Easy Organic Cloth Diaper Stain Removal Techniques

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.

Line-drying cloth diaper removes stains, naturally

We have since learned that there are better ways to deal with the stains on your cloth diapers: 

  1. Stop worrying about stains.  You could simply try to live with stains.  I tried this but found myself incapable of it.  Keep reading!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.


  1. Just as a heads up, you can “sun” diapers on a rainy day! The UV will do its trick even if you can’t see the sun.

    Adding a scoop pf Oxy-clean is great if you have carrot or sweet potato poop to contend with. 😉

    We love bac-out. It makes diapers smell like 7up!

  2. I almost bought Bac-out recently but got the cottonbabies brand of spray for smell. Something about summer is making our diaper smell stronger (one morning I thought there was a dead animal in my daughter’s room then I realized it was the diaper!). I’ve put my diapers out and it is so amazing to see the stain go away, I love it! We’re going on vacation next week to visit my in laws in Mexico and I’m tempted to take my liners just to hang them there b/c they have such a great place to dry clothes and great sun too. I’ll have to develop some way to “sun” my diapers on non sunny days too.

  3. I don’t have a clothesline, so I dry my diapers on a clothes rack. I set it outside for a couple hours, and the stains are gone. It’s like magic, only more fun 🙂 I had thought that cloth diapers would be a lot of work, but I was determined to do it. Turns out that taking care of the diapers is one of my favorite chores. Seriously.

  4. It is amazing how the sun does bleach them. I had some pretty orangy ones the other day and there is just a hint of the stain left. I would have left them out longer but there was a thunderstorm. I think also adding baking soda to the wash helps to get the stains out too.

  5. It’s shocking how well stains (and any lingering stink) sun out of diapers. Not just diapers either. Last weekend we went on a road trip to visit my inlaws and my 6.5 month old daughter had a poo-splosion all over her carseat. I blame the disposable she was wearing because she hasn’t had a poo-splosion since we switched to cloth 5 months ago. Her carseat cover, blanket, and bloomers had really nasty poo stains and I laid them all out in the sun on my mother-in-law’s patio and like MAGIC all the stains were gone within a few hours. I was thoroughly impressed. 😉

  6. hey–i took that picture of my baby’s girl’s diapers on our clothesline!

    it appears in this article i wrote: How to Prevent Stains on Cloth Diapers

    and on my blog:

  7. Suzannah, I hope you don’t mind us using that great photo! Let us know and we’ll take it down. I made it link to the ehow article!

  8. thanks, rebecca:)

  9. I wonder what I’m doing wrong. I also tried sunning my cloth diapers {fuzzibunz & bumgenius} – we live on an island with hot sun most of the time, the stains are still there. Will definitely be trying these other suggestions, especially the over night. Thank you.

  10. Hey. Bac Out is great (for me, for many uses) but it’s not made by Ecover. It’s made by Bio Kleen. Different company.

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