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Sunning Diapers in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Sunning Diapers in the Pacific NorthwestSunning your diapers is one of the best and most natural ways to bleach and disinfect your diapers.

Why? It’s all about those ultraviolet rays. The same ultraviolet rays that cause sun burns on your skin. Let’s get science-y for a moment. How does the sun’s ultra violet rays bleach my diapers and kill germs? Well, these powerful rays actually break down the chemical bonds in stains on a molecular level to fade them. Neat huh? And further, that same action can kill up to 99% of surface germs. You read that right! However, it should be noted that the sun can ONLY kill these germs on exposed surfaces, which is why we can’t expect it to do all the work for us! So we wash them well, and when stains are left behind we lay them out in the glorious sun.

But wait. I live in the Pacific Northwest. It rains 1/3 of the year. And the other 2/3 of the year is usually cloudy. How do I sun my diapers then? Easy! Science has the answer. Did you know 87% of the suns rays penetrate THROUGH clouds? It’s true! It may take just a smidgen longer to bleach out your diapers laying them under cloudy skies than full sun days, but it’s a very marginal amount more. But how do I lay my diapers out when it’s raining? Easy. Here’s some suggestions from TRIED AND TRUE mamas like me!

  • Lay them out, inners up, on a piece of furniture in front of an open window.
  • Lay them, inners up, on the dash of your car while you run errands (hey! This can be used as cloth-evangelism! “What’s on your dash?” “Oh, well let me tell you about these amazing cloth diapers….”)
  • A personal favorite, using traditional slatted blinds while in the down position, carefully drape them over the slats, inner side facing the window.
  • Have a big bay window? Using 3m removable hooks, hang a temporary line across the window and hang diapers there.
  • Here’s a goofy one I’ve seen only once: have an old tanning bed you never use? Lay a dark towel down on the bed and lay the diapers, inners side up, and close tanning bed and “tan” those puppies for 15-20 minutes. (Side note, I actually saw one of these for free recently on a local b/s/t site and immediately thought of getting it for this exact purpose…but please use cautiously….no clue what type of damage it might actually do to your diapers.)

You can hang your diapers in the “clouds” on a dry day and get the exact same results as a full sun day, sans waiting a small time longer. Just because you live in a cloudy area doesn’t mean you’re missing out on some magical entity. You have access to the same sun! It’s just hiding behind the clouds. 

Have some funny ways you “sun” your diapers during rainy cloudy days? List them in the comments!

Whispered by Kayla. Kayla lives in the Pacific Northwest with her 3 children and husband, has clothed all 3 babies for over 4 years.

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