Last year I won a tube and a jar of Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy & Prevention from Cloth Diaper Geek. Grandma El’s is a patented, pediatrician-recommended formula that you can use to protect, prevent and heal diaper rash. It’s an opaque, yellowish salve that goes on clear and won’t stain.
Grandma El’s has no particular fragrance added to it. However, it does have a naturally-occurring scent that I like (this is subjective, of course). If I could describe the scent I would say “A hint of Strawberry Shortcake.” If you grew up in the 80’s you’ll probably remember the pleasant, fruity smell of those little dolls. That being said, the way a rash cream smells is not a priority for me. I just want something affordable that works and is cloth-safe.
After using Grandma El’s for more than a year now, on our baby and our toddler, I can report that Grandma El’s works great for common diaper rash and minor skin irritations. As a bonus, it’s one of the most affordable cloth-safe balms available on the market today. It can also work as a light barrier ointment to prevent rash because it’s not as thick and hard to rinse out as other, heavier ointments. At the first hint of redness or a rash, I put on a light coat of Grandma El’s; the irritation is generally gone after a diaper change or two.
What are the ingredients? First of all, Grandma El’s is preservative-free, paraben-free, and phlalate-free. Ingredients include Amber Petrolatum (derived from natural mineral oil), Anhydrous Lanolin, Natural Vitamin E, Balsam of Peru Extracts and Salicylic Acid.
Petrolatum and lanolin form a protective barrier against wetness; Vitamin E and Salicylic Acid help to promote healing. Grandma El’s is also a semi-occlusive ointment, which means it is vapor-permeable or “breathable.”
Is it truly cloth diaper safe? Although marketed as cloth safe, and widely used by cloth diapering families with no issues, Grandma El’s does state on its site: “Grandma El’s is not responsible for possible damages to cloth diapers or clothes.” Why the qualification? Quite simply because there’s no way to control all the variables in any given situation.
The main ingredient in Grandma El’s is yellow petrolatum. It is derived from natural mineral oil, which is sometimes categorized as a “use with caution” ingredient with cloth diapers. Situations that might lead to repelling could be: (1) Not having a good wash routine with sufficiently hot water and adequate detergent/agitation/rinsing) and (2) When using synthetic diapers lined with microfleece.
Of course, lots of families (including ours) use Grandma El’s successfully with synthetic cloth diapers. Companies like Happy Heinys, Cotton Babies and SoftBums (who sell synthetic pockets) also recommend the ointment.
In my experience over the past year, we haven’t had any repelling. I apply Grandma El’s very lightly and have a solid wash routine that gets everything out. We use mostly bamboo flats and prefolds, plus some fleece-lined pockets, and it has rinsed out fine from both our natural and synthetic fabrics.
Courtney over at Diaper Wrecker put Grandma El’s to the test in a very basic experiment. Even after smearing huge globs of the ointment on a prefold and a bumGenius 4.0 (a synthetic diaper), there was no repelling. The rate of absorption barely changed after laundering as usual.
But if you still have concerns about yellow petrolatum, I would simply suggest that if using pockets or stay-dry AIO diapers, stick a liner in there.
Does Grandma El’s have other uses? Grandma El’s has been successfully used for other skin conditions including: mild burns, scars, eczema, chapped skin and lips, cracked skin and cradle cap. It also helps to soften the skin. I like using it on my heels in the winter.
When it comes to rash cream, most parents don’t find one cream that does it all. Occasionally, you have a rash or a skin problem that your “everyday cream” can’t fix. But most of us mamas have a go-to ointment we reach for regularly. For me, that ointment is Grandma El’s.
You can find Grandma El’s at Eyla’s Imports (update: closed), who is sponsoring today’s giveaway.
Where to Shop for Grandma El’s
What I Love About Grandma El’s:
- At $9.99 for 2 ounces, it’s one of the most affordable cloth-safe balms I’ve tested.
- It has other uses
- I love the cute, boutique packaging
- It’s non-staining and goes on clear
- Great alternative for those who are sensitive to coconut oil
- It lasts a long time. My 3.75 ounce jar is still half full after 5 months.
- Made in the USA
What I Would Improve:
- For a stubborn or severe rash, I usually have to switch to something stronger than Grandma El’s
- A different (naturally-derived) fragrance for parents who don’t care for the light strawberry scent?
ENTER TO WIN
Eyla’s Imports is sponsoring a giveaway to my readers in the US and Canada! One winner gets a 2 oz. tube and 3.75 jar of ointment. GIVEAWAY CLOSED