Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Right Wipe, giving cloth wipes a try!

The first week of Kitty’s life I went through nearly three packs of diaper wipes. I was a little shocked and horrified, it seemed so wasteful; a good sized bowel movement took at least four wipes. A pack of Seventh Generation wipes runs about $4.00, which was at least an extra $25.00 I would literally be throwing in the garbage each month, this seemed beyond ridiculous.
I had never considered reusable wipes; I didn’t even know they existed in fact until I went to Babies R Us to do my final shop to get everything we needed before Kitty’s debut. I had registered for your basic run of the mill wipes warmer and when I reached for it the cloth wipes caught my eye. It made so much sense to me. We were already planning on cloth diapering, why wouldn’t we use cloth wipes as well? It wouldn’t be adding any extra laundry as they could just be thrown in with the diapers; in fact, it made me feel a little better knowing that the loads would be a bit fuller. So I put the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer in my basket along with a box of Warmies Reusable Wipes.
The Warmer cost $29.99 and the wipes were $9.99, the warmer also came with 12 wipes.  So yes, just like cloth diapers your initial investment is a bit much, but then that’s it. The wipes are 100% rayon made from bamboo, bleach and dye free.  Chemicals commonly found in your average baby wipes include: chlorine, alcohol, petroleum by products, Phthalates, Methylisothiazolino, and Formaldehyde-based preservatives, just to name a few. Do you even know what some of those are? Can you even pronounce some of them? I can tell you one thing; I certainly don’t want them touching my daughter’s most delicate body parts! With cloth wipes the only thing touching my little girl’s lady bits are cloth and whatever wipes solution I put together.
The warmer is easy to use, it has an absorbent anti-microbial pad that you soak in water and lay in the bottom of the warmer. I then fold the wipes in half, roll them and lay them in the warmer. I pour a bit of solution over them, getting them damp, but not soaking, add another layer and repeat. The warmer can hold about 15 wipes which is three layers.  For my solution I take two cups of water, two tablespoons of Dr. Bronner’s baby soap and two tablespoons of almond oil. I keep it in a water bottle and give it a couple shakes before I pour it over the wipes as it tends to separate. One bottle lasts me about two rounds of wipes. You can add other oils to your solution as your baby’s skincare call for. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, lavender oil which is also antibacterial and has a soothing smell, get creative but make sure that the oils you are using are gentle enough for your baby’s delicate skin!
A wipes warmer is a total luxury item, definitely not needed and you certainly don’t need to buy specific premade wipes. I love it because the warmer keeps the wipes a bit more moist and I like to think Kitty appreciates not having a chilly wipe on her bum. You can make your own wipes or just cut up old towels. I have a friend who purchased some microfiber cloths at a dollar store and those are what she uses. She also keeps her solution in a spray bottle and just spritzes it on her son, then wipes. So it doesn’t need to be a huge extra cost to you!
And the best news about cloth wipes? They can handle anything! I can clean up just about anything with one and at the very most two wipes. I also feel much more confident going in to a disaster area with more than just a flimsy little disposable wipe. Because the wipes solution is so gentle, on days that Kitty doesn’t get a shower I will just give her a little wipe down with one, they work great to get in those little creases where milk likes to hide.
For our times when we are out and about I use Seventh Generation Wipes, I’m sure cloth wipes are doable, but I already feel like my diaper bag is overflowing as it is. It was pointed out to me by my fellow cloth wipes using friend that Seventh Generation Wipes can actually be washed up to two times in the machine as well. I gave it a try and they certainly do, they come out soft and thicker than I would expect for a disposable wipe to come through after a run in the washer. So if you are really hardcore into recycling, go ahead and give this a try!
Oftentimes parents of children who are sensitive to disposable diapers are also going to be sensitive to disposable wipes. Kitty has yet to have a diaper rash and I think the combination of cloth diapers and cloth wipes has a lot to do with it. So go ahead and take the next step in your cloth diapering adventures and give reusable wipes a try!


  1. I love cloth wipes! I made my own out of two layers of flannel and made them 9x9 so rarely do I have to use more than one. I do grab for the disposables on the really messy ones though because I just can't stand to stain my cloth wipes they are too cute!! :) I use the peri bottle from the hospital and lately have just been using water but I also made these solution cube. It's a glycerin soap base with tea tree oil and witch hazel and you just drop a cube in some warm water and it dissolves and wala soultion.

  2. Ditto on the flannel, so many fabrics to choose from i made over 100 wipes for cheap. They were cute and i used them for everything. I loved having them handy for diapering to cleaning up dirt or dinner.

  3. We still have tons of disposable wipes here in the house, but once we go through them, I am definitely committing to the cloth wipes! :)