Laundry Lesson Two: Sun your Diapers!

Lesson Two: Sun your Diapers!

Seriously, sun your diapers.  People told me to do this when I started cloth diapering and I thought eh, maybe it’ll work. Now, I am a sunning convert. I don’t do it with every single wash, but I do it as often as I can. There are actually a lot of benefits to sunning or line drying clothing. How do you do it? Well, it’s simple put your wet diapers or clothing outside in direct sunlight and leave it for a while. Make sure to keep them wet if you want to keep sunning them. So if you check back and the stains are still really bad, just wet them again and stick the diapers back outside. When you’re done you can either bring everything in and use it as is (assuming it’s completely dry), or finish it in the dryer.

Here’s a few photos from my most recent sunning session!

Diapers when I put them outside. I rewet them once, and I don't know what that is on the far left one. It's some kind of dirt that's IN the fabric, but it was there after washing. I am still trying to get that out.

Diapers when I put them outside. I rewet them once, and I don’t know what that is on the far left one. It’s some kind of dirt that’s IN the fabric, but it was there after washing. I am still trying to get that out.

And after! Please excuse the pink glow from my shirt. My husband was rushing me to go to our anniversary dinner, so I didn't get the best photo..but you get the idea. Stains are basically gone!

And after! Please excuse the pink glow from my shirt. My husband was rushing me to go to our anniversary dinner, so I didn’t get the best photo..but you get the idea. Stains are basically gone!

So why should you sun your diapers? Here are a few reasons.

1. Cut your electric bill, at least theoretically.

If you’re not using the dryer as often or as long then you’re cutting down on your electric bill. Maybe it’s only pennies saved, but hey every little bit counts! Some people don’t like that line-dried clothes feel “crunchy.” If that bothers you, you can still use the dryer afterwards to toss the clothes or diapers around with some dryer balls and get the clothes soft again.

2. Bye, bye stains!

Your stains should not be as bad after sunning, but often stains will be completely gone in just a few hours. If the stain is particularly troublesome you might have to up your game some by doing multiple sunning sessions or trying some stain-fighting additives like lemon juice. I haven’t tried using lemon juice yet, so no personal experience with that one. A word of caution: I know GroVia and a lot of other diaper companies do not recommend using most plant oil or substances on their diapers. Companies are often decently picky about what you can use to fight stains since the fabrics may be organic and “caustic substances” will destroy the fabric, so make sure it wouldn’t void your warranty to try any stain additive you’re considering.

3. Bacteria? What bacteria?

Sunning your diapers naturally kills nasty things on your diapers such as yeast. It’s a way to avoid having to use harsher substances to sanitize your diapers. The jury is still out about whether bleach even works 100% to sanitize diapers, but it probably kills most things. Either way the sun is a better natural, free solution without any gross chemicals! Even if you aren’t having a problem (a lot of people never do), it’s still a good idea to periodically sun your diapers to sanitize them just to be safe. Keep in mind you can sun wet bags and pail liners, too! I try to not leave them outside as long because I figure that long-term heat is probably bad for the PUL, but I still stick them out there for an hour or so at a time assuming it’s not raging hot. I’m not an expert though, so use your best judgment on how long you want to leave anything outside sunning.

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