How-To Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Even more than diapers, one thing all new parents go through a LOT of are baby wipes. It doesn’t matter if you are cloth diapering or using disposables, wipes are essential. If you’re like me you use them for far more than just diaper changes. I like to use flannel cloth wipes with our cloth diapers but prefer something disposable for when we’re on the go.

I don’t buy into the labels ‘sensitive’ or ‘infused with aloe’ on the big brand name wipes. They are still full of chemicals that I can’t even pronounce and I really don’t want that touching my baby’s sensitive bottom when he has a rash. Often times even these so-called sensitive wipes are not mild enough to prevent irritation. So I am going to share two different methods for making your own wipes at home and for traveling.

For Cloth Wipes

You can find cloth wipes from any cloth diaper retailer or on Amazon. I like the OsoCozy flannel cloth wipes because they’re very soft and the size is perfect. You could also use regular washcloths. You can use any plastic tub container to store them in so they maintain their moisture. (I had received quite a few tubs of wipe for my first child so I just reused the tubs which you can do if you have some)

There are several cloth wipes solutions available that you can buy to use with your cloth wipes or diaper area sprays but I’m going to give you a ‘recipe’ for making your own solution to save more. You probably have most of the ingredients already on hand.

What You’ll NeedDSCN2871

For the soap, this could be any favorite baby wash, shampoo, or even castile soap. Oil is an inexpensive natural lubricant that moisturizes skin; therefore you can pretty much use any type (calendula, olive, almond, vegetable, etc) . I used olive oil and for the essential oil can be any scent of your choice. I used a tea tree oil for its antibiotic properties. The water doesn’t really have to be hot especially since it will be cool by the time you change your baby’s diaper, but I just find it mixes better with the oils. Simply place your cloth wipes in a tub, combine the liquids together and pour over your wipes. You may have to push the wipes down into the solution and swish them a little to make sure they fully absorb the liquid.

DSCN2877

I would suggest laundering the wipes separate from the cloth diapers as the oils could pose a problem with certain types of diapers. If you prefer washing them together, just skip the regular oil (essential oils should be fine with cloth diapers)

For Disposable

If you prefer the convenience of disposable baby wipes you can try the same recipe listed above but with paper towels that you can just throw away rather than cloth wipes.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 Roll of Paper Towel
  • Serrated bread knife
  • Cutting board
  • 4 qt container with a lid (round works best if you have one but a square one will work too)

1. Using a large serrated knife, such as a bread knife, cut the roll of paper towels in half on your cutting board so you basically end up with two rolls (like a toilet paper roll)

2. Combine your liquids from the previous recipe in a large (2c or 1qt) measuring cup.011

3. Place your roll with the cut-side down into your container and pour liquid over the roll.

4. Allow the towels to absorb the liquid for a few minutes then flip upside down.

5. After about 5 minutes, flip the container back right side-up and uncover. Remove the inner cardboard core.

6. Starting from the center, pull up the first towel to start your roll.

Be sure to keep the lid closed tightly to maintain moisture and keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight (i.e. do not place near a window) Since you are Amazon Imagecontaining moist baby wipes with no chemicals or preservatives, there is a chance for mold to grow so be watchful for this– I always used tea tree oil which due to its antibiotic properties reduces this chance. For traveling, I just unfold a few sheets of paper towel and place in a plastic traveling wipes container to stash in the diaper bag. Just don’t leave them in the container for over a week or replace them to prevent bacteria from growing. If they dry out just add a little water to moisten them.

Comments

  1. rebecca kaylor says:

    this is a very good idea

  2. My wife and I are considering making wipes at home for our baby. The only thing that concerns me about this article is that one of the reasons cited for making wipes is that, even in the sensitive wipes, there are chemicals you can’t pronounce and you don’t want them touching your baby’s skin. The recipe calls for any favorite baby wash, shampoo, or even castile soap. That got me wondering if the concern about chemicals in the wipes is really being addressed by making wipes. I found a list of Johnson’s Natural Baby Shampoo ingredients at http://www.johnsonsbaby.com/product/414 but there are still plenty of chemicals I’m having trouble pronouncing in the ingredients. Since this is their “natural” shampoo most of the chemicals are derived from plants. But that just means they’ve extracted the chemical and probably concentrated it…a bit like the process of manufacturing cocaine. Derived from plants doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Looking at the ingredient list for Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is a bit scarier and, after reading http://www.forbes.com/sites/amywestervelt/2011/11/01/as-report-reveals-toxic-ingredients-in-baby-shampoo-johnson-johnson-goes-public-with-plans-to-clean-up-products/, I’m really wondering how much safer this is without using a certain type of soap. What soap did you use and did you verify that the ingredients are safer than ingredients in wipes? How did you verify this?

    Thank you,

    Matt

  3. Rachel W. says:

    Hi! Thanks for this – so helpful! Do you know if these are safe to use on newborns?

  4. Do you have to worry about bacteria? How long is the longest you would leave these out for?

    • If you’re using an essential oil such as tea tree oil, it has antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold. Also the baby wash you use can play a part in it as some baby washes do contain preservatives or a small trace of alcohol such as scented washes that will deter mold from growing. I use a natural baby wash that already contains tea tree oil in it. Another tip is to be sure to keep the lid of the container closed tightly and try to store in a cool place away from windows as moisture plus heat are a good recipe for mold growth.

  5. Kelly C. says:

    Hello, I’m so thankful for and inspired by your post! I was looking at the following site ( (http://www.diaperpincorner.com/2002/05/cloth-diaper-pails-dry-or-wet/) about dry pailing method for cloth diapers and they suggested putting a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils on a cloth in the diaper pail to help with oders, then I saw one of that one of the soaps you mentioned in a comment to another person (Dr. bronners Castile soap) comes in lavendar and tea tree versions. Do you think if I chose to use the Bronners tea tree soap in the wipes solution it would eliminate the need to purchase both soap and essential oil for the wipes solution? I suppose then it would make the dry pail smell better and eliminate the step of adding essential oil to the dry pail as well. Do you have any experience with the bronners lavendar or tea tree soap? Or any thoughts about using it in the wipes solution instead of purchasing soap and oil separately and combining them? Thanks

    • The essential oil is completely optional for the wipes and does not have to be added in conjunction with the soap. I just use the one I have which is actually bath oil but contains tea tree oil in it so I use it with my wipes. If you do purchase the castile soap that contains the oils in it already then yes you could certainly omit the need for additional oil.

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