Joy and I both committed the same eco-sin as young mothers: we bleached our diapers. Now, at the time we were ignorant of the evils of chlorine bleach. They put it in pools and drinking water, so it can’t be so bad, right? Well, it turns out to be an environmental toxin. When you pour bleach down the drain, it mixes in with the rest of the waste water that then must be processed by your sewer system. The cleaner we keep our water, the safer it is for everyone.
Not only is chlorine bleach bad for the environment, it’s extremely hard on diapers. Joy found that hers quickly became frayed and worn. When she switched to other cleaners with larger sized diapers, they lasted much longer.
We have since learned that there are better ways to deal with the stains on your cloth diapers:
- Stop worrying about stains. You could simply try to live with stains. I tried this but found myself incapable of it. Keep reading!
- Use Bac-Out, a natural stain-remover made by Ecover. Joy diluted a bit of this in a spray bottle and treated dirty diapers before tossing them in her dry pail. It greatly reduced stains and helped deodorize the diaper pail.
- Set the diapers in the sun. I didn’t have the opportunity to try this tip for a long time, as my baby was born in January and I had several months of constant rain. One sunny day, I set my stained diapers out and the stains disappeared within hours. It was actually amazing. The stains did not just fade–they vanished!
- If you none of the previous options work, you can purchase chlorine-free bleach from companies like Seventh Generation or Biokleen.
As an added bonus, these techniques will not only help the planet, they’ll keep your diapers lasting longer and be better for baby’s skin.