Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ringing in the New Year, by Ringing Out the Cloth

Since Jonah's staph infection cropped up a few months ago, he has not been using his cloth diapers. We unknowingly contaminated all of his diapers with the infectious bacteria, before we even knew that he had a staph infection. He got the infection from wearing Luvs diapers while on vacation, in a pinch. I tried disinfecting the diapers with everything I could think of- first the natural remedies: Tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and vinegar. Then the less natural remedies, but still "diaper safe," such as borax. Finally, after none of these got the bacteria out (as was proved by the infected rash cropping back up on Jonah's bum) I took drastic measures and soaked them in bleach. Yes, big "no-no" I know, but I was SOOO desperate to get rid of this infection! It didn't work.

Someone told me about a natural cleaning product called Bac-out, made by Bio Kleen. It is labeled as a stain remover and odor eliminator, but the way that it removes stains and odors is by killing the bacteria that causes them. After reading tons of reviews on this stuff, all of which claimed bac-out worked miracles on cloth diapers, I ordered some. Because of the holiday season, the delivery took a while and my box arrived on December 30th. So, on New Years Eve, I carried out my plan for a last ditch effort on salvaging my precious cloth.

I found a large bucket, into which I poured a cup of bac-out and two pots of boiling water. I added my diapers and let them soak for about a half hour. I had to work in small batches, because of the size of the bucket as well as the amount of water that I was able to boil at once. After each batch of diapers was soaked, they went into the washer. Once I had enough soaked diapers for a load, the diapers were washed as usual, with Tiny Bubbles detergent, and for security's sake, I added quite a bit of tea tree oil to the rinse. I ended up doing two loads of diaper laundry this way, washing each load four times each in the washer. As the ball was dropping at midnight, I was just finishing up our diaper laundry.

The results remain to be seen. Jonah is in his cloth once again today. We are all very happy to have the cloth diapers back. I am feeling less guilty about the amount of waste we are throwing into the landfill, Daryl is happy to not need to buy diapers this week, and Jonah genuinely seems more comfortable in his cloth. When I put the first diaper on him this morning, he got this funny grin on his face, and then did this cute little tush wiggle. He was always pulling at the disposables, and seemed uncomfortable in them, as if they itched him or just felt bad on his skin. I'm also hoping that our elimination communication will be set back on track with the cloth diapers. We have been having some setbacks recently which I think were caused by the disposables.

The only conclusion that I can make as of now, about the bac-out, is that it made the diapers smell amazing once they were cleaned. It has a very pleasant lime scent (the main ingredient is lime extract.) I have the feeling that this will become one of my main cleaning staples in our household. Both for diapers and for general cleaning usage!

We will know in a couple of days if the staph infection is out of the diapers. I really wish that we had another way to tell besides just putting the diapers on Jonah's bum and hoping that the terrible rash stays away! We will be using g-diapers rather than completely disposable diapers for our upcoming trip to Arizona, as well as if we find that our diapers were not completely disinfected from the staph infection!


  1. Hi I'm a mom too, and I work for Luvs. I came across your post and I am so sorry to hear your LO got a rash/infection. Please call us at 866-678-6428 to tell us more about your experience.

  2. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the BioKleen works. I've heard nothing but good things about it, but I've yet to have reason to use it. Poor Jonah bum! Just thinking of it makes me wince in pain.