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How to Properly Strip Your Diapers of Yeast and Yeast Spores

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Does your infant get a reoccurring yeast diaper rash that literally tears your little one’s booty up? I’m talking, raw, bleeding, and no matter what you do you can’t get it to go away? A rash so bad that every time you change your little one’s diaper your heart shatters and you want to cry? Yeah, I’ve dealt with that too. It’s literally the worst thing in the entire world. I’m no doctor and I sure am not qualified to diagnose your child’s diaper rash so I recommend that any rash that bad you get it looked at so that you can get the proper creams to clear it up as quickly and effectively as possible.
But, let me just tell you, that’s no ordinary diaper rash. In the experience that I have had with it, after countless doctors appointments, I feel pretty confident to tell you that it is most likely yeast. If you didn’t already know, your little one can get yeast rashes when you cloth diaper them (or even in disposable diapers too). Yeast commonly grows in warm dark places and that, of course, tends to be a diaper. More specifically, a cloth diaper. If your little one has sensitive skin like my child does, a yeast rash can turn into the war with the yeast monster.
Let me tell you right now, if your child has a yeast rash that keeps coming back no matter what you do, you’re dealing with yeast spores, not just yeast. Did you know there was a difference? I sure didn’t. After literally months of dealing with horrible rash over horrible rash, I was at my wit’s end. I was about two seconds away from throwing my cloth diapers in the garbage (okay not really) and going back to disposables. I couldn’t bear to see my little baby boy with such horrible rashes on his bottom! It just wasn’t fair. That night after I had a mommy meltdown I stayed up and did over three hours of research, reading website after website, blog after blog, trying to figure out how to stop this evil yeast monster and how to be able to keep my little man in cloth. All signs pointed to Tea Tree Oil and Grapefruit Seed Extract.
Tea tree oil is a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial treatment that is cloth diaper safe. This will kill any yeast that is in your diaper. I use tea tree oil every other wash now with cloth diapers. It may be a little overkill but I figured it’s safe on my diapers, so why not be preventative. If after using tea tree oil your child still gets the rashes then you’re dealing with spores. Grapefruit Seed Extract is the only natural way to kill yeast SPORES. If you do not kill the spores your yeast will keep coming back.
After realizing that I needed to do some serious stripping, I spent seven, yes seven hours washing and stripping my diapers. It was absolutely ridiculous, but it worked. My baby hasn’t had a yeast rash in months thanks to my dedication to getting the yeast monster out of our lives for good. Here’s how you can properly strip your diapers of yeast and be done with the stress and heartbreak of awful yeast rashes.

How To Strip Your Diapers of Yeast

First and foremost, turn your hot water heater up to its highest setting possible. You will need scalding hot water to properly clean and rinse your diapers.

Bye Bye Yeast Protocol:

  1. Rinse your diapers, including any and all cloth diaper inserts you use to get the stinkies washed out a little.
  2. Do a regular wash with no soap.
  3. Rinse the diapers three times
  4. Add eight to ten drops of Tea Tree Oil and wash your diapers on regular.
  5. Rinse diapers.
  6. Rinse them again.
  7. Optional Step (if you have yeast spores in the diaper, this is a must): Add five drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract
  8. Optional Step: Rinse diapers
  9. Wash diapers with Cloth Diaper detergent
  10. Rinse Diapers
  11. Dry your cloth diapers on HIGH or sun dry
If you still have a severe amount of yeast in the diapers you may need to repeat this procedure two-three times before putting your child back in them. It only took me one time to strip the yeast out of my son’s diapers, but it may be wise to repeat this procedure a second time to be absolutely certain  Make sure that you do this to all of your diapers otherwise it will defeat the purpose.

Cloth Diaper Yeast Prevention

Every other wash I treat the diapers by rinsing them, adding tea tree oil, rinse, wash with Cloth Diaper Detergent, rinse, and dry on hot. At least twice a month I substitution the tea tree oil for the grapefruit seed extract to triple check that there won’t be any yeast spores.

It’s a lot of work, but the outcome is well worth it. You can beat this yeast monster, I promise! If you have any questions or need encouragement feel free to send me an email and we will get you through it!

 — This post written by Alex from the blog, Mommy’s Craft Obsession. 

how to strip your diapers of yeast


Sunday 26th of June 2022

I ordered a little 2 ounce bottle of grapefruit seed extract after my daughter had her first yeast diaper rash 2 weeks ago (I guess I’m just glad we made it to 10 months without having to deal with the dreaded yeast after hearing about some of the awful repeat infections some babies have had, it’s so sad to see them with such terrible, painful rashes!) thinking that would be plenty to sanitize all of my diapers and I could avoid using bleach, but after doing more research what I’ve read is that you’d need significantly more than a few drops of the grapefruit seed extract to sanitize diapers in a washing machine with 20-30 gallons of water. When diluting something in water to sanitize fabric, it will need to sanitize the water with enough of the product leftover to also sanitize the fabric that is in the water. What I’ve read is that you need 1 ounce of grapefruit seed extract per gallon of water. So even in a small load you’d need 5-6 ounces of grapefruit seed extract for it to actually sanitize the diapers. Apparently there are also lots of potentially harmful chemicals in grapefruit seed extract like “Methyl paraben (can mimic Estrogen), Triclosan (can cause allergic contact dermatitis) Benzalkonium chloride (disinfectant, skin and eye irritant) and Benzethoniumchloride (disinfectant, skin and eye irritant only permitted in rinse off products as prolonged contact with the skin is harmful).”

I was also planning on using the tea tree oil as that’s something we’ve always used around the house for break outs or other skin issues, but then I read that tea tree oil has been identified as an endocrine disrupter and it can have harmful effects on a developing hormonal system.

So now I have no idea what to do about my diapers. I might still try the GSE in the smaller quantity, as has been recommended on lots of blogs with reported success because otherwise I’d have to order like hundreds of dollars worth of it to properly sanitize everything.


Thursday 30th of June 2022

Hi Rachel, You may notice that this post was actually written by a contributing writer on my site years ago. She found this method to work for her. I never tried it but I can tell you that I personally bleached my cloth diapers (bumgenius elementals) usually once a month. I switched to washing all the time with Tide. Then, once a month, I would wash how I normally would with Tide and then I would do a second load where I used about a cup of bleach in the wash cycle with hot water (no soap) and then a double rinse after that. Then I would dry them in the dryer. I'm not certain anymore because it's been a few years, but I feel like bumgenius even recommended a bleach cycle once a month. I hope that helps!


Monday 20th of April 2020

When you add the drops of tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract, do you drop them right onto the wet diapers in the middle of the washer? or do you put them in the detergent tray? I have a top loading HE washer with a detergent tray. Thank you!!


Monday 20th of April 2020

Hi Carron, I would add them to the detergent tray. Hope that helps solve your yeast problem!


Friday 17th of April 2020

Hi Janessa, I really enjoyed your post, thank you. I am wondering though, how can I know if my baby is having a rash? My LO is 6 weeks now and has developed skin problems (eczema). I have a couple of questions please. 1- How can I know if it's a rash, the yeast spores or just her eczema ? 2- I have a front load washer, do I add the tea tree essential oil in the dispenser or in the drum? 3- Can grapefruit be substituted by orange essential oil? 4- What soap is best to use for washing the cloth diaper (and should it be put in dispenser or directly in the drum).

You can probably tell, it's my first child. Thank you :)



Monday 20th of April 2020

Hi Phanie, 1. It is hard for me to say without seeing a rash myself. If your baby has eczema on other parts of his/her body, I would try to compare the rashes I think. Also, even if it's not yeast, it doesn't hurt to treat your diapers for it every now and then to help prevent it. 2. Add it to the dispenser. 3. Don't substitute it for orange essential oil. It should really be grapefruit. 4. I recommend Tide. I tried a lot of detergents over the years and Tide worked the best. I think if you use liquid it can go in the dispensor or powder in the drum. Both should work.


Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Can you use more than 5 drops of the grapefruit seed extract?


Tuesday 10th of March 2020

I haven't personally tried more than 5 drops so I can't say for sure, but I think it would be fine.


Saturday 27th of April 2019

My daughter was just given Nystatin ointment for what we've been reading as diaper rash for about 2 weeks now. She's never had issue before. Should I strip her diapers?


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

I'm sorry I'm just now seeing this. Yes, I'd definitely recommend stripping and treating for yeast. I'm sorry your daughter has been dealing with that. :(