Sunshine: nature’s stain remover

A few posts ago I talked about my cloth diapering routine. I know that cloth somehow has gotten this really bad reputation with my generation as being gross and just way to much work to be bothered with; but really diapers are diapers and babies are a lot of work no matter how you dress them. So the option to do something nice for my wallet and the environment was a pretty easy one for me. And it’s a decision I continue to take pride in.
Now I promised to share my adventures with attempting to sew some of my own diaper inserts and using lemon juice as a bleach alternative.
Lets start with the lemon juice because unlike my sewing skills it actually works. If you have something white or light coloured (never tried it with darker items but if it works let me know!) that comes out of the washer stain intact and your hesitant to soak it in bleach, try laying it out in full sun to dry. If it’s an extra persistent spot you can sprinkle lemon juice over it then leave out to soak up some rays. I have no idea how this works but somehow as your item dries the stain just seems to evaporate! It’s incredible!

Above you see my diaper inserts laid out on the railing. These inserts have seen 6 months worth of baby poop and they are all just as white as the day I bought them! No bleaching, no stripping required, not even once! Just regular laundry soap and sunshine, with a little lemon juice every once in a while to deal with problem areas.
It is worth mentioning that the inserts with lemon juice should be rinsed out well with water before you put them against a babies tushy. But seriously can it get any easier than that? Wash as normal and leave outside on a nice day to dry.

If only sewing came so easily. A simple Google or YouTube search will show you all kinds of tutorials on how to make your own inserts, super cheap ones to super duper over night absorbency. And they make it look so easy! And really you’d think it should be, your just cutting any absorbent material to size and sewing multiple layers together. Which is exactly what I did; with supervision from two experienced sewers I might add. Two inside layers of old cloth towel with an outer layer of flannel to whisk away moisture. At first it looked like we had done it, used old scrap fabric that was just laying around to double my diaper insert stash at no extra cost! But no, we were not to be so lucky.
The first issue became apparent almost right away. They just couldn’t hold their liquid and baby peed through them much faster than my store bought hemp inserts.
The second issue showed up after washing. They got lumpy. I guess the old towel on the inside started to unravel or we just sewed too close to the edge but the inside layers did not stay put. One by one they all bunched up on the inside. Not good, I threw them out.
So while both experiments were learning experiences and two more baby steps forward in my journey to healthy and sustainable living. Sunning my diaper inserts is something that I am actually able to put into good use on a regular basis. Creating my own inserts did not end up increasing my stash as I had hoped. Maybe one day I will try again with some different fabric but not any time soon.

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