Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cloth Diaper Q & A! What About Poop and Stains?!

One of the first questions I get asked by people when they find out I use cloth diapers is "what about the poop?!" People who have never used cloth diapers have trouble understanding what happens with the poop once a baby soils the diaper! So I then explain to them that no, I don't just throw the diaper in the wash with poop in it. There are a number of ways to get rid of the poop before washing your diapers. I'm going to explain a few for you!

How to Get Rid of the Poop

If you have a baby who is exclusively breastfed you may have a hard time "dumping" the poop into the toilet since it's not really solid. A little swish or rinse will do the trick for ebf baby poop. 

If you have a baby who is on formula or solids their poop will be more solid and will need to literally be "dumped".  You can do this a number or ways. Simply dump it into the toilet, swish and flush, or use a diaper sprayer. 

A diaper sprayer is a device that hooks to your toilet and works sort of like a shower head. It sprays water out of the handle so you can use the pressure from the water to rinse your diapers clean and rinse the poop into the toilet. I personally have never owned a diaper sprayer. I know people that swear by them and say they wouldn't use cloth diapers without it. But I've just never felt the need to have one. I've never had problems with the dump and swish method so that's what I stick with. I've even heard of people using a plastic spoon to get sticky poo off of diapers without a diaper sprayer. I've never had to do that either but would if I needed to! 

How to Get Rid of Stains

Even if you get as much poop as possible off the diapers, sometimes they just create stains. It's no fun to have stains on your cloth diapers. My tried and true method for getting rid of stains is the sun! Yep, that's right, the big thing up in the sky during the day gets rid of stains! The sun works great as a disinfectant and stain remover so in the summer and when it's nice out I love to hang my diapers out to dry in the sun! 

To sun diapers you don't even need a clothesline. I don't have one. I bought a $10 folding rack at Walmart and use it to hang my diapers to dry, both inside and outside. When I sun my diapers I just take them out of the wash still damp, hang them to dry with the inside facing the sun, and let the sun do all the work! Most of the time the stains come out the very first time! Sometimes it takes a few sunning sessions, but I've never had a stain that the sun didn't get rid of! 

Some people like to put lemon juice on the damp diapers to help remove the stain. I personally have never done that and never had any issues with the stain coming out after a few sunning sessions. 

Some people also use bleach to remove stains from their inserts. I've done this once or twice but I still prefer to use the sun. 

If you use cloth diapers how to you get rid of the poop? What about stains? 

Have a cloth diaper questions you'd love to see answered here? Leave your question in the comments or email me at mommyferg02(at)gmail(dot)com!


  1. Some of my inserts are stained. I don't even worry about it. I plan to keep my diapers for the next baby. I will worry about de-staining if I ever decide to sell my stash. Since the stains do not impair function, I am not even bothering at the moment.

  2. Great tips! Honestly, poop stains don't bother me too much. I am using my diapers on a second baby and they've seen a lot of wear and tear. :) It would be nice to try sunning them when the weather improves.

  3. Poop stains never bothered me either. It's going to go right back onto their bum and they'll poop again. It's just a part of baby life. Great tips, mama!

  4. Ahahahhhaha, sunning diapers!!!! I wish!

    Sorry, going through sun withdrawl right now....
    I use baby oxiclean (well the no name brand of it) when there isn't sun.

    I have sunned them though (even just in the window in my laundry room and it works well.

  5. Great post, Michelle! I think if you dump the solids and wash regularly - never more than 2 days of dirty diapers, stains stay away! I sun my diapers on the same type of rack too!

  6. I haven't sunned my diapers in awhile and really need to. Most of the time, they don't stain, but I have a few that need a little love!

  7. I'm new, so it's good to know there are solutions to problems I haven't even thought about yet. :) But, what happens in winter? Or do you just wait until spring and summer to sun bleach the stains out. Is waiting like that ok?

  8. I think the key is treating the diaper right away after a poopy. Before the chemicals set into the fibers. We use Baby Ecos and hand wash out cloth diapers and pocket diapers. Then we fan dry them on a rack. We literally have no stains b/c we tackle the diaper right away. When we travel we try to dispose of the mess as best as we can in the toilet but we have never had any issues later on.


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