Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Worth it's weight in gold...

And, no, I'm not talking about that premium diaper you've had your eye on!  I hope this post will be worth it's weight in gold - the golden rays of the sun, that is!

This post may seem like an odd first diaper-related post, but I wanted to introduce so you can try this before some of us cloth diapering parents in the latitudes further North begin losing our precious hours of sun.  Sun and cloth diapers were made for each other! The sun provides several benefits to those parents who cloth diaper. By line-drying in the sun, you realize some energy savings by foregoing the use of the dryer, have the benefit of the UV rays' sanitizing effect, and (my favorite!) you have the stain-blasting power of the sun's rays.  The energy savings aren't enormous per load, but at a cost of about $0.40 per load x ~3 loads per week x 16 weeks, that's close to $20 savings.  Could you buy your favorite diaper with that? ;) The areas of the diaper that are directly exposed to the UV rays are subject to a sanitizing effect.  This wouldn't help the inside of an all-in-one, but every little bit helps! 

My favorite benefit is the topic of the remainder of this post.  When UV rays hit a stained surface of a wet diaper, magic happens!  The most important detail of this concept is that the diapers MUST BE WET OR DAMP!  It doesn't even matter if it's partly cloudy - the UV rays that are most responsible for this effect are UVA rays.  UVA rays penetrate clouds, clothes, your skin, etc.  On a sunny day, you have the "benefit" of UVA and UVB rays, but even on a cloudy day, the UVA rays are around working their magic. 

Here are some photos demonstrating the sun's impact on stains.  These are pocket diapers with microsuede interior and microfiber inserts, and were freshly washed, but still stained with EBF poo. NO photoshopping was done to these photos other than cropping!

On a partly cloudy day "before"...
...and "after"! I got this set damp one more time, and it was perfectly white!
On a bright, sunny day "before"...

...and after!  Perfection occurred after only about 45 minutes!


Just a few more things to note from my personal experience.  When I hang the diapers on the line, I face the surface that has the most stain toward where the sun will be the majority of the time the diapers are out. I've found that the sun's effects are nearly perfect on microsuede and microfiber in just one shot on a sunny day. It works "very well" on microfleece, although after numerous sunnings this summer, my microfleece pockets still have some shadows.  Sunning still works well on natural fibers such as cotton and hemp, but it may take several rounds, or you may need to use some advanced stain-fighting techniques (another post!).  This past winter, we had almost no sun, but I did the best I could in windows on a sunny day. The house we live in has some UV-blocking function in the glass, so I had stains for a few months. When I started drying them on the line this spring, they were gone within a few washes! The most important thing to remember, is that the diapers MUST BE AT LEAST DAMP!

Happy sunning!
~Prima~

11 comments:

Mamis and Papis said...

For REALLZZZ That is SUPER awesome!!!!

Papi doesn't understand. He is dark brown but in the sun he doesn't fade to my white pasty color. LOL. He's just playin'.

That is a fantastic money saving, diaper saving and oh so awesome tip to get that bootylicious diaper amazingly CLEAN :-)

Lilypad Mom said...

I love sunning my diapers and have done it every wash unless it is raining. I'm trying to figure out where to put a line in the backyard for the winter so I can still sun them even if we have over a foot of snow. It's amazing how even the brightest orange stains will disappear in an hour or so outside.

Lavanna said...

i love sunning! i was just outside hanging some stained dipes...and thought of asking you, do you re-wash or rinse the diapers after you sun?? i didn't until i read somewhere that you should.

i'm also sunning some clothes and bibs to keep them fresh and stain free...another good $ saver. :)

Mamis and Papis said...

I don't re-wash or rinse...I haven't heard of needing to do that. If you come across that again, though, will you send it this way? I'd be interested to read about why.

If you choose to dry ALL your laundry on the line, some of it ends up crunchy, especially natural fabrics. A quick fluff in the dryer with some dryer balls from Mami's and Papi's gives you nice fluffy laundry and you still save a ton of energy!
~Prima~

Rose Towers said...

I didn't believe this would actually work, but it does! Awesome!

BraydonsMom said...

Oh the magic of the SUN! I actually laid a diaper by our window one day, not intentionally trying to get a stain out...and much to my surprise, it worked - even through the window!! WOW!!!

Christina said...

Oh how I love sunning my dipes! I love looking out the kitchen window and seeing my dipes drying on the line. It's a beautiful thing! :) And I know my neighbors probably think I am crazy when I am out there taking pictures of them!!! HAHA

BeLLa said...

This is INCREDIBLE! And SO true! There has been several times I take my diapers and inserts out of the wash and all I think is "nothing is taking that stain out!" ...a few hours on the clothes line, and magic presto! Looks brand new! Up here in northeast Pennsylvania the sun will be sorely missed this winter!

Anonymous said...

I love the before and after pics. Sun + diapers = magic!

Heidi.

carolinazhen said...

I'm still waiting for my husband to put a very LONG and heavy duty drying line in our terrace! We currently live in Puerto Rico so we have plenty of sun. We could also save tons of money on electricity which is at an all-time high in cost!

I also love the before and after pictures of the stained and unstained diapers. :)

Bum Luxury said...

Sunning is so amazing! I love the before and after shots! We almost always have sun here in Arizona, but when we don't the clouds work it through anyway. :)