How to Effectively Remove Stubborn Stains from Cloth Diapers

Effectively Remove Stubborn Stains From Cloth Diapers

How to effectively remove stubborn stains from cloth diapers can be simple. I recently removed them from my daughter’s cloth diapers. And I will show you exactly what I did to effectively remove them.

This is not a magical, workless alternative solution to remove stains. If you are looking for something like that, this is probably not a post for you. All I can assure you is that it WILL remove the stains from your cloth diapers as it removed from mine with a more gentle option!

During the period I was moving, the routine handling and use of the diapers changed. This was the very first time I had the diapers so stained.

My usual washing routine didn’t seem to work in helping to remove the stains as it usually would with the gentle detergents I use.

What happened?

I didn’t know why I wasn’t getting the diapers as cleaned as before! They were just growing with a dirty appearance and funky smell. Later, I realized that those stains were a result of a combination of things.

First, I was using a lot of regular petroleum based ointment, which can leave lots of residue in the diapers. Second, my washing/cleaning routine stretched out since my daughter is using fewer diapers through the day. And third, I wasn’t washing the diapers with the same combination of products I usually did.  See here my current washing routine.

The stains were so bad that I was thinking that just regular bleach – and a lot of it – would do the job. I am not a big fan of regular bleach, but I was very tempted to use it let me tell you.

Since I had few options, I first tried to stick with a gentler alternative to remove those awful stains.

I think it all could’ve been done much easier if I didn’t have to use trial and error. The good news is that you can try the short steps I provide for you at the end of the post! How cool is that?!

How to effectively remove stubborn stains from cloth diapers?

Step 1

First I washed all 21 of my diapers in hot water without soap (rinsing only).

Step 2

I washed the diapers in hot water with laundry soap and a cup of baking soda. You can easily buy baking soda in bulk at Cotsco.

Step 3

In a bucket I mixed: 48 oz of hydrogen peroxide (strength 20) with one cup of baking soda and one full cup (the cup was the lid that came with the soap) of liquid laundry soap. I used a Eco-friendly soap.

Then I dipped one diaper at a time – only the shells – in the mix and wrung it.

NOTE:  Mixing only hydrogen peroxide and baking soda will release some heat. When mixed with the soap, the solution cooled down. Just in case, I used gloves for this step.

Step 4

I put all the diapers under the sun for an hour in my back yard!

I know you may think that it is so hippie-like. But let me just start telling ya that it is pretty much the way I saw my mother removing stains from clothes growing up when she didn’t have regular bleach. The method is called “quara”.

I am not sure if step 4 is necessary when you use the mixture, but I tried anyways. You can skip it if you want. I might as well next time and see how it turns out.

After an hour, the stains were a bit brighter than before but not that much – trial and error remember?

Step 5

I removed the diapers from the sun and watered and brushed them all with a big brush.

At this point, I was able to remove more than a half of the stains by brushing.

Step 6

I put all the diapers in the washer and did a hot load just to rinse the solution I put before. I could have stopped right there because the stains were pretty much gone but the neurotic side of me was screaming MORE! Try more! So I did.

Step 7

I then mixed Dawn free and clear with biodegradable surfactants dish soap – not a hundred per cent biodegradable if I understood that well – with non-chlorine bleach and soaked the diapers for thirty minutes in a bucket.

Note: I used dish soap assuming it would fight grease. If my diapers had any ointment build up I thought it would help. Truth? Next time I’ll just use my regular laundry soap.

Step 8

Finally, I put the diapers in the washer and rinsed them in hot water again with one cup of baking soda.

Final result? The diapers were clean and stain-free my friend!

You could easily use regular bleach diluted with soap if you use and have no problem with bleach. To remove the chemicals that are left behind in the cloth by the bleach, rinse the diapers a few times. But no guarantees that even the bleach smell would be gone totally.

If you have a sensitive skin child, you might want to skip the regular bleach.

It’s almost impossible to avoid stains in the diapers. The ointment buildup made the diapers harder to clean and more prone to be stained and more difficult to get rid of. That’s why I had to do extra work to get rid of the buildup and stains.

What if my diapers get those awful stains again, what would I do today and what can you try instead?

First I would and you should assess the diapers and see if they have any ointment buildup.

If so, I would for sure try first step 1, step 2, step 3 and step 6. If I still had stains, I would then do step 7 and 8.

Alternatively, you could try step 1, 2, 7 and 8 and see how it would turn out.

That is how I effectively removed stubborn stains from my cloth diapers with a gentler approach! And the best? It worked!

Here is the before and after!


Effectively Remove Stubborn Stains from Cloth Diaper

Effectively Remove Stubborn Stains from Cloth Diaper

Effectively Remove Stubborn Stains from Cloth Diaper

So, do you have persistent stains in your diapers that seem to be difficult to get rid of?  If you do, try this recipe for a stain-free diaper supply!

If you do try it, please let us know in the comments below!

And if you have any tips and tricks, I would love to hear it!

See you around the blog,



2 thoughts on “How to Effectively Remove Stubborn Stains from Cloth Diapers”

  1. When you way strength 20 for the hydrogen peroxide do you mean 20%? The highest concentration I can find is 12%. I would love your feedback. Really need to try something for these stains!!


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