I've been cloth diapering for the last two years. Over that time, I've found my diapers tend to get soap buildup from the detergents, as well as ammonia buildup from general use with my baby and toddler. I have tried several different well known store brands. However, I decided I'd rather use a more natural brand of detergent for my diapers. After all, I am cloth diapering for the healthy and natural aspect.
Two things I want to mention. The first is that we have very hard water. It doesn't help with keeping the funky smell out of diapers.
The second is I am using a top load, non water efficient washer. I have never had success with getting my cloth diapers clean with a front loader or with a water efficient (uses small amount of water) top load washer.
After a little trial and error, I figured the proper amount I needed for my diapers. Some detergents I have used in the past I could not use the full load amount or it would not wash out of the diapers. I tried a half cap of the liquid detergent, and the amount for a full load. The half (medium load size) was never enough to keep the diapers odor free. I found that using the amount for a full load was the best for my washings. Each load of diapers I wash are always either a large or super load.
I have my normal routine. I always dump the soiled diapers and wash them off in the toilet. I soak my diapers overnight in plain water. Then put them through a cycle until the first spin. Once it drains, I start it over, adding the soap. I try to get any urine and fecal residue out of the diapers before the main wash. I then put them through the wash, with an extra rinse cycle.
The diapers dried both on the line and in the dryer, depending on the weather.
Vaska did a very good job of keeping the diapers odor free. Yes, I will occasionally sniff my diapers to see how clean they are. Previously, every few months I would notice my microfiber inserts getting an odor. I would then gather up all my diapers and strip them. They would go through about three wash cycles of plain water before the soap was gone from the diapers. So far, I haven't had the need to strip my diapers.
I'm not one to pretreat my diapers, because I don't want the soaps to absorb into the cloth, causing me to strip them more often. I did pretreat one insert to show the difference in the stain.
Without pretreating, and just going through the wash, it was not great at getting dark stains out. When the diapers were pretreated, however, it did a great job with the stains.