I’ve been cloth diapering for over three years now, and just last week learned about “stripping” cloth diapers. Evidently, an occasional stripping is a necessary maintenance. Why it took me so long to learn about this… I have no idea.

Baby Xia has been battling a HORRIBLE diaper rash for the past month or so. I’ve tried EVERYTHING to clear it up, including letting her run around bare bottomed for most of the day and just wiping up her messes as she made them! None of the many organic and non-organic diaper creams have worked, and I’ve splurged on many. You just can’t put a price on stuff like this! Airing her out helped tremendously, but as soon as she’d wet her overnight diaper her rash was as fresh as it had been before. It was a never ending cycle.

It all started when I washed her diapers in a new detergent… ONE TIME. She broke out, and never got over it.

I went back to the homemade soap I’d been using, but it didn’t do any good. In my reading online on how to treat the diaper rash I came across the idea of “stripping” the diapers. I hadn’t heard of this before, so I looked into what it meant.

Basically, stripping cloth diapers is just washing them over and over and over until any detergent residues have been thoroughly removed. What you do is throw your diapers into a washer of hot water, with no soap, and wash them. Let it go through the entire cycle, then start over and wash them again. You do this until the water in the washing machine has no bubbles, or film, or any sign of soap whatsoever. You don’t use bleach or anything, just wash and wash.

Once the water stays clear, hang them out to dry. The sun will help finish the sanitizing process.

It’s no wonder poor baby girl broke out!! Like I said, I’ve been washing these diapers for over three years now, and have never stripped them once. They probably had all kinds of build-up on them.

I’ve had Xia in disposable diapers for two weeks now, trying to clear her bottom up. Doing so, along with caking her with corn starch at each changing has worked wonders. I also used a little anti-fungal cream as a last resort. She’s all healed up and I’ve got her back in cloths today.

*Hopefully* this will have done the trick and she won’t break out anymore. I’m still letting her go bare skinned as much as possible though. It’s kinda funny too, ’cause I got her some leg warmers to keep her little legs cozy so she’s walking around in a shirt and leg warmers with her little fanny showing!

Oh, I’ve also switched to Charlie’s Soap. After reading TONS of reviews and opinions, I’m convinced that this was the best choice, even over Soap Nuts, which have a reputation of leaving a film after a while, and diminishing the absorbability of the diapers.

Do any of you cloth diapering Mamas strip your cloths every now and then? What type of detergent do you love, and how do you keep your diapers maintained?