Every now and then you come across a truly awesome product. I have come across that product. I didn't find it on my own, but I finally have used it and I wonder how I lived without.
My son has been in cloth diapers part-time for much of his life. I never used them while we were out and about, but I did use them at home. Except overnight, he always rashes up if I try to keep him in cloth for a 12-hour stretch at night.
I switched him to cloth full-time a couple of weeks ago. He's wearing fluffy soft dipes (except overnight) whether we're home or not. I didn't really have a reason other than I'm sick of buying diapers that just end up thrown in the garbage and I think he may potty train faster if I keep him exclusively in cloth. I've already dealt with a couple of poopy diapers when we were away from the house (and my diaper sprayer!) and it really wasn't that bad. I've dealt with far worse. Remember, this kid puked like a geyser every 75 minutes or so until he was around nine months old. So yeah, I've dealt far nastier stuff than a clump of poop that rolled off the diaper and into a toilet.
I'm not a big fan of prefolds or flat diapers and I do not like the old-school pull-up/pull-down diaper covers. I've never used a diaper pin. My son has never exploded out of his cloth diapers (he never did out of disposables either, but I think that's because I typically bought premium diapers). My mother and my MIL think I have a stash with a fancy variety of diapers: all-in-ones (AIOs), pockets with velcro or snap closures, fitteds with velcro or snap closures, and an assortment of GREAT covers. I have a dozen prefolds too, but I don't see the point in using them when I can use much easier (and cuter) diapers.
I tend to keep things pretty simple with my diapers. I use a diaper sprayer to rinse the dipes. Thanks to the sprayer, I have never touched poop or put my hands in the toilet. I sprinkle a little baking soda in my dry pail every time I add a diaper. I don't know if it really helps control odors, but you'd never know that I have a pail full of stinky diapers if you walked in my house. I wash the diapers every other day. First I do a cold wash (no detergent) with two rinses, then I do a hot wash (1/4 cup of detergent + a Tb or so of Calgon water softener) with two rinses. Viola - that's it. Simple, right?
Well, I have added a step to my super-simple diaper routine. I had been reading about a product called Bac-Out and I was intrigued. It is supposed to control odors, prevent/remove stains, and (most importantly) it is safe for using on cloth diapers. This is important because a cloth diapering mama's biggest fear is ruining her stash. Some of these diapers can cost over $30 each and one can easily spend several hundred dollars on diapers for their little one(s). I'm sure that my husband is reading this and before he flips out, I should mention that my average diaper cost is more like $10 to $15. Not too bad considering that our next baby will use the same diapers and I'll be able to sell the used diapers after that kid is using the toilet.
But I digress. Bac-Out is simply amazing! It smells like limes which, for some crazy reason, makes me smile. I guess because it reminds me of summery drinks. My house never stunk from my diaper pail, but I always felt like I would be knocked off my feet when I lifted the lid to add a diaper because the ammonia smell was sooo strong. Not any more. It doesn't smell of pee (ammonia), poop, or anything stinky. It just smells like limes. LIMES! A pail full of dirty diapers smells like limes! If I didn't experience it, I would never in a million years believe it. I have no idea why I waited so long to try Bac-Out, but I wish I started using it ages ago.
I can't say if it prevents or removes stains because I have only had a couple of stains in my diapers. I treated those with my favorite 99 cent laundry stain remover, Soilove. It's hard to beat a product that costs only 99 cents for a pint (Soilove), but if I get any staining again, I'll see how the Bac-Out works.
I found Bac-Out in the laundry section at Sprouts (on sale right now), but I would guess that you might find it at any crunchy-granola sort of store like Henry's, Whole Foods, or Mothers. I'm so impressed with how well it controls odors that I would darn near recommend that you use it for cleaning if your house has odors from things like smoking, cooking, or pets. Of course, if you hate the smell of lime, you won't like this product. But if you do, try it out and let me know how you liked it.