I have read that some people recommend the use of bleach in washing cloth diapers. Everyone's washing situation is different, different water, different machines, different detergents, different diets in their children even.
But bleach did not work for me. I used it once, and as I poured it in, I thought "How hypocritical I won't use this for cleaning my bathroom because it can cause cancer and is just plain bad for you, and here I am, pouring this on organic cotton and other fabrics that are going to touch my baby's skin".
That should not have been my concern. I realized, when I opened the laundry room later to smell mustard gas (the whole house had to be aired out and the diapers stripped, an all day fiasco), that human urine contains ammonia, which when combined with bleach, causes mustard gas. And that when you have hard water, your diapers get "buildup" of ammonia easier.
It was one of those moments in my motherhood when I remembered why I don't use harmful chemicals in my house. Now, I just use detergent and water.
If you liked this post, please check out how I wash my cloth diapers.