Stinks and smells troubleshooter - Baba+Boo

Stinks and smells troubleshooter

Nappies a bit whiffy after a wash? Or smelling strongly when they’re wet? Use our stinks and smells troubleshooter to keep your nappies as fresh as a daisy.

First things first - you can get your nice nappies back again by giving them a deep clean (sometimes called a strip wash).

Occasionally we hear of people trying a deep clean and the nappies still coming out smelly. If this happens, clean your machine - run it on empty with no detergent on 90 degrees and watch the bubbles appear from the depths of your machine!

Once your nappies are as clean as a whistle, use this checklist to stop the stinks sneaking back up on you.

1) How often do you wash?

Try not to leave your nappies for more than three days between washes - leaving them for longer can cause stinks to build up.

2) How much powder do you use?

There’s an unfortunate myth about using small doses of washing powder for dirty nappies. Use a full dose that’s appropriate to the size of your load and water hardness.

3) Check your wash cycle

Nappies love a long, watery wash. Eco washes and short cycles are out; long cotton washes and ‘aqua plus’ (extra water) settings are your friends.

4) Up the heat

If you’re washing at 40, try washing at 60.

5) Discover different detergents

A change in detergent brand is often all that’s needed. We don’t recommend or criticise specific brands because what works brilliantly for one person doesn’t do the job for the next.

We do see patterns, though. We know that some people don’t get great results with liquids, so if you’re using a laundry liquid it is worth trying a powder. Some parents struggle to get nappies clean with an eco egg, so if this case it is also worth trying a powder.

Using bio or non-bio is personal preference. (Some nappy manufacturers do not recommend using bio, so please check their guidelines if you have a mixed ‘stash’).

6) A bit of a build-up

‘Build-up’ of detergent isn’t as common as many people think, but it can occasionally be linked to stinks and smells. Check your washing machine at the end of the rinse cycle. If there are still bubbles then give your machine a clean (see above). If, on the next wash, there are still bubbles at the end of the rinse cycle then gradually reduce the amount of powder you use until there are no bubbles at the end of the rinse cycle.

You could do an extra rinse at the end of the wash - but getting the right amount of powder equals less water usage and less hassle.

7) Your barrier cream has caused a barrier

Build-up can also be caused by barrier creams - if you use a nappy cream then always use a liner, and ideally use a ‘cloth friendly’ cream.

8) When life gives you lemons - use them!

Lemon juice is wonderful for helping to shift stinks and stains from laundry. Try adding in the juice of 1 lemon to a full nappy wash, popping into either the detergent compartment or straight into the drum.


-These are troubleshooting guidelines for stinky nappies. If your nappies are coming out clean then keep doing what's working for you - there's no need to stop using your existing liquid/start washing at 60/change the cycle you use etc 'just in case'. Let's keep nappies simple!

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