cloth diapersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have been using cloth diapers continuously for six years now but this summer my diapers in the pail are turning a bright yellow before they are washed. I have never used a soaking solution and have never had a problem as long as I washed them at least once a week in the summer. But this summer they turn this color in only a day or two. And not even bleach will get this out and I hate to use bleach anyway. I know it has to be some mold/mildew thing but I have never had it before. Any suggestions? I also seem to have a problem with mildew. Some of my diapers turn black if they don't turn yellow. These are diapers from one totally breastfed baby. Mostly wet diapers and only a few dirty ones. Don't know if this would make a difference or not.
-- Kathy (DavidWH6@juno.com), July 17, 2000
Got me Kathy. I'd scrub out the pail, probably even use some bleach and leave it out to sun for a while. Borax is great for mildew problems in the laundry. I always add it to the washer in the winter and during the humid or rainy times year 'round when I'm washing things I'm going to have trouble drying fast, or have already gone sour. You might want to try some in the soaking pail. Hang the diapers out in the sun, it probably won't bleach the yellow out, but it will help kill the mildew.
Unless you're on your own well (and even then) your water supply may have changed. Bateria counts may have risen, the supplier might have changed wells or sources. Some years ago in the nearby city, people with fish and small birds started having a lot of trouble. It was finally traced to a relatively small change in the disinfecting process used by the city water department. Something like that could have happened to you.
As long as the diapers are clean, there won't be any harm to it, so if someone challenges you about having yellow diapers, just tell them you're on the cutting edge of baby care. The newest thing is colored diapers to brighten up the baby's life. (That'll cover you if you accidently wash something that bleeds with the diapers.) Gerbil
-- Gerbil (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 17, 2000.
I liked about a cup of Borax to a gallon of hot water in the bottom of the pail. Rinse and flush the solids before putting in the pail (of course). Then dump the whole thing in to wash. Helps keep everything smelling better. There's no better bleacher or germ killer than the sun so hang those thing out and don't worry about the color.
-- Deborah (ActuaryMom@hotmail.com), July 17, 2000.
I'm a bad bad person, I used diposables and I'd do it all over again. That is a major area of weakness for me, and I totally respect people who use cloth!
-- Lenore (email@example.com), July 17, 2000.
Might want to boil the diapers in a color restorer, it is sold with the RIT dye. I would be curious also if you have well or city water. Our construction business Handyman Servies, takes care of a group of older ladies, and we change out their whole house water filters, because the local town water is nasty. There are times that the filter needs to be changed monthly, and they are covered in black slime, how nasty is that! We have a well, and just think I thought I was deprived when I couldn't afford to hook up to this water! Yeeks! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 17, 2000.
I use cloth diapers as well. I've never encountered that problem with diapers, but I have with other clothing items that sat in a spot more than 60% humidity. Sounds like a definite case of mold. If it is yellow to brown, staining black your still safe with it, but you will need to clean your diaper pail quite throughly. Sun will kill all of the living molds, but you MUST use an anti mold or mildow to kill off the spores after they "start".
What this means is: A: Wash your pail and diapers in very soapy water, letting them set in it for at least 3 minutes for yellow mold, 5 for white, and 30 for red. (Red mold is dangerous-don't breath close to it) After the soapy soaking, rinse well, and DO hang on line, or set in sun. Sunlight does kill any living molds, so does soap. Both are ideal. After your diapers and bucket have dried in the sun, wet them again, leave them wet for an hour (to "germinate" mold spores), then rewash, soak, rinse, and dry. Do this to anything affected, or cloth stored with or touching diapers and pail. Wash the baby bottom in soapy water, and let set in sun for 2 minutes before using the newly cleaned diapers. Even though mold isn't likely to grow on uninfected skin, spores can still be moved about by affected things touching soon to be damp again diapers. To prevent new outbreaks, either add additional ammonia to diaper water, or 1/2c viniger to one gallon of water, or wash and sun dry diaper pail, lid, and diapers AT LEAST once a week.
-- Marty (Mrs.Puck@excite.com), July 18, 2000.
Is your diaper pail by the sun when the diapers are in it? If so this could turn your diapers yellow and black. Because the heat from the sun can help bactria grow on the diapers. You should wash them and the pail out good I use bleach to wash the pail out to kill the grems. Do all this with hot water. Boil the diapers the sit them out in the sun to dry. The sun should help them turn white. Oh and put some baking soda into your wash to help with the whitening.
-- Natasha (email@example.com), April 13, 2001.