Published on March 18th, 2013 | by Jessica von Wallenstein5
Spring Cleaning: Bleaching Your Cloth Diapers
Confession: I’m afraid of bleach. I never use it for any of my laundry or in my household cleaning. So when I read on the Cotton Babies website that I’m supposed to add bleach to my diaper wash cycles once a month, I completely ignored it. I figured I would never need to bleach them.
That worked for me for over two years. I had to strip my diapers pretty frequently, but we didn't have any issues. Then we moved to a new house with hard water and my diapers started suffering. They would smell bad the instant my kids peed in them. Many times I went to change a diaper expecting to see a dirty diaper, but found it was only wet. They smelled like a barnyard – a dirty barnyard. I stripped them over and over, switched detergents, soaked them, and tried every cycle my washing machine has. Nothing worked for more than a day or two.
The final straw was when my daughter got a nasty ammonia diaper rash. The poor thing looked like she had a sunburn on her bum. I felt terrible, and finally decided to try bleaching the diapers.
To sanitize my diapers, I just added ¼ cup of bleach to the wash cycle, then did two rinse cycles before drying the diapers. You can find the complete instructions for cleaning your cloth diapers here.
I was BLOWN AWAY by the results. My diapers actually smell clean! As in, they don’t smell like a gas station bathroom anymore. My inserts are much whiter and all my pretty covers look just as bright and shiny as they did before. My stash is 90% BumGenius, but I bleached all my cloth diapers and cloth wipes with no discoloration on any covers.
So if you’re dealing with stink or ammonia issues, give it a try. I was so frustrated with my cloth diapers and now I’m in love with them all over again.