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Even with the most diligent of washings, cloth diapers (or any laundry for that matter) can and will get stains. Clothes will get dirty and they will stain. It’s a part of laundry life. Many people turn to bleach but I have issues with bleach…
Concerns with Bleach
Bad for the Environment
From what I’ve read, using bleach in your laundry is more then likely not going to cause any issues downstream. Although it isn’t entirely impossible to cause issues but apparently it would be pretty rare for bleach to encounter the right chemicals to cause problems. However, making bleach is bad for the environment so there’s reason to avoid buying it because of that.
Bad News for Humans
It can cause breathing problems, burns, and nervous system damage. That is just bleach alone! If you mix bleach with another ingredient, you are asking for a trip to the hospital.
Bad for Cloth Diapers and Clothes
Bleach eats away at the fibers and will leave holes in the material. It can also decrease durability and absorbency, both of which are highly important in cloth diapers.
Thankfully, there is a perfectly safe and free alternative!
Yeah, I know what you are thinking, there’s no way the sun can be as good as bleach.
I thought the same thing. I would hear these cloth diaper mamas talking about how they sun their diapers and how they got their stains out and I would think, “Yeah, right! The sun can’t do that.” Then one day I decided to give it a try.
Removing Cloth Diaper Stains with the Sun
Here is a before picture of one of my cloth diapers. That’s a pretty standard stain for my cloth diapers. This diaper had already been washed and dried it was just stained.
Normally you could just take your wet laundry and then hang it outside. However, I wanted to grab an already clean diaper so that I could get a good picture of what the stain looked like prior to sunning.
Since this was an already clean and dry diaper, I simply got it wet and then hung it to dry in the sun.
You can either hang laundry on clothes line or just lay it on a clean surface. (speaking of line drying cloth diapers, you need to check out my tip for making line drying diapers easier!) Although if you lay it on a surface instead of hanging it on a line, it will probably take longer to dry as one side will not have access to air flow.
Take a look at the diaper after being in the sun! Amazing right? I promise you it IS the same diaper! I even made sure to tie a ribbon on it so I wouldn’t accidentally grab the wrong one!
You can sun any type of laundry: diapers, clothes, and towels.
I find that the thicker the item is the better sunning works. For thin materials, they tend to dry too fast to get the full benefit of the sun. Although you can keep getting them wet again so that they can stay in the sun longer.
You can also sun at any time of the year. It might be freezing outside but if there is sun, then you can whiten your laundry!
Who knew that the sun could be so powerful?