When using cloth diapers, it’s a logical step to move toward using cloth wipes as well. However, after just learning all about diapers it may be mental overload to even think about it. Like cloth diapers though, it’s as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. From using baby wash cloths that you wet under the sink to fancy and colorful two sided WAHM wipes with a purchased wipe solution, there’s a cloth wipe combo that fits your lifestyle and budget.
Cloth wipes come in a variety of materials, but are usually cotton. Flannel, cotton terry, cotton velour and minky are the most popular. You can either make your own or purchase them. Many cloth diaper manufacturers also make cloth wipes as well as many WAHMs. They come in a variety of sizes.
The wipes will need to be moistened for use. You can either wet them as needed under the sink or with a spray bottle. Wipe solutions can be as simple as plain water to homemade solutions containing oils (not essential oils but coconut or olive), witch hazel, soap, etc to purchased solutions.
Storage is a personal preference. Wet or dry. Warmer or no warmer. Folded or laid flat. You can find what works best for you.
How to make them
Wipes can be made from many materials, cotton flannel being the most common. However, you don’t always need to purchase fabric to make them. They can easily be made from old t-shirts or recieving blankets. Just cut the squares or rectangles to the shape that suits you best. Neither of these materials need to be sewn as there is minimal fraying, however cutting them out with pinking sheers will further reduce the likelihoood of fraying. If you’re wanting a heavier duty wipe you can always sew two together.
Another no sew option that is very popular is using baby wash cloths.
If you are looking something a little cuter or would rather make them from purchased fabric, cotton flannel, terry, velour or knit will all work as will bamboo and bamboo velour (or any soft, absorbent material). You can even mix and match to make two sided wipes.
Where to buy them
Several cloth diaper manufacturers also make cloth wipes such as Bummis and Grovia. They are typically found under any online retailers accessories section. However there are many WAHMs who make them as well! Just search Etsy, Hyena Cart, and Facebook.
How to wet and store them
The cheapest and easiest way to moisten the wipes is at each use under the faucet.
However that’s not always practical for everyone. Water or premade wipe solutions can also be stored in a spray bottle or peri bottle (keep the one from the hospital!) to wet the wipes as you need them.
Plain tap water is fine to use but you can also make a more involved wipe solution with oils like coconut or olive, baby wash, etc. We do caution against the use of essential oils in children under 2 however, especially tea tree oil. Please do plenty of research outside of the EO companies before using them on your children.
If you prefer to store wet wipes so you don’t have to worry about doing it during diaper changes, this can be done but there is the risk of mildew or evaporation. To combat mildew, make sure to add some witch hazel to your water or wipe sokution. To avoid evaporation, a small zip lock bag or other sealed container.
For storing dry wipes, you can simply stack them up on you changing table or a shelf, place them in a container (a repurposed disposable wipes container works great!), or in a drawer.
You can also use a wipe warmer to store wet wipes. Again make sure to add witch hazel to your solution and not put too many in the warmer and check them frequently to make sure they don’t dry out. Two or three days worth would be a good starting amout. Also, it may be best to use distilled water for any homemade wipe solutions to avoid hard water buildup.
How many do you need
A good rule of thumb would be 1 per pee diaper and 2 per poop diaper plus a few extra just to be safe.
How to wash them
Just toss in the pail with your diapers and launder with your diapers. You may want to rinse any that have a ton of poop on them but in general its not necessary.