How to Deal With a Really Bad Diaper Rash (And How To Avoid Them)
The ultimate guide to diaper rashes.
Once you have a dirty cloth diaper on your hands, what do you do? It’s actually pretty simple to deal with a dirty cloth diaper, as long as you’re okay with the smells. Trust me: if you’re not already, after the 100th diaper change, you definitely will be. If you’re clueless about how to clean cloth diapers, you won’t be after reading this segment of our Cloth Diapers 101 crash course.
The first thing to do before washing your cloth diapers is to dump the solids into the toilet. Then, rinse it out with water and ring it out. Keeping diapers wet until washed will help keep stains from setting in. Store the damp diapers in a diaper pail (click here to find out what we recommend is the best diaper pail for cloth diapers) or a wet diaper bag until it’s washing time.
You should follow the directions, if any, that came with the diapers. In general, you should pre-rinse them with cold water: this will help prevent urine stains from setting. Then, you should wash them in hot water, with a mild detergent. Tide is usually good, but make sure not to use something strong.
You can use diluted bleach, but don’t use straight bleach, as this will break down the materials in the diapers quickly.
The best way to dry cloth diapers is by air-drying: hang them up outside, or if not possible, a drying rack works well. If you need to use the dryer, be sure to check them every once in a while and remove them when dry.
Here are some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
If you need to have the dirty diapers around for a bit before you wash them, it’s likely that they’re going to start stinking. I’d personally recommend a steel diaper pail like the Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail, which you can read about here. It should go a long way toward reducing that diaper smell.
You can also try baking soda and vinegar, which helps neutralize the smell. Here’s how to do it.
If you let them sit like this overnight, you can just start the cycle back up and let it complete, being free of the diaper smell.
You shouldn’t use any old detergent with your diapers. Some have chemicals that will break down the material of the diapers over time, or cause your baby to rash.
Don’t use any detergent that contains fragrances, enzymes, and other additives, such as whitening and brightening ingredients. Also avoid fabric softeners.
Do you have any more advice for washing cloth diapers? Let us know in the comments area below!