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How to Whiten Diapers

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 26, 2017
Keep diapers bright and white with a careful whitening process.

Cloth diapers go through significant abuse while on your baby. Laundering also can contribute to a dinginess that sets in, according to the Bummis cloth diapering website. If you notice your cloth diapers are not as white as they once were, take special steps in the washing process to whiten the diapers and make them brighter.

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Discontinue the use of any laundry detergent that contains extra ingredients that contribute to the buildup of residues. Fabric softeners, dyes, enzymes and fragrances are ingredients that tend to stay behind on the diapers instead of rinsing away. Instead, use a laundry detergent especially formulated to be free of these ingredients, suggests the Kelly's Closet website.

Set your washing machine water level to the highest level and the water temperature to hot. Place diapers into the washing machine and ensure that you do not overload the machine. Do not add detergent, but run the diapers through a standard wash cycle. Repeat the cycle a second time to ensure that you remove as much detergent residue as possible.

Return diapers to the washing machine if they still appear dingy. Fill the washing machine with cool water and add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. Agitate the diapers for one minute and then allow the diapers to soak for at least a few hours, or even overnight, advises the Cloth Diaper Utah website. Drain the diapers and wash them in hot water with an additive-free laundry detergent. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the first rinse of the wash cycle and allow the wash cycle to conclude normally.

Dry the diapers on the clothesline in the sunshine. Sunshine has natural bleaching qualities, according to the Kelly's Closet website.

Repeat these steps to whiten your diapers any time they begin to appear dingy.

Things You Will Need

  • Additive-free laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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