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Should I switch to reusable cloth wipes?
As parents, we encounter situations of absolute mess on the daily. Attend to your wailing messy baby or concentrate on cleaning up the place around them is an everyday dilemma. This is where ‘Multipurpose & Reusable Wipes’ come into play; luxuriously soft for your baby’s skin yet sturdy enough to wipe out the messiest places. Cloth Wipes can be described as simple pieces of cloth; similar to towels but just in a handier size. These multi-use wipes can be made from multiple fabrics depending on need of use, various sizes, colors and thickness. Perfect for cloth diapering, baths or after meal clean ups; the ultimate purpose of cloth wipes is to keep a baby clean whilst reducing waste and saving time.
But in today’s modern world, where ease of use is given utmost importance, disposable and ready-to-use wipes are the most commonly used. Parents generally carry the notion that reusable cloth wipes require extra preparation, more cleaning time and more work. We are here to tell you why this isn’t true and why we prefer cloth wipes over disposables! By the end of it, you will be able to answer for yourself whether you should switch to cloth wipes!
Types of wipes
Let us make the quest of finding the most suitable wipes for your baby easy. Here are the most available options in the market today:
Ready to use wet wipes
Wet wipes are pre- moistened use and throw wipes that do not need any supplementary liquid agent to clean. They are for one time use only. It is important to be aware of the elements that constitute the solution used in these wipes as it could lead to rashes or skin infection. These wipes can further be classified into two:
- Bio-degradable wet wipes: are made from ingredients that are earth-friendly and can be flushed down. Made of agents that promote degradation causing them to break down.
- Non-biodegradable wipes: are not earth-friendly and thus end up in landfills.
Small piece of cloth that can be stitched or unstitched, single or double ply, square, rectangle or rounds; the possibilities are endless. There are various ready-made reusable cloth wipes available in the market for purchase today. One can also make their own reusable wipes using materials found at home. Cloth wipes can be reused multiple times after just a simple wash. They tend to be easier on the pocket when compared to single use wipes. The ones made from natural fabrics are 100% bio-degradable. However, they do need an additional cleaning agent like water or wipes solution.
Why are cloth wipes better?
One assurance that cloth wipes come with above all else is absolute protection with no chemicals. Your baby’s gentle and supple skin can be extremely sensitive in the early years; using products that are chemical free can reduce skin rashes, itching and redness. Additionally, switching to cloth wipes is not only environmentally sustainable but also economical.While the concept of disposable wipes was created to save time, increase utility and ease, it comes at a price. Disposable wipes are known to be preserved with chemicals like Polysorbate 20, which is usually treated with ethylene oxide; these may be constituted with harmful by-products and these by-products can harm your baby’s skin causing rashes, allergies, redness and inflammation. You’ll also end up using 1000’s of disposable wipes during just your baby’s diapering years – this is hard on your pocket and hard on the environment.
Reusable + Eco-friendly
Unlike disposable wipes, cloth wipes can be reused multiple times by washing them. They are 100% biodegradable and can be decomposed after wear and tear. They reduce the plastic dump and landfill waste generated from a household as they produce significantly lesser solid waste than conventional wet wipes. Choosing good quality cloth wipes is the key to sustain them for a long time. You will just need 30 - 40 reusable wipes at any point of time; these will go a long way.
Simply work better
Made of multiple durable and strong layers of fabric, cloth wipes can really handle a mess making it easy to clean up even the worst of spills. The extra thickness and higher absorbency of these materials would mean you will ultimately end up using far lesser wipes each time. Since you can soak these wipes in water for when you want to use gently or soak them in other stronger cleaning agents for more stubborn spills, you can determine the effectiveness for different uses. From wiping your baby’s face, hands and bottom to cleaning the messiest of messes, reusables are effective. The absorbing capacity also depends on the quality of cloth used for making the wipes.
Absence of any chemicals in the manufacturing process of reusable wipes makes them extremely skin friendly, even in the most sensitive babies. With an everyday essential such as wipes, it’s important for them to hypoallergenic as to not causes allergies. And with existing irritation or rashes on your baby’s skin, it’s a NO to use any chemical based wet wipes. Most blogs and doctors recommend dipping cotton in water to gently wipe at the rash but this can be cumbersome. 100% sustainably sourced reusable wipes are a great replacement for such scenarios; ultra-soft yet absorbent and easy to use.
Will save you a ton of money
Your pocket will thank you for switching out from thousands of disposable wipes to a few reusable cloth wipes. High quality wipes can last you a few years easily, saving you multiple grocery runs and a lot of money. Another option is to repurpose old sari’s and garments by cutting them up into cloth wipes – the only investment would be your time. You have the option to buy a few thousand wipes or 30-40 what would you choose?
Can I make my own wipes?
Yes! You can most definitely make your own wipes with basic materials available in your home! Let us walk you through the process of making your own wipes
- Go through your wardrobe, kitchen and storage to find old garments that you might want to discard that are in good shape still. A few fabrics that would be suitable that you can keep your eye out for are:
- Flannel wipes: Old flannel sheets or stained receiving blankets can have a new life as wipes.
- Terry cloth: Some crafty mamas and dadas turn old towels into cloth wipes. Others use a soft fabric called “baby terry,” available at fabric stores.
- Cotton or Bamboo Velour
- Cotton or Bamboo Fleece
- Mixed fabric: Terry cloth on one side; flannel on the other
- Once you’ve managed to accumulate some towels, flannel shirts and cotton saris, start folding them up into 8x8 inch squares and cut using a pair of scissors.
- Depending on the thickness of the fabric, you can decide to use them in single layers or double them up to give them a little volume and sturdiness.
- Should you decide to double the thickness, you’ll need a sewing machine to join the two pieces together. Hand sewing is also an option but more time consuming. It isn’t necessary to sew the edges of a single layer wipe but doing so would increase durability and reduce chances of fraying.
- You now have you own custom made wipes ready to clean all messes! Be sure to wash them by hand or in the machine before using them on your baby.
For anyone looking for ready-made wipes, you can visit https://bumprintbaby.com/products/reusable-cloth-wipes. We manufacture multi-purpose reusable cloth wipes in India. Perfect for cloth diapering, baby baths or after meal clean ups! Luxuriously soft and gentle on baby's skin as they are made from wonderfully soft, sustainably sourced 100% cotton.
How do I use and store cloth wipes?
Disposable wipes are already moistened so how do I wet my cloth wipes?
- Keep your wipes dry until ready for use:
You can store your wipes in a dry container or a desk drawer close to your baby’s diaper changing table until you are ready to use them. You can use a pre-made wipes solution along with a spray bottle to spray the solution on the wipes right before use. There is no one place to store them as long as the wipes and spray bottle are kept handy near changing time.
- Wet your wipes in advance:
You can also wet you wipes in advance with your home-made wipes solution and store them in a container that is leak proof and easy to open (a plastic box or even a zip lock bag would work). You can store these pre-wet cloth wipes for 1 – 2 days and refill the container whenever you run out of them. Watch what ingredients you’ve used to make your wipes solution as some of them may not be ideal to store for a long period of time (could lead to growth of harmful bacterial or even molding).
How do I make my own wipes solution (2 – 3)
When you make your own wipes solution you have the liberty to choose what goes in it according to what suits your baby. Many parents prefer just water but you will be surprised by the wide variety of combination of essential oils (only for kids above the age of 3 months) and fragrances that you can choose from. You can alter the elements in the solution according to your baby’s requirement.
You can also change these ingredients according to the season; for instance, in winters you can add a little bit of coconut oil in the solution to act as a moisturizer since babies skin gets dry. Listed below are some essential ingredients that parents usually use in their solutions.
- Baby soaps
- lavender oil -antiseptic and antifungal
- tea tree oil-natural antiviral
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Rose water
You can store the wipes solution in a spray bottle and shake well before use. Don’t make large batches when making your solution; just enough for about three days. Store it away from sunlight in a dry place.
When using new ingredients, make sure that the oils do not contain any alcohols, preservatives or harmful chemicals as it can cause irritation. Diluting the oils and any ingredients with water is preferable. If your baby has extremely sensitive skin, then stick to plain old water or try a patch test before using the homemade wipes solution.
Washing your cloth wipes
Washing cloth wipes is an easy task especially if you’re cloth diapering. If you’re in that boat, then just wrap up the used wipe in the dirty diaper and throw it in your cloth diaper storage bag or into the washer. If you’re using cloth wipes with disposables, then you’ll want a bucket with a closed lid or a wet bag to store the wipes in until you have enough of a load to run your washer or hand wash.