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.
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!