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. Plus, I just like it when everything looks pearly white, makes me feel like they are super squeaky clean that way.
Some basic things to try first (all safe to use on cloth diapers and around children and pets):
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.
This will not only remove stains but will also sanitize your cloth diapers using the sun’s UV rays. 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.
Side note: Please excuse the gravel in the photos. Hurricane Sandy hit us HARD. Over 60 trees on less than an acre came down around out house. We Thank God everyday for the protection we received that night because not one tree landed on our house (where we were hiding in the basement). Needless to say, cleanup of that mess left us with bare dirt everywhere. Hopefully, this spring will finally bring me grass!
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…
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 rinse or wash these inserts again as the lemon juice would burn if put directly onto little one. Did you know that lemon juice can also be used to disinfect cloth diapers? Here is the post again with all the great disinfecting info!
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.
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?