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Stain removal from cloth nappies; Sunshine

When it comes to stain removal from cloth nappies, there is one thing that stands out way above the rest: Sunshine.  You may not be convinced by it’s stain removal properties, but I thought that I’d do a few experiments to show you how well it works, and talk about why sunshine is so great for stain removal from cloth nappies.

This is the first in a series of blogs, looking at ways to deal with stains, and more importantly stain removal from cloth nappies.

The magic of the sun

When it comes to newborn poo stains, there is nothing that works as well as the sun on shifting those marks.  As you may have noticed, newborn poo (after the first couple of days) is bright yellow, and get it on any cloth (clothing as well as nappies) and even after washing you’re left with some really noticeable stains.  You can try soaking, or scrubbing your nappies, but really you don’t need to.  The sun will do it all for you.

The reason that the sun does such a great job, is because the bright yellow colour is caused by bilirubin, this is the same substance that gives some babies that yellow skin tone that comes with jaundice.  Once a baby processes it from their blood, it colours their poo, yellow.  Sunshine or uv is often used to treat babies with jaundice, as the sun breaks down bilirubin, and it works in exactly the same way on stains.

Stain removal from cloth nappies for older babies

But what about older children?  Their nappies can get just as stained, and once they’re eating solids we’re no longer looking at bright yellow nappies.  The sunshine can still play a huge role.  There is still bilirubin present in an older child’s poo, but there are other things which can cause stains too.

Last week I took a particularly stained nappy from my 23 month old, it had been washed but was still quite marked so I left it for a day inside on the windowsill.  Here are the before and after shots:

Stain removal from cloth nappies before


Stain removal from cloth nappies after

After sunshine

As you can see, the sun shine has removed most of the stain.  As it’s pretty wet and miserable here, I can’t always get her nappies out on the washing line, but even inside on the windowsill on an over cast day managed to remove the stain.

Other stains

Of course some stains are just too much to shift with a spell in the sun, always try though, because it can make a bit of a difference, even if the stain doesn’t go completely.  A few days sunshine can help shift really stubborn stains.  I’ll be back soon though with a few more suggestions for you, once I’ve finished my experiments.  I’d love to hear your tips for stain removal from cloth nappies, and of any successes you’ve had with sunshine.

6 thoughts on “Stain removal from cloth nappies; Sunshine”

  1. I line dried all the cloth nappies I used with my boys years ago. Never used Napi-San which was the trendy thing for stains at the time. It worked really well. Stain remover was one less thing we had to buy when we’d moved to one income.

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