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17 Best Diaper Cream for Cloth Diapers

Have you been searching for a safe cream to use with cloth diapers?

I’ve changed a lot of diapers over the years. Here’s the scoop on the best diaper cream for cloth diapers to have in your nursery or toss in your diaper bag.

No matter what you do to try to prevent them, diaper rashes happen. If your baby’s skin is especially sensitive, it can be heartbreaking to see your baby’s bottom all red and irritated.

Finding a safe diaper cream is essential to their comfort and there are lots of rash ointment and cream options on the market with soothing ingredients.

best diaper cream for cloth diapers

Best Diaper Cream for Cloth Diapers

The great news about using cloth diapers and diaper rash creams is that most creams and ointments are compatible with cloth diapers. Petroleum-based ointments will come clean from cloth diapers made from cotton, hemp, and bamboo.

However, if you’re using any synthetic materials like those found in pocket diapers, you’ll want to steer clear of all ointments with petrolatum as their active ingredient.

Before we dive into the best diaper cream for cloth diapers, let’s learn a little bit about what causes a diaper rash because preventative measures are always a top priority.

What is Diaper Rash?

Diaper rash is the term we use to describe the red small bumps or general irritation that can occur in a baby’s diapered area.

This type of rash is very uncomfortable and sometimes painful for babies and can be found on the baby’s bottom, on their genitals, in their thigh folds, and also on their lower abdomen. These are all surfaces that come in contact with wet and soiled diapers.

Most diaper rashes are not serious and will clear up in three to four days with proper treatment like keeping the area clean, changing diapers more often, and applying a diaper rash cream to create a barrier between the moist diaper and baby’s skin.

best diaper cream for cloth diapers

What Causes Diaper Rash?

There are many different things that can cause diaper rash. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Wet or soiled diapers: When diapers are not changed frequently enough, they can cause skin irritation to your baby’s bum.
  • Diarrhea: When babies get diarrhea, they will often get a diaper rash.
  • Disposable diapers: some babies are sensitive to disposable diapers. If this is the case, you can try using cloth diapers with natural fibers like cotton, hemp, or bamboo.
  • Allergic Reactions: If your baby is allergic to something in their diaper, such as the material of the diaper or the wipes you are using, this can also cause a rash.
  • Sensitive skin: Some babies simply have sensitive skin and are more prone to rashes than others.
  • Antibiotics: When babies take an antibiotic, they are more prone to a diaper rash.
  • New Foods: If you’ve recently introduced a new food to your baby’s diet, it could be causing some distress resulting in a diaper rash. If your baby drinks breast milk, there’s also a chance that something YOU ate could be bothering your baby’s tummy.

Choosing the best cream for diaper rash for your baby can be overwhelming when you’re staring at all the options online or in the store. The next thing we’ll look at are all the active ingredients that are found in diaper rash creams.

best diaper cream for cloth diapers

Types of Creams for Diaper Rash

Now that we know what causes diaper rash, let’s chat about the different types of cream available. Not only are there different creams with different active ingredients, but there are also dozens of brands available for purchase.

Zinc Oxide

The most common type of diaper cream on the market has the active ingredient zinc oxide. This type of cream works by creating a protective barrier between your baby’s skin and their diaper. Zinc oxide creams are safe to use and can be applied at every diaper change.

Some popular brands thought to be the best cream for diaper rash on the market include Desitin, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, and Babyganics.

Lanolin & Petrolatum

Another type of cream that you may see on the market is petroleum-based creams or ointments with Lanolin & Petrolatum as the active ingredients. You’ll find Lanolin in the popular A+D Ointment.

Lanolin is a natural oil that comes from sheep’s wool. It works by creating a barrier on your baby’s skin and helps to soothe the irritation.

Petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly, is another common ingredient in diaper creams. It works by creating a barrier on your baby’s skin and helps to lock in moisture.

Here are some of the popular petroleum products on the market.

Herbal Diaper Creams

In addition to traditional diaper rash creams, you’ll also find natural products made with essential oils, olive oils, and jojoba oil for treating diaper rash. One of the most used and recommended are Earth Mama Diaper Balm and Motherlove Diaper Balm.

Both herbal creams are excellent all-natural ointments, free of synthetic fragrances, and the best for cloth diaper creams.

Maty’s All Natural Baby’s Multipurpose Ointment is another popular option.

best diaper cream for cloth diapers

17 Best Diaper Cream for Cloth Diapers

desitin best diaper cream for cloth diapers

Desitin Zinc Oxide Rash Cream

  • The main ingredient includes 13 percent Zinc Oxide, plus inactive ingredients that include mineral oil, petrolatum
  • Multipurpose ointment that helps relieve and protect from diaper rash
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

  • The main ingredient includes 40% Zinc Oxide, Castor Oil, Mineral Oil, Paraffin, Peruvian Balsam, and Petrolatum
  • Used for rash treatment and also as a preventative
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers


  • The main ingredient is 15% Zinc Oxide
  • Petroleum-free
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

A+D Ointment

  • Forms a protective barrier to keep out wetness and prevent diaper rash
  • Pediatrician recommended
  • Contains Vitamin A & Vitamin D
  • Free of dyes, phthalates & parabens
  • Active ingredients include 15.5% Lanolin, 53.4% Petrolatum
  • safe to use with cloth diapers

Earth Mama Organic Diaper Balm

  • Safe to use with cloth diapers
  • Organic Diaper Cream
  • Zinc-free, petroleum-free
  • The main ingredients are naturally occurring oils like lavender, jojoba, olive oil, and calendula oil

Motherlove Diaper Balm

  • Safe to use with cloth diapers
  • Zinc-free, petroleum-free
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • The main ingredients include extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, Oregon grape root, myrrh gum, yarrow herb, and calendula flowers

Baby Bum Diaper Rash Cream

  • The active ingredient is 16% Zinc Oxide
  • Inactive ingredients include shea butter, cocoa butter, and aloe
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Aveeno Soothing Multi-purpose Ointment

  • The active ingredient is 70% White Petrolatum
  • True to Aveeno products, it also contains oat kernel flour
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Babo Botanicals Soothing Diaper Cream

  • The active ingredient is 25% Zinc Oxide
  • Also comes available in a spray which is good for especially painful skin because it doesn’t involve touching the skin for the application
  • Also contains Colloidal Oatmeal, Shea, and Cocoa Butter 
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Badger Baby Balm

  • Active ingredient: 10% non-nano zinc oxide
  • Also contains Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Calendula Extract & Sunflower Vitamin E
  • safe to use with cloth diapers

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Ointment

  • Made with 40% Zinc Oxide and Sweet Almond Oil as the active ingredients
  • 100% natural origin diaper cream is formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum
  • Safe to use with Cloth Diapers

Grandma El’s

  • Active ingredients: Amber petrolatum, Anhydrous Lanolin, Natural Vitamin E, Balsam of Peru Extracts
  • Makes an excellent barrier ointment
  • Safe to use with Cloth Diapers

Hello Bello

  • 40% Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient
  • made with organic sunflower seed, coconut, and tamanu oil to soothe baby’s diaper rash
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Honest Company Organic Healing Balm

  • Not your typical diaper rash cream and can be used for a variety of purposes
  • Ingredients: Organic sunflower, olive, and coconut oils work with shea butter to nourish, moisturize and help soothe sensitive and dry skin
  • Hypoallergenic, plant and botanical-based
  • Safe to use with Cloth Diapers

Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream

  • Contains an active ingredient of 14% Zinc Oxide
  • Contains all-natural, certified organic shea, jojoba, tamanu, and coconut to moisturize and nurture skin
  • Free from phthalates, parabens, fragrances, silicones, dimethicone, petrolatum, mineral oil, dyes
  • Safe to Use with Cloth Diapers

Babyganics Non-Petroleum Soothing Protective Ointment 

  • Made with plant-derived ingredients
  • Contains 15% Zinc Oxide
  • Also contains, shea, sweet almond, jojoba, and cocoa seed butter
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Maty’s All Natural Baby Ointment

  • All Natural & Petroleum Free
  • Made with a moisturizing combination of coconut oil, jojoba oil and Vitamin E
  • Safe to use with cloth diapers

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream

If you’ve tried all the ready-made diaper creams, but still haven’t found any relief you may need to try making your own homemade diaper rash cream. Some people prefer to use natural ingredients or homeopathic remedies for their baby’s diaper rash.

Some common ingredients you’ll find in natural diaper rash creams include calendula, coconut oil, and shea butter which you can purchase at natural food retailers.

If your baby also suffers from contact dermatitis then you know how truly sensitive a baby’s skin can get. Some homemade diaper rash creams have also been successful in helping to heal areas of eczema by creating a moisture barrier to help prevent future breakouts of contact dermatitis.

How do I choose the right diaper cream for my baby?

Now that you know the different types of cream available, how do you choose the right one for your baby? The best way to choose a diaper rash cream is to first get a recommendation from your pediatrician.

They will be able to help you determine what type of cream is best for your baby based on their individual needs.

If you’re an old hat at this mom thing, then you likely have an idea of what you need for your baby’s rash.

What works for one of your children may not work for the next, so it’s always good to be flexible and try something new if you don’t see any relief of diaper rash symptoms

If you’re looking for a good all-purpose diaper rash cream, we recommend Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Paste. This paste contains 40% zinc oxide and works well for even the most severe rashes.

For a natural option, we like Babo Botanicals Diaper Cream. It’s great for sensitive skin, we love that it also comes as a spray, and it’s safe to use with cloth diapers. Or as an alternative, you can follow this recipe to make your own diaper cream.

If you’re looking for an affordable option, we recommend Babyganics Diaper Rash Cream. This cream contains zinc oxide and petrolatum to create a barrier on your baby’s skin.

How to Apply Diaper Cream

  1. First Remove Your Baby’s Dirty Diaper – Use a warm washcloth or baby wipe to gently remove poop and any diaper creams from a previous application. Allow your baby to air dry on their changing table before reapplying with new creams.
  2. Place a Clean Diaper Under Baby’s Bottom – Next, you’ll want to place a clean cloth diaper underneath your baby’s bottom, but don’t diaper them just yet.
  3. Use a Small Amount of Diaper Cream – Squeeze out or use a clean finger to scoop out a small amount of diaper cream, paste, ointment, or balm. A little bit goes a long way!
  4. Apply Cream to Baby’s Bum – In addition to applying diaper cream to infected areas, you can also use diaper rash cream as a protective barrier to prevent diaper rash. Diaper creams can go on babies’ bottoms and also on the outside of their genitals where there is redness and irritation.
  5. Clean Off the Excess – Next, you’ll want to clean off the excess cream from your finger with a baby wipe or by wiping your finger on the inside of the cloth diaper
  6. Secure Baby’s Diaper – Finally, you’ll secure your baby’s diaper in place and wipe your hands clean with a baby wipe.

How to Wash Diaper Cream From Cloth Diapers

It’s not as difficult as you might think to get diaper cream out of cloth diapers. If you can get poop and urine out of cloth diapers, then you won’t have any trouble getting some cream or ointment out either!

Prerinse your cloth diapers before putting them in the washing machine or if possible, use a pre-rinse cycle in your machine. Next, choose the longest possible cycle using hot water to properly wash and sanitize your cloth diapers. Most machines have smart features that determine how much water to add to the machine. Just be sure not to use too much or too little detergent and avoid all synthetic fabric softeners.

If you keep it simple like this, you’ll have no trouble getting diaper creams out of your cloth diapers.

In Conclusion

No matter which diaper rash cream you choose, be sure to apply it liberally at every diaper change to help prevent your baby’s diaper rash from getting worse. If the rash does not improve after a few days of using the cream, it may be time to call your doctor. They may need to prescribe a stronger medicated diaper rash for your baby’s rash.

What are some of your favorite diaper rash creams for cloth diapers? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!