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How to Remove Stains on Thirsties Gusset Elastic

As a former Thirsties user (my kids are now out of diapers) and the former Thirsties return department, I have seen diapers in all states. One issue that is hard to avoid while cloth diapering is staining. The solids that end up in a diaper are organic proteins, and protein stains are one of the hardest to remove. Enzymes are great at removing protein stains, but can irritate the skin if not rinsed thoroughly. Oxygen bleach is great at removing stains, but can be harsh. I love to find solutions that are natural and that may be found in every household, so I experimented with some lemon juice and sunshine. I took two returned Duo Wraps that were dingy, and washed one with our Thirsties Wash. These were equally dingy and from the same customer. After the wash, there was a slight change in the brightness (diaper on the right). Our Thirsties Super Wash brightens and whitens naturally. It cannot, however, take out set in stains.
image of cloth diapers
I then took a 50/50 solution of lemon juice and water and sprayed the stains left on the leg gussets, and then put in a window to sun for about 3 hours. I then washed the wrap. I did this for a cycle of 5 sprays/washes. The staining left on the leg gusset elastic is very minimal.
The wrap treated with the Thirsties Super Wash and lemon juice/sun is noticeably brighter. The lemon juice treatment is not something that can be done on a normal basis, as the lemon juice is an acid, and can deteriorate the lamination and possibly the elastic over time. This would be done only as needed. We recommend using our Thirsties Pre-Wash and Super Wash to keep staining from setting in, and to keep your diapering products looking brighter longer!

Written by Sonya Choron 1/31/12

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  • Wow, huge difference. But washing it 5 times is a bit much no? Or did the baby wear it in between washes (more likely what I’d do).

    Vanessa Coker on
  • wow i never thought of using lemon! i love hearing about different natural ways to clean

    Lexi Conklin on
  • Thank you for that piece of advice! I plan on using this technique on some white onesies with spit-up stains. Hope it works as well as on the diapers pictured here.

    Antje S on
  • I will definitely have to give this a try. I have one poor cover that is pretty pitiful. The gussets are stained and the laundry tabs are hanging on for dear life. I really need to give that cover some love :)

    Rhiannon Hall on
  • This is great. a friend just gave me a white and stained cover and i’ll definitely try this.

    aliya on

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