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Thread: Nappy fabric deteriorating... any ideas why?

  1. #1

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    Default Nappy fabric deteriorating... any ideas why?

    I have a decent sized stash of GroVia hybrids, which have been excellent for us in terms of fit and absorbency. However in the last week to 2 weeks, I have noticed that almost all of the inserts, both hemp and cotton, are starting to deteriorate. The mild cases look like a few threads have pulled loose on the hemp, or the fabric has cracked around the snap on the cotton, but in the severe cases, it looks like a mouse has eaten through all the layers right down to the PUL backing on the insert!

    My nappy supplier is contacting Grovia for me, and is hopeful that they will offer me replacements, but given that it has happened in different types of fabric, and all at the same time, makes me think it is something I am doing. But what can it be?



    DS is only 5 months old, and the nappies were new. We change him roughly every 2 hours - before and after every nap he gets checked - and was every 1 - 1 /2 days, occasionally it will be 2 days between loads, but never more than that. I wash in a top loader on cold with enough water to cover the nappies, doing one rinse cycle then a full length cold wash. I use ecoballs, and have never used anything else on them - though I might have done a load at the very start with normal detergent to wash out any nasties from manufacture. They get dried in the sun every time - we don't have a drier.

    The only thing I can find on googling it is the possibility that DS has suddenly developed very strong wee, which supposedly can happen in teething. DP has been commenting occasionally that DS needs a change cos he can smell that it's wet, but I don't smell much during the day. The overnight nappy has a pretty strong ammonia smell come morning, but I would have thought that was normal. DS has no sign of teeth, but has had some possible mild temps lately - his forehead has felt hot and his head has been a little sweaty, coinciding with grumpy periods, on and off for the last week or two. He loves gnawing on everything, and drools a little, but that's been the case since about 3 1/2 months.

    Nappy lady has suggested rinsing wet nappies immediately to dilute the urine, and I'll do that if I really have to, but it's a PITA to do it after every single change - that's not what I signed up for when I chose to use cloth!

    So I guess I want to know is, has this happened to anyone else? What was the cause? What did you do about it? What could I do about it? And what strategies can I use to minimise the PITA-ness of having to rinse wet nappies after each change? (It's a PITA to put DS down somewhere, take the nappy and bucket to the laundry, put gloves on, rinse and squeeze the nappy, put the nappy in the bucket, rinse the gloves, dry the gloves, take the gloves off, take the nappy bucket back to the nursery, and then settle DS when he isn't happy to be left alone on the floor every time he has a change. It also increases our water use even further!) And what about when we're out and about?

    I'm looking forward to benefiting from the collective BB wisdom!

  2. #2

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    How do you store the nappies before washing? You could wet pail - ie, store them in water and then tip the lot into the washing machine on wash day.
    I found I needed to warm wash to get them properly clean. I also had problems with nappies deterioriating when I used to keep the lid on the bin. Since leaving the lid off they seem to last a bit better.
    It sounds pretty serious, though, and after only a short period of time. Perhaps there's some problem with the nappies

  3. #3

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    I'm with MadB, wetpail the inserts. Highly acidic wee can eat away at the fabric. I hope you can get them replaced free though

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    Currently I drypail, lid on. Wet pail would be easier than rinsing, though... So do I just half fill the nappy bucket with water, then? I don't add anything to the water? (I've read about putting bicarb soda and vinegar in when you wet pail - from my limited science, bicarb is alkaline, so would neutralize some of the acid, I think. But vinegar is acidic, so it doesn't make sense to me to add more acid!)

    MadB, what about the smell when you leave the lid off?

  5. #5

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    The smell builds up more with the lid on. It's better off, really, as the gases can dissipate (and not eat into your nappies)

  6. #6

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    I have no idea!! That happened with DD2 as well. Was fine with DD1 but DD2 wrecked all my nappies and they were just as you described, totally eaten right though! I didn't find a solution, had to stop cloth with her

  7. #7

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    This happened to some IB's that I used with DD1. They rotted out around the booster snaps and at the top where the flap attaches. The supplier did replace them for me and I treated the replacements the same way and it didn't happen again. I never did figure it out.

    BTW, if you can smell wee as soon as the nappy is wet, it might be time for a strip wash.

  8. #8

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    Artechim, I can't, but DP says he can - maybe his nose is more sensitive than mine? And I thought (but I might be wrong) that the point of a strip wash was to get rid of build up from detergents, so I presumed that I wouldn't need to do it if I'm not using any detergents?

    Hopefully I'll have the same outcome as you - replacements and no recurrence.

  9. #9

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    I dry pail with lid off. It's really not that bad, you can smell it but its not overpowering.

    Make sure you only wetpail the inserts, not the shell as that could deteriorate the elastics.

    If the nappies have a wee smell, get some water soluble eucalyptus oil and pop that in then lots of sun.

  10. #10

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    Default Nappy fabric deteriorating... any ideas why?

    I dry pail with the lid off as well. I do a quick rinse under the tap and wack it in the nappy bucket still wet.

    Itti bitti sell rockin green pail powder which I use. You just sprinkle a small amount in the pail and it smells lovely

  11. #11

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    It happened to mine too. I didn't find a solution it still happened when I rinsed immediately or wet pailed.

    I've also given up on cloth but mainly cos of the rashes my girls would get immediately once I put a nappy on them.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lady_neon View Post

    Make sure you only wetpail the inserts, not the shell as that could deteriorate the elastics.
    :/ That means two nappy buckets!?

    The nappies smell absolutely fine once washed, and the smell isn't instant on weeing... it's only the night nappy that has what I consider a strong ammonia smell, but to be fair, I never noticed it until a few weeks ago, so maybe his wee has changed.

    Amy Jellybean, Thanks for the suggestion, but I have hyper-sensitive skin, and so I try to avoid anything at all with a perfume, partly for my sake, handling the nappies, and partly for DS, just in case. I might try drypailing without a lid, though I can't see that helping the deterioration issue if it is because of strong wee.

  13. #13

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    Keeping the lid on causes a build up of ammonia in the bucket. Leaving the lid off allows it to escape causing less acidic conditions for your nappies.
    Hope you are able to get them replaced.

  14. #14

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    So a little update: GroVia has come to the party and offered to replace the 17 damaged soakers out of my stash of 24. The rep was shocked at the condition of the worst one, and her only suggestion for cause was possible acid wee. Meanwhile, DS has two teeth poking through now, so he was definitely teething.

    And I'm drypailing with the lid off now.

    Thanks everyone for suggestions and stories.

  15. #15

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    Oooh that is good to hear (about the soakers, not the poor little guy's discomfort )

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Nappy fabric deteriorating... any ideas why?

    thats fantastic. glad you got it sorted

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