Want to make your own homemade cloth baby wipes for your baby? These DIY reusable baby wipes are cost-effective, super soothing and completely organic! Plus they are made from only 3 ingredients-that you (probably) already have at home!
Have you ever read the ingredients in packaged baby wipes? Most brands contain toxic ingredients you definitely don’t want to come close to your baby’s most sensitive skin. Even the “natural ones” contain preservatives and skin conditioners that some babies have reactions to. As far as baby wipes go here are some of the best non-toxic and natural wipes that I can find. While they make my list for the best non-toxic products when we travel or while we are on vacation they are not in the budget for everyday use-especially with all the diapers I have to change on a daily basis. The best solution for me is to just make my own! Besides, there is no packaged wipe out there better than homemade organic baby wipes!
Trust me, these wipes are so easy to make that you will wonder why you didn’t start to make your own reusable baby wipes sooner.
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What’s In Packaged Baby Wipes?
For such a simple thing, baby wipes sure pack a lot of harmful chemicals in them. Everything from preservatives to skin conditioners and even ingredients to make the wipes softer. It is unnecessary to expose your baby’s delicate and sensitive skin to ingredients that can cause skin reactions and rashes. When it comes to babies you want everything they come into contact with to be as healthy and non-toxic as possible.
Why Should I Make My Own Baby Wipes?
- organic: choosing high-quality organic ingredients for your homemade baby wipes ensures that you are not exposing your baby to any harmful chemicals or pesticides. When it comes to baby products choosing simple and organic is always best!
- eco friendly: Did you know that there are no baby wipes available right now that are biodegradable? So even if you buy non-toxic wipes, while they are healthier for your baby they are not healthy for our planet. Water Wipes are made from mostly polyester and 20% viscose meaning only 20% is biodegradable. However, they are supposed to release a biodegradable baby wipe sometime soon. According to waterwipes.com: “We made a commitment to having a 100% biodegradable solution without compromising on the purity of our product in 2020 and we are really, really close.”
By making your own reusable baby wipes you are choosing the most environmentally friendly option possible, especially when you choose organic cloth.
- affordable: I have saved so much money by switching to homemade cloth baby wipes. Non-toxic wipes are expensive! When you factor in the number of diaper changes you do in a day and then how many wipes you use per diaper change that adds up to quite a bit of money. Now math has never been my best subject but my basic math skills tell me that on average if the cost of one water wipe is 5 cents and you change your baby (approximately) 5 times a day and use 3 wipes per diaper change that is 75 cents per day. Based on those numbers you are paying about $23 a month and $279 a year…give or take. When you make your own DIY reusable baby wipes you are paying a small fraction of that.
- super soothing with no uncomfortable reactions: The recipe for these homemade baby wipes is made from simple healthy ingredients that will naturally soothe and calm your baby’s bottom. They have a “special” ingredient in them that will prevent future diaper rash and cure any prior diaper rash that your baby may have. Packaged wipes, even from more natural brands of wipes, contain ingredients that many babies can react to and eventually lead to rashes.
The Best Fabric for Cloth Baby Wipes
There are a lot of different options for fabric that will work really well for making your own reusable baby wipes. The most important thing is that you choose certified organic fabric so that you know your fabric is free from the many toxic chemicals present in conventional cotton…things like pesticides, AZO dyes, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, fragrance, PVC and/or lead.
The organic fabrics that work the best for cloth baby wipes are terry cloth and flannel mainly because they are soft, absorbent, and sturdy. I will usually just buy a yard of fabric and then cut it down to the size that I want my baby wipes to be. This is by far the most cost-effective option that I can find. If you have old flannel receiving blankets they work really well too.
Washcloths also make really good cloth wipes, especially if you have a huge stash from baby showers and new baby gifts. I just wouldn’t use your baby wipes at bath time. Another important thing to note is that the amount of wipes you can make at one time depends on the size of your container and how thick your fabric is. So if you are using washcloths you won’t be able to fit as many wipes in the container compared to if you use flannel fabric.
Another good option (and a very eco-friendly wipe option) would be to use your children’s old clothes. I only buy my children organic clothing (you can find some really good organic clothing brands in this post) and when the clothes get holes in them (especially their pajama pants) I don’t want to waste them and just toss them out, so I will cut them up and use them for my wipes. Of course, cotton clothing while soft is a lot thinner than terry cloth or flannel and not as sturdy so I will make the wipe about double the size so that I can fold it in half and have a “double-layer” for extra protection and better cleaning ability.
What if I Want to Make My Baby Wipes Disposable?
I realize that some Mommies would prefer their homemade baby wipes to be disposable. The only option that I can really think of to make them disposable is with paper towels. However, I would not recommend this option. Paper towels often contain chlorine, BPA, and formaldehyde. Debra Lynn Dadd addresses this on her blog in this post and this post if you are interested in more information about the toxic chemicals in paper products. If you truly want to avoid as many chemicals as possible in your child’s baby wipes I would highly recommend using only organic cloth and making your diaper wipes reusable.
How to Clean Your Homemade Reusable Baby Wipes
Before getting into the actual recipe to make your own homemade organic baby wipes, I just want to address what I know everyone has been wondering about. Cleaning your reusable wipes. Obviously if you cloth diaper this is no problem for you because you can just add your wipes into your cloth diaper cleaning routine. However, if you don’t cloth diaper (like me) first of all I hope you are choosing chlorine-free and chemical-free diapers…this post lists some of the best brands available. Second of all, I promise cleaning your cloth baby wipes is going to be so much easier than you think.
While I am sure there are many different ways to do this I am going to share what has worked best in my household over the last bunch of years. After I use the wipe I throw it into my “dirty wipe container” that sits next to my changing station. Once I have a good amount of dirty wipes I just throw them into the washing machine and they come out pretty clean. I do the wipes just on their own I just don’t feel comfortable throwing other clothes in with them. I have so many cloth wipes that they usually come out to pretty good size load. Using standard non-toxic laundry detergent most of the stains usually come out. For any wipes that have a lot of stains and are just kind of yucky looking, I will just throw away. And every now and then after I take them out of the wash I will stick them out in the sun for a little extra natural bleaching power.
Just a side note: by doing it this way you will need to have a big enough supply of wipes that while you are collecting dirty wipes in the “dirty wipe container” you have enough cloth wipes to make a new batch of fresh baby wipes.
See, I told you its not that bad.
Homemade Reusable Baby Wipes Recipe
This is the super-easy homemade organic baby wipes recipe that I have been using on my babies for the last 6 or so years. It has worked great for me and keeps my baby’s bottoms clean and healthy!
DIY Baby Wipes Ingredients
- 2 cups of distilled water or you can boil water and allow it to cool
- 1 1/2 tbs soap (This is my favorite because it is full of organic soothing ingredients or Dr. Bronners soap works really well too)
- 1 tbs of coconut oil (This is the brand of coconut oil that I use but anything you have is perfectly fine)
- Organic Fabric (This is a really good organic fabric option) or Organic Washcloths
- A container to store your wipes (I use an old coconut oil jar but you can use whatever you have, even if you have an old, plastic wipes container sitting around)
Making Homemade Baby Wipes with Coconut Oil
I think of coconut oil as the secret ingredient of these baby wipes. Coconut Oil is so soothing and healing. It will help to heal any diaper rash your baby already has and help to prevent any future diaper rashes. I used to slather coconut oil onto my baby’s bottoms all the time after diaper changes. Then I realized that it is so much easier just to add it to my homemade baby wipes. I have been doing it this way for about 6years now and it has worked really well!
- Cut your fabric down to the perfect size. I usually make mine approximately 6 inches by 8 inches. But of course, make yours whatever size and shape works best for you.
- Add the water, soap and coconut oil to your wipes container and gently stir together.
- Add your fabric and really push it into the wipes solution to make sure every wipe gets wet.
- When using the baby wipes sometimes the wipes at the top of the container will be a little bit dry so before using I will sometimes just turn my jar upside down to get it a little wetter or I will push the it down into the other wipes and that helps to get the baby wipes as wet as it needs to be
How Long Do The Baby wipes Keep For?
Since homemade cloth baby wipes contain no preservatives (which is a good thing) they will probably only last for a few days. With this recipe, I usually have enough for a day or two, of course depending on how many diapers I change, but I have never had a problem with mold at all.
Other Non-Toxic Baby Wipes Options
If you decide that making homemade baby wipes really isn’t for you then the only non-toxic baby wipes that I recommend are Waterwipes. They contain 99% water and a drop of grapefruit essential oil to act as a preservative. I do want to mention that water wipes contain trace amounts of Benzalkonium Chloride. Benzalkonium Chloride acts as a preservative and surfactant and is rated a 3-5 on EWG’s website. It may cause some potential skin reactions. However, because it is in trace amounts there is probably no real concern. Waterwipes also has a version available now that contains soapberry fruit extract (you may know it better as soap nuts) if you are looking for some extra cleaning power they get pretty soapy and it will make your baby’s bottom extra clean. You can buy Waterwipes here.