Boiling cloth diapers to get rid of ammonia

Help! Ammonia in my diapers!

Help! Ammonia in my diapers!

We’ve been having ammonia issues for months now, and I’ve tried Rockin Green detergent, their ammonia special detergent, and Eco Sprout detergent (based on recommendations of natural detergents from friends).

I used to just wash the diapers on one cycle, and I started doing two cycles (one hot, one cold/warm) and a soak beforehand.

But our diapers still smelled SUPER bad after they got pee in them, and the overnight diaper would be scary!

Thank goodness Jack never got ammonia burn, but the idea of that scared me which is why I kept trying different things.

I finally tried boiling diapers over the stove for 15 minutes, and it finally worked!

I boiled them for 15 minutes and then washed them as usual, and they didn’t smell like anything after they got peed on. Thank goodness!

The process was time consuming because I don’t have a huge pot so I couldn’t do too many at one time, but it’s worth it to take care of the problem, and probably only needs to be done once every few months I hope.


I’ll continue my usual routine with boiling occasionally (we live in an apartment with paid laundry which is why I don’t do extra rinses and stuff)

  1. Wash on hot with Rockin Green ammonia detergent (open the lid to let the diapers soak for 30-60 minutes when the water is full)
  2. Wash on warm with Eco Sprout detergent with other clothes and things added in, so we can still get out other laundry done without the process taking a whole day
  3. Dry prefolds in the dryer, and hang the covers/pockets with PUL to dry