I've talked a lot about how you can be self-sustainable using cloth diapers for your baby. This is also very frugal. Not having to go to the store each week to purchase disposables is empowering. Once you start using cloth diapers, using cloth wipes is a natural jump. Many families go from there to “family cloth” (cloth toilet paper). I have not been able to make that jump, but my hat's off to families who do!
Why oh why should I use cloth wipes?
The reason it is so easy to start using cloth wipes if you are a cloth diaper user is because you will soon find that you have no place to put that disposable wipe when you change your baby. You don't have to keep a trash can in the babies room. You don't have to run outside to put the diaper/wipe in the garbage. You just put it in your odor-proof can and get on with your day. A disposable wipe disrupts this pattern.
Of course, there are lots of other reasons:
- there are lots of chemicals in disposable wipes
- disposable wipes are always cold
- disposable wipes are messy and thin (the mess is always seeping through to your hand!)
Once you use a thick cloth wipe you will wonder why you didn't switch sooner. You can use any size/type. The ones I use are 8″ x 8″ because that is the size that can be folded into a regular wipes container and put into the diaper bag. They are in a basket in the babies room, but it is nice to be able to use a container when going out. I have two-sided wipes. Velour on one side (soft for quick clean up) and sherpa on the other (thick and good at grabbing messes). Flannel and terrycloth are also great materials to make wipes out of.
How can I make cloth baby wipes?
You can purchase wipes (Mine were $1 a piece. I purchased them because at the time I was working and really didn't have the time to make them, plus I bought a serged edge and I do not have a serger). You can also make them. If you do not have a serger, like me, then turned and top-stitched works just fine.
- STEP ONE: Put the two materials together, nice side facing in
- STEP TWO: Sew around the outer edge, leaving a small area where you can turn the material
- STEP THREE: Turn the material so the “good” side is now facing out, sew up the opening you left to turn the material (like a pillow)
- STEP FOUR: Stitch around the edge (about 1/4″ from the edge). This will keep the wipes flat.
How can I make a wipe solution?
Cloth wipe solution can be as simple or complex as you want. I put mine in a squirt bottle and wet each wipe when I need it. You can also put it in a wipes warmer and keep your wipes wet or you can use a foaming bottle. Here is the solution I use:
- 1 Tbs Liquid Castile soap
- 1 Tbs oil (any type – I have used sunflower, almond, and even a massage oil once)
- a few drops essential oil if you want (Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil are good for this) – optional
- 2 cups water
Will it Save me any Money?
Honestly, not much. It is easier though. On average you will spend about $190 on disposable wipes. My purchased wipes and solution for 2 years cost about $65. So, I saved about $125 over 2 years by using cloth wipes. It really is more convenient though and you will get less “mess” on your hands.
Where do I find the Cloth Wipe Supplies?
You can find material for cloth wipes at any craft store (Joanns, Hancock). Sherpa, terrycloth, and velour run about $10/yard, you can usually find flannel for around $3/yard. You can make approximately 16 wipes with every yard of fabric so you can make them yourself for $0.37 each (flannel/flannel), $0.81 each (flannel/other), or $1.25 each (sherpa/terrycloth/velour). You can definitely wait for a sale or coupon and save on the material.
The best price I have found for liquid castile soap is on Amazon (click here to see your choices) and the same goes for the essential oils. You can also find both at health food stores, but the oils tend to be much smaller bottles that are more expensive and you do not have as many options for castile soaps. Plus, you can use your free Amazon gift cards this way!
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