Most Well Water is Hard water, containing minerals such as arsenic, iron and magnesium. If you have read my post on What's in my Water, you will see that Hard water can be very problematic when using cloth diapers.
The minerals that make the well water "hard" will often bind to any detergent that is left in your diapers, and leave a nasty smell that can be difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, the diapers may even have a "dingy" look to them as well. You can look at a Water Map to determine your type of water.
Here are a few tips to help wash diapers with Well Water:
1) Use a water softener such as Calgon , RLR Laundry Treatment, or Borax.
2) Try a specific detergent made for Hard Water - Rockin' Green Hard Rock.
3) Contrary to popular belief, Vinegar can make the problem worse. Vinegar can bind to the minerals and react to creating an all new level of stinkiness!
4) You can purchase a water softening tank for your entire home. This tends to be a little more expensive, but will help with all of the water that comes into your house.
5) You may need to strip your diapers a little more often because of the hard water.
6) A few extra rinses may be beneficial after you wash your diapers to make sure all the detergent is out.
7) In most cases, adding a little more detergent will help to get the diapers clean.
8) If you don't already do so, do a cold rinse before the actual cleaning cycle.
9) If you notice that the stink is only with your microfiber inserts/diapers, you may want to try all natural fabrics such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo. These all natural fabrics do not tend to hold the stink in as much.
10) You might want to try a detergent without out enzymes, brighteners, dyes, etc.
Do you have well water or hard water? What are your tips for washing your cloth diapers in these conditions?