How to Remove Stains from Cloth Diapers

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Fortunately, I haven’t had too much staining in most of K’s pocket diapers, but our natural fiber diapers are a different story. Fabrics like cotton and bamboo-like to hold on to stains and they aren’t always easy to get out so my first course of action is to very thoroughly rinse all poopy diapers with a diaper sprayer. But even with a good thorough rinse stains will sometimes remain.

Fear not, there are several other ways that you can prevent or remove stains on diapers. Please note: check with your diaper manufacturer first as some of these methods may void your warranty. These methods work for me and after almost 2 years of cloth diapering I haven’t experienced any break down or damage to my diapers. However, proceed with caution if you are worried about your warranty.

How To Remove Cloth Diaper Stains

  • Sun – The sun is a natural stain remover. Lay your diapers out in the sun for about 2-3 hours and your stains should be gone. Laying them out while wet works better than if they’re dry.
  • Bac-Out – Spray a little Bac-Out on your dirty diapers before throwing them in your pail or wet bag and let them sit until laundry day
  • Enzymes – Some manufacturers and retailers say no to laundry detergents with enzymes but Tide is now widely accepted as a great cloth diaper detergent. I use Tide Ultra powder and have very little staining, and what I do have is pretty light. Enzymes “eat away” at stains by breaking down proteins
  • Oxygen bleach. Every once in a while I add a small scoop of OxiClean or BioKleen oxygen bleach to my diaper load
  • Natural Stain RemoverBuncha Farmers Stain Stick and Grandma’s Spot Remover spray are natural, cloth diaper-safe stain removers. Apply them as a pre-treater for removing stains. 
  • Sun, water, and  oxygen bleach solution – When all else fails, I have a spray bottle of water and OxiClean that I use for cleaning. If I have a stubborn stain that won’t come out any other way I spray it with this solution and lay the diaper out on my deck. Usually within a half-hour to an hour, the stain is gone. I usually only use this method when I want to sell a diaper. 
Removing Stains from Cloth Diapers

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  1. I’m wondering what my best bet is in the winter. I love sunning my diapers in the summer, but right now where I live there isn’t much sun and my wet diapers would freeze if I put them outside 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Yes, dealing with stains in the winter is more tricky. I use OxiClean (actually the store brand) in every wash and have very few stains.

  2. Thanks for the great info. I don’t have too much trouble with staining but I noticed my Flip stay dry inserts are really difficult to get stains out of . Do you use Tide Free or original Tide. I use Country Save powder now I use a whole scoop instead of the 1/2 that is recommended.

    1. I use Tide Ultra HE powder. I have pretty hard water so I use it to almost the 2 line on the scoop but never have any bubbles in the rinse cycle. I pretty much only have issues with stains on natural fibers. I don’t sun my diapers nearly as much as I should though since I find myself washing at night most of the time 🙂

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