How to Remove Mould on Cloth Nappies and Inserts

By: karen   On:22 November 2022 

Did you ever take a cloth nappy cover or insert out of the wet bag, pail, or washing machine to find that it’s covered in small black or brown spots? It could be mould! Mould thrives in wet, humid conditions. It’s not the end of the world though. Here are a few simple steps to kill the mould and then get rid of the stains it leaves behind.


Method 1: Bleach Wash

A bleach wash will do the trick. You can do this right in your washing machine and soaking is not necessary. Add the bleach via your bleach cup or tray along with your usual detergent and then wash on regular in warm or hot water. Use bleach that is not expired and is at least 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. Here are the dilution amounts.

Top Loader (Non-HE): Small- 1/3 cup, Medium – 1/2 cup, Large/XL- 3/4 cup

Top loader   (HE)           Small- 1/4 cup, Medium- 1/3 cup, Large- 1/2 cup

Method 2: Oxygen Bleach Soak

The main ingredient in oxygen bleach is the powder form of hydrogen peroxide which can also be used to kill mould. You can find oxygen bleach brands in most supermarkets. Oxygen bleach is 100 per cent Sodium Percarbonate (which is an active ingredient in our cloth nappy washing powder) or you can get concentrated and environmentally friendly oxygen bleach here.

Soak the effected nappies in hot water and oxygen bleach solution. Use five litres of water and a scoop of oxygen bleach. Soak for 6 hours. Wash in a little of detergent after soaking. If you are JUST washing the cloth nappies you soaked, don’t overdo it on the detergent.


The above steps killed the mould, but even after a bleach wash or oxygen bleach soak, you will be left with the stains (which are an aesthetic issue).

To remove mould stains you will need to make a paste from  oxygen bleach.

  1. Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Mix a 2 to 1 ratio of oxygen bleach and cool water. (One tablespoon of water to every two2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach.)
  3. Take the paste you created and with a plastic utensil spread on all mould stains. You want a nice thick layer of the paste.
  4. Leave overnight. (6-8 hours)
  5. If stain is gone go ahead and give the nappies a short wash with a tiny bit of detergent to wash away the oxygen bleach.
  6. If the stain remains, repeat steps 1-4 again.

Please be aware that bleach and oxygen bleach can fade non colourfast items. This includes knit fabrics such as cloth wipes or nappies made with a knit outer.

If mould becomes a recurring issue you should take steps to stop it from happening again and again.

  • Store your dirty nappies in a cool, dry place. Bathrooms and laundry rooms are places to stay away from. They tend to have higher humidity and less air flow than other rooms in your home.
  • If your home is prone to mould, you may find an open bucket method works better for you. The air flow that the bucket receives keeps the moisture down and mould at bay.
  • Wash your nappies more often. Sure! You have enough to go a week. But that makes them harder to get clean and also has them sitting in pretty wet conditions for long periods. 
  • Wash your washing machine. Mould can grow inside if it isn’t maintained properly Leave the machine door open after washing a load to allow it to dry inside. Run a cleaning cycle monthly. 

If you gotten rid of mould on your cloth diapers and used a different method, let us know how!




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