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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let's Talk Cloth Wipes!

If there was one thing that I wish someone, anyone, had told me about when I first started cloth diapering it would be to use cloth wipes! In fact, I wish that someone had insisted that I try them. I had no problem flushing and scrubbing solid messes out of diapers but I didn’t want to deal with wipes. I think my mind finally changed when I found about three or four disposable wipes in the washer with all my velcro diapers. It took me a while to get all of the disposable wipes out of the tabs.

There are many benefits to using cloth wipes. They are an eco-friendly, gentle on baby, wallet friendly alternative to disposable wipes. Plus, when cloth diapering, you can just throw the dirty diaper and wipe/s into the diaper pail then directly into the wash. No sorting out the wipes to go in the garbage anymore. It always nagged at me that I was throwing away human fecal matter as well, knowing it was, and is, illegal.

Let’s talk about cost
Many of us in the cloth diapering world are doing so because it is more cost effective. We can definitely see that with cloth wipes as well.

That’s $382.50 for only the first year of using disposable wipes! Now how many of us use  or used disposable wipes ONLY for diaper changes? I do have to admit that they are handy for cleaning little hands and faces. Cloth wipes, on the other hand, cost literally a fraction of disposable wipes. Kissaluv’s Awesome Terry Knit Cloth Wipes cost $15.00 for a 12 pack. Assuming you buy 3 packs to make it through to laundry day and then some, thats $45.00. That’s a savings of $337.50 just for the first year.

Storage Choices
There are many storage choices available for cloth wipes. Each method has it’s own benefits and disadvantages. Different people prefer different methods. One storage method just might lend itself more useful to you and your situation. I think the best advice is to try each type of storage until you find one that works for you.
  • Wet Storage: A storage container such as a wipes tub, is used to hold the wipes. A wipes solution is usually poured over the wipes to keep them pre-moistened and ready to use. This does take a minimal amount of time to prepare (putting your wipes into the container and adding your wipe solution literally takes a minute). 
  • Dry Storage: Wipes are kept close to the changing area as well as a spray or squirt bottle full of wipes solution. When changing time comes, take a wipe and either spray baby directly or spray the wipe. You don’t have to spray the whole wipe, just the area you are going to use. The only problem I have run into with this method is deciding where to store my wipes. 
  • Wipes Warmer: This method is very similar to the wet storage method. Wipes are put into the warmer with the solution of your choosing. The warmer should be cleaned from time to time. I’ve never personally used this method but know people who swear by it.  (Nicki's Diapers doesn't carry nor recommend these for safety reasons.)
Wipes Solution
Wipes solution are a great way to customize what you put into your wipes. Most solutions contain three main ingredients.
  • Water: Cleanses; dilutes other ingredients. Also, the main ingredient in wipes solutions.
  • Soap: Cleans urine and feces off baby. Most solutions contain a castile soap such as Dr. Bonner’s.
  • Essential Oil: Added for the antibacterial properties of the oil. Smells nice too. This ingredient is optional.  
Wipes solution is really easy to prepare. You can buy concentrate and just add water when needed, or you can make your own.  There are a bunch of different recipes that are available on the internet. Simply do a search for “cloth wipes solution” and you should have an afternoon’s worth of reading to do! The great thing about making your own is you can  improvise and adjust the recipe depending on you and your baby’s needs. This link has a great wipe recipe.

Alternative Uses
Cloth wipes will stay around long after you are done diapering your child. I’ve been known to grab a wipe from the pile and use it to wipe my little one’s nose.  Washing up the kiddos is an excellent way to reuse wipes. Keep a pile near the sink for wiping up after meals. They are also the perfect size to dry little ones hands off. My daughter loves the independence of being able to wash and dry her hands herself. Reusable wipes make wonderful dolly blankets and pretend dishrags in a kitchen. They most likely will last for multiple children as well, increasing your savings!

By Guest Blogger Sarah


Carrie Roer said...

Thanks for this post! The last few days I've been seeing more and more people talking about cloth wipes, and so I think that's a sign I'm supposed to give it a try...

Katie and Chris said...

Cloth wipes are great! I have used them right from the start of using cloth diapers. It's so convenient to wash them with the diapers and not have to sort garbage from wash. Along with cloth diapers, cloth wipes save a lot of money... plus you know EXACTLY what is going on your little one's skin (which is what sold me to cloth diapers/wipes in the first place).

Many, many uses for wipes! Now that my baby is 7 1/2 months, we aren't using nearly as many wipes per diaper change. So, we now store a pile in the kitchen for after meal clean up.

As for solution, I use LuSa Organics baby wipe juice (locally made and awesome!) Sometimes use just plain warm water too. I Usually make a container of wet wipes.

If you're on the fence, go ahead and try them... you won't be disappointed!

Elizabeth said...

Thought this was perfect as I was just thinking about this yesterday. It's decided - I am looking at recipes for wipe solution and making the change today.

Angel said...

I didn't start using cloth wipes right away - but I'm so glad I do now! I actually just keep a dry pile handy and wet a few in the sink when my one-year-old has a stinky diaper. It's fast and easy.

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

I love cloth wipes. I finally started them a few weeks ago after I realized how much the price of wipes has gone up. It's ridiculous! And the wipes solution is so easy to make, I just have a little spray bottle, I fill with water and a few drops of baby wash, cleans my little guy up great, oh and the same solution works perfect for cleaning him up after a meal too, the small bottle only lasts a few days, which is perfect, since you're not supposed to keep the same wash too long.

nrsmw22 said...

I couldn't agree more. I CDd my son but used disposable wipes. With my daughter now I use both cloth dipes and wipes. So much better! Don't need to worry about separating trash from diapers or finding washed disposible wipes in the laundry.

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