Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 1/24/11 – Discolored inserts

discolored #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers

Every Monday, if I’ve received a submission, I will answer reader submitted questions.  Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject!

Rachell says:

Hi Maria

I have a question about inserts.
Some of my Microfiber inserts have discolored to a light brown with darker brown streaks. Is this ok? And what can cause this?


Hi Rachell.  The first thing that comes to mind is discoloration from mineral deposits in your water.  Do you have hard water?  Do you notice buildup/stains in your sinks, bathtubs/showers or toilets?

Is your other white laundry (non-diaper laundry) discolored too?  Are you having stink issues?  Was the discoloration gradual or sudden?  What is your wash routine?

I know that’s a lot of questions!  If you have hard water, you will most likely be having buildup issues in your sinks etc. and be having stink issues with your diapers.  If that’s the case, you may need a detergent designed for washing cloth diapers hard water, like Rockin’ Green’s hard rock.

If you’re not having any of the other typical hard water issues, you may need to switch up your wash/rinse routine a little bit.  I do get a little bit of streaking staining when a messier BM seeps into the insert.  The best treatment for stains seems to be some good, old fashioned sun!

Another thing to try (if you don’t have an issue with bleach) is to wash the inserts only with about 1/4 cup of bleach.  Then, continue to rinse the inserts until there are no suds and no residue in the water, and you no longer smell the bleach.

I do think the cause of the discoloration is most likely to be deposits from your water, but if you aren’t having any issues with stink or repelling, it’s really just a cosmetic issue!

How about the rest of you, have you had this type of discoloration?  Did you discover what was causing it?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.

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