Cloth Diapering Diaper Rash No-Nos

Okay, so I am guilty of not doing enough research. Apparently, you can not use just any diaper rash cream with cloth diapers. I just thought if I threw them in the wash with some gentle detergent that they would come out clean and I wouldn’t have a problem. WRONG! And I’m usually so good at researching!

Many creams will either

  • stain and ruin the diaper,
  • coat them and leave them less absorbent,
  • cause buildup leading to diaper rashes (irony?),
  • or leave them with a horrible smell.

So what can you use and what can’t you use?

Well you can’t use the two I was using! I used A&D ointment on my son every diaper change and Desitin a couple times when I saw a little redness to “bite the rash in the butt before it could bite my baby’s butt.” Big no-no’s! So after doing much research for all you loves out there, here is what I have found.

Most common no-no’s:


Do not use anything with cod liver oil, petrolium, calamine or zinc oxide. Some examples:

  • A&D Original Ointment,
  • Vaseline,
  • Aquaphor,
  • A&D Zinc Oxide Cream,
  • Desitin,
  • Aveeno Soothing Relief ,
  • Baby Bees Diaper Rash Ointment,
  • Balmex Zinc Oxide,
  • Balmex Ointment,
  • Boudreaux’s Butt Paste,
  • Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment,
  • and Triple Paste

I would say just look on the label, but I can’t. Honestly, there are so many different things that can cause a barrier on your diapers because they’re designed to make a barrier on your baby’s bum. If you get a buildup from them, your diaper will not function properly, aka leaking. And nobody likes a leaky diaper! I just had one last night.

What you can use:

unrefined coconut oilThere is good news! There are lots of different brands you can buy, many affordable, and you can even make your own. Here are some ingredients that are cloth diaper safe (Thank you Diaper Wrecker for this list).

  • Beeswax – locks in moisture; naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal
  • Vitamin E – high in antioxidants; benefits the skin by helping it retain its natural moisture content
  • Lanolin – a rich source of skin lipids
  • Shea butter – effective at repairing damaged skin due to high levels of natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids
  • Cocoa butter – a natural skin softener, high in Vitamin E
  • Aloe vera – cool and soothing; can reduce skin inflammations, itchiness, and blistering
  • Coconut oil – contains a unique combination of fatty acids that moisturize skin beautifully
  • Olive oil – a gentle moisturizer for dry skin, containing Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and four different antioxidants
  • Grapeseed oil – aids with skin repair, as it has mildly antiseptic qualities
  • Jojoba oil – acts as a natural barrier to environmental allergens, and may help slow the growth of bacteria because of its anti-microbial properties
After some looking, here are a few balms, creams, sticks, etc. that I have found that are cloth diaper safe.
earth mama baby angel Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom
$8.95- 1 oz
$12.95- 2 oz ($6.48 an oz)
Visit their website
california baby 2 California Baby
$11.49- 2.9 oz ($3.96 an oz)Visit their website
grandma el Grandma El’s
$14.99- 3.75 oz ($4.00 an oz)Visit their website
grovia GroVia Balm Stick
$13.95- 2 oz ($6.98 an oz)Visit their website 
thirsties booty love Thirsties Booty Love
$14.95- 2 oz ($7.48 an oz)Visit their website
cjs butter  CJ’s BUTTer 
$1.50- sample 0.5 oz ($3.00 an oz)     $9.50- 4 oz tube ($2.38 an oz)
$15.00- 8 oz pt ($1.88 an oz)                  $21.00- 12 oz tub ($1.75 an oz)
Visit their website
cjs butter 2 CJ’s BUTTer Stick
$6.97- 0.75 oz stick ($9.29 an oz)
$12.00- 2 oz stick ($6.00 an oz)Visit the website
cjs butter 3  CJ’s BUTTer Spritz
$9.50- 4oz ($2.38 an oz)Visit the website

I plan on trying CJ’s BUTTer first. I love the idea of the Spirtz. Although there any a few sticks (like CJ’s BUTTer and GroVia) that have a very good rating, I don’t know if I really like the idea of it. It’s like a big Chapstick for your baby’s butt. This means it will touch your baby’s butt time and time again. How is this sanitary? I don’t know. There may be an ingredient in them to keep bacteria down, but the spritz would usually be hands free, easy, quick, and sanitary.

cloth diaper diy rash treatment

One thing you have to worry about on CJ’s BUTTer (and they tell you about it) is that a lot of their scents are synthetic. From what I have read, however, I believe that all of them are cloth diaper safe. However, if you want an all natural experience for your baby, I would go with the natural scents (listed on their site) or you could try their unscented. That’s honestly probably the best route.

The only problem I can see with using specialty creams is that they’re harder to find in stores. You pretty much have to order them online. There are some other places that sell diaper rash creams such as Kelly’s Diapers, Nicki’s Diapers and Diaper Junction and they run sells quite often. You can find some on Ebay but make sure that the product is brand new, unopened, and from a seller that has a high rating.

You can also make your own cloth diaper safe rash cream. You can buy pure grapeseed oil, vitamin E, coconut oil or olive oil and simply apply it with a cloth wipe or your fingers right from the bottle. Here are the prices I found at walmart for each of these ingredients to give you a general idea of the prices you will pay.

Update March 9, 2014

I currently use coconut oil and LOVE it! However, do not make the same mistake I did at first. Make sure to get the unrefined coconut oil. It will smell and taste like unsweetened coconut. Refined doesn’t have a smell or taste. I used the refined coconut oil. It won’t hurt your baby at all, but it once refined it looses a lot of its good qualities. If your baby actually has a rash, definitely make sure to get unrefined.

I swear by coconut oil for everything! I cook with it, use it for my baby’s bum, smear it all over me before drying off after a shower… it is absolutely amazing. I will be posting a blog about how coconut oil will change your life!

The best to get is organic, but it is not a must. Bonus: your baby’s butt will smell like coconuts!

End update

grapeseed oil Grapeseed oil
Napa Valley brand
$4.15- 12.7 oz ($0.33 an oz)
vitamin e  Vitamin E oil
Spring Valley brand
$3.96- 2 oz ($1.98 an oz)
unrefined coconut oil Coconut Oil
Spectrum Naturals brand
$6.98- 14 oz ($0.50 an oz)
olive oil Olive Oil
Great Value brand
$5.58- 25.5 oz ($0.22 an oz)

You can also find some recipes on Pinterest or buy some already made on Etsy. Again, you will want to find a seller with a good review, just in case.

Here are a couple of recipes I found on Pinterest that I believe will work well.

cloth diaper diy rash treatment Pennies and Blessings
 Ingredients: Beeswax, Olive Oil, Calendula, Chamomile, Plantain, and Lavender Essential Oil
Pinterest Post
Direct link 

cloth diaper diy rash treatment 2Our Life of Love
 Ingredients: coconut oil, tea tree essential oil
Pinterest Post
Direct Link 

Any way you want to go about it, remember that the better you take care of your diapers, the longer they will last. The better you take care of your baby’s bum, the happier your baby will be.

Lots of love everyone!


3 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering Diaper Rash No-Nos

  1. queenrilly Jan 06 2014 / 12:10 PM

    I’ve done a lot of the “no no”s with no problem in my cloth. Desitin is the main one, but i use aquaphor for my baby’s eczema too.
    our main rash cream is coconut oil with zinc oxide mixed in. the zinc won’t do anything, the thing that’s worrisome is really the petroleum and fish oils in the regular creams like desitin.
    I imagine you would have a problem if you used the “diaper detergent” that the companies like BumGenius and Charlies try to force you to use so they get more money out of you. But most of us CD’ers use Tide so everything washes out easily with no issues. and if you do get build-up from oils, just use a drop of blue dawn in some boiling water.


    • onebrokemom Jan 07 2014 / 12:57 PM

      I agree. It’s crazy how those companies make you think that their detergents are the only choice. I use Arm & Hammer without dyes or fragrance. It works great.


    • onebrokemom Jan 07 2014 / 12:59 PM

      OH and I have also used blue Dawn for stripping my diapers too.


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