To bleach or not to bleach; that is the question! Many of us have been there. Something’s wrong with our cloth diapers…there is a stink…or a leak…or maybe a rash that just won’t go away. You try everything…more rinses…a different detergent…not using a particular diaper. Still no remedy is found. Maybe you feel like there is no where else to turn. You’ve researched and asked questions. And then someone mentions bleach…
Hmmm, maybe try it. Why not you think. You have tried everything else. This has to work. Bleach is so strong and has been around forever. It must be the solution.
I know that it works for some people. I understand that there are even cloth diaper manufacturers that recommend an occasional bleach wash. I truly believe that bleach isn’t necessary in cloth diapering. I believe there are better, safer ways to keep cloth diapers clean and baby’s bottoms rash free.
Why is it my OPINION that bleach is bad? Well my heart tells me so. OK you want a real source? An internet search turns up thousands of results both for the safety of bleach and those claiming dire consequences if used. I searched for at least one reliable source to share with you that supports my opinion. Buried deep inside their website, Clorox ™ provided me my answer.
Here is what I found on Clorox’s Regular Bleach Material Safety Data Sheet. http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/products/msds/
I: Product: CLOROX REGULAR-BLEACH
II: Health Hazard data
DANGER: CORROSIVE. May cause severe irritation or damage to eyes and skin. Vapor or mist may irritate. Harmful if swallowed. Keep out of reach of children. Some clinical reports suggest a low potential for sensitization upon exaggerated exposure to sodium hypochlorite if skin damage (e.g., irritation) occurs during exposure. Under normal consumer use conditions the likelihood of any adverse health effects are low. Medical conditions that may be aggravated by exposure to high concentrations of vapor or mist: heart conditions or chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or obstructive lung disease.
In my house one of the big reasons I use cloth diapers instead of disposables is to limit my family’s exposure to unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals. Why would anyone want to use something that is plainly labeled DANGER: CORROSIVE?
Vapor or mist may irritate. Irritate what I ask? I don’t want anything irritated!
Likelihood of adverse health effects are low. I like my likelihood of adverse health effects to be nothing thank you very much.
Not to mention that using something on any sort of regular basis that is labeled corrosive will probably break down and wear out a diaper faster than need be. Don’t we all want out cloth diapers to last as long as possible? Isn’t that another reason we use cloth? I know I want my diapers lasting as long as possible; saving me the maximum amount of money possible.
Purely a matter of my own opinion as there is no conclusive evidence that proves bleach causes cancer. However, there ARE many references to it causing cancer. My Grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1960’s. My family has a firm belief that it was prolonged exposure to bleach vapors that caused it. My grandparents owned a commercial Laundromat. They bleached almost everything. Obviously cancer is caused by a number of reasons. I for one want to lower my risks of cancer, not raise them.
If you need to disinfect your cloth diapers, please consider using any of these alternatives to bleach and read this: Simple Effective Ways To Disinfect Cloth Diapers. Do your own research. Come to your own conclusions. But I have to ask, is there really nothing safer to use on our cloth diapers? The same cloth diapers that spend the first years of our child’s life in constant contact with their most sensitive parts. How do you feel about the use of bleach?
The Clorox Company, 08/09. http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/products/msds/. April 30, 2014