To effectively kill mold on reusable cloth diapers and ensure the diapers are safe to wear and use, bleach is a commonly recommended solution. Here's are some tips and tricks for how to use bleach to address mold issues on reusable cloth diapers:
Bleach Wash in the Washing Machine
- Direct Wash: Add bleach to your washing machine's bleach dispenser along with your usual detergent. Use warm or hot water for the cycle. Be sure to follow the bleach packaging instructions from proper dilution.
- Bleach Soak: If you're dealing with a significant mold problem, a bleach soak might be necessary. You can do this in a top-loading washing machine, sink, or bathtub. For a top loader, fill the machine with cold water and add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of disinfecting bleach. Soak the diapers for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than one hour, then proceed with a warm wash cycle using your regular detergent.
While bleach can be effective in killing mold on reusable cloth diapers and other textiles, it's important to ensure that the fabrics are bleach-safe and to follow the recommended soaking and washing instructions to avoid damage to the textiles.
Precautions and Tips
- Dilution: Always ensure that the bleach is properly diluted. This prevents damage to the diapers and ensures safety during handling. We recommend following the manufacturer's instructions for dilution.
- Disinfecting Bleach: Use a bleach product that contains at least 5.25% sodium hypochlorite and is labeled as a disinfectant to ensure it's effective against mold spores.
- Cold Water: Start with cold water when doing a bleach soak, as hot water can set stains.
- Rinse Thoroughly: After bleaching, rinse the diapers in hot water to remove any bleach residue.
If mold stains persist after the bleach treatment, you may need to take additional steps to remove them:
- OxiClean Paste: Create a paste using OxiClean and water at a 2 to 1 ratio. Apply this paste to the stains and leave it overnight before washing.
- Sun Exposure: Sunning the diapers can help lighten stains that bleach doesn't remove. Lay damp cloth diapers and inserts in the sun to dry. The sun's UV rays will naturally remove stains from the textiles.
- Test for Bleachability: If you're concerned about the colorfastness of your diapers, perform a bleachability test on a hidden part of the diaper before proceeding with a full bleach soak.
- Avoid Iron-Rich Water: If you have iron-rich water, adding bleach can cause discoloration. Test your water by adding a small amount of bleach to a glass of tap water. If it turns orange or brown, do not use bleach on your diapers.
Preventing Mold Growth on Modern Cloth Diapers
To prevent mold on reusable cloth diapers from recurring:
- Store diapers in a cool, dry place.
- Ensure diapers are completely dry before storing.
- Avoid leaving soiled or wet diapers for extended periods.
- Maintain good air circulation where diapers are stored.
By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can effectively use bleach to kill mold spores on cloth diapers and keep them safe and clean for your baby's use.