I have lost track over the years of the number of people who return cloth nappy trial kits to me stained with breastfed baby poo. For those not familiar, I’m talking chicken korma yellow, persistant staining. Some are embarrassed, some don’t mention it, some contact me before the kit is due back to ask how to shift it. I always tell them, it’s easy, just put them in the sun. Outside on your line preferably, but if you really can’t, in a window can help.
Quite often, people are incredulous that something as simple as hanging your nappies on the line can deal with a stain the a long wash in the washing machine cannot. But there is science on our side.
The yellow colour of baby poo comes for them billirubin in bile, and billirubin is broken down by ultraviolet light (which is why jaundiced babies are put on UV beds in hospital). Putting your nappies on the line allows the UV light in sunlight to destroy the billirubin and low and behold, your nappies are white again!
Not only that, but ultraviolet is also used in industry as a powerful anti-bacterial. So not only are your nappies bleached nice and white, any residual bacteria is given a hiding too! (source here)
Below are some before during and after pictures of a variety of stained nappies, before washing, after washing and after hanging on the line in the sun! (All nappies were washed and dried by trial kit customer before returned to me, washed by me at 60 degrees, with a full dose of Simply Washing non-bio powder tabs and a scoop of Bio D nappy fresh).