It is amazing how fast pocket cloth diapers can start stinking. I used fitteds for months and never had this problem.
Coincidentally, when I began cloth diapering my then 15 month old son in 2005, the pocket diapers were the only diapers that reeked of ammonia.
Back then I just figured that’s what toddler pee smells like. Now I realize that the smell is from a buildup in the diapers.
There are many ways to remove buildup from your cloth diapers (all of which I include in The Ultimate Guide to Cloth Diapers). One of the simplest ways is to squirt Dawn dishwashing liquid in your washer. I make 3 big circles of the Dawn in the basin and toss the diapers in.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find regular Dawn. I have Dawn Ultra, the concentrated form, and use it with no problems.
I always check during the rinse cycle for bubbles. If there are any, even small ones, I run a second rinse.
If you suspect that your inserts are still retaining the buildup, run a load with just the inserts and a small amount of bleach. Microfiber is highly absorbent and tends to hold on to molecules very well. Any time you use bleach run an extra rinse. I rinse until there is no bleach smell.
I wash with Dawn about every 2 weeks. Using Dawn is great for Top Loaders but NOT FRONT LOADERS. I have not experimented with this myself but I have been told that Dawn creates too many suds for front loaders and can ruin the machine.
However, if you have a front loader you can still strip your diapers with Dawn. When the diapers are clean, take your pockets and apply a couple of drops to the fleece. Rub it around with your fingers (now you know why I said when they’re clean :D ), thoroughly cleaning the inner microfleece. Rinse the Dawn off in your kitchen sink until there are no more suds. I recommend tossing them back into the washer for a hot wash with no detergent.
Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ.