All About Staining

All About Staining

We frequently receive questions about diaper staining. Before we dive into some FAQs, we’d like to share some basic info on stains and how to avoid them.

Not all babies stain their diapers. In fact, when cared for properly, the majority of diapers come out of the wash discoloration-free!

If despite your best efforts, your baby is a diaper artist 😜, it’s important to note that stains are not an indication of un-cleanliness. If your diapers smell fresh and neutral after being washed, you can trust that the discolorations are purely cosmetic.

Tricks to avoiding diaper stains:

1. Wash your diapers at least every 2-3 days following our step-by-step laundering instructions.
2. Stick with cloth-friendly skincare products like our Everyday Balm and Rash Relief cream and ensure you’re really working the cream into the skin to get the maximum benefit from the ingredients AND avoiding gobs of product absorbing into the diaper fabric. 
3. Never store soiled diapers in plastic bags or in direct heat.
4. Once your baby starts eating solid foods, you’ll want to begin shaking off the poop before storing the diapers for laundering. Our Tossers make this super-easy. 

How to get them out?!?! All the tips please.
If you’re following all the previously mentioned “rules” and still you’re left with colorful diapers, there are 2 simple ways to revive your diapers:
1. Lay clean, slightly damp diapers in the sun for natural bleaching ☀️ (yes, sunshine really works!)
2. Run an “optional refresh” using a fresh bottle of chlorine bleach* (you can find detailed instructions on our How It Works page) *when choosing bleach for this job, the simpler the better. Just grab that blue and white bottle original Clorox!

Will an outer stain?
Outers can stain, but less so than the Inner because of the material they are made of and the fact that they come into contact with poop less frequently. Rest assured though if you do have stains on your Outers that you can treat them exactly the same way as your Inners either by running the “optional refresh” with chlorine bleach, or by laying them in the sun for natural bleaching.

Is it okay to use creams with zinc or will it do more than just stain?
Such a great question, because zinc oxide is commonly misunderstood. The zinc itself is not the issue, it’s the oils and waxes that the zinc is blended with that can become problematic. Our Rash Relief Cream has 14% zinc oxide and is cloth friendly. The problem with cloth UN-friendly creams (which is sadly most creams on the shelf) is that they don’t wash out of your diaper fabric which causes intense staining AND eventually builds up enough that the surface of the diaper becomes hydrophobic (fancy word for moisture-repellant).

Poop stains in lining stitches?
If you see actual poop stuck in the stitching of the diapers this is considered a washing issue and not a staining issue. Happily, it’s easy to fix. If the poop is already dried up in there you’ll want wet it with warm water and give a gentle scrub with a washcloth to loosen up the fibers before rewashing. To prevent this from happening in the future you’ll want to make an adjustment to your wash routine. When your first wash cycle ends, reach into your washer and pull out your Inners. Shake them open and push them inside out so the center pad is sticking out and is flat open and not folded. The toss them back in for Cycle 2.

Can you get stains out of diapers that have already gone through the dryer?
Yes! Just because they’ve gone through the dryer does not mean the stain is locked in forever. Try running your diapers through the "optional refresh" cycle we mentioned earlier, or re-washing them and then laying them out in the sunshine while still damp.

Is there an easy way to get stains out without bleach?
While sunning is a more natural stain-removal alternative (and it's fabulous), that option is not always available due to the weather or space constraints. Living in NYC we lovingly refer to chlorine bleach as “urban sunshine”. We know some folks want to avoid bleach, and we get it! But think of it this way, you’re only using a very small amount (4 ounces for the “optional refresh”). It’s like taking your diapers for a swim at a public pool! 🏊🏽‍♀️ As for bleach alternatives like oxy and peroxide, they are great whiteners and brightens but unfortunately don’t cut it when it comes to poop stain removal.