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Cloth 201: Mold, Mildew and Odor
August 12, 2013 9:06 am | by
Cloth Diaper Creams

Life is hectic, and if you’re human, you might forget something every once in a while or get distracted easily. 1018

This happens to me often. I’m pretty sure my mind blanks numerous times throughout any given day.

When you’re a mom and spend 99.9 percent of your day worrying about taking care of your family, you probably lose track of things, too. Even cloth diapers.

After you ran errands this morning with your baby, did you remember to bring in your bumGenius Wetbag, or is it still outside in the car? If  you forgot to grab it, run outside now! But again, if you’re a human — even though you might just be super mom — you might have lost track of that wet bag containing a dirty Flip or bumGenius and find it a day, week, or even a month later.

You might even have a little one who loves to hide items all over your home and cloth diapers are no exception. Does finding a used cloth diaper under a couch cushion sound familiar? 

So, what happens when you find a soiled cloth diaper that has been misplaced for quite some time? Well, chances are, it doesn’t smell too nice and there may even be a science experiment growing inside.

Odor, mildew and mold are commonly found in cloth diapers, especially more than we would like to think, but like I said, everyone is human and we all make mistakes. 

Mold typically looks like little black dots scattered in the fibers of your cloth diapers. Mildew looks more like a rash and is usually a brown or rust color, often found in patches. Both are easily preventable issues, as long as you know how to manage your wet and dirty cloth diapers. 

To prevent mold at home, always make sure to clean out your diaper pail. Give it a quick wipe with Better Life cleaner each time you empty it. You could also use a pail liner and just toss it into your washer with your cloth diaper laundry. Same rule goes for wet bags — just add it to your cloth diaper laundry each time you empty it. 

Using a vented pail or a wet bag will also help to prevent mold. Air flow reduces the chance of mold, so using a diaper pail that is completely closed or storing a dirty cloth diaper in a plastic bag increases your risk of mold and the rate in which it grows.

If your diapers do grow mold, mildew or start to stink, just add 1/4 cup of bleach in the hot water cycle. This should kill off any germs. However, mold and mildew will often stain. The stain may remain, but will usually fade in time with additional washes or sunning.

Don’t forget – when using cloth wipes, make sure to only wet enough for a day or two at a time and to also clean your wipe container regularly, just like your diaper pail. Pre-moistened cloth wipes can potentially grow mold, which could potentially contaminate your cloth diapers during laundry cycles.


About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook and Instagram pages, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and likes playing with her dogs.