Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cloth Wipes 101

I did not start out using cloth wipes.  When a friend found out I was going to use cloth diapers, she asked me, “Are you going to use cloth wipes also?” 

With an incredulous look on my face I responded, “I’m not that crazy!”  I had never even considered using cloth wipes, and I didn’t know people actually did that.  To be honest, I thought it was gross. 

As I look back, I can’t see a difference in the “gross factor” between cloth wipes and cloth diapers.  Either way, you have to deal with poo, and either way, it has to get washed.

It so happened that I received a closet full of disposable wipes at my baby shower.  These were in addition to the ones I was already stockpiling for baby’s arrival.  However, once the stockpile ran out and I started buying those wipes, I realized that I was just wasting money. 

On top of everything, I found myself sometimes wrapping the wipes in the dirty diaper, just as you would a disposable.  The result was bits of disposable wipes coming through my washer and dryer.  Ewwwww.  Cloth wipes are easier, because they can be thrown into the diaper pail with your diapers.  No trash can needed!

Thus began my journey into cloth wipes.  A friend had mentioned that she used cloth wipes, so I turned to her for suggestions and a wipe solution recipe.

Types of Wipes
I have tried several kinds of wipes, and even made my own.  Here are homemade wipesmy preferences.  I really like WAHM wipes.  They are usually doubled sided, soft flannel, and well made.  I have purchased some on eBay, I have made some, and I have twisted my mom’s arm into making some for me.  These wipes have held up the best!  It really helps if the edges are serged.  I don’t have a serger, so the edges on my homemade wipes are starting to fray slightly.

DIY Baby WipesThis is how I finished the edges on my homemade wipes without a serger – zig zag over the edge.

I have also tried the Kissaluvs wipes.  They have soft bamboo terry cloth on one side that is good if you need to scrub the bum a little.  The other side is flannel.  These wipes are a little pricey at $2 a wipe!

For those who prefer organic cotton, FuzziBunz makes a nice thick wipe.  Again, they are a little bit of an investment at $21 for 10 wipes.

Some people just use old washcloths.  I just think that they are a little bit rough to use on baby’s skin.

Size of Wipes
Size is important.  I like to store my cloth wipes in an old disposable wipes box.  (I prefer the kind with the rubber sleeve around the opening).  7x7” or 8x8” wipes fit the best when simply folded in half.  I got in a hurry once during an eBay purchase, and ended up with 5x7” wipes that aren’t really good for much!

You can go as simple as using plain warm water on your cloth wipes, or you can purchase wipe solution.  There are also several options in between.

I have found that I like something with a little more “oomph” than just water.  I want to be sure the area is cleaned well!  I usually make my own solution, using some baby wash/shampoo, and baby/olive oil.  Some people even add essential oils, but that also adds to the cost of your solution.  Here’s what I do:

4 cups hot water
3 Tbsp. baby wash (I like the lavender vanilla night time stuff)
2 Tbsp. baby oil

I just recently started using Chubby Cherubs Honey Bun Drops.  They are little cubes of wipe solution that you dissolve in water.  We will be carrying these at Doable Diapers soon.  I like these drops because they do have the essential oils and natural products that are good for cleaning and soothing my baby’s skin.

I store my wipes solution in an old water bottle with a squeeze top.  I PICT0036just squirt some over the wipes in the box as I need them.  Some people store their solution in a spray bottle and just spray the wipe as needed.  I find that it doesn’t feel very moist, and it doesn’t seem to clean as easily that way.

Other Info
I have about 40 wipes in my stash.  I like to use them as face wipes, to clean up sticky hands after dinner, and for anything else “on the go”.  As a result, I use a few more wipes than normal.  I haven’t thrown any wipes away yet, and we’ve been doing this for about a year now!

Some people prefer to use disposable wipes when not at home.  I use a Planet Wise wet bag and take my pre-moistened cloth wipes with me when I go out.  It’s no different than taking your cloth diapers on the go!

Cloth wipes are easy to care for.  Just toss in the diaper pail and launder them with your diapers.  My husband keeps asking me why I hang them out to dry.  I don’t really have a good answer, but I think they would start to stink if I left them damp for a couple of days before I used them.

That is cloth wipes in a nutshell.  Do you have comments, suggestions, or questions?  Leave me a comment and let me know!


Brittany H said...

I have a question!
When you say you premoisten them do you just fold the wipes up so they pop out and then squirt the liquid into the diaper container? Or do you just moisten them when you take them out?
Also when you're on the go what kind of container do you use to carry your premoisten wipes?

I'm SO excited to try cloth wipes out. I wasn't going to use them at first, but I just made a bunch of 7x7's and tried them out on my niece. Worked great!

Andrea Hamilton said...

I fold my wipes so that they pop out, and they form a stack. I put the stack sideways in the wipes box, and I squirt the liquid between the layers. Then I lay the wipes flat in the box, so that they will pop out. I usually squirt some extra solution on the top of the stack, so that it will seep through and really moisten all of the wipes well. (I almost always have to wring excess liquid out of the bottom on or two wipes in the box). Some people just spray each wipe individually as they pop it out of the box, but I find that is an extra step and often a fiasco when you have a squirmy baby or a poopy diaper.

I use a Planet Wise small wet bag for my pre-moistened wipes when on the go. They make a wipes pouch, but I tend to like to carry a lot of wipes with me, and they don’t all fit in the wipes pouch. The pouch does have a snap fold-over to prevent wicking out the zipper (for pre-moistened wipes). I just keep my small wet bag standing up in the diaper bag and I rarely have any wicking from the wet wipes.

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