Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get true sun about, oh, maybe 3 or 4 times all winter (or so it seems). So it’s hard when parents ask me how to deal with funky problems that come up in their diapers during the darker months (smell, repelling, staining, even yeast) and all I want to say is “sun them.”
Well today, as if to ring in the New Year, it is bright and gorgeously sunny in Seattle. So I will use this incredible weather as a reminder: Go sun your diapers! Sunning is a natural, effective way to bleach out problems. It is also good maintenance so sun them even if they are in good shape.
If your diapers are funky, I suggest this basic recipe:
- First, run your dirty diapers in a regular wash with detergent to get soil out.
- The mix a cup of warm water and a few drops of Dawn dishwashing Liquid (the blue kind) and add that to a new wash cycle. Wash diapers on Hot. (If diapers are particularly leaky or downright repelling, use a scrub brush ti scrub the surface of each with the Dawn solution before putting them in the Hot wash).*
- Run a warm rinse.
- Hang your wet, clean diapers outside in the sun.
*If you have confirmed yeast problems and believe you have yeast in your diapers, washing with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil can help, or on occasion a little bleach must be used. Then sun bleach. Be sure you treat yeast effectively on your baby and yourself if you are breastfeeding or the cycle will continue. Yeast rash is common in babies regardless of diaper style, and breastfeeding mothers are susceptible to thrush.
If your diapers are stiff or cold after sun-drying, pop in the dryer for 5 minutes. And always remember to use a cloth-safe detergent, cloth-diaper-safe diaper creams and NEVER any dryer sheets at all to maintain top diaper performance.