Help! Rash preventing use of my cloth diapes. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-13-2012, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I have used bumGenius and Flip diapers on my baby for 12 mos. and LOVE cloth diapers.  Suddenly at a year she started getting really bad diaper rashes.  I'd used disposables for a while until it cleared up (with lots of cream) and then put the cloths back and, and boom - another rash.  We just took a 17 day Christmas vacation, and I used disposables the whole time, so she was GOOD and healed from ANY kind of rash when we got back home.  Put her cloth back on, and by 3 pm she had another raging diaper rash.  Distressed, as it seems I am going to have to convert to disposables.  Suggestions on the problem/how to fix?

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#2 of 14 Old 01-14-2012, 12:28 PM
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Here's a good site that discusses possible causes of mysterious & persistent diaper rash:


I'll bet that the problem is No. 7 on that list: built-up detergent in your diapers.  Modern cloth diapers are very thick & it takes many washings & sunnings to get all the detergent out with each wash.  If washed just on one, or even two, cycles, the detergent won't wash out completely & will build up over time.  One way you'll know this is happening is when the diapers begin to stink very quickly after getting peed into.  Some children react strongly to the built-up laundry detergent. 


I wash each load of our Fuzzibunz like this: Rinse & Spin Cycle, Heavy Duty cycle w/one tablespoon of Rockin' Green soap, ANOTHER Heavy Duty cycle, and ANOTHER normal cycle.  If the weather is good, I then hang them out on the line where the sun can do it's magic.  I used to just do rinse/spin, heavy & another rinse/spin, but the diapers began to get unpleasantly stinky fast & my DD started to get rashy spots a lot.


Hope this helps!


Austin, TX

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#3 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 10:28 AM
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     I was going to say the same thing, detergent build up.  You can strip the cloth diapers (some suggested methods here: and that will help with the detergent build up. 

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#4 of 14 Old 01-16-2012, 11:24 AM
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Assuming you are not using a new detergent I would strip them as well using lots of really hot water & a few squirts of Dawn or you can use RLR & doing an overnight soak. Then rinse, rinse, rinse & make sure it is all out. We had a bad rash issue for a while on my son's boy parts & it was from using Rocking Green. It was blisters & since stripping & switching detergents he's been fine once it finally healed. I had used RNG for a prob. 3 or 4 mo. before I started having issues :/  If it persists I would make sure it's not yeast or something like that as well where the diapers would need to be treated but it sounds like build up like the others have said. Have you noticed an ammonia smell or anything like that after the baby pees?

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#5 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by greenmm View Post

Have you noticed an ammonia smell or anything like that after the baby pees?

Is this a sign of built up detergent?  I just noticed this with my son and I was assuming it was because he was getting to an age where he was peeing more but maybe I am wrong and we have detergent build up?


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#6 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 10:28 AM
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Using Allens and Rockin Green gave my DD horrible blistery rashes. Had to strip them. Went back to our regular detergent and she's fine. When they start getting that ammonia smell, we strip them. We are probably horrible at diaper care, but when it comes to my baby's bum, I'll do what it takes.
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#7 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 11:53 AM
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Charlie's Soap gave DS a HORRIBLE rash.  We stripped the diapers and we now use the bumgenius detergent and haven't had any problems.  

  Two moms and two boys enjoying the truth that love always wins!!!  joy.gifjoy.gifpartners.gif

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#8 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 12:19 PM
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Stripping might help but depending upon the kind of rash your LO had, it might still be in the diaper. My LO had a NASTY yeast diaper rash for months!!! we would just get rid of it and when we would go back to cd's, it would reappear. Some other mommas clued me in that the yeast was still in the diapers. I ended up having to use a bit of bleach w/everything (along w/anti fungal meds) and suddenly no more rash.

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#9 of 14 Old 01-26-2012, 06:42 PM
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Depending on your wash routine, you may also not be using enough detergent.  Remember, you are washing waste from diapers, so it does require a bit of cleaning power.  Sometimes little ones also get rashes if the diapers aren't getting clean enough.  Or, like a previous poster mentioned, it could be yeast. 

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#10 of 14 Old 01-30-2012, 12:53 PM
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I could have  written this post!  I did switch to sposies for about a year, when ds1 was in diapers.  i knew it was the diapers, but couldn't figure out how to fix it.  When I did try to cloth again, I boiled the diapers (prefolds at that time), and then with every wash, I boiled a large stock pot full of water and added that to the hot wash soak.  After doing that for a few months, I turned up the hot water heater.  That was the trick, and I didn't have another rash while he was in diapers.  So when ds2 came along, I thought rashes were a thing of the past...until it showed up again!  I've been battling the rashes for over 18months now and my dd2 (4months old) is starting to show the same rash!  YIKES!!  I want to give up too mecry.gif

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#11 of 14 Old 01-31-2012, 12:48 PM
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Make sure to change them quickly and recall if you have changed detergents or softeners. plus if your line drying the dipers may become stiff and irritating so use a natural softener


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#12 of 14 Old 01-31-2012, 04:50 PM
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Yuck. I have had this problem too and everyone told me I was using too much detergent.  I wasn't using enough....  If you have hard water you need more.  I also finally added a cap of bleach to kill gunk which worked but ate up my diapers.  Line drying didn't work for me- but perhaps my dryer gets them hot enough- cause once I gave up on the line for diapers it improved as well.  Now instead of using bleach I use a capful of water soluble tea tree oil which seems to be making a huge difference as well :)    Also- if you have a newer wash machine- they regulate the incoming water temp (110F) so cranking the hot water heater won't work in that case.

Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

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#13 of 14 Old 01-31-2012, 07:11 PM
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I had a rash problem with my dd when she was around 6 months old. She has a very very sensitive skin
I didn't want to use disposables, so we try a lot of solutions at the same time, and it worked for us.
First, as I heard about detergent build up, we strip the diapers. Since then, I change the way we wash them, adding baking soda and vinegar to desinfect.
I also noticed that even when the covers that we use are suposed to be breathable, they really aren't. We switch to wool diaper covers, they are amazing!
We also use flushable bioliners, it makes clean up easier and her bum is not actually in contact with the diaper that way, I guess that helped too.
Let her bum breathe, we take her diaper several times a day and practice a bit of EC when we do. Fresh air works wonders too!
Hope that helps!
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#14 of 14 Old 02-01-2012, 05:04 AM
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It's either not enough detergent, too much detergent or bacteria. Bumgenius recommends washing with 1/4 c of bleach once a month so I would start there. One way to tell that you are using too much detergent---watch the last rinse cycle & look for bubbles. One way to tell that you are not adding enough---take a huge whiff of the dipes right out of the dryer---if they stink, they're not clean. If baby's pee makes the diapers smell like ammonia it means the diapers are not clean & have bacteria build-up in the fibers....use the bleach to remedy this. I have the best luck with regular Tide liquid or powder----not ultra tide---just regular tide. 

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