Cloth Diapering Mailbox Mondays Repelling Stripping Washing

Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 9/5/11 – Getting Diaper Cream Out of Cloth Diapers

getting diaper cream out of #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

Every Monday, I answer questions readers have asked, and ask my other readers to weigh in too.

Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Lindsey says:

Hello! I use a mix of pocket diapers (mostly Fuzzibunz) and prefolds/covers. My daughter had a bad case of diaper rash and in the search for a cure I used Desitin, Balmex and Triple Paste on her and continued to use cloth. I had read about those diaper creams being a no-no with cloth but I just hate to use disposables. Well, lesson learned. Now my pocket diapers are leaking. I have stripped and stripped with no effect. I’ve also scrubbed them individually with dish soap and stripped again. Do you have any advice on how to get the diaper cream out of the pocket diapers?

Thank you so much!

Oh noes! I hope the diaper rash is all cleared up, and of course you know now to use a thin layer of “cloth safe” diaper rash cream, or use fleece liners!

You said you have already tried scrubbing with dawn; my first thought would be to put them in a sink full of very (very) hot water, and put dawn directly on the areas where the cream has gotten onto the diapers. Scrub the insides and outsides of the pockets with a nail brush and rinse, rinse rinse.

If you’ve already done this and they are still repelling, it may be the zinc oxide that’s causing it. Try soaking the pockets in white vinegar, then rinsing them again in hot water.

If this takes care of the repelling, but there’s still some discoloration, try hanging them in the sun while they are still wet.

Has anyone else had repelling due to diaper rash cream? What worked for you?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • October 22, 2016 at 9:01 am

    […] long time? Turn them inside out (when dry) and check for cracks or lifting laminate. Have you used diaper cream that is causing repelling? Try scrubbing with Dawn and a toothbrush (removes grease like nobody’s business). Be sure to […]

  • Beth
    September 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I don’t use FB, I make my diapers, but once we tried to put rash cream (butt paste brand) on my son, and I had been smart and added a liner, but then, like and idiot, I had washed the liner with my diapers, NOT good! So, I had lots of foul smelling diapers that leaked! The only thing that worked for us was a soak in REALLY HOT water, I just threw them in the diaper pail, then used the hottest water from my sink, then I put in some oxi-clean (which I know they say not to use, but it worked) not very much just 2 or 3 tablespoons, and a little dawn. I left them there for a few hours, then ran them through the washer 2 times without any extra soap, and it came out fine.

    • September 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

      I didn’t even think about oxi-clean. Great idea! I add it to every wash load and have no trouble. Works wonders for me on everyday washing!

  • Marla
    September 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I use Fuzzi Bunz diapers also. When my little guy gets a rash, I use diaper cream (but stay away from the zinc oxide based creams). To cut down on diaper cream “no-nos” and stains, I use the flushable Bummis Bio-liners on all of my FB’s. I do occasionally still get stains on the diaper but it hasn’t affected the performance of the diapers. I do sun my diapers during the summer and strip them in the wash, but have not used white vinegar. I think I will try that!

    How much vinegar do you use in a large load of wash?

    • September 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Up to 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to a full load, but honestly…I wouldn’t use it if you’re not having any trouble! Vinegar can react with hard water & make things worse and most manufacturers don’t recommend using it (it is an acid after all!)

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