Posts tagged ‘diaper answers’

How do I prevent & treat stains in my diapers?

Because of the nature of diapers, stains are an inevitable concern.

For the most part, though, I think most cloth diaperers find that stains are not nearly the issue that one would expect them to be.  I really rarely have to deal with stained diapers, and I have an 18-month-old who is definitely well into the “nasty poop” stage.

Certainly, however, prevention is certainly the easiest method to combat stained diapers.

I am a firm believer that immediate and thorough removal of poop is a must if you wish to prevent stained diapers.  I immediately hose off Grace’s poopy diapers with our diaper sprayer before tossing them into your diaper pail.  Certainly, a diaper sprayer isn’t a must-have item, but in my experience it does work much more effectively than the old “dunk and swish” method of cleaning diapers.  My diapers go into the pail poop-free, even if I have to spend a couple of more seconds hosing them off, and I think this certainly is why I don’t have issues with stains.

Stain prevention is also why I recommend a cold rinse prior to your hot wash cycle.  The cold rinse will wash away any poopy residues before your hot wash sets the stains.  Hot washes are great on their own for actually cleaning the diapers, but the cold rinse is a must for stain prevention in my opinion.

Now, what to do if you already have stains?  There are a few good choices for stain removal.

1.  My top recommendation for stain removal is to embrace the power of the sun.  Many people think, “Oh, I live in a cloudy climate (Seattle?) so the sun won’t work.”  This is absolutely not true.  I have experienced good results in stain removal even on cloudy days, because it’s the UV rays that are actually doing the stain-removing work… and like dermatologists preach, the UV rays are out even on cloudy days.

To remove stains, I first wet my clean diapers, then lie them out in the sun.  I do seem to have better results with wet diapers than dry.  A few hours later, they may not be dry yet, but often the stains will be totally gone.  If it doesn’t work in one cycle, give it another try.

The first time I did this I was honestly shocked at the results.

2.  Oxygen bleach products (such as Oxyclean, Oxyclean Baby, etc.): I prefer oxygen bleaches to chlorine, and I personally use a tiny bit (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per load) about once every 1-2 weeks with my diapers.  However, just be aware that, as with any detergent product with additives, oxygen bleaches can sometimes cause repelling due to a “film” left on the diapers.  I haven’t personally had this problem, but I do use a minimal amount.

3.  Biokleen Bac-Out: Biokleen Bac-Out is available at many natural/health food stores, including Whole Foods, as well as some regular supermarkets like Fred Meyer.  A lot of people favor Bac-Out because it is a “natural” antibacterial stain remover, and I’ve seen its use advocated on Diaperswappers and other sites.  I personally have not had great results with Bac-Out.  I haven’t seen any damage from its use either, but I also haven’t seen that it actually removed stains.

4.  Chlorine bleach.  I do NOT recommend the use of chlorine bleach for your diapers, especially if you are using any diapers or covers with PUL, wool, or elastic, since chlorine bleach can seriously damage or ruin these things.  You can use chlorine bleach with prefolds; howver, be aware that it will also weaken these fibers as well… and worse, chlorine bleach residues can potentially remain in the diaper and cause skin irritation for your little on.  Personally, I would rather have a stained diaper or two than use chlorine bleach on my diapers, but in the event you do decide to use it, use only a tiny amount.

If you have other stain-removing tips, please leave these in your comments!


February 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm 4 comments

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