Monday, November 15, 2010

"Sunning" your diapers in the rain; Does it work?

Article originally published on the Cloth Diaper Outlet Blog, Written by CDO and Knickernappies owner Heather Hicks!

I live in a part of Oregon where it rains approximately 400 days a year.  Okay, not that many, but it feels that way!  We do get rain most days during the winter and spring.  That makes sunning diapers difficult.  Or does it?

I often tell customers they can sun their diapers anytime, even on cloudy or rainy days.  I've done it before, but thought I'd do it again and post pictures along the way.
Clean diapers with heavy stains: Hemp on the left, bamboo on the right

11:45 am - Laid them out on our the rain.
Rain and massive clouds!
4:45 pm - Looking much improved already.  Bamboo is nearly stain-free.  Hemp has a little way to go yet.  You can see that both diapers are sopping wet from the rain.  It rained all day.
11:00 am the next morning - stains are gone!
Freshly washed and dried, they're in perfect, stain-free condition.

All together, the "sunning" took about 10 hours but it worked, even with constant rain and clouds.  And you don't have to put your diapers works laid in a window or even the dashboard of your car, too.

So why does sunning diapers magically bleach out stains?  The UV rays...terrible for skin, great for naturally removing stains!!  As long as it's daylight, UV rays reach the earth (and they do at night too, but far less).  If UV rays are reaching the earth's surface, you can lay out diapers!

Sunning works on all types of organic stains.  Blueberry stains on a onesie?  Spit up stains on a bib?  Lay them outside and let the sun (or UV rays) work its magic!

You can read more of Heathers informative articles over at the Cloth Diaper Outlet Blog.  Also, don't forget to check out Cloth Diaper Outlet and take advantage of FREE USA Shipping over $50.00!


Secret Mommy said...

I wonder if anyone's been able to determine if gorgeous Oregon rain (I live here, too...) removes ammonia odor, too? Every few weeks, I have to run my dipes through as many as 10 rinse cycles (my he front loader has a 15 minute rinse cycle that uses more water in the load than any of my wash cycles, but is really short, so it takes MANY) to really remove funky build-up...all the while it's pouring down rain outside!!! :)

Sarah Schulz said...

I'm so trying the dashboard trick next time I have a stain! I can't sun my diapers in my apartment complex. Thanks for the post!

Sarah Gesiakowski, PinStripes and PolakDots LLC said...

I love it. It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Cloth Diapers said...

The part of the sun that makes the sunning possible can make it's way through clouds. It's even possible to get a sunburn on a cloudy day for the same reason.

Kristin said...

I live in Oregon too, and tried sunning some in the window on a cloudy day with no luck. I'll have to try outside in the rain!

Eryin said...

Wonder if the dashboard trick would work in the snow.

Janine said...

Good to know! I'm in Portland and have been wondering how to whiten our dipes during the not-so-sunny seasons.

Carrie said...

How very interesting! It makes sense, though. I've read about using sunlight (UV rays) to purify water in parts of Africa, using clear water bottles. Apparently you can do that process on a cloudy day, too, it just takes longer. I think one of the other important factors in sunning diapers it to keep them wet. When diapers are dry, it seems like it isn't as effective. So, perhaps "sunning" in the rain is the best way to get the stains out!

Hera said...

Wow!!! I live in Oregon also and just assumed I would be forced to use the dryer for months. Thank you - I will be trying this!

Summer Lei said...

For those of you in the northern climes, this works in the snow and below freezing, too - hanging wet dipes overnight and the next day freeze dries them, making them super soft while removing stains!

Anonymous said...

does it work in the wind, too? (jk.) we live in oklahoma, where there are usually terrible winds so i am afraid to hang them outside most days for fear of them blowing away!

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