Photo by poopsiedoodles’
Maybe you use cloth diapers, or would consider using cloth diapers, but have a hard time figuring out how cloth wipes would fit into your cloth diapering routine. Let me begin by encouraging you to just try. If you try it for a week or two, and decide you don’t like it, you can always go back to using disposable wipes. My guess though is that you’ll wonder how you could have gone so long without cloth wipes! They are infinitely better than their disposable counterparts!
Using Cloth Wipes
Wipes come in lots of different forms. You can buy pretty ones made out of flannel or cotton velor, or even bamboo. Some people like thick, double-sided wipes. Personally, I find those a little too bulky. You can also sew your own using leftover scraps of material.
Because I’m frugal, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that’s going to wipe poo off my baby’s bum, and because I’m not very good with a sewing machine (although it’s not hard, I have made a few of my own wipes just to try it), I have chosen to use the thin baby washcloths that you can you buy at store, and they have worked perfectly for me.
The reason I like the terrycloth washcloths is that they are the smooth cotton on one side, and the textured terry cloth on the other. This provides a really nice combo for cleaning up all kind of messes that you will encounter in a baby’s diaper on any given day!
You could also sew something similar if you have a thinner baby towel that you could cut into squares and zig-zag stitch along the edge so that it doesn’t fray. I have about 10 wipes like this that my mom made for me from a baby towel that lost it’s piping along the edge. Making your own wipes is a great way to make something useful out of scraps or otherwise un-useful material.
Whatever type of wipe you choose, I would recommend that you have lots, lots and lots, of them on hand. One thing that you definitely don’t want to run out of is wipes!
I keep my wipes in a leftover disposable wipes container. I used to fold them so they would lay nicely in the container, but now I’m a little more lazy and just throw a wad of them in there and pour my wipes solution over them, or use just plain water, again depending on how lazy I am at the moment.
My favorite thing about cloth wipes is that they work so much better than any disposable wipe ever could. Newborn breastfed, seedy baby poo, that disposable wipes just seem to smear around, cleans up easily with the terry cloth side of the cloth wipe. Newborn (or older baby!) blowouts that might take 5+ disposable wipes (that’s when you know it’s a bad one!), only need 2 or 3, at the most, cloth wipes to take care of the whole mess.
I think the most cloth wipes I’ve ever used in a single diaper change is 4, compared with the most disposables wipes I’ve ever used at one time is probably pushing 10 or more! Cloth wipes just do such a better job of actually wiping, containing, and cleaning up the mess then disposable wipes do! I would say that most dirty diaper changes I can easily use just one wipe.
If you’re already using cloth diapers, than really, adding cloth wipes to the mix is no more trouble at all. Just toss the cloth wipe in the diaper pail with the dirty diaps. I know some people wonder about what to do with a poopy wipe. If you have a chunk, shall we say, on the wipe you can just shake it onto the diaper with the rest of the poo to get dumped into the toilet, and then put the wipe in the diaper pail. I have never rinsed out a poopy wipe before washing, usually there’s really not that much poo on them anyway, and it’s never been an issue for me.
Then on wash day, you just wash all your diaps and wipes together and get a lovely clean basket of cloth diapers and wipes to reuse again on your baby’s bum!
Cloth Wipes Solution
You really can use just water on your wipes and that is sufficient to clean up most baby messes. But, if you want something that you know has a little more cleaning and disinfecting power, you can mix up a simple cloth wipe solution with three easy ingredients:
- Castile Soap
- Tea Tree Oil
I use about a cup, or a cup and a half, of water per tub of wipes and just add a squirt or two of Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Castile Soap and a few drops of tea tree oil. Mix it all together and pour over the top of your wipes. Store in a container, such as a reused disposable wipes container, for easy access. You can also store your cloth wipes in a wipes warmer, which would be especially nice during the winter months.
That’s it! You’ve just added cloth wipes to your cloth diapering routine! Easy, right? The great thing about cloth wipes is that they are versatile and multi-functional too! They’re great to use for wiping snotty noses, dirty, sticky hands and faces, or even surfaces like shopping cart handles or restaurant high chairs when out and about. Since tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, you know that you are killing germs without using harmful chemicals around your baby!
I love items that have multiple uses and simplify my life and my diaper bag, and cloth wipes are definitely one of those things! Any cloth diaper mamas out there? I’d love to hear your experiences and tips and tricks for using cloth wipes!