Not all diaper rash creams are created equal either.
Now that you’ve decided on cloth diapers, there are some guidelines you need to keep in mind regarding diaper rash cream. You can’t use just any old diaper cream. You need to take into consideration if it will wash out, leave stains, or completely ruin your cloth diaper.
Cloth diapers are made of various types of material:
Natural Fiber, e.g., Cotton, Hemp or Bamboo Velour
Each of these kinds of material has different ways they react to the ingredients in diaper rash creams. We will be going over these.
I Use Cloth Diapers. What Do I Need to Watch For?
For cloth diapers, you need to watch for a few different ingredients. Some can stain, or cause repelling issues.
Ingredients that can cause issues:
Zinc Oxide – It stains (white/grey spot), but it can be washed out with careful washing. and treating. Overuse of this ointment will cause the absorbency of your diaper to reduce.
Lanolin – It will wash out (it is used to “waterproof” wool covers).
Petroleum – This is a bad one; it causes repelling issues when using synthetic fibers.
If you do decide to use petroleum, use a liner in your cloth diaper to help prevent staining. Make sure it is thin and disposable or reusable (microfleece, flannel, cotton, etc.). Check to see it works with the cloth diaper too.
The reusable liners can be washed with your cloth diapers on HOT water, as this will prevent the transfer of oils from the liner to the cloth diaper. Extra hard to get out stains can be treated with a toothbrush and dish soap after your first cycle of washing. VIVA paper towels are a great and cheap alternative to fabric liners.
Cotton, hemp or bamboo velour won’t require a liner for the use of petroleum-based diaper rash cream, as long as you have a proper washing routine in place. When using fleece/charcoal or stay-dry, watch for creams with candelilla wax, microcrystalline wax, panthenol or sesame seed oil. All of those products will reduce the absorbency of your cloth diaper and cause repelling.
On fluffloveuniversity.com, they advise:
“Those who have a solid wash routine with proper detergent, friction, and the water level may find that they can use any cream, even petroleum-based, on all of their diapers (synthetic or not) without a liner, and not have any issues. If you think that you may be able to use these creams, TEST them first on a diaper prior to using it freely without a liner. That way, if you find you do have buildup or repelling, you can easily spot-treat the area without much effort.”
Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about some diaper creams on the market. There are umpteen million baby diaper rash creams available. A lot are geared toward the disposable diaper market. You only need to look at the ingredients to see if it is safe for your cloth diapers.
Only a few will be listed. If the list contained every single one of the diaper rash creams that are safe to use with cloth diapers, we’d be here all day perusing the list.
Diaper Rash Creams Index:
A&D Original Ointment
Pediatrician recommended; great reviews online
Zinc Oxide: no
Oils? Which ones? Cod liver oil, mineral oil
A&D Zinc Oxide Cream
Also contains Aloe.
Zinc Oxide: yes
Oils? Which ones? Cod liver oil, coconut oil, light mineral oil
Aden & Anais Mum & Bub Soothing Ointment
Naturally derived ingredients.
Zinc Oxide: no
Oils? Which ones? Vegetable oil, canola oil
Preservative-free: no (Benzyl Alcohol)
Aleva Naturals Soothing Diaper Cream
Hypoallergenic, Certified Vegan and cruelty-free.
Zinc Oxide: no
Oils? Which ones? Castor seed oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Roman Chamomile Flower oil
Oils? Which ones? vitamin E oil, olive oil, coconut oil
And now here is a list of the not so safe creams for your cloth diapers. Remember, if you chose to go this route, a liner is needed. I prefer Bummis Bio-Soft, but you can use whatever liner suits your needs. You can also read why I like them in this post “Bummis Bio-Soft Disposable Diaper Liners“. Petroleum-based ointments will affect the absorbency of your diapers, which will cause leakage. Nobody, or should I say no baby wants that.
Diaper Rash Creams That Are Potentially Problematic (Petroleum Based)
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Chamomile and Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe Ointment
Vaseline (petroleum jelly)
Save Your Baby’s Bottom
To wrap this all up, here are the key takeaways: natural fiber diapers are fine to use with any type of diaper rash cream, so long as you have a good washing routine down. As for synthetic fibers, like microfiber or stay-dry, you’ll need to stay away from petroleum-based or mineral oil based creams. If you do go that route anyways, use a liner with each diaper.
It’s overwhelming at the thought of buying the right diaper cream for your cloth diapers. Not only that but the right kind for your baby’s bottom. Did this article help walk you through what kind of diaper rash cream to use? Feel free to do your own research.
Test some creams out, and let us know your thoughts!
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