Please Help!!! I've tried everything but can't get my Bum Genius clean. - Mothering Forums
Diapering > Please Help!!! I've tried everything but can't get my Bum Genius clean.
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 03:57 AM 07-17-2009
My 15 month dd has had an ongoing rash for the past three months. Whenever she gets the rash I put her in disposables and it goes away in a few days but as soon as we return to the cloth the rash is back in business. I change her cloth diapers very often and let her run around without a diaper most of the time but the rash persists.

At times the rash looks like yeast, other times it looks like blisters (maybe caused by bacteria in the diapers?). I have stripped the bum genius according to their instructions with dawn dish soap and bleach. This resulted in soap suds appearing in the rinse cycle for nearly 20 washes!!! Finally they were rinsing clean w/o suds but the next time I washed them (according to normal b.g. instructions) dd broke out in a rash again.

I have switched soap several times and nothing seems to work I went from 7th Gen. to Charlies to Bac-Kleen. And I am still having problems.
I boiled all of the diapers and used a top-loader washer (while at the cabin for vacation) and hung the diapers outside. This combination of things worked, but again her rash came back as soon as we came home and returned to our typical diaper routine (one heavy duty wash in cold, one heavy duty wash in hot, extra rinse). Also, her diapers always have a slightly musty smell- no matter what I do.

It may be our HE machine is not getting the diapers clean. I've heard that HE machines can make cloth diapering difficult. I have cleaned out the washing machine with bleach on the "clean washer" cycle. But this doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

I am SO frustrated...

I am unable to hang my diapers outside as we live in an apartment on main street. Otherwise, I think this would be a simple way to reduce the bacteria in the diapers. I have read that the drier is one of the best way to kill bacteria when washing diapers. Should I try drying them on hot instead of medium. Won't this kill my diapers? I have also thought about putting them in the dishwasher's sanitize cycle, but am concerned about the heating coils burning the diapers or melting the plastic snaps. I've also thought about using vinegar more often in the wash, but am hesitant about using it all the time because b.g. specifically discourages it.

Has anyone else been through this and figured out the magic trick? Is there: A certain detergent I should use? A method for pre-treating soiled diapers? A way to sanitize the diapers that is easy and gentle? A way to clean out my washing machine? A better way of stripping the diapers? Would disposable liners help keep the diapers cleaner and therefore prevent bacteria build up?

I really want to continue cloth diapering and am VERY conflicted between protecting the planet and protecting my toddler's bottom. Once upon a time these two goals could co-exist but now I am not so sure. Please help... I feel as though I have tried everything and am ready to give up on cloth.

hookahgirl's Avatar hookahgirl 10:38 AM 07-17-2009
I dont know....but I think using the liners is a great idea for right now till you work things out!

Honestly, I have hard water and all natural laundry soaps jsut dont work, period. THey have lots of natural enzymes and oils that just dont get rinsed out. I used maybe 5 drops of Purex Free and Clear (1/2 tablespoon at MOST) and my diapers come out clean and stain free, smelling nice.

Stick them in the dryer after as well...
Gabes Mommy's Avatar Gabes Mommy 12:25 PM 07-17-2009
I agree that liners may be a good idea. You can get flushable paper liners or fleece liners fairly inexpensively. I also use a tiny bit of Purex F&C, we have gone through a few yeasty diaper rashes, and they've cleared up. I've used vinegar on occasion with no problems, and thrown them in the dryer. I think as long as it's not a regular part of your routine, it isn't as bad.
Galatea's Avatar Galatea 12:41 PM 07-17-2009
BumGenius allows/recommends one tablespoon bleach once a month. Try it!!!
Llyra's Avatar Llyra 03:36 PM 07-17-2009
Here would be my suggestions:

1. Dry on high. My Bum Genius (I only have a few) have always been dried on hot, and they seem to have held up as long as most people I talk to say theirs have.

2. Try some bleach. I've done it with no problems.

3. Switch to a conventional detergent. I have never had any luck at all with any of the so-called "recommended" detergents. Try something like All or Cheer or something similar. I've been washing my diapers in those or similar brands for five years with no stink and only one or two rashes that had clear causes.

4. Consider a polyester sensitivity. My DD2 is totally unable to wear any diapers of any synthetic materials. She had to be a cotton fitteds or prefolds and wool gal. Poly clothes don't seem to bother her so much; I think it's WET poly.
LuminosaJane's Avatar LuminosaJane 03:51 PM 07-17-2009
I'm having a similar problem.

Could you mamas tell me how much bleach to use? Do you use the regular, take the color out of things bleach or bleach for colors?

Also, when you set the diapers in the sun, do you do it while they're wet from the wash and let them dry that way?
poppan's Avatar poppan 04:27 PM 07-17-2009
Quote:
I have switched soap several times and nothing seems to work I went from 7th Gen. to Charlies to Bac-Kleen. And I am still having problems.
I boiled all of the diapers and used a top-loader washer (while at the cabin for vacation) and hung the diapers outside. This combination of things worked, but again her rash came back as soon as we came home and returned to our typical diaper routine (one heavy duty wash in cold, one heavy duty wash in hot, extra rinse). Also, her diapers always have a slightly musty smell- no matter what I do.
It sounds like your dipes aren't getting clean and that is what's causing the rash. (Sorry for stating the obvious but wanted to start there.)

Can you tell more about your routine? Which FL washer do you have? When do you add the detergent, and how much do you use? Do you do anything to your dipes before adding them to the washer (i.e. do you dry pail, wet pail, spray off poop, how long between washing, etc.)?
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 05:17 PM 07-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppan View Post
It sounds like your dipes aren't getting clean and that is what's causing the rash. (Sorry for stating the obvious but wanted to start there.)

Can you tell more about your routine? Which FL washer do you have? When do you add the detergent, and how much do you use? Do you do anything to your dipes before adding them to the washer (i.e. do you dry pail, wet pail, spray off poop, how long between washing, etc.)?
I have a Whirpool Duet Sport front loader. I started out using 1 full Tbsp. of the detergents but have found this leaves a residue and have reduced it to 1/2 Tbsp. I also use chlorine bleach once a month and use non-chlorine bleach or vinegar a few times a month.

I use a dry hanging bag for the diapers. I wash the dipes about every three days and clean off any poop chunks (ewww) by hand right before I wash the diapers. We do not have a sprayer (which may help, but they are a bit expensive) so I just scrub them by hand in a bucket of water until they are free of debris.

I first wash the dipes on "heavy duty" (an 80 minute cycle) in cold water with detergent and bleach/vinegar (if using). I then wash them on "heavy duty" in a hot cycle with detergent. Sometimes I will give them an additional hot cycle with detergent just to be thorough and then I put them in the drier on MEDIUM.

I have tried switching to cotton and wool diapers, but this only seemed to help for the first few uses of them. Now they cause the rash just as quickly as the B.G.

Thanks for responding!
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 05:22 PM 07-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminosaJane View Post
I'm having a similar problem.

Could you mamas tell me how much bleach to use? Do you use the regular, take the color out of things bleach or bleach for colors?

Also, when you set the diapers in the sun, do you do it while they're wet from the wash and let them dry that way?
I have used the regular "take the color out of things" bleach and find that it has not damaged or changed the color of my bum genius diapers.

When I am able to put my diapers outside I find it works the best when I put them out at night time when they are wet from the wash and let them dry that way as the sun comes up in the morning. Usually by noon they are smelling nice and any stains have completely disappeared. It really is amazing what the sun is capable of.

I wish I had better access to the outdoors so I could line dry my diapers, I really think this would solve my problem.
Mrsboyko's Avatar Mrsboyko 05:30 PM 07-17-2009
Tell me more aobut the rash. Are they like fluid filled blisters? is it always in the same spots? How long does it last? Does your DD have any known food/ environmental allergies?
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 05:48 PM 07-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsboyko View Post
Tell me more aobut the rash. Are they like fluid filled blisters? is it always in the same spots? How long does it last? Does your DD have any known food/ environmental allergies?
The yeast rash looks like small red dots that cover the crotch area. This rash clears up quickly with anti-fungal ointment. The blisters are not raised or filled with fluid. Perhaps, "blister" is not the right term. They are red sores ranging in size from a quarter to a dime. They just look like very raw skin and they do not appear in her crevices but more on the outer crotch area. These sores take a while to heal- just a bit over a week.

As a side note, I read somewhere that Charlie's soap can cause "burn like sores" which is because Charlie's is not a disinfectant.

DD does not have any allergies that I know of. She is a little sensitive to citrus but we have been avoiding that for the most part.
heidirk's Avatar heidirk 06:16 PM 07-17-2009
I don't have a front loader, but I do have a HE washer, and I have to set the water levels. I cannot use the automatic water settings.

I do a cold rinse, no detergent. then a hot soak cycle with detergent, and sometimes a dash of Bac-out if there's a fishy smell, or lots of pooped diapers. (I do what you do with the bucket before hand) Then I do an extra hot rinse with borax. I dry on med high or high.

This routine has resulted in dependably clean and neutral smelling diapers. Even the polyester fleece ones.


The more water I use, the cleaner the diapers get.

HTH
poppan's Avatar poppan 06:21 PM 07-17-2009
Thanks for the additional info mama. IMHO you are not using enough detergent, thus the diapers are not getting clean, which is what makes them smell musty when coming out of the wash and when activated by moisture it causes the rash you are experiencing. A 1/2 tbsp of detergent is very very little especially when you use the more natural options that don't have enzymes etc. I would use more detergent, all in one cycle, and do more rinses afterwards to get the detergent out.

I think if you really got the dipes clean to begin with, by using more water and detergent, you would not need to use bleach or vinegar.

Try adjusting your routine as follows:

1) Identify which cycle on your Duet uses the highest water level while still allowing for a hot wash. This may be permanent press or even the delicates cycle.

2) For the first cycle (heavy duty or whatever higher water level cycle you identify) wash WITHOUT detergent. You're just trying to rinse out most of the pee so the water won't get mucky for the next part -- the WASH part of your routine. You could also try upping the ante and using warm water instead of cold.

3) For the second cycle (again the highest water level you can find) wash on HOT with 2-4 tbsp of detergent.

4) For the third cycle (again use highest water level cycle) run an entire wash cycle WITHOUT detergent as a super rinse. I have found that more suds come out when I use hot water as opposed to warm or cold, so I would recommend hot.

If this works, in the future you might be able to skip that first pre-wash cycle, especially if you're handwashing the poopy ones first anyway. You might want to do the same for any heavily pee-saturated inserts -- I keep a bucket in the sink and just toss in there to soak for a few hours before washing.

If this doesn't work, I would try a different detergent. Tide HE powder works great for me, and I think it's the enzymes. I use about 2 tbsp. Biokleen makes a "deluxe" version with enzymes if you want to try that first. Oh and powder detergents generally rinse out cleaner and have fewer additives than liquids. Good luck mama!
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 07:01 PM 07-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppan View Post
Thanks for the additional info mama. IMHO you are not using enough detergent, thus the diapers are not getting clean, which is what makes them smell musty when coming out of the wash and when activated by moisture it causes the rash you are experiencing. A 1/2 tbsp of detergent is very very little especially when you use the more natural options that don't have enzymes etc. I would use more detergent, all in one cycle, and do more rinses afterwards to get the detergent out.
Thank YOU for the additional information mama!

I agree that 1/2 Tbsp is a VERY small amount, however the directions on the detergents all say to use 1 Tbsp. for HE machines and the B.G. directions say to use 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent. Ergo 1/2 Tbsp.

I will try your suggestions, I was just concerned that a full Tbsp. would result in buildup and more rash problems.

Thank you! Thank you!
poppan's Avatar poppan 07:52 PM 07-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabird83 View Post
I agree that 1/2 Tbsp is a VERY small amount, however the directions on the detergents all say to use 1 Tbsp. for HE machines and the B.G. directions say to use 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent. Ergo 1/2 Tbsp.
LOL I can see how you got there. I think most HE detergents still come with a pretty big scoop and they tell you to use at least half a scoop (which works out to 1/3-1/2 cup)... my interpretation of B.G.'s instructions is to use half of that. Anyway -- wanted to add, watch for suds towards the end of the "super-rinse" cycle and if there are still a lot of suds, run another super rinse. And next time, use a little less and see if your dipes still get clean. We all have different washers, water conditions and detergents, so you'll probably have to play around with it a little to see what the "right" amount of detergent is for you. You want to use as little as you can, but still get the job done, KWIM?
CookAMH's Avatar CookAMH 06:14 PM 07-18-2009
nak

this is counter to what others said but those spots sound larger than what I've known yeast to give for a rash. First thing that came to mind is bleach burns. A woman I know dealt with that when she first thought it was yeast.
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 01:55 AM 07-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post
this is counter to what others said but those spots sound larger than what I've known yeast to give for a rash. First thing that came to mind is bleach burns. A woman I know dealt with that when she first thought it was yeast.
I am pretty sure there were two different types of rashes caused by a combination of factors. The spotted rash was almost definitely yeast. These were the bumps that went away after one application of the anti-fungal cream.

The rash that resembled burns, IMO was caused by bacteria in the diapers that reacted with her urine- causing ammonia burns (which I think would be like bleach burns). I know that she was not harmed by the bleach I used because her rash seems to get better for the first use after I wash them in bleach.
poppan's Avatar poppan 04:28 PM 07-20-2009
So how'd it go mama? Did anything work, how are your dipes now?
mamabird83's Avatar mamabird83 08:20 PM 07-20-2009
So far so good. I'm a bit nervous about declaring "Mission Accomplished" but I think we're on the right track.

Not only is her rash gone but her bottom doesn't even look irritated.

I am doing just a few things differently. I am using one full Tbsp. of detergent. (There once was a time when I used about 2 Tbsp. and I got the "Suds" error on my washer saying I had used too much soap). I am drying the dipes on high temperature. And I have begun using the flushable diaper liners from bummis. This last step is helping immensely with poop clean up.

Thank you all so much for your advice and support. It means SO much to me.
saoirse2007's Avatar saoirse2007 08:43 PM 07-20-2009
i have a crappy he machine and hard water...had loads of bg issues

i used calgon...will check in again when dd starts using them...ds potty trained.
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