Diaper rash? Try this suprisingly effective and natural home remedy



I have yet to meet a parent who hasn’t had to deal with a diaper rash on their baby’s or toddler’s bum. Despite doing my abolut best to avoid it, it still seems to appear once in a while om Eva’s behind. I dislike the idea of putting ointments, lotions and creams on Evas bottom, except this easy, homemade lotion with only natural ingredients which I make myself. But sometimes when skin has been broken I prefer to put as little on the irritated area as possible in order for it to heal as fast as possible. Eva will get extra baths, extra time without the diaper, extra time to let her buttocks air dry, but sometimes it will still take days before it has healed properly. It has frustrated me a lot, so when an old collegaue of mine mentioned she had made a batch of boiled cotton cloths (in Danish: kogtsvandsklude) for her grand daughter with great success, I paid extra attention. I think a lot of Danish parents have heard of boiled water cloths, but I don’t think a lot of them have tried them. It’s a very old home remedy that I can remember hearing about from older generations, but the remedy is so simple that is has never striken me as something that would actually work. But as it (often) turns out, simple is best!

The remedy consists of small pieces of cotton cloths, which has been boiled and cooled down. And then placed on the irritated skin. And tada, a few diaper changes later, the skin have healed. I know, sounds crazy, but so far it has worked better for us than any ointment or oil. I still use my homemade lotion for those pinkish buttocks, but not for the bad diaper rashes with red and sometimes broken skin. Then this is my new go-to solution and I now have a small storage of precut fabric pieces ready to be boiled if a new rash appears.

If you’re wondering why it works, then this is what I’ve been told: The protective barrierer on the skin has been damage leaving the moisture to easily vaporize and thus irritating the skin. Kind of like a burn. The boiled water cloths help heal the skin by both adding moist and keeping it in, while still letting the skin breathe. I’m sure there’s is a better scientific explanation, but I have not looked further into it, since it just works and I can see no harm in using the cloths at all.

You’ll need:

  • Clean cotton fabric, preferable from an old sheet, old fashion diaper or overwashed T-shirt (I use really worn – and soft – old fashined diapers – one will get you a long way)
  • Boiling water
  • A bowl or other container with a lid
  • Scissors


How to prepare:

1. Sterilize the bowl or container by pouring boiling water in it

2. Cut your fabric into smaller pieces that will fit your baby’s buttocks. Preferable so each piece will cover the rash plus 1 cm (about half an inch).

3. Either boil the cotton pieces for a few minutes or just pour boiling water over them and wait until the water has cooled down to room temperature. You are now ready to use the boiled cotton cloths.


How to use:

4. With clean hands, squeeze some of the water out of the cloth pieces you will be using for the specific diaper change. They should still be moist, but not soaking.

5. Clean your baby with water and let their behind dry completely. 

6. Cover your baby’s or toddler’s rash with the cloths and close the diaper as usual. Just one layer and don’t use any ointments or lotion while you use the cloths.

7. Repeat every time you change your little one’s diaper until the rash is gone. It took less than 24 hours last time Eva had a rash where the skin had been broken.

Important: Remember to throw the boiled cotton cloths away next time you change the diaper. Don’t reuse them.


I like to make a small batch that can be left out for about 24 hours at room temperature and then boil some new cloth pieces if the rash has not gone away. If you still have some left afterwards, re-boil them rather than using them to be sure they are still sterile.

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