I have braved cloth diapers for the last four months, but up until now have been leery about trying cloth wipes. Making a solution, hanging them up to dry… it just seemed like more work than it was worth.
Now that I have been using cloth wipes for a few weeks, I wanted to let you know how it is going! Read on for a newbie’s perspective on cloth wipes, as well as some tips I have learned along the way.
I have to say that I love cloth diapering – now that I am into a good groove, it is so easy and actually enjoyable. I think my favorite part is hanging them outside in the sun to dry! You can read my intro to cloth diapering here.
But I really did not feel like doing cloth wipes – the thought of individually having to hang up all those tiny pieces of fabric seemed like such a pain. I told myself I would not feel guilty about using disposable wipes, especially since they can go through the washer just fine.
After a few months though, I DID feel guilty about the amount of wipes I was using. I was confident and comfortable enough with cloth diapers that I figured I was ready to add something new. So I bought some adorable cloth wipes at the LoveJoy Shoppe, and started to figure out how I was going to do this.
Sara was so nice and responded to about 70 questions I had about cloth wipes – she gave me her personal recipe for a wipe solution (and is letting me share it with you!), and I simplified it even further to fit my needs. I had heard that you may have to wash ALL of your cloth wipes every time you wash diapers, even the unused wipes, because of the solution mildewing. That sounded so unappealing to me that I was really motivated to find an alternative.
I ended up using about 4 ounces of purified water with one squirt of baby–safe liquid soap, mixing the two in a bottle and shaking it before dumping it over a full container of folded wipes. My mix lasts for a week, at which point I have usually used all of the wipes anyway. I store them in an old pop-top wipes dispenser which will hold about 20–25 folded cloth wipes. I keep it closed when I am not using it, and each wipe has the perfect amount of moisture on it!
Now that I am used to using cloth wipes, I have a really good system going! I fold the soiled one up with the cloth diaper and put it in my pail; they go through the pre-wash and wash cycles like everything else.
But I still do not hang them outside to dry – that is where I draw the line. I put them on top of my dryer, and when I bring my prefolds in at the end of the day to agitate in the dryer, I toss the wipes in with them. The prefolds get softer, and the wipes get dried – in just 10 minutes of dryer time.
I was surprised at how different the cloth wipes feel – they are much bigger and thicker than disposables. Even with a breastmilk poop, I usually only need one because I can fold it over on itself and wipe again.
I really liked the pattern and quality of the wipes I got from Sara, but I also was handed down some small pieces of flannel which were just cut with scissors. So far those older ones have not frayed, but they are not quite as soft. It would be exceedingly easy for you to just make your own, especially if you are unsure like I was and you wanted to do your own test drive. However I do plan to buy more cute ones, especially since I can also use them for makeup, cleaning, etc.!
There you have it – my first experience with cloth wipes, and I survived! This sounds silly, but I am proud of myself for trying them. I like them a lot more than I thought I would, and I love that I am not buying disposable wipes anymore.
Sara’s wipe solution
Mix 2 cups water, 1/4 cup baby wash, and 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a mason jar. Pour over wipes until saturated. Should last 2 to 3 days.