Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cloth wipes

I have been cloth diapering for 4 1/2 years with a small, glorious break of about two months between by 2nd & 3rd children.

I hadn't heard of cloth wipes until about two year ago. How did I miss this? I thought it was a great idea and immediately emailed two of my fellow cloth diapering friends. They both responded with an email that basically said "Duh" very nicely. Hm.

Well, in my typical style, it's taken me two years to figure out how to make cloth wipes work along with my diapers when it should have taken me two days.

I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on this project so I got resourceful. I am using an old disposable wipes tub to soak the wipes each day. The wipes are the old baby washcloths I had in the kitchen for my first two kids. I didn't buy any ingredients to figure this out, so don't feel like you have to.

I tried 3 different solutions:

  1. Plain, hot water - A friend of mine uses plain water for her wipes. She is very conscious of protecting her expensive cloth diapers and the directions on them indicate that no oils should come into contact with the diaper. So she just uses water and finds it works just fine. This is likely the most simple and least expensive solution. I found it also worked just fine, though I liked method #2 a little better.
  2. Water with tea tree oil - Another friend uses a solution of of 1 c. water, 2 drops tea tree oil, 4 drops lavendar oil, 4 drops vitamin E, 2 drops California Baby baby wash. I didn't have lavendar, vitamin E, or baby wash so I just went with about 8 drops of tea tree oil. This friend also says a big and lovely side effect of her solution is that the wipes keep her diaper pail smelling like lavendar and tea tree oil instead of soiled diapers. I also noticed an immediate difference when I used the tea tree oil. I couldn't say I smelled the oil, specifically, but I definitely noticed there was less diaper smell.
  3. Wipe Beans - Someone gave me a sample of Sammy's Wipe Beans to try in Cranberry Fig scent. Basically you just dissolve a bean in 1 cup of hot water and you have a wipe solution. I loved that this was super easy. I didn't love the smell. I might liked it more in another scent. You can check out the beans I used here.
So for now I'll stick with the water & tea tree oil, but if I find lavendar oil somewhere at a good price I'll sure give it a try, too. Please let me know if you have a good source for that.

Here are some other tips from my friend, Cheryl, with my editorial comments:
  • Try to find pure, essential oils for your solution - not synthetics. This is going on your baby's bum, after all.
  • If you have a wipe warmer, go ahead and use it to keep your solution warm.
  • You can make up several days' solution at a time and just use what you need each morning when you're changing your first diaper.
  • A day's worth of wipes for Cheryl's baby is 6-8. A week for my kiddo has been more like 3, 3, 10, 10, 10, 3, 3. It all averages out.
  • You don't need special washcloths. Use what you have and figure out what you prefer.
Sorry this post was a long time coming. It took much longer than I thought to try out all these methods. I am so thankful for you readers, though. I know that my two year intention could easily have stretched into "never-got-around-to-it" if I wasn't aware of and motivated to tell you my experiences in this area. So thanks for reading!



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I hadn't heard of the beans. I'm going to have to try those out. Currently, we're using just plain hot water on wash cloths for Eli, which works just fine with newborn breastfeeding poops.
    With Gwen, I'm using a spray bottle with a combo of water, tea tree oil and baby wash. I spray her bum then wipe down with washcloths. Hoping potty training comes soon...


So, what do you think?