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Maybe you cloth diaper and want to use cloth wipes as well. Or maybe you use “Family Cloth” and need a solution to create a wet wipe for personal use. Either way making a DIY solution to spray onto your fabric pieces is a great way to create the multi-purpose efficiency of traditional wet wipes without the environmental toll of disposables. If you’re unsure about the sanitation of reusable cloth, you can read more about it here.
I’ve been cloth diapering for over a year now and we also use cloth wipes. But we didn’t always. I am not ashamed to admit that I used (and still use when traveling, and washing just isn’t an option) disposable wipes and diapers when my littlest was brand new. I was well aware of how much time I would no longer have and I didn’t want to be stuck washing so many times in a week just to make it through the newborn-3 month old phase. Plus we certainly didn’t have the budget to buy newborn and one-size diapers, because apparently one-size isn’t exactly what it sounds like. So we opted to wait until he was roughly 4 months old and his urinary patterns changed to less frequently and with a little more volume.
At that time, my husband (bless him) convinced me that we should just continue using disposable wipes to lessen the workload on me that had already increased by doing cloth diapers. I agreed, and disposable wipes worked for time. Until the pandemic hit. And both diapers and wipes were a scarce commodity all over. I was so pleased with myself that we cloth diapered and didn’t endure the struggle so many other parents did, but I had to become self-reliant in the wipes (and toilet paper) department, FAST.
So I hunted down some older, but still in good shape towels and burp cloths, pulled out my fabric shears and got to cutting! I created more than enough for my little guy and myself from just a items laying around the house that were close to being turned into garage rags (because convincing my husband he has enough of those is a battle I’ll never win). We each ended up with roughly 40 wipes (probably more). Being the only female with 2 legs in my household presented its own problems during the pandemic so I resorted to cloth wipes as well; aka “Family Cloth” but I’m the only one using them.
I found that I preferred cloth for both myself and my little guy. He stopped getting these weird rashy dots that the doctor said presented sort of like eczema but looked very different from my older son’s eczema rashes. As soon as we started using our own wipes and solution those red dots were gone! And he seemed to be more comfortable during diaper changes as well. He cried less during them which made me really wonder if those disposable wipes had been perhaps stinging his skin. I will likely never know for fact.
At this point, I don’t see us going back to toilet paper or disposables ever! It saves a ton of money and produces less of a carbon footprint than TP too.
DIY Wipe Solution Recipe
Add the coconut oil to the hot water and stir until melted. Then add in the soap and stir gently until dissolved. Try not to make big bubbles. Optional: add in 2-3 drops of essential oils, such as lavender or eucalyptus. Avoid this step if your child is under 4 months of age or has extremely sensitive skin. I personally skip this step. After all ingredients are mixed well, pour into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.
Note: if the coconut oil makes little clumps or a layer in the bottle don’t worry. Just shake it up vigorously and those will melt once they come into contact with the warmth from your babies skin. Also we use Puracy for both baby shampoo and lotion, we love the products and the company.