An End to My Rash Woes?

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Before we moved, we lived in a soft water area and used an older top loader so I used the smallest amount of recommended detergent per manufacturer’s instructions. 2 tbsp of Rockin Green or Eco Sprout or 3 Eco Nuts. My diapers looked and smelled clean, yet we had persistent rashes that would get yeasty and open up creating and endless cycle of rash cream, Nystatin, and Bactroban. I was am committed to cloth but was starting to wonder if it was fair to K with all of these rashes.

We ruled out a specific detergent, suedecloth, microfiber, and even went so far as discussing allergy testing with his APRN.

An End to My Rash Woes?

When we moved, we took our time to travel the 1800 miles to Colorado since our stuff could take more than a week to arrive. For the trip I decided to use disposables since I was unsure of what laundry facilities would be available. While in disposables he cleared right up. Not even the type of poo that has long been at the top of my list of rash suspects caused even the slightest bit of redness. I was starting to wonder now.

After five days we arrived in Colorado. Our stuff still wasn’t here so we were staying at a hotel. Since we had to buy a new washer and dryer for the new place that was about 5 minutes away, I unpacked the cloth. First diaper change, the redness was back. My heart sank. Was I really going to have to give up my beloved cloth?

An End to My Rash Woes?

I did some research on how best to clean diapers in hard water, which is what we have in our new home, and I picked a washer that had all of the settings that I felt were necessary for washing diapers effectively. I also reluctantly decided to switch to Tide since it is supposed to block the hard water minerals. My wash routine now goes a little something like this:

  1. Pre-rinse cold (only option)
  2. Set machine to Bulky, hot water, extra rinse, deep clean
  3. Add liquid Tide to the 2 line
  4. Wash, rinse, dry inserts in dryer and hang covers. 

Voila! I am not going to say that we are 100% rash-free, but now the rashes seem to only happen when he poos more than twice a day (that is the poo that has always been suspect) and they are nowhere near what they were in frequency or intensity. I would now say that he has typical, occasional diaper rash. Before he was almost always at least a little red that just got worse.

So my long-winded conclusion is that I probably wasn’t getting my diapers clean enough even though they looked and smelled clean! Now I am officially a Tide convert. 

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  1. Thanks for sharing this! I will be cloth diapering our little one when he arrives, and I have been reading a lot about different detergents. Everyone who has tried it seems to really like Tide for a variety of different reasons, but this is the first I heard someone mention it in regards to diaper rash. I am so concerned about him getting diaper rash because I don’t want him to be sore, so this is great info. Thanks!

  2. I don’t know what kind of water we had, but 25 years ago when I was diapering my kids, I used Ivory or Dreft detergent. Pre-soaked, washed, double-rinsed, then dried in the sun. We did not ever have problems with rash. As a matter of fact, if I ever did put my son in disposables, like for a trip, he got rashy. He was especially sensitive to orange juice. Go figure—we lived in Florida, what were we going to drink? LOL
    I don’t know what they put in detergents these days, but I was told to use the gentlest one. I don’t think Tide is considered gentle. Oh, we also added some Borax to the water to boost the detergent.
    You didn’t mention how you are drying your diapers. I really believe in sun drying them because not only does it have a sterilizing effect, it whitens them too.

  3. Powder is better for hard water because the chemical reaction of the various sodiums mixing with water is what softens it. Liquid is likely to not work too well. Unfortunately it is getting hard to find powder! I am trying Ecover Zero right now and like ut with out hard water. It technically has enzymes so it might be controversial for cloth, but certainly no more than tide. Really a a sprinkly of washing soda yo soften the water a little might be all it takes.

    1. When I was at the store I couldn’t remember if it had to be powder or could be either. There were only large boxes of powder and I didn’t know if I was ready to commit to Tide so I got a small bottle. It has been working well so I am going to buy a large box of powder next time. If it works better than the liquid then that’s even better! 🙂

  4. Huh, maybe I should switch to Tide too! I’m pretty stocked up on my Rockin’ Green though :O(.
    My sweet girl seems to get red with all her cloth now and when it gets so bad I switch to disposables, add some desitin and viola – no more redness. UGH!

  5. We have hard water too! I use country save. I have always heard to use Tide in powder form. How do you feel the liquid did. Did you notice any adverse effects on the diapers yet?

  6. ack. This entire post just made me sick to my stomach. My poor little guy seems to be allergic to half the stuff he can eat or gets rashy with the rest. He’s lactose intolerant, so every dairy he ever ate before we figured it out gave him a rash. He’s also allergic to latex and reacts to the latex proteins in lots of fruits. Primarily mango, banana and peaches. (He’s had full on body rash. We haven’t tried the other latex no-no foods since discovering it, and there is a lengthy list. He gets it from me.) I feel like I am constantly trying to find the right balance of detergent for my diapers between stink and ammonia. There is a very shallow window. So I kind of wondered all along if it hasn’t been the RNG for the ‘out of nowhere’ rash that he sometimes gets. I hate the idea of buying detergent since I have 3 bags of RNG in the cupboard now, but I might have to switch myself with our water as hard as it is. I know a lot of ladies around me in the greater Austin area either use RNG or Tide. But he clears up when I have to use the disposable flip inserts for whatever reason, every single time! And no amount of CJ’s or coconut oil really seems to help. :-/

    1. I hated to buy another detergent as well with a full box of Eco Nuts on hand, but I use them for our regular laundry now and the Tide for the diapers.

      CJ’s and coconut oil doesn’t work for us either once it gets past the “little bit of pink” stage. They are great products for mild rashes but in our case it is starting to look more and more like he was getting ammonia burns. I had to hit that with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste since it has the most zinc and is the least toxic of the commercial rash creams that I have found and even then he would almost always get spotty and open up so I had to mix the butt paste with the Nystatin and Bactroban.

      Good luck to you! It’s so frustrating

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