cloth diapers & dealing with yeast

Many emails have come in with parents battling yeast. Every time we have a season change, either from cold to hot or hot to cold, I see a huge influx of these emails. Yeast can present in several different ways, from spotty, scaly rashes to dry and red blistery rashes throughout the diaper area. If you are in doubt, get it checked out. Typically yeast does not resemble a pink tinge all over the skin (detergent reaction or heat rash), and does not present with fluid filled or hard sores (staph or MRSA). Your doctor will likely prescribe an anti-fungal ointment. Here is what we recommend you do:

-Depending on the severity of the yeast, you may want to use a small pack of disposables to use while you disinfect your cloth diapers. Yeast can be nasty to deal with and hard to get rid of, I would rather you have your baby heal and get those cloth diapers disinfected, and use disposables, than have a chance that the yeast will come back stronger than before. Everything needs to be disinfected, including wipes, inserts and pail liners. Now, if you have cotton print outer wet bags, dyed prefolds or cotton fitteds, bleach will obviously ruin the colors. You can try using a color safe bleach on them, but I would keep an eye on it coming back. Wet Bags and such I am not too concerned with, but if you use primarily fitteds or prefolds, a color safe bleach is what I would use for our kids.

We go over some bleaching advice here.

Once the baby has been on the antifungal for 24 hours if very severe, or if very mild, once the cloth has been disinfected, you can reintroduce the diapers. Use liners while using the antifungal, and cloth liners, not disposable ones. We go over how to do that here

When your baby has healed and you are back in cloth, be proactive for a week or two to really keep it from coming back. Frequent changes, as much naked baby time as you can do, boosting absorbency at nighttime if you don’t change at night, all of these options will help keep baby dry.

Now, at the same time, you have to keep their skin moist. A good moisturizer after bathtime and disper changes isn’t a bad idea, dry skin or eczema can be more prone to yeast we have found over the years.

Questions? Email us.


December 7, 2010. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, FAQ, Q & A.


  1. Amy T replied:

    I think we have a problem with yeast. We used the antifungal the DR. perscribed for 3 weeks but it didn’t completely go away. I didn’t realize the fungus would stay in the dipes. I can’t use bleach on all my stuff. Will sunning kill the fungus? There is also a lot of stuff I can’t wash in really hot water because it will ruin the elastic.

    • abbyslane replied:

      Amy, I am sorry I didn’t see this earlier. Sunning and even hot water will not kill yeast. When you say you “can’t” bleach, what exactly cannot be bleached?

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