You may have notice that from about four months of age and beyond, your baby has gotten very……grabby. and crabby. And drooly. And strives to put everything she can get her hands on in her mouth. Sometimes it is simply because the mouth is a baby’s most common interface with ….
Sun your diapers! If you are a cloth diapering parent, you have likely heard this advice time and again, but might not know all the benefits of giving your diapers a few rays.
5 Reasons to Give Your Cloth Diapers Some Sunshine
1. Stain Fighting
The sun’s powerful rays have been commonly used to bleach stains out of whites for as long as we have cared to have white whites. It is one of the reasons, we see all those lovely rows of bedsheets on the lines on hot summer days. Hang your flats, prefolds, and other white cloth pieces on the line for brighter white fabric and to lighten stains. You can even spray a touch of diluted lemon juice on the stains to enhance the bleaching.
2. Eco-friendly drying
Another reason you see those sheets and towels on the line, is it saves on energy used to run a dryer. Instead of paying more money for gas and electricity to run your clothes dryer, use the free sunshine in the warmer months to dry your diapers. If you are a cloth diaper enthusiast, you likely got into it for the money savings and eco-friendliness anyway, right?
3. Naturally disinfecting
The ultraviolet component of sunlight causes many types of microbes to die, leading to a reduction in bacteria. Of course, the amount of UV from just sitting out in the sun, is not nearly as much as produced in sterilization environments using UV in a lab setting. However, sunning items has been shown to reduce the amount of living bacteria.
4. Odor fighting
Because the rays are disinfecting, they are deodorizing as well. If you have some stubborn barnyard funk, a weekend in the sun might help get it out of your diaper fabric, especially with synthetics like microfiber and fleece. This works for things like plastic trash cans and cat litter boxes as well.
5. Keep them lasting longer
You paid good money for those diapers, make them last! By line drying them, you help the elastics last longer. Plus, the wear and tear from fabric rubbing against other fabric in the dryer leads to holes more quickly. Give them a chance to last longer with line drying. Plus, you also are fighting those stains, maintaining resale value. Most PUL diaper shells will not fade much in the sun. however, keep an eye on your cotton and bamboo fitteds since the colors can fade on the line.
You can sun your diapers on a traditional clothesline. However, they will do just as well laying them over a deck rail, on a patio table, across the hood of your car, and draped on lawn chairs. Lay them inner layer up for getting out stains and deodorizing. You can even lay them on the dash of the inside of your car. Just make sure to lock the doors. We have heard of diapers being swiped right out of people’s cars at laundry mats! (Can you imagine?)
Always remember to wash diapers thoroughly before expecting any results from sunlight exposure.
Also, don’t forget the diapers outside for too long. Exposure to natural elements for long enough will negate any benefits once they are covered in dirt, pollen, and frozen in a pile of snow.
Have you had success sunning your diapers or other cloth items?