Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Homemade Disposable Wipes, Cloth Wipes, and Family Cloth!

As most of you know, we use cloth diapers. However, we didn't use cloth wipes. I remember friends asking us a lot after my little girl turned one why we had chose not to use Cloth Wipes. Personally, I thought it would be easier to stay with disposable wipes verses cloth wipes because I could just throw those away and it would be one less thing to clean. Also, I liked the fact that they were disposable and that it was one less thing that I had to do. I had figured with me teaching myself the whole cloth diapering, adding the cloth wipes on top of it might be too much. However, since I started using cloth wipes I found ALL of my predispositions were inaccurate. *smile*

First, cloth wipes are just as easy as disposable wipes. Once again, it is your frame of mind and expectations that alter your reality. I used to think it was easier to wipe my babies bum and throw away the wipe in a trash can if I could find one. Now, I think it is easier to take the wipe and put it in the same bag for my dirty diapers when I wipe her bum. I don't have to carry around a little trash can, go in search of one, or take the disposable wipes out of the dirty diaper bag and throw them away before I wash. The cloth wipes take no extra cleaning in my experience. I just drop them in the washer with my cloth diaper load. So, it turned out that using cloth wipes made it one less thing that I had to do, because I was already putting the dirty diaper in its bag and washing a load of laundry. *smile* Also, you use less cloth wipes than you do disposable wipes because cloth wipes can clean more. So that is a plus too. *smile*

These are the Cloth Wipes that I made!

Also, homemade wipes are becoming more popular. A nurse even mentioned to me that we should change our wipes to homemade wipes. She said that they are seeing so many babies react to all brands of disposable wipes because of the irritants in the store bought wipes. I have to agree with her. Ever since we changed to homemade wipes, and the amazing homemade wipe solution, my daughter has had no irritations, rashes, yeast infections, or anything what so ever. It has truly been awesome. I will be sharing about my favorite wipe solution in another blog.

So, I decided to give cloth wipes a try. I read up on many different ways to make cloth wipes and different materials that I could use. I was looking for the most affordable way to make cloth wipes. There are lots of options out there. You can buy wipes already made from a retailer or home business, use wash cloths, make your own wipes, and more. Since I have a sewing machine and no have no problem sewing, I decided it was best for us if I made them. I had decided I would make them out of receiving blankets. I went to our local Salvation Army and bought 7-8 receiving blankets and a basket to put the wipes in for under $10. I came home and washed the receiving blankets in HOT water with my laundry detergent, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide to really get them clean. From my research I needed at least 24 wipes, but I was going to make as many as I could out of the blankets I had bought because I like to over plan. Let me just say that those 7-8 blankets made around 85 wipes. Wow! I was not expecting that, haha, and they were doubled for thickness soo... you might not need that many blankets if you are not wanting to make that many cloth wipes.
Then it was time to sew. I had chose to make my wipes 8x4 inch so that they could fit into a disposable diaper holder without needing folded to fit. I have not regretted this decision, I prefer it. I also chose to sew two 8x4 inch panels one on top of the other for thickness and absorbency. When I started the project, I didn't know if I wanted the double panel wipes, however my amazing husband thought we might like the thicker wipe better. I am glad that I listened to his decision, *smile* because they are perfect. I would have had to use more wipes per diaper change if I had only made them single ply. Basically, I took each blanket and cut it into as many 8x4 inch pieces as I could get out of them. Then I took the extra material and made as many wipes out of it that I could, some are 4x4 inch squares and some are odd shapes, but they work for us. *smile* Then I got creative and paired each of the panels with a match. After the fun part of paring them together came the work. I laid one panel on top of the other and sewed as close to the edge as I could. The directions I was given suggested 1/4 inch, however I wanted mine as close to the edge so that it would have less room for raveling. Speaking of raveling, I loved the material of the receiving blankets. When it raveled, it did not fray, but just comes off. The first few washes there was a lot of raveling, but the it goes away and stays gone with no frayed edges. Almost perfect, in my opinion. *smile*
So, that is how I made my cloth wipes. It was easy. Since I chose to make SO many wipes and my sewing machine kept acting up several times, the whole project took me about six hours. If you are making less wipes and your sewing machine works great, then it should be a much shorter amount of time. *smile* Here is the link that I used for my sewing instructions. She gives a couple different types and sizes of cloth wipe so that you can choose which one will work best for you and your family:

These are so easy to make and lots of people prefer them over cloth wipes because of they are still disposable. A plus is that they are MUCH cheaper than buying disposable wipes. Also, you can make your own wipe solution so that it does not irritate your babies skin. As far as how to make them it is very simple. Take a roll of paper towel and cut it in half with a knife. Then remove the inner card board roll from the rolls of paper towel. Either put the paper towel in a container with a lid or a large zip-lock bag with the wipe solution you choose until it is absorbed into the paper towels. Then turn the container or zip-lock bag over for about 5-10 minutes so that the solution will move through all the paper towel. Now you are ready to start using your disposable wipes! You want to start pulling the paper towel from the inside of the roll rather than the outside. This will help keep it in one piece as you get to the end of the roll. *smile*

I took the wipes I wasn't using for my daughter and tried out family cloth for a time!

This was a personal experiment of mine, my husband was not fond of trying this one with me and that is okay. *smile* However, I only partially used family cloth. Family Cloth is using cloth wipes in the bathroom instead of toilet paper. You use cloth wipes of some sort and then put them in a container to wash instead of the toilet to flush. My experiment was to see how much toilet paper I could cut from our grocery bill by using family cloth. Since I had a lot of my daughters Cloth Wipes left over that I had made,  I took some and put them in the bathroom for use. *smile* It actually wasn't that bad and there was no extra laundry because I threw them in with my daughters cloth wipes and cloth diapers when I washed. It actually did save on at least 3/4 of our toilet paper expense. Girls use more toilet paper than guys. And since only me and my husband are using toilet paper in our home, it was interesting to see just how much I used. Wow, ladies, we use a lot of toilet paper. And I don't use a lot of toilet paper each time I go to the bathroom. So yes, I would say that using family cloth cuts back on this expense. Especially if you have a house full of girls. *smile* However, because it was more of a short term experiment I have gone back to my toilet paper roll. We do not need to cut this expense from our grocery list, however if we ever do, then I can say we are prepared. I have read that there are some families who choose to make this a lasting change for all of their family members. I do not know their reasons, however if you are interested, then know that you are not alone and there are others out there in the United States who happily choose to use family cloth. *smile*


  1. I think you are nuts.

  2. Haha, why thank you! The Cloth Wipes have been great for us and a needed change because my daughter was reacting the store bought disposable wipes. It just took me awhile to figure it out. As far as the family cloth, it was a good experiment. It once again reminded me of the luxuries in life we call necessities. It wasn't that bad and if it is ever needed, then we have what we need on hand. *smile* However, I understand that these changes are not for everyone. *smile*

  3. I think you are a genius to be honest. I wouldn't do this myself but I would if any my kids were having reactions to the store bought wipes. They put so many chemicals in "convenient" products, that i worry that they are hurting us in the long run....smiling:):):);)

    1. Yes, I know what you mean. I would not have seriously thought about cloth wipes with my first, but circumstances encouraged me. Unfortunately, all these chemicals are hurting us and our kids. We live in a very toxic society and it is one of the main causes that has made sickness and disease rampant in our society. Check out my other blog if you are interested. Thanks for posting!

  4. After watching Ultimate Cheapskate, I thought about it for a long time, and finally making the switch. I cut up my ex's old shirts he left behind! Clothwipes are so much better. Will be doing wet and dry wipes. Wish I had done this years ago.

    1. So excited for you! I hope you continue to enjoy the cloth wipes. I know your baby's bottom will. *smile*


"So speak and so do as being about to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgement will be without mercy to the one not doing mercy, and mercy exalts over judgement." James 2:12-13