Can You Bleach Cloth Diapers?

Can You Bleach Cloth Diapers?

Can you bleach dirty cloth diapers? Yes, you can but you must use normal bleach. Don't use splash-less bleach as it does not disinfect. Don't use fragrance enhanced bleach too which might contain chemicals not be suitable for kids.  Bleaching diapers will make your diapers feel and look fresh. Bleaching isn’t bad by any means. It is a good thing to remove stains and odor from cloth diapers. You can use bleach to extend the usability of the cloth diapers. 

When you are using a cloth diaper you might be struggling with yeast and mold. But that never means the end of a cloth diaper journey. Cloth diapers are cost-effective and eco-friendly. It is better to give them a fair shot. If there isn’t any other option of saving your cloth diapers then use bleach to rescue cloth diapers. Bleaching can resolve lots of your cloth diapering problems. Bleach isn’t your enemy by any means. 

How often to use bleach for cloth diapers?

Although bleaching in the cloth diaper’s world is not considered good, some manufacturers recommend using it once a month. Bleaching will help to keep diapers fresh. When you are bleaching cloth diapers once a month it will help to break ammonia and yeast. It will help to remove bad odor and detergent build-up. This build-up can require difficult measures like stripping. Some prefer to use bleach in their full wash cycle while some prefer to wash separately to stay safe. 

Why is it important to bleach cloth diapers?

It is important to make bleaching part of your cloth diaper washing routine. There will be some situations that require bleach soak either planned or otherwise. 

  • Ammonia
  • Ammonia

    The biggest reason for the bad odor is ammonia. The continuous smell from cloth diapers may prohibit you from using cloth diapers. There can be lots of factors responsible for the presence of ammonia in cloth diapers such as build-up from hard water, too much detergent, or when your baby is wearing it for a long time. If ammonia is present in your cloth diapers, it is not necessary to opt strip straightaway. Bleach soak can be sufficient to restore cloth diaper to its normal condition.

  • Yeast
  • If the rash on your baby’s skin lasts for 1 or 2 days despite keeping things clean and dry and using rash cream then the issue is because of yeast. Yeast can affect babies in both cases whether your baby is wearing a disposable or cloth diaper. You can use hot water, essential oils, or OxiClean to get rid of yeast. Another solution is to use bleach to soak cloth diaper in it. It is important to bleach cloth diapers quickly if your baby has a yeast rash. Otherwise, it will spread the infection. 

  • Mold
  • Mold usually occurs in humid and warm environments. When you let diapers sit in a pail for too long or leave a wet bag in a car, then the mold will start to grow. If you are experiencing mold on cloth diapers you might throw them and look for new diapers. It will not be good for your wallet. A bleach soak will kill the mold and keep your diapers fresh again. If you are unable to remove mold stain then try to use concentrated bleach soak. 

  • You have bought used diapers
  • In the beginning, when you are trying different diapers to see which one works best, you can use this option. Used diapers are economical and you will have to pay less to buy these diapers. Before using these used diapers it is better to soak them with bleach. The previous owner might have used a detergent that might irritate the skin of your baby. Their baby might have yeast rash so there is a chance that it might be transferred to your baby’s skin. So the best thing to do is to soak bleach cloth diapers before putting on your baby’s skin. 

  • Maggots
  • When you leave the diapers in a pail for a long time and you are not removing waste from diapers then you are creating an ideal environment for flies to breed. The development of maggots does not even mean that you have ruined your cloth diaper. You can still make it usable by washing with hot water or bleach soak. It will kill everything and you will enjoy the fresh diapers again. 

    Which bleach is ideal to use?

    Before bleaching cloth diapers make sure that all the bleaches are not created equal. When you are using bleach over cloth diapers it is better to use original liquid bleach. Read the label and see whether it is disinfectant or not. Some splash less bleach will not disinfect your cloth diapers and you will have to repeat the process multiple times. 

    Bleaching with a washing machine

    If you are facing an emergency such as mold or yeast, you would have to bleach your diapers monthly. A top-loading washing machine can be the easiest and the best option to wash the cloth diapers. To perform washing in a leading machine follow the below-given steps:

  • Fill the washer
  • Make sure that you are using cold water in a washer. 

  • Add the bleach
  • Add the amount of bleach according to the size of the washing machine. For a smaller tub, add 1/3 cup of bleach. For medium-sized washer add ½ cup of bleach. For a large size washer, use ¾ cup of bleach. 

  • Soak the diapers
  • Allow the diapers to soak in a mixture of water and bleach for just 30 minutes. Make sure that soaking time is not exceeding 45 minutes. 

  • Rinse the diapers
  • Once the soaking time is over rinse cloth diapers with cold water and then follow the hot wash. To further breakdown the bleach, you need to use a detergent. 

    Soaking cloth diapers in a bathtub

    If you don’t have the facility of top load washer then don’t worries you can still bleach soak cloth diapers. For a small load of diapers, you can use a bucket or sink. For larger loads use a bathtub. The rest of the process will be the same that we have done in the top load washing machine. 


    Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
    Sky Hoon
    Family Man. He is a family man and married with 1 child. Spent countless nights changing diaper and surprised how outdated diapers are. Nevertheless, there is no solution yet as a parent, just want to research more about diapers.
    Read His Personal Blog

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