Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cloth Diapers 101: Behold The Power of The Sun

Cloth Diapers 101: Behold The Power of The Sun

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.

Now many people like to turn to bleach but I have issues with bleach.

First off, it’s not good 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.

Secondly, bleach is 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.

Third, bleach is bad for your 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! The sun! 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.

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.

Cloth Diapers 101: Behold The Power of The SunCloth Diapers 101: Behold The Power of The SunNormally 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. 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.

Here’s what it looked like after! 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?

This post is a part of the Cloth Diapers 101 series.


  1. the sun is actually usually considered imperative to the washing of cloth diapers, as it sterilizes them as well. here, in nz, it's a given-you'd never do diapers in the dryer! you also get the added bonus of vitamin d :)

    if you want, check out my blog. in the next week, i'm going to be posting a tutorial for DIY reusable wipes. (if you're washing the diapers, might as well throw the wipes in with them, right?!)

  2. I love the sun for my diapers... hating this winter cloudy/sunless weather. New Google+ follower.

  3. Yeah, I was pretty sad in November when I realized I wouldn't be able to sun her diapers for a while. I'm crossing my fingers for an early spring!

  4. Looking for more pictures of the power of sun and I came across yours. :) The sun really is incredible, isn't it? I'm amazed at how quickly and powerfully it works.


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