I’ve read a lot about “sunning” your diapers to both dry them naturally and eliminate stains. I have to admit, when I was doing cloth diaper research, I was skeptical that putting diapers out in the sun for a couple hours would actually work these wonders, but since almost everyone knows more about cloth diapers than I do, I was willing to give it a shot…
…oh wait, I had a baby in December and I live in Illinois. Everyone knows, the sun don’t shine here until at least April. No trying that out for at least a few months.
I spent the first three months I cloth diapered really just figuring out what worked for our family: our washing routine, favorite diapers, troubleshooting, etc. And just as we were hitting our groove with diapering, we headed south for a beautiful couple of weeks in Florida… A-ha! The more adventurous cloth-diaperer I was becoming saw a great opportunity to try out some new techniques, namely incorporate line drying and sunshine into our routine.
The first time I washed diapers in Florida, I stood by the washing machine until they were finished, promptly scooped them out and headed outside to get them, still wet, into the sun. No clothesline or drying rack in sight, so I just hung my diapers and inserts over a deck chair not expecting much and we headed out to check out a butterfly house (very cool for both my preschooler and his mama!). When we returned, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, by golly…it had worked. Really worked!
I was actually pretty awed by how well sunning your diapers does work. I had some staining – not bad, just some yellowish stains on most of my inserts from breastmilk poop – and when I brought them inside after about 6 hours in the sun, they were literally put-on-your-sunglasses, gleaming white. I wish I had a before and after photo of the diapers, because the difference really was stunning.
Not only were they beautifully, perfectly white, but I am told they were now disinfected as well. Apparently, the sun kills germs, zaps stained diapers and gives them a fresh, outdoorsy scent (really makes you think about what it does to your skin, doesn’t it?). What a natural way to deep clean the things that touch my baby’s precious skin. I am not exactly sure how it works (a brightly colored towel also left in the sun was not harmed, so it’s not like the sun will bleach anything in its path), but I am so super-duper glad it does!
Now that we are back to reality, I have added a new skill to my washing routine and I am anxiously awaiting the day I can sun my diapers outside on a regular basis! I have already purchased a sunning rack for my back yard…now I am just waiting for a sunny day that’s above 50 degrees.
Yes, this skeptic’s mind has been changed.
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday. Learn more about Sarah here.