Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Baby Wipes

You may read this and go - "Make my own baby wipes?? Forget about it!!!" 

And if that's you, I don't blame you. I know all too well how many things are pulling moms in all directions day in, day out. My goal is not to add to the never-ending list of your obligations. 



But before you completely dismiss the idea of making your own wipes, let me submit to you that making these wipes is easier, quicker, and healthier than buying wipes at the store.

Ready-made baby wipes contain many harmful chemicals, most notably questionable preservatives. Since the vast majority of body care products are absorbed through the skin, I try not to put anything on my skin I would not consider food-safe.




I used to buy "Huggies Natural Care Wipes" for years, until I looked at the ingredient list and realized that the word "natural" meant absolutely nothing - they contain: Water, Potassium Laureth Phopshate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Malic Acid, Methylisothiazolinone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate. Basically, everything besides the water, aloe, and vitamin E is stuff I'd rather not rub on my baby's bottom every day for 2+ years. Hello, I want to have lots of healthy grandbabies one day!!!

From what I have found, there are NO all natural wipes without preservatives on the market, not even brands like "Seventh Generation" etc. If I am wrong on this, please share in the comments below what you have found, for those who may be interested.

Which brings me back to the topic at hand: making your own wipes quickly and easily.

You will need: 

dry, disposable washcloths
3 cups filtered water
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
5-10 drops tea tree oil

A lot of moms who make their own wipes use strong paper towels, like Bounty, with the roll cut in half. I have used those for about a year, and it does work. But: cutting the paper towels can be a major pain, and as such, a deterrent to making wipes altogether. Also, the method of pulling wipes out of the middle of the paper towel roll didn't work for me, because my wipes would always end up collapsing and bunching up. So not only did I cut my paper towel rolls, but I would then also accordion-fold all the paper so the wipes would neatly fit into a regular pop-up baby wipes box. Time consuming? YES! Insane? Maybe.

 However, just recently, I switched to using these dry, disposable washcloths:


The box contains ten packs of 50 wipes each. One pack fits neatly into a typical baby wipes box:
 


These disposable washcloths are folded individually, not "pop-up" style where one wipe pulls out the next, but they still work very well. Another disadvantage of these wipes is their size - they are about twice as big as a regular wipe. However, I have found that I do end up using fewer wipes.

As far as quality of the material, these are far superior to even the strongest paper towels. They are every bit as sturdy and thick as typical baby wipes. The material is synthetic, but does not at all feel too "plastic-y" to wipe effectively. 

Time to assemble the other ingredients: To make TWO boxes of wipes, you will need 3 cups filtered water, 1/4 cup mild baby shampoo/body wash, 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil, and some tea tree oil.



Measure out the shampoo/baby wash and oil, add tea tree oil.



Stir into the filtered water.


Pour half of the wipes solution onto each box of wipes.



Done! I do recommend letting the wipes sit overnight, or at least for several hours, to soak up and distribute the solution evenly. 

Also, I do not recommend making more than two boxes of wipes at a time, since the solution contains no preservatives. The tea tree oil does help keep away mildew, but there's no reason to let the wipes get old and stinky, when they are such a snap to whip up.



To me, whipping these up is MUCH easier than dragging the kids to the store. As far as cost, using the ingredients suggested above, and organic olive oil, they come out to just under $4 per box. Which due to the size of the wipes, is really like 1 1/2 regular wipes boxes. Not cheaper, but safer and milder than the storebought alternative. If you decide to go the paper towel route, you can bring the cost down to under $2/box. 

If you try these, please let me know how it worked for you in the comments below.

P.S. Please excuse the quality of the pictures. The lens of my camera is currently in for repair :(


26 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have been doing some research on "natural" baby wipes myself. But alas there seems to be none. I just CANNOT think about reusable cloth wipes, yuck! Cloth nappies are bad enough without having to wash through the wipes too!

    I looked for the type of dry disposable wipes like you suggested on Amazon UK...but they were very expensive. I did however find a possible (cheaper) alternative, just in case anyone else is interested:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Huggies-Cotton-Soft-Sheets-Pack/dp/B0088APOSC/ref=sr_1_1?m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&s=drugstore&ie=UTF8&qid=1352213506&sr=1-1

    This is for 360 dry disposbale Huggies cotton wipes for just over £7. We would be ordering from Ireland, but we usually get free delivery if ordering other things too! :)

    Thanks again for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. have you looked into Tushie wipes available from greenbaby.co.uk or else it's .com.
      they may be ok i know there baby shampoos have no preservatives but they are pricey.I have used their nappies form my 4 year old when he was a new born my husband bought a few boxes of them when we had the money all those years ago.we would not be able to afford that now.
      Anyway the nappies i found leaked like mad as they were so natural they had nothing but cotton in the centre,but were still lovely and natural.your local health shop might be able to order those wipes for you if you were interested the one near me stocks them ,though i don't buy them i generally just use plain water.
      hope this helps..nora

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    2. Wow, those wipes are nice. I don't think they sell them here.

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    3. I don't know either.
      I just tried lookking up their web page to check the ingredients list but it's undergoing maintenance.But as far as I remember reding before they are nice and so are their baby shampoos etc.,
      your wipes are great too it's a good idea.

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  2. What about just a washrag or other rag or cloth when at home? i also like the idea of using this same solution with nondisposable cloths as i read on the linked page. weve been using rags for napkins for years and i dont miss paper napkins at all. we dont usually have paper towels either anymore. we started out with prettier material from walmart for napkins but now just use these rags everyday and save the other napkins for special days. we also have nicer cloth napkins for dinjng room for looks and even more special times like holidays. we grew up in cloth diapers and im sure my mom didnt have any wet wipes......so what did they do? its all a pain i imagine. my mom helped with cloth diapers and plastic pants for my sibs kids. what you have now for that is prob way better. what did people do in ancient biblical times...just interesting to know....i guess poops not
    a new thing...though i wish itd go away!! :) if we eat better are poops/bms cleaner? just a thought ive had before? if we are healthier? i just cant hardly imagine adam and eve having to poop in a garden and dealing with all this....any answers? thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I draw the line at cloth diapers.

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  3. My mom always used just papertowel and water. One of those ingredients on the box though is a natural ingredient and not necessarily a manmade chemical. I'm talking about the glycerin. Glycerin is necessary for making soap period and without it, you won't get soap. The settlers aquired glycerin by filtering warm water through wood ash and leaves and then they combined it with their lard to make their own homemade soap. Of course there is more detail into making soap, I'm just paraphrasing it.I do agree though that all those other chemicals are unessesary and harmful; Glycerin is just not one of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right about the glycerin, thanks for pointing that out.

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    2. I must make a correction. After thinking about it for a while, I started doubting the information I gave. So I re-researched it. Glycerin is harmless, but it was not obtained through wood ash. Lye was obtained through wood ash, which is also used in soap, but unlike glycerin is harmful to you skin. I appoligize for that misinformation.

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  4. I make a simillar solution, but use it on cloth wipes, in a pump bottle. Is probably slightly more hassle than disposable wipes in a container of solution, but it works on the same principal of less chemicals/nasties on a baby/child's skin (we use solution for handwiping/facewiping etc as well) Do you use cloth diapers? I can't remember if you've mentioned it before?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I use cloth about 50% of the time. Basically, never out of the house, or overnight. I had Stephen in cloth 100%, but he would wake up crying the second he wet his diaper (at least every hour, if not more), whereas he was much happier in disposables. I only put him in cloth now during his natural "awake" times.

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  5. Cloth wipes would save you a ton of money and then you wouldn't be rubbing their butts with bleached paper!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The paper towels I used were non-bleached, as is our toilet paper. Yes, we also use disposable toilet paper...

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  6. I make wipes with the paper towels. Now that we are using cloth diapers I am using cloth wipes with the solution in a spray bottle. When we have more finances to work with I want to try your way of making them. I sewed my cloth diapers myself and sewed wipes with the excess material. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have thought about sewing my own diapers. Do you have any links for pattern online you can recommend? Thank you!

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  7. baby shampoo has many harmful chemicals too, read the ingredients before poor steven ends up infertile

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "poor steven" has been out of diapers for almost three decades now, and he certainly is not infertile.

      As for baby Stephen, the organic baby shampoo I use has no harmful ingredients, and I only use 1 fluid oz per pack of wipes.

      Do you use soap?

      Delete
  8. I use cloth wipes, but then we are in cloth 100% of the time. I find I need to use a lot less wipes when I use cloth ones. For the solution, I add 1 homemade soap cube (I buy them on Etsy from Wee Essentials) to 8 oz of water and heat it until the soap is dissolved, then pour it into a peri bottle and squirt on the wipes as needed. Works well for us! I love that since we don't keep the wipes wet all the time, they are great to use to wipe noses, faces, and hands, plus quickly wipe up spills and use as napkins. :)

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  9. What about water wipes http://www.dermah2o.com/, only water and grapefruit extract. Don't know if you can get them in the US?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are available @ Diapers.com, Amazon.com, Target.com, GreenCupBoards.com, Drugstore.com

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  10. Putting healthy ingredients on toxic materials will defeat the purpose of going natural. Medline is a medical products company. As a hospital quality assurance manager, I can tell you those products are made, ironically, with no concern for health. It's a given that the wipes are processed with dyes, bleach and chemicals. Furthermore, the website does not state what the wipes are made of, so they likely contain plastic and/or petroleum-based products. I wouldn't use these if you are concerned about skin sensitivity and absorption.

    Since most "natural" companies are still using at least a few toxic ingredients, be sure to always read labels. Many of these companies are counting on our failure to do so. I wish I could recommend a good disposable wipe material, but I can't find anything that is truly pure and natural in content and processing. A good business opportunity for someone industrious!

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  11. Please, correct me if I am wrong but doesn't baby wash or baby shampoo contain the same chemicals you wanted to avoid? Not trying to trick you but merely point out the error if I am understanding this correctly!
    Warm regards,
    Meghann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing...

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  12. I use them, but I recommend only using one drop of tea tree oil. Because it is so strong! After I use them on my DD it makes my hands so soft! I use a squirt of Burts Bees all natural baby shampoo, it has a honey smell..honey with coconut makes my mommy brain feel a little relaxed! Ha!

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  13. I love this recipe! I cut up a bunch of old receiving blankets into 5x7 wipes and do this same method. I store them in snapware and make 2 batches at a time. I wish I would've done this 5 children ago. ;) Really does feel good knowing I'm using safe products on my little ones. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful helpful posts!

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  14. 8i know this is an old post but just wanted to share for anyone still reading and pondering the soap dilemma lol. you can also use castile soap which is a natural product with no glycerin just wont foam on it's own. and for this recipe you really don't need it to foam. but ya castile soap safe alternative. honestly in my home i make all our "soap" product with castile and a foaming soap pump. this includes hand soap, face wash, body wash. etc etc. castile mixed with water essential oils and your good to go. as well if you want to add glycerin you can get vegetable glycerin which is a natural organic product that will make your soap mixes combine. gotta keep all natural on those all natural baby bums :)

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