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Monday, May 13, 2013

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Walking on Sunshine

While I was researching cloth diapers before my daughter’s arrival, I often came across mamas talking about the power of the sun. Have a stubborn ebf stain? Put it in the sun! Poosplosion onto your favorite onesie? Put it in the sun! Red wine spill on your white carpet? Ok, let’s be real, no one with kids has white carpet.

In all seriousness, the sun does do magical things to stained diapers. I was excited for my first badly stained diaper so I could try it out. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) my diapers are coming out sparkly white, largely in part due to our diaper sprayer.

For the sake of this post, I took a pretty messy poo diaper and stuck it straight in the diaper pail instead of rinsing it off, with the hopes that it would come out stained.

Side note: Exclusively breastfed poo is water-soluble and will dissolve in the washer so spraying is not necessary. I choose to spray my diapers because it helps tremendously with stain and stink control. And it also keeps my husband from thinking there is poo floating in our washer.

My plan worked. Please reference Exhibit A: A badly stained Light It Up Blue Fuzzibunz, taken straight from the washer.

I took this diaper, still damp from the wash and placed it outside in the sun at 8:36 am. As you can see by the photomontage, it took only 1.5 hours in the sun and like magic, all the stains were completely gone!


We are fortunate to have a clothesline in our backyard that allows me to hang my diapers in the sun. For photo clarity, I simply laid the diaper on our driveway. Many mamas use a standard drying rack placed outside. A deck railing, patio table or chair arm would all work as well. The possibilities really are endless!

I prefer to hang my diapers in the sun whenever possible, even if there is no visible staining. It helps remove any shadow stains I might not see out of the wash, and it’s better for the environment and our utility bill!

A few tips on sunning out stains:
  • I’ve had better luck when the stained diaper is still damp. You can sun a dry diaper but the results aren’t as impressive.
  • The diaper does not need to be in direct sunlight. You can even “sun” diapers on a cloudy day.
  • Do you live in Minnesota where is snows in April? You can still put your diapers out in cold weather, but be prepared for them to freeze! If you are like me and prefer to stay inside when it’s cold, you can simply put the diaper next to a sunny window and watch the magic unfold.
I hope this post gives you some hope for those stained diapers in your stash. Or maybe it will give you some confidence to give that inexpensive, stained used diaper a second chance. Anyone else have luck getting rid of a stubborn stain? Post your success stories below!

Lindsay is a first time mom to a 2 month old little girl and a crazy dog. She lives with her quiet husband in Illinois and is slowly navigating the journey of motherhood one cloth diaper change at a time. Follow her adventures at thedogatewhat.blogspot.com.

2 comments:

Sarah Corner said...

I'm a cloth diapering newbie but I have sunned 2 used diapers recently. They had minimal staining but regardless the sun worked like magic at removing them! We have a large bay window that I'm able to lay my diapers flat on! :)

Hannah said...

I never considered sunning my diapers indoors. Clothslines are against my HOA bylaws so I've managed stains by bleaching more often than recommended. Thanks for the tip! I'll be trying it out rather soon, I'm sure!