Monday, November 8, 2010

Cloth diaper stains...they're inevitable but not the end of the world.

I know, it's a hard pill to swallow.  You've just purchased a new diaper and it's already stained.  How could this be?  Why did it stain so easily?  How are you going to get this stain out?  It is a bummer when you realize that they only way to keep your baby's stash in like-new, excellent, bright-white condition is to not use the diapers at all.  Truth is...stains happen.

Don't worry.  First thing you need to realize is that staining is normal and the most important thing to remember is that, while stains aren't cute, they don't affect the functionality of the diaper.

Possible causes of stains:
  • Non-cloth diaper friendly diaper rash ointments
  • Newborn meconium poo and other bowel movements
  • Detergents that contain dyes
  • Your dirty diaper storage/washing techniques
  • Colors bleeding from other laundry
Possible preventative measures:
  • Use cloth diaper safe ointments and creams like Grandma El's, Magic Stick, Northern Essence Diaper Salve, and California Baby
  • If you must use a non-cloth diaper safe rash ointment then try using a fleece liner to help keep most of the ointment from sticking to the diaper.  Or keep an already stained cloth diaper for use when you need to slather on the ointment.
  • Stay away from detergents that contain dye.  Even if you don't use it on your diapers, only your laundry, dye could remain in the washer and transfer onto your diapers during the wash process.
  • Try using a diaper sprayer or wetpail method.  Soaking/rinsing the diapers or at least spraying them with a sprayer before placing in your pail, wetbag or washer will help keep the stains from setting in on heavily soiled diapers.
Possible solutions:
  • Try sunning your diapers.  Sun is great at lightening stains over time, a great way to dry diapers without the use of electricity, and also a help in treating diaper odor.
  • Spot treat your diapers with Bac Out or try "rockin' a soak" with Rockin Green Detergent.
  • Try OxyClean for stains that really won't budge.
You should also know that stains fade over time.  The more you use, wash, sun your diapers, the lighter the stains will get.  Diaper stains are not the end of the world and are not something you should be embarrassed of or stressing out over.

For more advice on diaper laundering or stain removal contact your favorite cloth diaper retailer or visit the cloth diaper manufacturers Care Instructions page.  In order to make sure that you are not voiding your cloth diaper warranty please consult each manufacturers Care Instructions & Warranty pages before attempting any of the above methods, each manufacturer is different.


SaraMinerva said...

Great article. I have to share, though, that Angel Baby Bottom Balm was not friendly at all for our cloth diapers. Getting it out of our diapers was a nightmare. I love the product, but when we use it now, we place a washcloth between the baby and the diaper.

Sarah Gesiakowski, PinStripes and PolakDots LLC said...

I think it is only fair to remind users to check with their diaper brands care descriptions. Many modern diapers could be harmed by routine soaking as well as routine use of oxygen bleaches. Also, I have had 3 babies now that were in cloth from birth and never, ever had the meconium stain a single diaper.

Angela V said...

I've also had luck with putting lemon juice on the stain and sunning it like that. But really, if the stains don't come out, nobody sees them except for whoever changes baby's diaper, so it's not a big deal! :)

Knickernappies - Heather said...

Oxy Clean and Bac-Out are both safe to use with all Knickernappies products. Thanks!

Kansas Mom said...

Thanks for this post! I've always thought diaper stains were not even on my list of concerns. Really - who cares?? It's a diaper!! As long as they're still functioning, stains don't phase me at all.

Anonymous said...

hydrogen peroxide was recommended to me and it seems to work well. prefer it over oxyclean and i just use on the inserts, rinse well and then sun when possible.

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