Let me start by saying that a stain does not mean your cloth diapers are dirty. It just means it has a stain. I’m going to show you how to easily remove almost any cloth diaper stains.
How to Remove Cloth Diaper Stains
I will ALWAYS recommend sunning first. It is by far, the best stain remover. It’s all natural and free. You can’t believe how well this works until you see it with your own eyes!
- Take your clean, but stained diapers out of the wash.
- Place them still wet outside in a full sun area. You can either hang them or place them on a flat surface.
- Allow diapers to dry. Once they are dry, most of the stains will have magically disappeared. If they haven’t you can just re-wet and repeat.
NOTE: This can even be done inside or on cloudy days. It’s the UV rays doing the work. Place in front of any window, even a car windshield and you will see the magic.
If one cycle in the sun doesn’t do it, I repeat the process but add lemon juice instead of water this time.
- Take plain old all natural lemon juice (can be found in the juice isle of any grocery store) and pour it directly onto the remaining stains. Make sure the area where the stains are is fully saturated.
- Place the damp insert back into your sunny location and walk away. Usually by the time it’s dry your stain will be totally gone.
- You should wash these inserts again as the lemon juice would burn if put directly onto little one.
TIP: Cloth Diaper Inserts can get kind of crunchy when air-dried. A tumble in the dryer should solve that and if it doesn’t help you can add a little Mrs. Meyers or other plant based fabric softener to them.
My Favorite Cloth Diaper Stain Removers
I originally found this in Bed Bath & Beyond in a small scrub bottle. It quickly became my favorite stain removing product and the best I’d ever tried! I LOVE this stuff on EVERYTHING, especially diapers.
You can keep a bottle of this in your bathroom and just spray stains after removing solids and before placing in your wetbag. You can also spray directly into your pre-wash. Some children might be sensitive to this so be sure to only use in pre-wash so it has a chance to be totally rinsed out. Bac out uses live enzyme cultures and lime extract to remove stains and odors from just about anything. Also great for smelly shoes and spills in the car (especially milk).
If you have never tried it, you need to.
It will remove stains from anything including carpets and clothing. Click here to see step-by step instructions to use it to remove stains from cloth diapers!
I am an Oxiclean user. I prefer the free version because I found it to not suds up as much and also to be easier to rinse out. I have hard water and I had problems with ammonia burns and stink. Added Oxi to my routine and it solved those issues for me.
It is also great at removing stains on cloth. To remove stains fill your washer or tub with hot water and add clean but stained diapers. If your washer doesn’t have a soak cycle, just add water in a wash and then stop the washer. Add one scoop of Oxiclean; agitate or stir a little to mix it in and then let it sit overnight. Then throw in wet bag or pail and wash it with the rest of your diaper laundry.
I don’t really recommend using bleach as it’s harsh on fabrics. I also want to note that any commercially available stain treater is safe to use on cloth diapers. Just be sure to follow the package’s directions.
Have you ever tried any of these techniques with success? What is your favorite cloth diaper stain removal method?
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.