Ask Cloth Diapering Mamas: Getting Rid of Stains…

You guys. I need your help.

My sweet boy decided to (twice) have massive bowl movements (Sorry if you’re new here! We talk about poop sometimes!) in his brand new spanky white cloth diaper.

I’m so sad. We’ve had stains before, but never this bad. As long as the diaper works well,  I’m not too concerned with stains, but these are brand new!

The first time, the diaper was sitting for a day or two so I thought maybe that was it. But, the second time I washed it less than two hours afterwards. I always wash twice- first on cold, then on hot. I use Purex Free n’ Clear detergent.

What is going?! Is it the diaper? The detergent? The poop? Something he ate? I don’t understand why they would stains like this. How can I get rid of them? I need to try putting them outside while I’ve got a little bit of sun left, but I want to avoid this in the future.

Any ideas? Thank you!

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

24 thoughts on “Ask Cloth Diapering Mamas: Getting Rid of Stains…

  1. I would avoid Purex free and clear, that stuff made my diapers turn a funky color. And I actually use oxy-clean in the wash for diapers now, and I have been noticing a huge difference! And boy do I need it with these solid-poop situations of late GOOD LORD!

  2. Sometimes when babies are teething, they will have some “toxic” poops that stain like crazy. Sometimes it's just the things they eat.

    I think getting them out in the sun is probably the best thing you could do.

  3. Stains are just part of using cloth diapers. I'm stunned you haven't had any until now. The only thing I've found to get rid of them is hanging them up wet in the sun. To prevent them, you'd have to use liners of some kind…fleece or paper.

  4. The sun is really the best stainfighter! Rockin Green detergent is also wonderful!! I would avoid any detergent labelled free'n'clear. They still have additives that can harm your diapers.

  5. Really on the Purex, huh?! I need to try something else.. I have been using it for a while, and no problems so far! I know other people that use it too… but yeah, there's got to be something better….

  6. The sun is really great at getting out stains, but since I've started using Rockin Green Unscented Hard Rock I've had no problems with stains, it really is the best cloth diaper safe detergent I've tried, we now use it on all our laundry.

  7. I agree with the sun. For some reason for me, I have stains on the wraps more than the diapers themselves, but it usually comes out in a few washes.

    I have never used free and clear. I use a mix of Arm & Hammer washing soda and borax with a few drops of detergent. I only buy detergent if I can get a really good deal, on sale with coupons and have used a few different ones, I think now I am using All, not sure, it is a very small concentrated bottle.

  8. I dont know anything about cloth diapering so sadly I can not help but I just fell upon your blog and love it. I am hoping for a third and I want to cloth diaper so now I will be checking this out to see some good advuice so if I ever have a third I can try cloth diapering and know what to do due to your wonderful post. BTW it's not only your blog I think becoming a Mom adds the topic of poop and other bodily fluids and functions to the list of acceptable conversations.

  9. I have always used All Free and Clear on my diapers without a problem, when I do get a stain I just hand it up in the sun. Good Luck!!!

  10. You are not supposed to use regular detergent on your cloth diapers; it will shorten the life of them.

    I use Charlie's Soap on my diapers and as soon as I am done with my regular laundry soap, I will be using it for all my laundry.

    I also agree with others that the sun is the best stain treater. Most cloth diapers end up getting stains of some sort on them after a while. It can't be avoided.

  11. Not sure about cloth diapers but I came upon your blog and wanted to tell you I admire you using cloth diapers!

    I did this for awhile with our youngest rugrat. It helped save $$ on diapers that is for sure.

    Great blog.

    Good luck on your poo poo stains! 😉

  12. I have a bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap, and it has worked really well for most stains (even already-washed ones). i just wet an end of the bar and “color” it onto the stain, then throw the clothes in the hamper. If it's a really bad stain, I will use an old toothbrush to scrub the soap in.
    I don't know if it's OK to use on CDs though.

  13. I use Charlie's Soap and didn't have a problem with stains until my daughter started solids (prunes, btw, leave stains). Putting them out in the sun always fades the stains. If it is a really stubborn stain that doesn't fade on its own, you can spray the stain with vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit in the sunshine for an hour or two. This is what was recommended to me by the folks at an online diaper shop and so far it works great (my daughter was 15 mos yesterday). You'll need to rewash the diaper to get the spray residue off – or it will cause irritation.

  14. I was using Purex Free 'n Clear too. I've noticed a huge difference since switching to Rockin' Green! I can also tell that my diapers are missing the sun because they are starting to get a little dingy. Unfortunately, not every stain has come out. Do you have a front loader or top loader? I noticed doing a pre-rinse cycle first in my front loader has helped.

  15. Sometimes our dipes will have stains left over after a particularly “healthy” 🙂 poop. We sun a little, which helps. But, I'm lazy, and usually use them again. After a few more uses/washes, stains are gone. Most of our diapers have been in use for 15 months, no stains.

    We have a front loader and use Allen's Naturally.

  16. I read that post on diaperjungle, too, and not all “regular” detergents are bad. I use the Arm and Hammer Essentials, which got four of four stars.

    When you figure out your stain issue, let us know, I don't have direct sun at my house so I need a non sun way to get the dinginess out 🙂

  17. I used Charlie's soap until it ran out and it worked great. I just recently switched to Tide free & clear now I have stains and my son has a really bad diaper rash! I just checked out rockin' green's website and I think I'll give that a try!

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