This has been updated in 2014. Click here to see the update post to Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Rash Creams!
This is an update to a post originally published in 2009. Over the years the original has been highly referenced and I still receive comments on it 3+ years later.
Below you will see the original post with updated recommendations.
A few additional remarks to add:
- If the rash you are looking to treat is from yeast then treat the diapers with Grapefruit Seed Extract.
- If the rash is bacterial treating the diapers with TTO or bleach will work.
- If the rash is due to ammonia in your diapers you may choose to strip your diapers in a variety of ways.
- Funk Rock or RLR soak.
- Heavy detergent (Tide, Purex, ALL) wash for a deep clean.
- Vinegar soak if you have soft water.
- Add Calgon to your normal detergent for a better clean.
- If the rash is due to a sensitivity to the fabric then you will need to go shopping.
- If the rash is due to eczema you may not need to switch up diapers but that may be the end step after unsuccessfully tackling the rash with diet and creams.
- Are you using disposable wipes?? If a rash just won’t go away try using a baby washcloth and water for a week and see if the rash clears up.
- Read through this checklist from Earth Mama, Angel Baby on the Anatomy of a Diaper Rash!
No one likes a rash. No one likes repelling diapers. So when your little one gets a rash or you simply want to prevent them what are you to use?
Most “regular” diaper rash creams are not cloth diaper safe. This means that they create a barrier on the inner material and cause the diaper to repel instead of absorb moisture.
Thankfully, there are several cloth diaper safe diaper rash creams available online or in many grocery stores.
Cloth diaper safe diaper rash creams: *ones I’ve used
- *Growing Up Herbal: This is one you may not have heard of but I think it is wonderful. The diaper rash cream is great at calming down irritated skin from acidic poo, ammonia and dermatitis. I’m such a sucker for creamy goodness. Seriously, I horde these creams and ointments. Meagan Visser is the WAHM behind Growing Up Herbal. She sent me samples when the herbal line was still under her sister store name of Baby Swank, where she sells adorable Washcloth Bibs.
- *California Baby Diaper Rash Cream: can be purchased at many grocery stores and Amazon. Great aromatherapy scent. I have this thing about zinc oxide creams, as I apply them I immediately feel at ease as if they work faster and better. There have been cloth diaper users that claim this product leaves stains on their diapers. I have not experienced this yet.
- *Balm! Baby- Diaper Balm: I’ve become heavily dependent on the products made by Taylor House, Inc (THinc.) and love them all. The Diaper Balm is also a First Aid ointment. I’ve had many more occasions to use it on myself and the children’s boo-boos than on rashes.
- Bum Butter Diaper Rash/Barrier Cream: highly effective but not immediately available for purchase. She only makes this formula when the weather is at the highest low-80′s (as per Ewe Need It Facebook page). According to this it will be available late Sept/early October.
- * Angel Baby Bottom Balm: Use it on anything from bug bites to razor burn to yeast rashes. Very popular with many cloth diaper manufacturers. This company knows how to make great products.
- * Grandma El’s: Grandma El’s is my go to recommendation when someone needs a barrier ointment. I love the smell and wish it was gluten free so I could still use it.
- * MotherLove Diaper Rash and Thrush Ointment: Very versatile. I’ve used it on fungal spots with great success.
- * Bee All Natural Diaper Rash Salve: Quickly clears up rashes from ammonia or sensitivities. The tube can be difficult to squeeze the salve out of but it does fit nicely into a diaper bag.
- * Thirsties Booty Love: An excellent choice to apply every night before bedtime. Booty Love ointment will protect baby’s sensitive skin throughout the night from moisture and ammonia vapors. Anytime I used a barrier ointment at night my children wouldn’t have a red bum in the morning if the diaper reeked of ammonia. Sometimes ammonia can’t be avoided but still needs to be properly washed out. Make sure you are rinsing well and using a deep cleaning detergent appropriate for your water type.
- * CJ’s BUTTer: I LOVE the spritz, especially the pixie pie scent! I use it after every diaper change. It keeps Camden smelling good and his skin soft and supple.
If you are at the store and wondering if a rash cream is cloth diaper safe (and you need to know right then!) check to see if it contains Cod Liver Oil. If it does, don’t use it with cloth diapers.
Don’t forget about the amazing healing properties of Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. You can buy it at most grocery stores, Amazon, or your favorite cloth diaper boutique.