Updated on January 21, 2016
How to Use Cloth Wipes
This post contains affiliate links.
Did you know that you don’t have to use cloth diapers to use cloth wipes? Anyone can use cloth wipes instead of disposable wipes. Cloth wipes are not only less waste, but they are actually much more effective when it really matters. Yes, I’m talking about poop. Did you know that you can often get a poopy bum thoroughly cleaned with only ONE cloth wipe without getting your hands dirty? It’s true. We used disposable wipes briefly with The Heir when we took him to Italy at 13 months old, and they were not great. I had to use two, three, sometimes four or more disposable wipes just to clean up after one messy diaper. I went through more wipes over those two weeks than I ever thought possible in such a short amount of time. To say I was happy to get back to my lovely cloth wipes would be an understatement. Cloth wipes are ridiculously easy to use, store, and wash. Seriously. Here’s how to do it.
First you need to get some cloth wipes. I do have a favourite cloth wipe. Granted, they were the first wipes I bought when I was still pregnant with The Heir and they worked so well I haven’t needed to try any others (though I’d totally love to try other brands)! Those wipes are Grovia brand cloth wipes and are available at Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company. They are a great size and have a really nice texture on them. That texture is really great for cleaning up all varieties of poop. With a cloth wipe like the Grovia, you want to start with 36 wipes in your stash. There are, of course, other options in the wipes world and, if you can operate a serger (I cannot), you can even make your own wipes. You can make wipes out of old receiving blankets by cutting them down to the shape and size you want and then serging two layers together. Even those little baby wash cloths work quite well as wipes!
What about wetting down cloth wipes? There are two schools of thought on this: you can use tap water or you can make a wipes solution. I use tap water. I simply run a wipe under the tap right before doing a diaper change. Sometimes I let the water run warm first, most of the time I don’t. Neither Petit Prince nor The Heir have ever complained about a cold wipe. When we are on the go, I rarely find myself changing a diaper where there is no sink, but if this happens I just wet the wipe with my own bottle of water or with water from The Heir’s sippy cup. The other option is to make a wipe solution and use that to wet the cloth wipes. There are SO MANY recipes for cloth wipes solutions that I couldn’t possibly go over all of them here. A pretty simple solution is to use 2 cups of water, a few squirts of baby oil, and a few squirts of baby wash/shampoo. You can pour the solution into a spray bottle and just spray your wipes as needed, or you can fold your cloth wipes into an old disposable wipes container, and pour the solution overtop of the wipes.
How do you store cloth wipes? One of the reasons I really like just using tap water is that I can store the wipes dry. I use a diaper caddy on the change table to store cloth wipes, and they conveniently fit in the space meant for disposable diapers. The one I use is the Prince Lionheart Dresser Top Diaper Depot. If you’re using a wipes solution, you can store your wipes in an old disposable wipes container or in a wipes warmer (if warm wipes are your thing). Just remember to only store enough wipes for a day or two if you’re storing them in a solution. You want to dump the solution and put fresh wipes in every day or two.
What about when you’re on the go? Super easy. I just put dry wipes into one of the many inner pouches of my diaper bag. Once they’ve been used, they go right into the wet bag with the soiled diaper. If you’re using a wipes solution, you can buy a mini wet bag for carrying moistened cloth wipes with you. AppleCheeks makes a Mini Zip wet bag that’s the perfect size for wipes (available at Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company).
How do you wash cloth wipes? If you’re already using cloth diapers, they go in the same laundry bag and get washed with the diapers. If you’re not using cloth diapers, you can wash them in a hot wash cycle with a good detergent (I use Tide Original HE Powder).
What about the poop? Once baby has started solids, you want to shake off any poop chunks into the toilet before you put them in the laundry bag. I have never sprayed or rinsed a cloth wipe. Not ever. Anything that doesn’t shake right off will wash away in the laundry.
Pretty easy, right? If you have been thinking about making the switch to cloth wipes, you should just go for it! They’re convenient, easy to use, easy to clean, and very gentle of baby’s skin!
Do you use cloth wipes? What’s your favourite brand of wipes?