Friday, May 17, 2013

Brighten Whites Using the Sun

A long, drizzly overcast winter leaves my cloth diapers a little...dingy. They're definitely clean but especially with a child who is on solids they're a little tougher to get out. This Washington mama is lucky because summer is around the corner and the sun is making its appearance more often- that means sun bleaching!

This was a concept I had totally forgotten about since elementary school. Oh yes, sun bleaching your hair with lemon juice, or science experiments with leaving a bunched up wet towel to dry in the sun for weeks. The sun does have some pretty cool powers.

Sun bleaching or "sunning" has a lot of great benefits:
  • It's all natural. Why would I want to use harsh chemicals (like bleach or brighteners) on the cloth that I've worked so hard to keep safe for my baby's bottom? 
  • It is so economical! How about free?! Even in Western Washington where true hot sunny days are hard to come by it's completely possible to sun stains out of fabrics. It just might take a little while longer on those damp days ;)
  • UV rays from the sun are a great disinfectant
How do you do it? Really simple, silly! Just lay your stained item (be it a cloth diaper insert or even your husband's shirt that got stained) in the sun and wait few hours. Pretty soon your whites will be back to normal. I've even had success with sunning out a spaghetti stain on a white sweatshirt that has been washed at least a dozen times - that regular detergent was not able to get out.

Some additional tips:
  • Use a clothes drying rack or hang a laundry line to get more sun exposure and aid in more effective drying. 
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice to give it an extra boost!
  • Don't leave the cloth out for more than a few hours, because eventually the fibers will become damaged and weak. If it needs more time, wait a day or so and get it damp again and set it out for a few hours.
  • This isn't limited to your whites, it's just easier to see the difference in them! 


  1. Duh! I knew this but I never think about doing it! Thanks for the reminder :)

  2. I have never sunned my diapers. I frankly don't care about the stains. If I ever sell them, I might sun them. But until then, nope!

    1. Heather, that is so interesting! I battle smell issues every once in a while (due to our water) so I find that sunning the diapers helps.

  3. This is great info to know. I love how you posted pictures of before and after. Stains is what I'm most worried about with starting cloth in the next month or so. Thanks!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I've been sun drying my son's pre-folds about once a week and it works wonders on stains. I didn't realize though that I shouldn't leave them out for too long due to damaging the diapers... I should go grab the ones out there now!

  6. I love sunning out stains. It feels so satisfying!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...