I know that there are people out there that could care less if one of their cloth diapers has a stain. Not me, I like to keep mine stain free because I never know when I will need to whip out a cloth diaper to show a layman how awesome they are! It’s not as impressive if poo stain is showing, lol.
First, let me start by saying that a stain does not mean your cloth diapers are dirty. It just means it has a stain. I’ve seen plenty of new cloth users freak out over stains and I want you to know that they are nothing to worry about.
I will ALWAYS recommend sunning first.
It’s all natural and free, so also my favorite. You can’t believe how well this works until you see it with your own eyes! Ok, so you take your clean but stained diapers out of the wash. Place them still wet outside in a full sun area. You can either hang them or place them on a flat surface. That’s it… Mine are usually out all day because I forget about them. Once they are dry, most of the stains will have magically disappeared. If they haven’t you can just re-wet and repeat. This can even be done inside in front of windows or on cloudy days. Obviously, it will work better outside in full sun if you can.
Inserts can get kind of crunchy when air-dried. A tumble in the dryer usually will solve that and if it doesn’t help you can add a little Mrs. Meyers fabric softener to them. If any stains remain you can throw one more thing at them…
Some basic things to try if you can’t sun (all safe to use on cloth diapers and around children and pets):
I originally found this in Bed Bath & Beyond in a small scrub bottle. It quickly became my favorite stain removing product and the best I’d ever tried! Even against anything mainstream that can be found in all grocery laundry section. I LOVE this stuff. Squirt a little on, give a little scrub if you can. Wash as usual. It even works wonders on my husband’s grease stained shirts.
You can keep a bottle of this in your bathroom and just spray stains after removing solids and before placing in your wetbag. You can also spray directly into your pre-wash. Some children might be sensitive to this so be sure to only use in pre-wash so it has a chance to be totally rinsed out. Bac out uses live enzyme cultures and lime extract to remove stains and odors from just about anything. Check you diaper’s warranties to see if it is ok to use if you are worried about voiding anything. Here is a great link that gives you a good idea of which cloth diaper manufactures are ok with Bac out.
If you have never tried it, you need to. It will remove stains from anything including carpets and clothing. Click here to see step-by step instructions to use it to remove stains from cloth diapers!
I am an Oxiclean user. I have hard water and I had problems with ammonia burns and stink. Added this to my routine and it solved those issues for me. It is also great at removing stains on cloth. To remove stains fill your washer or tub with water and add clean but stained diapers. If your washer doesn’t have a soak cycle, just add water in a wash and then stop the washer. Add one scoop of Oxiclean; agitate or stir a little to mix it in and then let it sit overnight. Rinse with hot water in washer once or twice to remove Oxiclean.
If any stains remain you can throw one more thing at them…
If one cycle in the sun doesn’t do it, I repeat the process but add lemon juice this time. Just take the insert or diaper and re-wet in the sink. Wring out the water. Now take plain old all natural lemon juice (can be found in the juice isle of any grocery store) and pour a little directly onto the remaining stains. Place the damp insert back into your sunny location and walk away. Usually by the time it’s dry your stain will be totally gone. You should wash these inserts again as the lemon juice would burn if put directly onto little one.
I honestly really don’t recommend bleach. It’s because I feel there are just safer things to use that will get the job done. I know lots of people use bleach with success. But be aware bleach is very harsh. It will wear out elastic and other fabrics much faster than need be and seems like overkill for just stain removal.
Please remember, if after all this you are still unable to remove a stain, it won’t affect a diapers function at all. The only harm is that it will lower its resale value as many people don’t like purchasing cloth diapers with stains.
Have you ever tried any of these techniques with success? What is your favorite stain removal trick?