using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup
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Author:  Katelyn [ Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Hi all,

there's this trick I figured out last year that I could share. I wondered if anyone else might have thought of it, but a search didn't yield any hits, so here goes, maybe it's of some use to someone.

I suppose all cloth diaper users deal with ammonia buildup now and then. It happened to me quite regularly when I mainly used the thicker kind of shaped cotton diapers, and the most with some all-in-one reusable diapers that really were quite a piece of work in that respect. I've since then changed to using the simple large square cotton diapers that you must fold yourself. Because they are thin when unfolded they are much easier to clean and the ammonia demon isn't a shade of what he used to be :lol:

Still, I found that this trick is very helpful to quickly neutralise the smell of urine. When I get up I dump the soaked diapers in the bathtub, spray them with a little limescale remover and then dilute it with some water from the shower head.

I suppose it doesn't matter which brand of limescale remover you use, but I like the neutral-smelling variety best. We've got a brand over here called Dasty: it's cheap, not perfumed and it comes in nice large bottles with a spray nozzle. I think the active ingredient is formic acid ('mierenzuur' in Dutch - 'ant acid', because ants naturally produce it), a mild organic acid related to acetic acid, but without the sharp vinegar smell.

I found that the smell or urine almost instantly disappears as if by magic when you apply the limescale remover - with my high school chemistry knowledge I'd say that that is because any trace of ammonia that might have formed in the diaper is neutralised, as ammonia is a base whereas formic acid is an acid.

I then turn on the warm water and take a shower while leaving the diaper lying in the tub, so that it has a kind of free pre-wash cycle.
When I'm done, I wring the excess water out of the diapers, put them in the washing machine and let it just run the spin cycle.
That takes only 5 minutes or so, and afterwards the diapers aren't really clean of course, but they hardly smell at all. I usually leave them in the machine or collect them for a few days to wash them properly.

I think that the limescale remover also works well on plastic pants, should they take on some of the ammonia smell. As far as I know, PVC can easily handle the formic acid - I never noticed that it damaged or hardened the plastic. You need a few drops only anyhow, and dilute it with water and rinse the thing quickly.

Author:  Papa [ Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Interesting concept. Here we sell products as a combo Rust/lime/calcium remover. I wonder if it works the same as what you use. I will bleach my cloth diapers every 3rd or 4th washing. Not a lot but enough, to eliminate any bacteria and odor. I know, I know bleach is not recommended for cloth diapers and esp for plastic pants. Also, welcome to the group. You said not many where you live use cloth diapers, many people feel cloth diapers are more "infantile" and others are the "convenience" generation. Use it and toss it. I think those of us here, and there are plenty, who do prefer cloth diapers have gone beyond all that and prefer good absorption and comfort regardless of appearance or care required. But we all have to make our own choices. Welcome again and we all look forward to exchanging ideas among ourselves. Papa

Author:  Papa [ Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

One other thing, since you are European, are your cloth diapers terry cloth, birdseye, gauze or ?

Author:  Katelyn [ Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Hi Papa,

Thanks for the welcome!
I'm not sure if the combined product would work. I'm fairly sure that the ingredient that does this trick is the formic acid, but I have no idea if that also removes rust or if there's another chemical added to the combined descaling & rust removal product you mention for that.

Isn't there any product for removing lime scale only?
It's always in the household or bathroom cleaning aisle because it is used for bath tubs, tiles, toilet bowls, shower heads, taps, sinks, etcetera - not sure if you need rust removed there as well. I think something similar (though without any fragrance added) is used to descale water cookers and coffee machines.

Vinegar will probably work just as well, though that smells a lot worse than formic acid. I'm not even sure if that's not worse than a slight urine smell. Note though that limescale remover won't be active against bacteria like bleach will.

Re. cloth diapers use (or lack thereof) over here: it's indeed for those reasons you mention, plus that people don't even know that cloth is a viable option (because no doctor, nurse or pharmacist will ever mention cloth diapers) and prejudices about cloth, mainly that people think they will not absorb enoug.

That "cloth is infantile" notion is quite strong. Some years ago I spoke with another incontinent girl on the Dutch forum chat now and then, mostly about how we dealt with practical issues. She only used the regular taped disposable diapers, and though she was mildly interested to hear about cloth, I noticed that there was always a kind of uneasy silence whenever I mentioned plastic pants. For me that's hardly avoidable, because plastic pants are absolutely essential for me. I somehow consider plastic pants as the main part of my protection, with diapers as the absorbent element that goes in a plastic pant - in much the same way as gas goes in a car. It won't function without it, but it's essentially a 'consumable' for the plastic pant.
I suppose I picked that up from my mother, as she almost always referred to "your plastic pants" instead of "your diapers".

Anyway, at one point I asked her why the conversation always froze over whenever I said something about plastic pants. She answered that it was because it embarrassed her, as she felt that plastic pants are for babies only. I felt a bit taken by surprise, and she admitted that she knew it was nonsense but she couldn't help feeling like that.

There's surely a lot of that kind of thinking around.

The simple square diapers I have are gauze, though I would much rather have terry or Birdseye. It seems more absorbent and also softer. But those simple square ones are practically unavailable in adult sizes, I've only been able to find these.
For baby sized ones there's more choice. I could get those and stitch them together I suppose.

There are also some prefolded and all-in-one diapers, but I don't know what they are made from. The ones I have seem to be made from some funky sort of synthetic finer-cotton mix.

Maybe I should try to buy cloth diapers from North America. I've never considered that yet.

Author:  Papa [ Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

It is amusing that so many people say and feel that cloth diapers and plastic pants are babyish. When is the last time you actually saw a baby/child in cloth diapers. 95%of all children wearing diapers today and for years wear paper/disposable diapers not cloth. Which should mean one should feel more babyish in disposables than in cloth diapers. Modern moms and dads don't even know what cloth diapers and plastic pants are, leave alone use them. People here struggle with incontinence and part of that struggle is the appearance of their diapers. At some point most of us realize that the appearance is no where as important as how well they work and feel. But...to each their own. It's a battle of mind over matter. Papa

Author:  MSUSpartan [ Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Depends whom you hang out with. Cloth diapers have made a huge resurgence with new parents. My son wore cloth diapers, and most of my friends children wear/wore cloth diapers. My new son is in disposables, but only until he's big enough to fit the stash of diapers we have from my previous son.

They still aren't near the majority, but it's a lot more common than you might think if you don't currently have diaper age kids.

Author:  Wetters [ Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Congratulations, MSUSpartan, on the birth of your second child. Please pass my best wishes on to your wife. Happy Holidays.


Author:  MSUSpartan [ Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Thanks. One month check up tomorrow. He's 5 weeks 3 days.

Author:  Patrick [ Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

Add my congratulations on the birth of your son.

Cloth diapers in sizes for larger children, adolescents and adults seem more available in the USA and Canada than elsewhere. Could the Internet make them equally available to folks whose local economies do not provide them?

Author:  MSUSpartan [ Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: using limescale remover to prevent ammonia buildup

I'm sure the internet makes them more accessable. All of my son's disorders were ordered online, or through a local co-op on Facebook.

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