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Essential Oils + Cloth Diapering

by julie on October 10, 2012

Tea Tree Oil and  Washing Cloth Diapers

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Over the past few years, I have had some problems with adult acne. I was once at Whole Foods (which I love) when a worker in the cosmetics department suggested that I try Tea Tree Oil for my acne. I bought some and gave it a whirl, and to my surprise, it actually started to clear up my skin! I was hooked. Fast forward a few years later, and tea tree oil pops up again, only this time in relation to my cloth diapers! I began talking to local moms who loved to use essential oils with their cloth diapers….and voila…this post was born!

Tea tree oil seems to be one of the most popular essential oils among cloth diaper users because of it’s anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, and because it just smells CLEAN! Other oils such as orange oil, lavender oil, chamomile oil, grape seed oil, and coconut oil are also popular. Below are some of my favorite uses for essential oils in relation to cloth diapers.

Top Uses for Essential Oils & Cloth Diapers 

Wool dryer ball

1) Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to you first wash. If using tea tree oil, this will also help to get the stink out of your diapers. By adding the drops during the first cycle, it allows for a thorough rinse by the third wash (helpful tip from a reader).

2) If you make your own laundry detergent, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice smell.

3) Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your wool dryer balls. When your diapers are in the dryer, they will get a light scent to them. A great way to get the smell of a traditional fabric softener without all the harmful chemicals.

4) If you like to make your own wipe solution, you can try adding in a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a light fragrance.

5) I know of some cases where Tea Tree oil was used to help treat yeast infections in cloth diapers.

6) I like to put a few drops of  essential oil in my diaper pail as a way to freshen it up. Better yet, some pail liners have a fabric tab scloth diaper pail liner fabric tabewn into the seam, allowing for you to add a few drops of your favorite oil!

7) Add a few drops when washing or cleaning cloth diapers will also help if you ever develop a nasty mold smell. This worked wonders for me!

A Few Tips to Think About

  • Less is best. Essential oils can be very strong and it is best to only use a few drops, or whatever is the recommended dosage on the bottle. Remember that you can always add more if you like.
  • I prefer organic essential oils that don’t have any preservatives or additives added to them.
  • Make sure to review the manufacturer’s recommendations about essential oils. Some oils may void a manufacturer’s warranty on a particular product.
  • I recently read something on webMD about a case of a young boy who used a shampoo that contained a mixture of tea tree oil and lavender oil. According to the case, the tea tree oil may have had hormonal effects on the young boy. This scares me a little, but because there is very little information out there, I am personally not too worried. That is a blog post for another day! Check out the link above for a little more information.
Do you use essential oils?
Do you use essential oils with your cloth diapers?
Which oil is your favorite?


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jocelyn October 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I use tea tree oil to deter head lice. I don’t know if it really works, but I figure it can’t hurt. You can put a drop in coconut scented shampoo or conditioner. Apparently the lice don’t like the scent of coconut or the tea tree oil. Sometimes I’ll put a drop on my son’s hairbrush before I brush his hair. I’ll do this if there is a note sent home from the school that someone in his class has them.


Thinking About Cloth Diapers October 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Great article Julie! I love the smell of essential oils, though we use very few of them! While I can’t comment on the toxicity of tea tree oil to humans, I do know that it can be a problem for some pets. A few years ago, our pet became ill, and we thought it might be due to ingestion of a baby product. Our vet became very concerned when he reviewed the list of ingredients and discovered tea tree oil in the product; after some research, he told us that tea tree oil can be very toxic to pets. While it turned out that the illness was not related, we have been careful to ensure that we store any items containing tea tree oil out of reach of little fingers – and paws! ~Celeste


Duct Cleaning School November 5, 2012 at 3:49 am

The teat tree oil has helped me huge in getting rid of acne. It is a natural medication that works wonders.


Jesica H February 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Hi there, thanks for the info… do you have any suggested places to get the essential oils?


Tamaryn Braun May 19, 2014 at 1:34 am

A great brand to use is Young Living. Their oils are completely natural and use no preservatives or synthetics. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
Tamaryn Braun
YL ID# 1819920


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