Mildew or mould on your Cloth Nappies?

Removing black spots from cloth nappy inserts or covers is tricky and what works for one may not for another!

Here are a few tips that we have found really work:

  • Hot wash your diapers and covers occasionally, Real Nappies covers and cotton inners are made for industrial washing so put them through your machine on a really hot wash.
  • Nappy Fresh Add some to your machine, this helps whitens and naturally sanitizes your cloth diapers.
  • Sunlight is an excellent natural whitener so after washing hang them on the line and make sure they see as much direct sunlight as possible.
  • Vinegar, try adding half a cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This will sanitize, deodorize and brighten your cloth diapers.
  • Bleach, Real Nappies cotton inserts have to put up with a lot and can sometimes stain, as a last resort : try environmentally friendly oxygenated bleach. We suggest NOT using chlorine bleach as this can break down the fibers of the cotton and will destroy your covers. But be careful, not all are created equal make sure the product you choose contains no additives beyond sodium carbonate. Our choice is Nappy Fresh Sanitizer.
  • Oxygenated Bleach, If you decide to use oxygenated bleach only use approx a quarter cup of bleach and add it to the hot wash cycle.

TOP TIP:

Try rinsing the covers as soon as they come off to avoid any stains setting. Sunshine is the best whitener once the covers have been laundered. If that still fails, you can mix up the Nappy Fresh like a paste to spot remove stains (half tsp powder to 1 tsp water) apply to the stain and leave for 5 minutes before washing.

Preventing Mildew & Mould

The best way to stop mould or mildew is to prevent it happening in the first pace and here is how:

Drying: Ensure your cloth diapers and covers are completely dried, they may feel dry but check underneath tabs or flaps, are they totally dry? Perhaps the black spots of mildew are worse near stitching, this would mean they are not drying properly in-between uses.
Wash Regularly: Do not leave your cloth diapers too long between washdays. We recommend washing your cloth diapers every 2-3 days that way the stains do not have time to set in.
Do not cram it all in: Do not over-fill your washing machine: your soiled diapers need a lot of room to wash clean.
Hot Wash, Do occasionally run a hot wash on your diapers and covers: your beautiful white diapers will love you for it!
Dryer – Real Nappies cotton inserts and covers can both be machine dried so when the sun is not shining try throwing them in the dryer.
Sunlight is the best natural whitener you can get, so pop your cloth diapers and covers on the line whenever you can: as they unfold they dry so quickly and you can literally see the stains disappear!
Check they are dry: Make sure your covers and cloth diapers are totally dry before putting away, damp diapers encourage mildew and mould growth, which is hard to get rid of.
Nappy Fresh: Add a natural whitener to your machine or soak the cotton diaper inserts in a bucket with the whitener. We recommend Nappy Fresh made in New Zealand from the only the finest, natural ingredients. Simply add a dessertspoon to your washing machine and this whitens and sanitizes your cloth diapers. NOTE: We do not recommend soaking the diaper covers. We do not recommend using chlorine bleach on the cotton inserts or diaper covers as this can destroy the fabric and affect waterproofness.
Do not soak the covers. With Real Nappies Covers there is no need for these to remain damp for any prolonged period of time. Simply rinse between uses and pop in the washing machine with your other clothes, do not soak or store the diaper covers with the cotton diapers.
Smelly Diapers: the main cause of this is improper washing where the cloth diapers do not get properly cleaned or a build up of detergent residue.

So remember:

  • Wash smaller loads
  • Do occasionally run a hot wash
  • Do not leave your soiled diapers unwashed for longer than 3 days
  • DO occasionally add half a cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This will sanitize, deodorize and brighten your cloth diapers.
  • Unfold your diapers: make sure your cloth diapers are unfolded before they go in the washing machine to allow complete cleaning
  • Highest water levels: use the highest you can on your washing machine to ensure complete rinsing of your cloth diapers and covers. Any detergent residue can affect the performance of diaper products!
  • Tea Tree Oil: Keep your diaper bucket smelling fresh by adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil each time you empty it : a few drops on a piece of muslin or fleece on top of the cotton diaper inserts is the best idea. Please proceed with caution with Tea
  • Tree Oil: small babies may be sensitive to the oil.
  • Bleach: When washing or soaking your cloth diapers, a good alternative to chlorine bleach is the environmentally friendly oxygenated bleach. But be careful, not all are created equal make sure the product you choose contains no additives beyond sodium carbonate. Our choice is Nappy Fresh Sanitizer.
  • Soiled diapers are the ideal breeding ground for mould, mildew and bacteria, so make sure your wash your diapers every 2-3 days to keep them clean, fresh and white!