In a world where you throw away everything after one use. A lot of families are looking for ways they can help not only our planet’s pollution problems but a little money as well. One of those little steps is to start doing away with those one use baby wipes and convert over to reusable baby wipes.
Reusable wipes are a great way to be environmentally friendly. On average, you will use about 5,000 baby wipes in your infants the first year of life. That’s 25,000 baby wipes by the time you potty train your little guy at the age of 4. Now think, you aren’t the only one with a baby, or that’s using baby wipes. There are 353,000 babies born each year. That’s a lot of baby wipes!
So I understand it feels like such a small venture to take. That you won’t make a difference with those colossal numbers, but I’m here to tell you that it will! Plus, to share with you the other facts that come into play about why reusable baby wipes are a great alternative.
The overall cost-saving benefits are another big reason to switch to reusable or multi-use products. But, like most of you, we don’t have all day to sit around doing time-consuming tasks just to save a few pennies. So before you embark on this new adventure, sit down and weight out the costs for yourself.
The great things are, reusable baby wipes are very cheap and easy to make. They will save your family $120-$547 in just the first year. I don’t know about you, but even after my kid’s out of diapers, I still buy baby wipes, the savings numbers add up quickly.
Plastic, if you haven’t already heard, is made from non-renewable oil. And, unless you use eco-brands, it’s what every brand of wipe using for its package.
However, even the eco-brands corn-based packaging isn’t perfect. As of today, there are very few recycling centers that can handle bio-based packaging. And, honestly, it takes 5-10 years for biodegradable wipes to break down, and most don’t even break down all the way. So the idea is a wonderful one, but it still has a long way to go.
Store-bought wipes contain a long list of ingredients. Things like fragrance, perfume, alcohol, parabens, phenoxyethanol, benzoic acid, propylene glycol, and the list goes on. I had to open a dictionary to find out what half of the names on the list were. And, most of these are things I wouldn’t put on my skin, let alone my babies.
Using reusable baby wipes also has great health benefits as the ingredients found in wipes have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, organ system toxicity, skin, eye, and lung irritation and so much more.
Disposable baby wipes include pesticides as well, that’s right, pesticides. As a way to make cotton, stronger manufacturers combine it with chemical-based materials like polyethylene and polypropylene. So by converting to reusable baby wipes your removing these harmful chemicals from being in contact with your baby’s routine.
Ok, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Just how to make reusable baby wipes.
With all the great options and resources available online, especially when it comes to finding how-to guides. You’ll be bombarded with all kinds of different methods. Here are a few websites that have great reusable wipe guides:
You’re going to need two bins when storing your cloth wipes. One that will keep your clean wipes, the other for the dirty. In our house, since we try to go away from plastics, we have a clean glass jar and a stainless steel dirty bin.
A few pointers when it comes to picking out a container:
- Make sure you can pull the lid off easily. Babies are very wiggly.
- Don’t find a container that’s tall and slender; you’ll want to be able to reach in and grab a wipe from the very bottom with ease.
- If you can find it, choose a non-clear container for the dirty bin. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.
- Label the containers, so you or someone else doesn’t get them mixed up. You’ll be doing early A.M. diaper changes, and there’s nothing worse than being half asleep and getting a handful of dirty wipes.
With all the hype about going ‘green’ these days. It’s brought about several wonderful companies that make not only cloth diapers but cloth wipes. Here are just a few of the brands:
- Grovia (https://www.grovia.com/products/cloth-wipes)
- Bumgenius (https://www.cottonbabies.com/products/bumgenius-flannel-baby-wipes?variant=34623896641)
- OsoCozy (https://clothdiaper.com/products/osocozy-flannel-wipes)
- Thirsties (https://www.thirstiesbaby.com/products/cloth-diaper-accessories/organic-cotton-wipes)
Suppose homemade is more your style. You’ll want to find flannel, Minky, Terry, velour, or cotton fleece. Each of these materials is perfect for holding in liquid, plus are soft on babies behind.
Here is a website that will show you how to sew your cloth wipes together, as well as size recommendations and a lot more.
7. Natural Soap
One of the reasons I love baby wipes is because they clean well and left my baby smelling great. So, when I took the plunge to reusable cloth wipes, I wanted a way to be able to keep the smell and cleaning freshness they provided.
My go-to is Dr. Bronner’s Pure-castile Liquid soap. I love this brand because it comes in scents like Lavender, rose, citrus, almond. And if you’re not a fan of scented, they also have unscented. But also castile soap is a natural, and easy on sensitive skin.
You can also use essential oils to add scent without the soap.
8. Creating the setup
Place the wipes into the clean bin. Only but enough in the bin for 2-3 days.
Pour water over the washcloths to dampen then. But don’t add to much water, you want them damp, not soaking wet.
Suppose you’re using soap or essential oils. Mix the water and soap or oil before you damping the clothes.
Keep the dirty bin fresh by adding a few drops of essential oil in a small amount of water at the bottom.
When you’re out and about with baby, you can still use your reusable wipes. There are many great options for wet bags available through cloth diaper stores. They come in all different sizes, shapes, and adorable designs. Just pack a few of your already prepared wipes into a clean bag. But, don’t forget to grab an extra bag for those dirty ones.
Soon you’re going to be a reusable baby wipe pro and will be sharing your little money-saving secret with everyone you meet.