Saturday, March 2, 2013

Eliminate diaper pail stink!

our diaper pail next to a pine log
Pine.  Yes, pine.  But not just any pine: freshly split pine.  2x4's won't work.  Shaved/sanded down logs (to make them smoother) won't work.  It must be split pine - something about the coarse grain, maybe??  Pictured is red pine; we don't currently have another variety of pine to test out, but I think any split pine would work well.

While the diaper pail spray I make works well on the ammonia that can come with a dirty diaper pail, it wasn't taking care of that toddler-stinky-urine smell.  As our son got older (he's 4 now), the stronger the urine smell became in the dirty diaper pail. I tended to wash every other night just because that was about the time I could smell them.  One of my many diaper pail spray experimental concoctions included sweet orange, lavender, and fir needle essential oils - that one worked fairly well - it needs to be spritzed often - but I thought it was the lavender, never really giving the fir needle essential oil another thought.

Right now my husband is busy cleaning up damaged trees from the tornadoes that ripped through our county in June of 2010.  We plan to install a wood burner before next winter to help save on heating costs.  One day, in the course of our teasing banter, when he was leaving to cut wood, I asked him if he was going to bring me back a bouquet of twigs, and his reply was "no, but I can bring you back a log!"  And he DID!!  He knows I love the smell of freshly cut wood.  Well, the split log ended up in the downstairs bathroom where the diaper pail resides, just a place to temporarily have it out of the way.  And then I noticed . . . the diaper pail smell was missing. 

me, dressed up all scientific-like
So to experiment a little (because I love to experiment!) I took the log out of the bathroom.  The smell returned.  I put the log back in the bathroom and within 15 minutes, I noticed a definite lack of stink.  (yeah, give the picture a good laugh, LOL!  This was for my JM cloth diapering mamas, from my clinoptilolite zeolite experiment back in 2011 - which by the way, works awesome for getting rid of ammonia stink in the wash routine!).  After 2 - 3 weeks, my husband decided to "freshen up" the log, and shaved it down to expose fresh wood.  Right after that, the stink returned.  He shaved it down again, and still the stink was there.  Then we tried a pail full of fresh pine shavings.  No go.  I asked him for a new log, and the stink disappeared again.  This time, I asked him to just leave it be, don't shave it down.  It's been 2 weeks since the fresh log was put in place, and no stink yet.  I don't know how long one log will last, but thankfully we have a good supply.

Another bonus: this has cut WAY down on the amount of clinoptilolite zeolite I need to use in my wash routine.  I'm in process of experimenting how much I can cut back.  Because our water is super ridiculously hard (we are over 10.5 grains per gallon), ammonia can easily build up.  Previous to the pine log, I was using 3 Tbsp per wash - 2 with the initial warm wash, and 1 more with the hot wash with detergent.  But, I also switched to *my* liquid laundry detergent, which is soapnuts, soapwort root, and papaya leaf.  So far I've cut back to 1 tsp total, only in the inital warm wash and that's going well.  Next diaper load I'll skip it altogether and see what happens.

I realize this solution isn't available to everyone - I mean, not everyone has access to free pine logs, LOL!! But if you can get your hands on some, it's well worth it. I mean there is literally NO smell. I'd have to remove the lid, stick my nose in and really inhale deeply to smell them.  Now, I'm washing when I run low on diapers and that can be 3+ days.  I have actually forgotten to wash them, just because I was relying on my sense of smell to tell me when to wash!

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