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.
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