabric, trapping odors and leaving your diapers stinky.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Washing soda
  • Baking soda

10 Steps on How to Get Ammonia Smell Out of Cloth Diapers

Step 1: Pre-soak

Pre-soak the diapers in a mixture of water and vinegar for about 30 minutes. It will wash away the ammonia and make it easier to remove in the washing process. Try to use a ratio of 1/4 cup of vinegar per gallon of water.

Step 2: Rinse

Rinse the diapers in cold water to further remove any ammonia and urine that may be on the fabric. Make sure to use cold water only, as hot or warm water will set the smell into the fabric instead of removing it.

Rinse the Diapers in Cold Water

Step 3: Wash

Wash the diapers in hot water with a good quality detergent and washing soda. Washing soda helps to cut through any oils or residues that may be left on the fabric, which can help to remove odor.

Step 4: Add Baking Soda

Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the laundry load. Baking soda has natural deodorizing properties that can help to neutralize odors, leaving your diapers smelling fresh and clean. Soda will also help to soften the fabric and make them last longer.

Step 5: Dry

Dry the diapers on high heat for about 30 minutes or until they are completely dry. The heat will help to further remove any odor that may still be lingering in the fabric. Make sure not to overload your dryer—this can prevent the fabric from drying completely.

Step 6: Deodorize

If the smell still lingers, you can use a spray bottle filled with a mixture of vinegar and water to deodorize them. Spray the diapers lightly and let them air dry for a few minutes before using them again. The vinegar will help to neutralize odors, leaving them smelling fresh and clean.

You Can Use a Spray Bottle

Step 7: Air Out

If you can, try to air out your cloth diapers in the sun or outside for a few hours on a nice day. The sun’s UV rays will help to kill any bacteria that may be lingering in the fabric, which can help with odors.

Step 8: Strip

If all else fails, you can try stripping the diapers. This is a process of washing them in hot water with detergent and baking soda several times to remove any traces of ammonia or other odors that may be trapped in the fabric.

Step 9: Pre-Treat Stains

If you have any persistent stains on your diapers, pre-treat them with a stain remover or solution of vinegar and water before washing them. This will help to loosen and remove any stubborn residue that may be lingering in the fabric.

Step 10: Regular Maintenance

It is important to regularly maintain your cloth diapers by washing them in hot water with a good quality detergent and washing soda. This will help to keep them smelling fresh and free of any odors or bacteria.

By following these steps, you can get rid of nasty ammonia smells from cloth diapers for good!

Regularly Maintain Your Cloth Diapers

With regular maintenance, your diapers should remain clean, fresh-smelling, and ready for use.

Additional Tips to Keep Cloth Diaper Hygienic

  1. Wash the diapers after every use. Washing with hot water and a strong detergent formulated for cloth diapers will help to get rid of any ammonia smell that may be lingering in the fabric.
  2. Line dry the diapers whenever possible, as direct sunlight can help to kill germs and bacteria on the fabric. It’s a good idea to hang the diapers outside in direct sunlight after each use.
  3. Pre-treat any stains on the diapers before washing. It will help to get rid of any odors that may be lingering in the fabric from urine or feces.
  4. Use a cloth diaper-safe disinfectant, either as a spray or a soak prior to washing. This will help to kill any germs and bacteria on the fabric and get rid of any ammonia smell. Disinfectant soaks are also great for killing mold and mildew.
  5. Make sure the diapers are thoroughly rinsed after washing and drying, as detergent residue can cause skin irritation or an ammonia smell in the fabric.
  6. Change cloth diapers more frequently if your baby is having frequent blowouts or lots of wetness in the diaper area. This will help to keep diaper odor under control.
  7. If the diapers still have an ammonia smell after washing and drying, consider using a cloth diaper deodorizer or baking soda in the wash. This can help to get rid of any lingering odors.
  8. Consider switching to a detergent that doesn’t contain any fragrances or dyes, as these can cause an ammonia smell to linger in the fabric. Natural detergents are a good choice for cloth diapers.
  9. Regularly strip the cloth diapers to remove any buildup of detergent on the fabric. This will help to keep them smelling fresh and clean. Choose a stripping method that is appropriate for your type of cloth diaper.
  10. If you notice that the diapers are starting to smell before you have a chance to wash them, you can try soaking them in water with a bit of vinegar or baking soda. This can help to get rid of any odors that are lingering on the fabric.
Diapers Are Starting to Smell

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Cloth Diaper Good for Your Baby?

Many parents who are looking for eco-friendly and sustainable options for their kids opt to use cloth diapers. Cloth diapers provide a breathable layer of protection around your baby’s bottom that helps prevent diaper rash and keeps them feeling comfortable and dry.

However, over time the cloth diapers can develop an ammonia smell that is unpleasant and can irritate your baby’s skin. Choose to use cloth diapers for your baby, but make sure to follow proper care and cleaning instructions to get rid of the ammonia smell.

Why Removing Ammonia Smell is Necessary?

Removing the ammonia smell from your cloth diapers is an important task for two reasons. First, ammonia can irritate your baby’s skin and cause discomfort or itching. Second, the smell of ammonia can be overpowering in a room and linger for quite some time if not taken care of properly.

It is important to take steps to remove the ammonia smell as soon as you notice it. The smell can become more powerful over time, so it is best to take care of it right away.

Which Detergent is Good for Cleaning Diaper?

There are many different types of detergents that you can use to clean your cloth diapers. However, not all detergents are created equal. You want to make sure that you choose a gentle detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes. This will help to prevent irritation of your baby’s skin.

You also want to look for a detergent that is designed specifically for cloth diapers. This will ensure that it can effectively remove the ammonia smell without damaging the fabric of your diaper.


Overall, eliminating ammonia from cloth diapers is extremely important not only for the health of your baby but also for prolonging the life of your diapers. Although the strong stench of ammonia definitely isn’t pleasant, fortunately, there are many strategies you can use to combat the issue.

From using more absorbent inserts to adding vinegar to the laundry cycle, these can all be useful solutions. It’s also important to practice good cleaning habits like utilizing a sprayer and giving your diapers a complete wash cycle on a regular basis.

By following these tips and tricks on how to get ammonia smell out of cloth diapers, you’ll be well on your way to keeping bacteria and unpleasant odors away from babies and out of their clothing.

Ultimately getting rid of this strong scent in your baby’s diaper will bring peace of mind when it comes to their safety as well as keeping your clothes clean and functional for longer periods of time.

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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