It has been a long while since my last post featuring reviews of some of the cloth diapering products I have used since starting on this CD’ing journey 12 months ago. Today, I’m going to discuss cloth diaper friendly diaper rash creams and laundry detergents as well as what I currently use for a pail liner and wet bag.
Diaper Rash Creams and Lotions
A lot of folks jump right into cloth diapering completely oblivious to the fact that choosing the wrong diaper rash cream can completely destroy your precious pocket diapers, diaper covers or all-in-ones. When I was using sposies during the first two months, I used liberal amounts of Desitin because that is what my Mom used. Desitin and other zinc oxide creams are a no, no when it comes to cloth diapering. Their water repelling properties mean they will not easily wash out of your cloth diapers causing your diapers to stink or repel. Either way, it means a long stripping process, which is not fun. Pin Stripes & Polka Dots has a list of commercially available diaper rash creams that can be used with cloth diapers. The list can be found here. The two I have used are California Baby, which is easily found at Target & Babies R Us and Grandma El’s, which can be purchased for a good price on Amazon.com.
California Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream
- Does not stain
- Pleasant French lavender scent. Lavender is also known for its antibacterial properties
- Easy to find in the store or online
- Seems too light to treat anything other than mild diaper rash
- Some may take issue with its rather feminine, grandmotherly scent
Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Cream and Prevention
Ingredients include: Yellow Petrolatum and Insecticide-free Anhydrous Lanolin (FDA approved healing agents and protectants), Vitamin E, Derivatives of Balsam of Peru, and Salicylic Acid (heal and stimulate production of new cells).
- Seems to provide thicker coverage than California Baby
- Pleasant fruity smell
- Available in flip top or tub
- Some have complained of light staining or repelling issues after repeated use
- Hard to find in the store
Laundry Detergents and Stain/Odor Removers
I will admit that finding the right laundry detergent for your particular brand of diapers, washing machine, water composition and wash routine can often be a challenge. The last thing one wants is to end up with is diapers that reek of ammonia or the dreaded barnyard stinkies. These problems are usually due to detergent build up (too much detergent or inadequate rinsing) or the diapers not getting clean enough (not enough detergent or not compatible with your water- usually hard water). A list of cloth diaper friendly laundry detergents with reviews can be found here at Pin Stripes & Polka Dots. I have personally tried two: Charlies Soap and Country Save. I have been dealing with minor ammonia stinkies as of late (more on this in another post) that do not seem amenable to the blue dawn strip and so I have only recently switched to Country Save and have also considered trying Tiny Bubbles, Eco Sprout, Allen’s Naturally and the original Tide. Here’s what I think of what I’ve tried:
- It has 278 5 star reviews on Amazon & I think I read every one of them
- The price varies on Amazon but I’ve gotten it as low as $10.80 for 2.64 lb powder container (80 loads). This container lasts a long time.
- High efficiency washer safe
- Does a good job getting Juliette’s regular clothes clean as well as the diapers
- No odor, just fresh, clean smell
- There has been a lot of heated debate on cloth diapering websites as to whether this detergent can contribute to a chemical burn on babies bums. Charlie’s sticks by their claim that their detergent is clean-rinsing so there should be no residue left to burn baby’s bottom. They do admit that some households with extremely hard water may have trouble with their detergent and sell a hard water additive that you can use in addition to their detergent.*
*For those unfamiliar, a chemical burn occurs when the normally slightly acidic pH of the skin is made more alkaline by either a) the product of ammonia in the diaper from the urine by urea digesting bacteria in the stool and on the skin or b) alkaline bile salts in loose stools. The result is a bright red bum that looks scalded and makes baby miserable.
For the record, we went nearly 9-10 mo of using Charlie’s Soap without incidence of ammonia stinkies or ammonia burns. I did a strip at the 8 mo mark just because and then at 10 mo started to notice a strong ammonia odor in my pail on wash day (day 3). It was at around the same time that we experienced our first chemically burned bottom. We have had 3 instances. The first two were minor- one after a loose stool and the other a heavy urine soaked diaper left on too long. We had one major burn (complete with blisters) after a loose stool while teething and also after Juliette had eaten tomato sauce (a known culprit).
I don’t know if the diapers had anything to do with the burn. It could have been a number of factors. I stripped with blue Dawn but could see no signs of detergent build up (no suds in 2nd rinse cycle). I do have hard water, and my theory is that the diapers may not have been getting fully clean and still had urine residue in them. No natural detergent will sanitize your diapers- its unfair to say otherwise- and that is why you use bleach in the hot cycle 1x/month, which I do religiously. I was reluctant to buy a second product to make the Charlie’s Soap work better (this did not seem cost effective), so for now, I am exploring other options.
- High efficiency washer safe
- Available locally at Sprouts stores
- No chemical burns experienced as of yet, but have only been using 1 month.
- Ingredients are very similar to the Bum Genius detergent, which is recommended for use with Bum Genius diapers
- Seems a little more expensive at $15-$16 at Sprouts for the 5 lb (40 TL loads/80HE loads), but I guess only time will tell as to how long the box lasts. I use 1/2 scoop on diapers, 1 full scoop on Juliette’s regular clothes.
- When using on regular clothes, I did not find that it had much power against stains. Charlie’s performed much better here. I have been adding oxiclean when needed to Juliette’s regular laundry since making the switch.
- Did not resolve ammonia stinkies problem (initially improved likely due to the strip, but now the same 1 mo later)
BioKleen Bac Out Stain and Odor Eliminator
We use this foaming spray on all poopy diapers to combat bacteria and eliminate stains and odors.
- Pleasant lime scent
- Excellent price on Amazon if bought by the case. May also be locally available at Sprouts.
- Also works on pet odors, carpet stains, stinky garbage disposals
- Really has helped us avoid stains on diapers and inserts
- Can be sprayed on diapers before throwing in diaper pail or added to prewash
- I heard that the oils in the bac out can build up over time contributing to repelling issues. We have not had such an issue, but have recently switched to diluting the bottle with water just in case.
Pail Liners and Wet Bags
Kissaluvs Antibacterial Pail Liner
- Generous size of 30×24 allows it to hold loads of diapers
- Elastic at top makes it easy to fit any pail of your choice (we have a simple flip top from Target)
- Fabric side faces in and outside is made from high quality PUL with antimicrobial properties. This protects against the spread of health hazardous bacteria.
- Has cloth tag inside for adding odor fighting oils such as fresh lavender or tea tree oil
- Can be machine washed and dried
- Typically sells for $11-$15 on Amazon, which is way cheaper than other brands
- It often holds water even after the final spin. Some recommend you actually remove it before the final rinse so your diapers and inserts rinse better.
- Some Moms have complained of the pail liner turning a dingy yellow or leaking. We have had neither problem to date.
Munchkin Damp Goods Bag
We went months and months without a wet bag in our diaper bag, making do with my huge supply of scented plastic bags or using sposies for longer trips out. Finally, I saw this one on sale super cheap at Target and thought it would be great for diapers or wet clothes when we go to the pool.
- Cute pattern
- Folds up nice and neat
- Not nearly large enough to hold more than a few diapers
- Does not seem to contain odors well
- Many have complained of the snap breaking off or the material ripping after laundering
And that is it! The end of my two cents, at least for now. I hope this was helpful for my fellow cloth diapering mommas or those considering it.
- What’s On the Bum?: My Two Cents on Cloth Diapering Part I (whileeveryoneelseissleeping.wordpress.com)
- What’s On The Bum? Part II: What I Think of What’s On the Bum (whileeveryoneelseissleeping.wordpress.com)