Mould on Cloth Nappies

Unfortunately, mould seems to love growing on some nappies. A nappy bucket that has nice warm nappies and plenty of moiture provides the perfect breeding environment for mould spores.

So what can you do about it?

Treat the Source

Your Laundry

Firstly, mould doesnt just spontaneously appear. It will come from somewhere. If your nappies are stored somewhere a bit dank or your house has mould in some parts, it will find its way to your nappies. Try and make sure the benches in your laundry are wiped down with vinegar or another agent that will kill mould. Run a hot wash in your machine and wipe out any of the seals with some vinegar to clear them of any mould hiding away.

Your Bucket 

Wash, sterilise and kill. Get rid of any possible mould in the bucket. Just because you cannot see it, does not mean its not there. Water alone will not kill it. Hot boiling water, bleach or full strength vinegar will be required to see the end of it. I recommend sterilising the nappy bucket regularly (especially if you have had mould in the past). Put the bucket somewhere that has natural light, air flow and with the lid off. Think about houses with mould issues – they are usually dank, dark, and wet. Good ventilation and a bit of light can really help you out.

Treat the Nappies

Next deal with your mouldy nappies. Hopefully it is just your inserts that are suffering from the mould/mould stains. Run them through the wash on a hot cycle with some vinegar (do not include your covers/shells in this wash – if they also have mould you can do the same on a wash of no hotter then 60 degrees). Do a good rinse to get the vinegar out of the nappies. Hang them outside in full sunshine for as long as practical.

Make sure they are drying well between uses.

If your shells are experiencing some mould as well you need to be careful not to affect the waterproofing or the elastics. Firstly try washing on no hotter then 60 degrees with some vinegar and hanging in the sun.

Most parents have a lot of trouble getting rid of the stains left from mould. The sun will help to bleach them out. You could try a cloth nappy safe stain remover like the TriNature Stain Removing Spray.


Milton, Bleach and Oxygen Bleach

If you’ve tried every thing, and you think without further action your nappies will be useless you may want to think about the stronger chemicals. You can then try them, but bear in mind it may affect your nappies. I stand by the philosophy that if they are not useable with mould on them, it is worth the slight risk to bring them back to life. Anything you use, make sure it is diluted. Watch it. As you see the stains dissapear, it is time to pull them out and wash and rinse. You could try spot treating if you are only getting rid of the stains.

Take care, and beware that you may be voiding a warranty by using vinegar, bleach, oxygen bleach or milton on your nappies. Whilst vinegar is often recommended to kill germs and also as a fabric softener, it is still an acid and as such it will do damage to your nappies if used continuously and/or not washed out thoroughly enough.

Some thoughts on removing mould stains can be found on this blog post.