Friday, September 28, 2012

Really stinky nappies...

We've had a few enquiries of late about stinky nappies.. and having just moved house, we have learnt first hand how just the smallest change to the eco-system of your washing routine can throw things out... So here is something we have chucked together as we work towards a more in-depth troubleshooting manual for dealing with all sorts of stinks and stains. This will then become a part of the instruction manual that goes out with all our new nappies and will be available for download on the website!

There is 2 main stinks that emanate from newly clean nappies over time. The nasty poo type smell (Which we will cover in another post) and the ammonium smell of wee!
This post we will just look at the ammonium issue because it is big enough in itself to sort through!

The smell is caused by a build up of ammonium crystals in the nappy. The strip wash instructions that we give on our website should have gotten rid of them, but if the inserts and/or pockets weren't washed perfectly clear of the detergent, you just create a magnet for them to re-enter your wash routine... and you probably won't notice much of a difference. To review our strip wash guide please see HERE.

There are some determining factors to how successful a strip wash will be...
-Doing a cold pre-rinse first. You need to make sure that your nappies are "soil free" before you start a strip wash. Otherwise you are trying to get rid of what is on the nappies as well as what has built up inside them, and you won't have the time in the strip washing process to effectively do both. You don't have to use detergent, you are just trying to shift the majority of any soiled stuff off the nappies to make your scrubbing job easier!

-How hot your water is and how long it stays hot for. You need to soak those inserts in the hottest water you can for as long as you can. I am mega lazy, so I just refill my washing machine and let it do the work for me. I set it to fill, turn it off when it is full of hot water and then leave it till it cools and run the water out again. Do this BEFORE you do your scrubbing steps. We will be updating our instructions to reflect this step.

-How much water you can get into your washer. If you have a super efficient front loader, a strip washing in the machine, even at the high temps they can achieve, won't solve the issue of ridding the inserts of the ammonium crystals. If your only option is a front loader or a machine that weighs the clothes (Like a Fisher and Paykel Top loader) and therefore uses less water, then use a couple of cheap buckets (or your baby bath) and empty them 2-3 times as they get cold (Because being in a plastic bucket will cause the water to cool at a faster rate than the machine cools the water at).

-How many nappies you are attempting the strip wash at once. You need to be aware that the power of a rinse is only as good as the concentration of things you are trying to put through it. If you are soaking 20+ nappies in one small washer, chances are you will need to refill more times because the water will become more highly concentrated with the contaminants you are trying to remove, meaning that more of them will be left of the nappy fibres every time you empty that water. Try only filling half your washer and using the highest water setting, or empty your buckets more regularly to give yourself fresher water. It is the water after all that is carrying away the contaminants for you! This goes for both the soaking and the scrubbing steps in the stripping process...


-How clean your machine is. According to Choice.com.au, long term cold water washing of all your clothes and stuff you put in your machine actually causes a waxxy build up in the machine itself. It is worth running a hot water clean through your machine before attempting a strip soak or washing in it. Check out Choice's website for how they recommend doing it. We are pure cold washing people so we need to do this!







 
If you've tried all these things and it still isn't working for you, I have a few suggestions to add to your strip wash arsenal as well as your regular wash cycle methods...
 
1. You can use the water soluble eucalyptus oil or Tea Tree Oil (MUST be water soluble for this to work). Eureka brand is pretty reliable and affordable and you can get them at Woolworths and Coles. Put 1 tablespoon in a load, make sure there is only about a half load of nappies and full water level. Leave to soak for 1-2 hours at least. Do this in your soaking step, after the prewash. 

This will help draw some of the ammonia out of the inserts and will help break down the residue of the detergents that are in the nappies.The water soluble version of these oils will ensure that the oil won't waterproof your nappies further and will aid in disinfecting them (Also dealing with the poo smell!) and getting rid of stubborn stains.

After you've done the soaking step, do the scrubbing and rinsing step This works best with a top loader machine because of the volume of water that is able to be used in each step to help effectively wash the "oil" and the detergents out... At the end of this process you shouldn't have any more ammonium smells in your nappies.

2. We have heard good things about Rockin Green's Funk version of their detergent. This is to do your strip washes in, though you can buy versions to do every wash with every type of water (And we are testing them at the moment so we can give a more thorough review of it's properties). It is a detergent that actually helps break away all that crap. They have fantastic info on their website too. We don't sell it, but our buddies at Bear Bums do and they are actually our local stockist here in WA.

If you go this route, I would strongly suggest following the Rockin Green info to the letter. The only bad things I have heard about Rockin Green are to do with when it isn't fully washed out of the nappies. Here is a great place to begin: http://rockingreensoap.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/How-to-Wash-Cloth-Diapers.pdf and then follow that up with: http://rockingreenaustralia.com.au/information

3. As the Rockin Green articles suggest... sometimes you need to make allowances for your water and your washer. Allowances include pre-washing you regular washes (Not just when you are strip washing) with no detergent and possibly doing an extra rinse at the end to ensure that the water runs clear. The other thing is the combination of washing powder amount used (We recommend starting at 1/4 of the recommended dosage and working up from there till you find what works. For us, this is a full cap of the cheapest and crappiest washing powder from Woolies. Home Brand! Not the "Own" version they also sell. We recommend this for the absence of perfumes, Enzymes and other nasties).

Experimentation will help you work out what combination will work in your everyday washes for you. Look at how many nappies you are adding to the wash and how often you are washing... in dry pailing are you inviting the nappies to dry out before you have a chance to wash them properly? If so you may need to work out a different wash routine. Maybe soaking night nappies that already start to dry in the night while they are on and then emptying the lot into the washing machine come wash time, or washing every 2 days rather than 3? All these things will help prolong the space between strip washes needed...




Hopefully something from all of this speaks to you and gives you some more tools to try and rectify the issue. It is solvable! Please let us know if you have any issues and we will work hard to help!

More to come soon!!! :D
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yellow Nappy Day... 6th May 2012

As many of my blog followers would know, on the 6th of December we lost a tiny Love Bug of our own... a little girl called Lilly-Anne Joy. Her due date was set for a few days time on the 1st of May.
At around the same time a wonderful organisation called "Angel Nappies" kicked off on Facebook. It is run by some very caring and beautiful mums who gather newborn, prem and doll nappies to distribute to organisations such as SANDS Australia. These nappies have a set destination and purpose... to clothe babies who have passed away before or soon after birth.

From first hearing about Angel nappies, we have wanted to do something to help. To honor the memory of our own angel baby, but also to help parents who are in that position by giving their child some level of dignity in their passing. Currently there is no stand alone commercial product that caters to the needs of families in this situation and babies are often dressed in whatever other charitable people have created for them. But nappies are a hard one... Unless it is something purpose made, chance are it is going to swim on the baby, adding to the parent's distress at not being able to see their child grow to fill it...

This is where we, as a Modern Cloth Nappy company, want to step in and help. It is something we can actually do!
We have a newborn-premmie nappy that we havn't released commercially because we were able to develop the Mach 2 nappy which caters for most 3kg+ babies. But given that the babies in this situation are normally smaller than this, we are able to release this nappy design for use by SANDS Australia and other groups to offer for FREE to grieving parents.

To help us fund this, and because we want the public to be more aware of infant loss in our community, we are starting Yellow Nappy Day. This coincides with "Bereaved Mother's Day" which you can read more about HERE. We chose the 6th of May because it was so close to our Baby's due date but also because it allows enough time for people to hear about what we are trying to do and to join in.

The proceeds from the sale of any Yellow Nappy in our Plainz collection will be matched by us to create 5 Angel nappies for donation. Photos of the nappies themselves will be up in coming days. In the mean time you can start purchasing yellow nappies HERE or you can simply purchase a nappy but put the words DONATION in the delivery instructions section to let us know that you want to have 10 Angel nappies donated to the cause instead.

If you have any enquiries, please contact us at admin@beetlebugz.com.au

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Mach 2 Nappy... a Sneak Peak!

The outline of the new Mach 2 nappies can be seen below...
The design is a Modern Cloth Nappy Pocket. It has internal gussets, PUL and Suede Cloth lining, 4 rows of rise snaps (We calculate it will fit from 3kgs and up), crossover snaps for easy roll-up and sealing when full and each nappy will come with 2 Coolaboo Inserts. You can read all about Coolaboo on our website www.beetlebugz.com.au
HAPPY VIEWING! :D











Tuesday, March 6, 2012
WANTED - New Nappy testers for the Mach 2 Nappy!
We are going to be releasing the Mach 2 Nappy on Monday and are after some testers to help us kick start the review process. If you are interested please your name to admin@beetlebugz.com.au

All testers will be supplied with 1 new Mach 2 Nappy and will be required to place a review on the Nappy Reviews Website.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silicone, Silicon and Silly Cones... Spelling makes all the difference! :D

Spelling makes ALL the difference...
Did you know that there is a HUGE difference between Silicone and Silicon? I am an engineer and I never picked up on the importance of this till one of my VERY switched on customers pointed it out to me...

Although it may appear that the words silicon and silicone can be used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between them. Silicon is a natural chemical element found in great abundance on Earth, primarily as a major component of common sand. Silicon is generally found in a crystalline form. Silicone is a man-made substance derived from silicon and other chemicals, and it may be a liquid or a rubber-like plastic polymer.
                                                                                                                              From HERE...

That might sound like alot of gobbildigook, but what it boils down to is that these 2 difference substances do 2 very different things! They have different jobs and functions and different properties.
It is important, as we'd all know, to have the right thing for the job. Well the SILICONE that we have been using via Cherub Baby has been sleeved over their glass bottles and acts as a temperature dependent colour change cover. It takes a few hits and looks great all at the same time sparing babies from harmful chemicals such as BPA and lead!

We have been selling Cherub Glass bottles for a while, but have only just upgraded to the Colour change covers for all the colours in the rainbow!

A review of the was recently done HERE at Kid Independent... 
A cool feature of these silicon sleeves is their ability to change colour to alert you if the bottle gets too hot {above 42 degrees celsius}. Big thumbs up all around for this feature… also makes a fun experiment for your older kids {…think flashbacks to the hypercolour era}.
We have been running an ongoing competition with these bottles over at the Beetle Bugz Facebook page! If we can reach 700 likers we will be giving away a 2 pack of 240ml bottles. If you get some of your friends to like us and mention that you sent us, you can get extra entries also!
This is an open ended competition and will be drawn once we hit the 700 liker mark. Everyone between now and 700 that likes is automatically entered into the draw!

So get sharing!!! http://www.facebook.com/BeetleBugzAustralia
Friday, March 2, 2012

In response...

I recently ran across a review on the Nappy Reviews website about our Love Bugz Nappies.
I love our nappies and it always disapoints me when people get the wrong image of our brand. I am open to criticisim and welcome correction where needed, but there are a few home truths that I really have to set straight. I didn't feel invading our customer's own forum and airing them there was appropriate... so I will test the waters here...

This is in response to the review here: http://www.clothnappyreviews.com.au/love-bugz-suede-cloth-inner-coolaboo-osfm-pocket-nappy/

Hi there - Kirsty from Beetle Bugz here...
Just wanted to set a few things straight regarding something from a previous poster (Bec).
We aren't selling ALVA nappies. We are selling the original design that the factory that manufactures ALVA then switched to. The factory we use also manufactures ALVA nappies, hence why we have access to the fabrics that these people use in their outer PUL Pockets also. The PUL quality can't be beaten in it's sustainability and affordability.

Additional to that, our nappies don't use the same inserts material as most Chinese imports do. We have a fabric milled for us (That a few other nappy brands have recently also picked up for use in their own designs) which is called Coolaboo. This is the premium option and is more expensive than the Bamboo Terry (Actually Reyon Terry, not 100% Bamboo in most instances) and is why our nappies are slightly more expensive.

Love Bugz Nappies are a growing brand. We make compromises in our use of fabrics that are available on the open market and run the risk of other companies (including the factory itself!) copying our designs and attempting to under cut us on price. At the end of the day we are working to create a premium brand for an affordable price for people to be able to build a predominantly work horse stash.
In doing this though, one compromise that we won't step away from is Fair Trade, and while simple importers of Chinese nappies mostly don't have a clue about the origins of the nappies they are selling, we have Fair Trade certification on ours. And that is another cost factor on us. Some aspects of quality are deeper than appearances and price alone.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Business of being Mum...

As many of my customers are friends, they know that I'm a mum... Anyone who has read my "About Us" tab on the website would quickly see that the face behind this business is only there because of the kid that got me into it in the first place! That little person changed my life in the most dramatic of ways and does so everyday. We try to protect him and nurture him as much as we can, but as I discovered yesterday, sometimes you can do everything possible and they STILL get hurt. And I've met enough wonderful mums who have been through freak happenings that I know that worse things can happen, even when your back isn't turned.

This was yesterday's effort when a swing hit Ayrton in the face in our own backyard:


The moment this happened though, my heart stopped beating. There was blood everywhere and I didn't yet know whether this was a serious injury or not. My mum says "The longer the pause of silence before they cry, the worse it is..." and she was right. There was a good 10+ second pause before the screming began...

But I guess my reaction to this was also tainted by what else has happened in our lives recently. I've been tossing up whether I should share or not. But in the interests of having a transparent business, where we admit our failings and our achievements, I thought I needed to say something.
Last month we lost our 2nd child.

As a result we closed up shop for Christmas early and tried to deal with it as best as we could. To try and make this little glossy front for the business where it looked like we were all in control and nothing was wrong. But deep down, something really is not right. Our newest Love Bugz isn't coming any more and I hate having to tell that to people more than actually living without my bump anymore sometimes...
It is really hard when I completley stuff something up (Like when I don't update the right part of the website when we've sold out of something and then I sell another one and have to explain... or I post the wrong product because my eyes didn't read the order correctly!!!).
But how to explain?

How do I tell my customers, who don't buy my issues and life story when they make a purchase from my beloved little store, that the reason why I've stuffed up their order is because I am trying really, really hard to be normal and sane and calm...?
I can't. People don't buy into that when they decide to make a purchase from a store. But that is life being a WAHM. A Work at home mum. Your business is your home and your home is your business. It is linked and there is only few places where they aren't.
I'm not a huge department store. I have no one else on the staff who I can call to come and take over while I have the down time I need. I have to keep going. Even when I'm falling over myself...
This isn't how I want my customers to be treated. I love each and every one of them and I LOVE putting their orders together and pray that they love the products they have purchased as much as I love sending them out... 

So here I am... committing to soldiering on. Getting orders out in an acceptably speedy amount of time... it being the RIGHT products... Having up to date and clear information on our website. And most of all, continuing to provide the right kind of service that our customers expect... even of a little WAHM business like us...And at the end of the day, it is my customers who are doing me a favor by giving me something to keep my hands busy... So THANKYOU for sticking with us... even when you didn't know there was something wrong.

Search

Loading...

A little taste of what's in store...

Google Friend Connect

Follow our Blog via Email

About Me

My Photo
Beetle Bugz Australia
View my complete profile
Powered by Blogger.