Saturday, July 16, 2011

HELP!!!

I need your help, folks!  I LOVE using cloth diapers on my baby boy's bum.  Love it.  I love not spending a billion dollars on disposables.  I love not throwing away a million disposables every month.  I love putting more natural products on his tender skin.  I love how cute they are!

BUT I have a problem.  Not only are we having some serious stink issues (off and on, not constant), but Stinky keeps getting a horrible rash...a chemical burn-y rash.  He FINALLY got over the infection he had, and was clear for a little over a week...and then yesterday, more rash!  Ugh.  I DON'T want to go back to disposables, but if he's going to be owie all the time, I will.  :(

SO, I need your help.  What do you do to get rid of the funk?  What do you to to take out the stinkies?  What do you do to fight ammonia?  How do I keep his bum clear?  (Please keep in mind that I don't have a ton of money to spend!)

When you leave a comment here and help me out, you can give yourself an extra entry into the AppleCheeks giveaway...and as long as the envibum giveaway is open, go ahead and take one there, too!  Let's call them "I HELPED!"

Thanks in advance!  I can't wait to read your advice!

36 comments:

Raquel said...

I have used vinegar in the past for "mild" off and on stink issues. Not sure if it works for ALL stink issues, but it might be worth a shot. Also I have heard that putting all your diapers in the dishwasher, without detergent or rinse agent and running them a cycle in there can get rid of any build up that may have occurred. You will also want to make sure it is on air dry and not the heated dry setting. I haven't tried this trick, but as soon as the rinse agent is empty I think I might. :-P As far as keeping bums clear, I'm not sure if this will work in this situation, but I cut up a fleece blanket (I have tons of them and it was "plain") and use the pieces as liners to reduce the amount of wet against the bum when using prefolds, flats, etc. If you are using pockets/ something with a wicking layer, I have no clue. I will be interested to see what others say as I have off and on rash issues myself, but I think most of it boils down to a too much moisture against the skin thing. Not sure if any of that could be classified as helping, but good luck!!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Raquel! Do you use vinegar in every wash? How much?

The dishwasher scares me...I don't know why but it does. I mean...not for dishes, but for diapers.

Most of the time I'm using pockets, but not always. This time it STARTED with a very loose BM on a microfiber insert. I'm also wondering if maybe he has microfiber issues and I should just ditch the microfiber?

dailymom said...

I had a really bad ammonia problem as well, and the only way I was able to get rid of it was by switching to Eco Sprout detergent, I soaked them all in eco sprout in the tub and then rinsed and rinsed, and have been using eco sprout every wash and it has taken away the ammonia. Before that i tried stripping with dawn, rlr, and rockin green, none of them did the trick.

Beth Gould said...

I've not used cloth diapers before, but have dealt with alot of diaper rash! I like mixing Desitin or Aquophor with malox, keeping it the consistency of a paste. It acts as a moisture barrier and an acid reducer. Good luck!

boyzrule said...

I agree with Dailymom...Ecosprout is amazing. On the cheaper side I have also used Dropps, available at Target, and have not had ammonia probs. Good luck!!!

Raquel said...

Elizabeth - I do not use vinegar in every wash. Just when I'm a)in the mood or b) I've noticed more stinking. I would say I use 2-3 TBSP maybe even a 1/4 cup, I don't actually measure it though. I'm a "pour until I decide it's enough" type of person. It also depends on the size of the load. Like I said, I'm fairly new to cloth diapering so a lot of what I do is "make it up as I go along" so when it comes to "fixing" everyone's problems I have these very in exact formulas. Haha. I also see someone suggested Eco Sprout detergent, I got some samples recently and I have to say I have not had stink issues since I have been using those,(I really hadn't thought about that till just now, how silly) they are running out quickly, so I'll have to get more, or go back to my vingar-ing ways.

Moonglow283 said...

i use ecosprout as well, whenever i start having stink issues (typically when i use someone else's washer when traveling) i just do an overnight soak and they are good as new.

i have tried other detergents and still am an avid eco sprout fan. i also use vinegar, just be sure to take out any diapers that have pul or velcro - it can damage both. i learned the hard way with a bumgenius that is not in great condition because of vinegar. i use vinegar with all of my laundry as a fabric softener so i typically will throw about a half cup in my second rinse with my diapers as well and i am just sure to pull out all my pul and velcro out first and just leave my inserts and prefolds.

eco sprout sells samples if you don't want to purchase a full bag, just be sure to follow their first wash instructions and do the overnight soak. i do my soak in our bathtub. they also have great customer service so if something isn't working (or you have hard water) they will help you work it out.

Moonglow283 said...

and if you have already tried the typical cloth diaper safe diaper creams - cjs, earth mama angel baby, eco sprout makes a bottom balm, my favorite is from a WAHM and her business is called the green panda - you could always just cut up an old receiving blanket to use as a liner over the diapers if you have to use something stronger. it sounds like an ammonia burn to me, though. have you put him in sposies for a few days to see if it clears up?

Andi B said...

what kind of washer do u have?
sometimes he machines get a build up of stuff. I have one and i try to run at least 1 hot load a month with bleach and some regular cloths loads with vinegar. i haven't noticed any difference in my clothes between being vinegared or not.
have u noticed any kind of a smell from it? it doesn't have to be strong to affect your diapers.
have you tried to clean your washer? ie wash a load of whites with bleach or a hot cycle with bleach and nothing else in it.
have u tried running your diapers through extra rinses to rule out a detergent build up in them?

andrealeighb@live.com

Charis's Mum said...

So far, the only stink I've had has been the microfiber inserts. So now, about once a month, I do a load of just the microfiber inserts with a bit of bleach. I sometimes add about 1/4 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle, but I haven't NEEDED to do that, just because I want to try and PREVENT the stink issues from occurring.
Another blogger recently asked this question to her readers. See: http://ayearwithmomanddad.com/2011/07/cloth-diaper-friday-am-i-going-to-have-to-give-up-cloth/

Hope this helps!!

Diddlepoyner said...

I was reading my friends blog last night and she covers all of her tricks for stinky a rashs. http://mamaruffles.blogspot.com/

Bridgett said...

I had the same problem! My son was getting severe rashes to the point of using RX cream and a few trips to the dr. First, I started using flushable inserts while the rash cleared up, gdiaper brand is at babies r us and wonderful. I also stopped all the fancy diaper detergents and used Country Saves. I also change my son every 2 hrs (when awake) even if he is dry as well as using baby powder to keep his skin extra dry.
We have now been rash free for a yr! Hope this helps

Bridgett Z

Brittany H said...

My sister was just having this problem. She's a nurse and she said it looked a lot like a yeast rash. She put her DD in disposables for a week until the rash subsided and she broke down and bleached all her inserts and fitteds. She was so nervous, but she put CD back on this week and so far so good. The rash isn't back. She was using Rockin' Green before. She's going to switch to something else.

I've also read that vinegar is good, but you have to be careful because if you don't get it out of all the air pockets then it will cause more problems. I think this is why some CD companies advise against it. You just have to be careful.

Good luck I hope you get something figured out! If my neices rash comes back I'll post here again.

zookeeper said...

I have had success fighting ammonia in a few different ways. (1.) I changed detergent - sometimes a detergent that works great at first ends up causing problems because of eventual build-up. (2.) Dawn w/ hot water and then a cycle with oxyclean and hot water. (3.) Tide (the Tide with enzymes but no optical brighteners or fragrance) and hot water. With all methods be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse until all the bubbles are gone..or at least very, very little bubbles remaining - you need to peek into the washer when it is agitating to see if there are bubbles, don't wait until after the washer drains.

Amanda said...

It's already been mentioned but I would use bleach for the inserts and try stripping with dawn for the diapers. It could also be he's allergic to the microfiber. We just found out that dd breaks out in welts when PUL is directly up against her skin so she can't wear her Best Bottoms and Mom-2-mom cover (and I LOVE this cover) anymore. She was fine in the BB and cover for abot a month and then wham from one day to the next she started breaking out in welts. So it can come on suddenly.

mojoraven said...

I used a small squirt of Dawn to help with the stink issues that I had with my AIO loaners.

As for the rash issues, my friend found her baby could only tolerate natural fibers.

Anonymous said...

You have ammonia build up. You need to add more water and use more soap. If you have an HE washer, you may want to put some towels in with your diapers to "trick" the washer into adding more water. I have used several different brands of soap, and I have found them all to work just about the same. We have hard water, and I need to use about 3 tablespoons per wash. I would recommend you start with a cold rinse with a small amount of soap(do it as a separate cycle from your wash if you have an HE washer, as some models flush the soap in the pre-rinse, leaving none for your actual wash). Then do a hot wash with at least 3 tablespoons of soap followed by cold rinse. Follow with an extra rinse to be sure you are getting all of the soap out. If there is any question, look for suds in the last rinse cycle if you have a top loader. If you have a front loader, just dampen the inserts after the cycle and squeeze the water out to see if there are any suds. I also highly recommend ditching any microfiber. It IS highly absorbent, but it rinses terribly and holds onto stink like crazy. Flats are best, and I have never found a fancy diaper that has outperformed my flats. They rinse wonderfully in the wash since they are only 1 layer, and they dry super fast, too. You can even use flour sack towels (which work just as well), and you can find them at WalMart for $4.87 for a pack of 5. Quite affordable. Not to mention super trim. Likely once you get rid of the ammonia you will also see the rash go away, but it doesn't hurt to add fleece liners. You can find them for sale, or you can just cut up an old blanket. If you serge or zig-zag the edges it will keep it from curling, but they should work even if you don't since fleece doesn't fray. Good luck!

Chrissy P said...

I was having the same issues with my daughter and our cloth. To clear up the rash I (much to my dismay) put her in sposies and slathered her booty in desitin for 5 days. I was hesitant to add anything to our diapers as many companies void the warranties if you use bleach, etc in the wash. I have a front loading he washer and I added to steps to my wash routine. Firstly, I added water to my wetbag (I used to turn it inside out in the wash, now i leave it rightside and add water to trick my washer into thinking it has more weight inside so it shoulf use more water). Lastly, ive added an extra rinse cycle to the end of my routine. This has helped up immensely! I hope you find a solution that works for you! Good luck!

Ruthykins said...

my son was born with a diaper rash. don't know how it happened. it got so bad we had to get a prescription cream for him.

Misty said...

The best advice I got was from Happy Baby Company's blog on ammonia. I even emailed Lilli and Adam to be sure I was doing everything right and they were ABSOLUTELY amazing. They have THE best customer service I have ever dealt with.

I have also heard GREAT things about Bac-Out. You can either spray it directly on each diaper (usually right after you dump the feces), or you can put a little into the first rinse cycle (probably would be the best for you right now).

Also, sunning your diapers and even spraying them with lemon juice (usually helps with stains, but does help a little with stinkies).

JennKnee said...

we have never had a stink problem/burns/rashes as of yet.
We wash in dropps detergent and sun about once a week plus i strip the dipes about once a month.

Andrea G. said...

Elizabeth- what kind of water do you have? If you have hard water, I DO NOT suggest vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the calcium and other minerals in the hard water, and might actually make your problem worse.

So, the type of water you have in important. My advice is this: if you have hard water, strip by boiling and/or using blue Dawn and scrub, scrub, scrub, then rinse, rinse, rinse. Rinse until allll the bubble come out, and they smell clean out of the washer. If your water is hard, try adding CalGon (or Cal Gone or whatever it's called... if you Google it it'll come up). I have heard people that have terribly hard water have success with this because the rash and stink can be caused by build-up from the water.

If that doesn't work, you can always try boiling. Are you using microfiber all the time? I've heard a lot of people having issues with the synthetic fabric inserts and stuff so over time, you may want to replace them with natural fibers.

If you have soft water, you can try stripping with blue Dawn and rinse until they are free of soap and smell clean out of the wash, then use vinegar periodically.

I hope this helps! I don't want you to go back to 'sposies either :(

Felicia R said...

I would recommend trying Rockin Green. You can buy a sample and not have to buy an entire bag. They have a "funk rock" that can be used to help get rid of stinkies. I would also recommend that you "Rock a Soak" (soak diapers in hot water with 3 tblspns of RNG for a couple hours, then wash like normal without detergent).
Depending on what type of detergent you're using, you might need to switch or decrease the amount you're using. It sounds like you have build up on your diapers that could be causing the rash.
I would also recommend using sposies for a week after it looks clear on your baby. Eventhough it looks like it's gone, it still might be there and the diapers might be making it come back out.
Another thing to try is to let your diapers dry in the sun. It can help kill any nasties hanging out in your diapers.
Good luck!

quiet ct said...

I heard vinegar every so often can work. (and i have even heard of using a tiny amount of bleach once in a while can help as well but i've never tried). the vinegar and lots of rinses may help!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you have gotten some GREAT advice. I don't really have anything different to add, but wanted to agree that microfibers were the cause of stinkies (and CD headaches) in my house. I got tired of having to strip my diapers all the time so I now only use cotton diapers (Mother-ease dipers).
And I always (always, always) use just enough soap to get a few suds and then run the diapers through a full wash with no soap to make sure it is all rinsed out. (Soap build up really causes stinkies)
Hope that you find you solution soon! Keep us updated. ~ MelissaH

AEK said...

I second Eco Sprout. Just be sure you do an overnight soak and follow their directions to the tee.
Hope you find a solution that works for you!
Angie

Heather said...

We just had the same thing show up on our little guys bum. I was using RNG, switching to charlie's soap. I was informed you have to make sure that the diapers are rinsed good. If there is any soap residue the will stink and burn the bum.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, all! It appears that this particular rash is the bacterial infection rearing its ugly head again! Ugh...10 more days of anti-bs. We've got to figure out a different solution to his sleepy stomach rather than maintenance antibiotics, as they seem to be wreaking havoc on his immune system!

Anyway, thanks for the great ideas. We DO have hard water, for those that asked. We also have a top-loader. (Not a fancy one...a cheapy that we bought 7 years ago and it still works perfectly, though.) I've been debating ditching the microfiber for a while, and I think this has pushed me over the edge. I'm thinking I'll be looking to buy another dozen flats so I can go longer than a day or two without washing if I need, and just switching to flats in my covers/pockets. I LOVE flats! We're on another 10 day cloth diaper "hiatus" during which I will likely do a dawn strip. I've done one before. When I do put him back in cloth, though (once we're sure the infection is cleared up) I'll be ditching microfiber. I hate to see the poor baby in pain!

laurenjagertheqt said...

I'm new to cloth diapering and Im having the same issues. I'm considering buying a barrier cream to see if it helps with the redness and rashes.

Jennifer Tait said...

I second NO VINEGAR if you have hard water. My daughter has had the same issues on and off since she started teething. She would get what looks like extremely bad and huge ammonia burns on her bum that would just make you cry. What works for us (we just got over another bout this weekend ) was no diaper time if possible and we use lanolin. I have tried everything from big box store brand to more organic eco friendly and nothing works like lanolin for us. Even my husband commented on it this weekend. That stuff is so thick it goes on and stays on and doesn’t move. We can slap a lot on at night with two liners in a fitted with fleece or wool cover and by morning it has either disappeared or made a major difference. I cannot say enough great things about lanolin. If it is cold it is hard to get out of the tube so I warm it in water to make it easier. I do have to use two liners though because of disposable liner from AppleCheeks is not enough to keep it from coming thru to the diaper. We also bath my daughter often and dry with a hair dryer to make sure she is dry. We try and use fitteds at home to breath and pockets at day care. But at nap time at day care they put her in a fitted with a fleece cover. I am so glad our day care is cloth friendly.

I haven’t had stink issues and we have an old washer and very hard water. I do find smaller loads of diapers works better because I feel like they get cleaner that way and I rinse the heck out of them. I run a cycle of hot water and cold rinse. Then when my daughter has had bad rashes I use a tablespoon of blue dawn (and no other soap) on a hot water and cold rinse. Then I run two more cycles of hot/cold and I am good to go. But blue dawn works great for us.

I do believe the type of water has a lot to do with it so I would find a great cloth diaper retailer in your area and ask their opinion. Hope this helps because at one point we were at our wits end. Although fitted works better for clearing it up, in my opinion, because they breath so well.

Curtis and Dani Welton said...

Use more water when you wash, and maybe a little more detergent will help prevent these problems!

Andrea C. said...

Eco sprout detergent will solve your issues!

Cori and Ben said...

I have used Dawn for stink and it has worked well. Just a Tbs. for a full load and you keep washing/rinsing until all the suds are gone. Or I have heard Funk Rock from Rockin' Green works great, but I haven't had the need to use that yet. Good luck!

Jennifer Tait said...

I forgot to mention when my daughter has bad rash we make sure to change her every two hours except naps and bed time. It seems to help as well. How is the rashing? Is it getting better?

Stephanie said...

here's some good descriptions of stripping methods on a great CD website:
http://itsybitsybums.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-strip-diapers.html

I use Rockin Green Remix soft rock for diapers and Country Save for clothes so that there isn't any buildup in the washer of other detergents. I also ditched all microfiber and use pad folded flats to stuff pockets.

good luck!

Brittany H said...

I said I'd post again if the rash came back and it did. Bleach was not the answer so she is trying something new. maybe ecosprout since that seems to be a majority here.

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