How to Add Cloth Wipes to Your Routine
When you decide to stop using disposable diapers and switch to cloth diapers, it makes you reconsider all the disposable products in your house. Why do we use paper towels? Shouldn’t our whole family use reusable water bottles? What about plastic bags at the grocery store? And, hold on, what’s the point of disposable wipes when I’m already washing my diapers?
That’s a great question! If you’re already going to the trouble of washing your cloth diapers and wet bags, why not also wash cloth wipes? We understand why taking the leap to use cloth wipes could be intimidating, especially when the cost of disposable wipes is relatively low.
However, most cloth diapering parents quickly fall in love with cloth wipes. There are a ton of benefits to switching to cloth over the disposable alternatives. Plus, adding them into your routine is super cheap and easy! Here’s how and why to add cloth wipes to your system:
Benefits of Using Cloth Wipes
It doesn’t take long to earn your money back with cloth wipes. Three dozen cloth wipes could run you anywhere from $0 - $30. A package of disposable wipes costs about $4, and surveys show the average mom uses 15 packages of wipes in a month. That’s $60! You literally earn your money back in less than a month.
We’ve all seen them. Those pictures of baby bums that are red, inflamed, and peeling from chemical burn or an allergic reaction to wipe solution. The ingredients in standard wipes can wreak havoc on your baby’s sensitive skin.
Fragrances, preservatives, and alcohol are common in disposable wipes, and you don’t want to wipe your little wildling’s skin with any of that! With cloth wipes, you choose what solution is on the wipes—if any all. You could use plain water, or you purchase/make cloth wipes solution.
They’re more effective.
Seriously, they work better. When you start using cloth wipes, you’ll say, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!” That’s because the texture of the cloth wipes pick up debris way better than thin, slick disposable wipes. You’ll find yourself using way fewer wipes per change than you were with a disposable!
Okay, disposable wipes are versatile too, but cloth wipes are crazy versatile! Use cloth wipes to clean faces and hands after a meal, clean up after spills, clean dirty toys, and even remove make-up! There are so many uses, you’ll probably find yourself grabbing them for anything and everything. Then, you’ll need to stock up on more wipes as your whole family realizes the benefits.
Cloth diapering is better for the environment, even with the increased water consumption. Cloth wipes are no different. All those disposable wipes are not only critical to our sewage system, but terrible for our planet. The amount of disposable wipes on the coastline has increased over 400% in the last ten years, and most wipes contain plastic that is not biodegradable.
Cloth wipes are the obvious solution to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only can you use cloth wipes during the baby years, but you can use them well beyond your child rearing days. With their versatility combined with their reusability, they’re the ultimate sustainable product!
How to Add Cloth Wipes to Your Routine
Step One: Choose Your Wipes
First, you need to choose your wipes. You can either make cloth wipes yourself out of anything from an old t-shirt to flannel blankets, or you can purchase them from trusted cloth retailers. Each type of fabric has various drawbacks and benefits, so it’s best to experiment with different types. Here are the main fabrics used in cloth wipes:
- Muslin: The fabric is smooth, soft, and thin. They’re best for wiping faces and sensitive skin.
- Cotton: They’re lightly textured and thicker, but still soft, which makes them perfect for faces, bums, and all sorts of messes.
- Terry: Terry is thick and textured. It’s great for grabbing poo and other big messes.
- Bamboo: This fabric is smooth with a light texture. It’s super soft—perfect for any sensitive area!
So, what cloth wipes should you go for? At Alaskan Wildlings, we liked aspects of many fabrics, so we made the perfect cloth wipe blend. The cotton, bamboo, and terry mixture is soft enough for any area of the body but textured enough to pull away gunk and grime. You can grab a 10-pack of cloth wipes here.
Step Two: Choose Your Solution
We’ve already discussed how cloth wipes are much cleaner and safer than the disposable alternative because of the ingredients in the wipe solution. When you use cloth wipes, you can choose what you want on your wipes! You could simply use water, or use one of these quality wipe mixtures:
Step Three: Choose Your Containers
Next, you need to choose a container! This one is pretty easy. You can store your cloth wipes in basically any container, but here are some favorites:
- Jar: A cloth wipes jar is self-dispensing when folded a certain way, which is super handy! These are perfect for the diaper bag or your home diaper caddy!
- Wipe Warmer: Does your baby prefer warm wipes? This warmer was made specifically for cloth wipes!
- Plastic Container: Here’s a super cheap solution. Get a set of plastic lidded containers, and stack a ton of wipes inside. You can use these tall containers at home, on the go, or on big trips!
- Wipe Bag: A small wet bag makes the perfect wipe storage solution. It’s best for the diaper bag, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use them at home too.
Step Four: Choose How to Wet Them
How will you wet your wipes? You can either pre-wet your wipes and have them ready to go. Or, you can wet your wipes as you need them. Obviously, pre-wet is more convenient, but if the wipes sit for too long, they can get mildewy. If you wait to wet them when it’s time for a change, though, your wiggly or angry baby might not stick around and wait.
There are pros and cons to both, of course. If you want to pre-wet, you don’t need any additional supplies. If you want to wet them as you go, grab a peri bottle or spray bottle to dispense your solution.
Step Five: Stock Up
Now that you know what supplies you need, it’s time to stock up! Get your wipes, get enough solution, and don’t forget your container! Make a list of all you need, shop around, and find the best products for your needs.
If you’re already using cloth diapers, adding cloth wipes to your routine is a no-brainer.
We hope this guide helped you decide why and how to add cloth wipes to your system. Don’t forget we have our own cloth wipes as well as high quality diapers, wet bags, and other cloth diaper accessories. And, if you have other cloth diaper questions, check out our blog and Facebook group! We’re here to help!