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Rash problems

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We've been doing some cloth and some disposables with DS since he was born. We use unbleached Indian prefolds. I've been washing them in homemade detergent (washing soda, borax, and Ivory soap) until recently, when I switched to Rockin' Green.


The problem: In the past couple of weeks, DS has started having redness on his penis and scrotum while in cloth diapers. And he screams if his diaper is wet. At first it was just a little redness on the tip of his penis (he's not circ'd, if that matters). I put Angel Baby Bottom Balm on it, but it didn't really improve until we put him in disposables. (We used some Butt Paste, too.) Put him back in cloth. The rash came back, except it went in a line along the whole top of his penis, and then in a line down the middle of his scrotum. Again, screaming with wet diapers. Tried just using the bottom balm, but it didn't help much. Put him back in disposables, and it cleared up. I thought maybe it was the new detergent, so I washed his diapers in the old stuff, with an extra rinse, and split the detergent between the cold wash and hot wash. No dice. Two cloth diapers later, the rash was coming back. I'm afraid to put him back in the cloth now.


Any ideas what this is? Should I strip my diapers? Bleach them? Try some other detergent? Something else? He needs bigger diapers, but I'm afraid to buy any in case we can't solve this issue.

post #2 of 8

Yes I would strip them.Here's a great link


post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ah, wondering about build up now. They mentioned on the website diapers that smell fine when clean, but awful when peed on, and that is our diapers all the way. Also wondering if maybe I'm using too much wash water, too...
post #4 of 8

Strip them! If you have the sanitize cycle on your washer, you can use that with no detergent on prefolds, but not covers (never on PUL or wool, very bad for elastic and snaps). Otherwise I like soaking them for two + hours in hot water and double the amount of detergent, then hot wash(s) with no detergent).


What is your wash routine?

post #5 of 8

The only stripping that worked for me was boiling clean diapers, then lots of rinses in the washer.  I tried to keep them as hot as possible while I boiled another batch to add to the washer. 


You didn't mention what kind of diapers you have.  Boiling really isn't recommended for anything with elastic or PUL.  But it was great for my prefolds.


It was miraculous.  Even overnight diapers on a toddler didn't smell.  Rashes gone.  I did really have to keep an eye out for smelly diapers.  I may have had something wrong with my washing routine.  Or maybe it was just hard water and toddler urine; I only have problems once they get older. 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses!


I washed them (clean already) with a half cap of Calgon and an extra pot of boiling water, and rinsed them twice with a pot of boiling water (added to the cold rinse, since my washer doesn't have a warm one). Maybe I actually ran them through the wash twice? I forgot. I do think it is helping with the stink, but the rash seems to still be coming back so far. I may take them to MIL's for some more rinsing, since she can do warm rinses, and her machine is less old, so maybe more effective.


Oh, and I thought I put it in, but I use prefolds with Thirsties covers. Is there any real reason to strip my covers, considering that they don't do any of the absorbing?


Wash routine: cold wash cycle, normal length, no detergent, long hot wash cycle with detergent. Maybe I need to add another rinse? Or just quit using my homemade detergent?

post #7 of 8

I would try a different detergent, otherwise your routine sounds fine.

No reason to strip the covers unless they smell.

post #8 of 8

I don't have experience with Ivory, but I've heard it leaves awful residue on the shower, so I would probably try something different. 


The key for me to knowing they were stripped effectively was that they didn't smell when peed on.  Even a toddler overnight.  There was a huge difference.

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