How to Remove Stains from Cloth Diapers

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How to remove cloth diaper stainsFortunately 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.

  • 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 it sit until laundry day
  • Enzymes. I know, I know. Most 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
  • Buncha Farmer’s Stain Stick or Grandma’s Spot Remover – these are natural, cloth safe stain removers. Buncha Farmers is a stick and Grandma’s is a liquid. 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. Vicki Hall says:

    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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