Cloth diaper stains don’t have an effect on the use of cloth diapers, but they certainly can be unsightly. Here are some tips and tricks on how to remove cloth diaper stains and avoid them completely!
Stains are inevitable when you’re using cloth diapers. There are definitely ways you can try to keep cloth diaper stains at bay: Using a diaper sprayer regularly; using disposable or reusable liners; and washing your cloth diapers more often [I was every 2-3 days] can help avoid stains. But no matter how hard you try, at some point your cloth diapers will get stains. While they don’t necessarily hurt your diapers in any way, they can be quite unsightly and I don’t blame you at all for wanting to get rid of cloth diaper stains!
First, let me say that you can bleach inserts but most often you’ll find that the stains aren’t usually on the cloth diaper inserts, but on your covers. Most cloth diaper users and companies would advise you to not use bleach on covers or any part of the diaper containing PUL. The only time I use bleach, or recommend for someone to, is when you’re washing used cloth diapers. But if you do want to use bleach to remove stains, you can find directions in that post.
Even if you do use bleach, you don’t want to use it a lot – so you’ll need an alternative to use more often. This is that alternative and the best part? It’s free, natural, AND effective!
Avoid Cloth Diaper Stains By Line Drying Your Cloth Diapers.
It’s a bleaching technique that has been used for generations because it works and it will naturally bleach your cloth diapers to look as good as new in most cases!
Whether I have cloth diaper stains or not, I love to line dry outside. Not only does line drying your diapers save on your energy costs, it helps keep stains at bay, make your diapers last longer, and honestly, it’s just really fun to see cloth diapers hanging on a line… or a drying rack in my case. I love this drying rack because it folds up neatly for storage when I’m not using it.
I line dry all of my covers and AIO’s. That’s the reason that if you go through my stash right now, you won’t find many stains – line drying your cloth diapers in the sun will help erase any light stains that you may get from time to time. And it doesn’t have to be sunny – it’s probably best not to let your diapers dry in the rain – but mine have been out in cold, cloudy weather or just sitting by a window inside if it is raining.
I don’t typically line dry my inserts for a few reasons:
- They tend to get crunchy when line dried.
- Heat/Dryer doesn’t hurt them at all, like it can PUL.
- I don’t have a ton of room on my drying rack!
But for those reasons, I tend to get more stubborn stains on my inserts at times. I’ve also found that certain diapers just tend to stain worse, like our bumGenius Freetimes and Bummis Tots Bots EasyFits [older style w/ bamboo inner, even when they’re always line dried. That means I need a little extra help with removing these cloth diaper stains and here’s the secret…
Lemon juice! That’s right – a little lemon juice will not only help speed the sunning process, but it will also make it more effective on tougher cloth diaper stains. I’ve found that freshly squeezed lemon juice works better for me, but I’ve also had success with bottled lemon juice when I don’t have fresh lemons. You can use straight lemon juice or even mix it with a bit of water – your choice.
How to Remove Stubborn Cloth Diaper Stains:
There is no reason for you to deal with yucky stains on your cloth diapers – especially when you can harness the power [and frugality] of the sun with a little added booster of lemon.
- Grab a spray bottle, drying rack, and binder clips if you’re like me and have no clothespins [oops].
- Squeeze half of a lemon into a 1/2 cup of water. No spray bottle? No problem. Just wet your diapers then squeeze a little lemon juice on them!
- Binder-clip or clothespin your diapers to a drying rack outside.
- Saturate the stained portions of the diaper with the lemon juice mixture.
- Wait and let the sun do the work. I left the diapers outside for about 5 hours. If you have a really stubborn cloth diaper stain, you may want to go outside and add more lemon juice at some point and leave it all day. There’s really no set time you need to sun your cloth diapers and inserts. You’re simply letting the natural juices and the sun bleach away your stains for you – no scrubbing required!
If you have a really stubborn stain, you may want to repeat the sunning process over a couple of days.
After you do this lemon juice process, be sure to wash the cloth diaper very well, with a couple of extra rinses. I simply put whatever I sunned with my other dirty diapers from the diaper pail and wash like normal, with a couple of extra rinses, just to be sure all the acidity is gone.
Voila! No more cloth diaper stains!
While cloth diaper stains won’t effect the absorbency of your diapers, they aren’t the prettiest thing to look at. Now that you see how easy it is to remove cloth diaper stains, or avoid them altogether by line drying, you’ll be stain free in no time!