Did you know disposable wet wipes contain plastic?
As a parent the idea of moving to reusable baby wipes can be a bit overwhelming. You're likely already dealing with broken sleep, mountains of washing and never ending to do lists, can you really bear to add the hassle of swapping to washable baby wipes?
Speaking from our own experience, it's much easier than you might think (with 2 little people under 3, we’re all for an easy life). And not only are cloth wipes much better for the environment, they’re much softer on little bottoms and more cost effective overall.
Now, let’s get you started:
How many wipes do I need?
We’d recommend at least 20 wipes per child, depending on how many nappy changes you have per day and how often you're washing them. We prefer ours to be slightly larger and thicker than your average wipe (like these!), as they feel nicer to the touch and it means we use less per change (for messy changes we wipe, fold, wipe, fold, wipe...).
TOP TIP: If you're planning to use for faces as well as bottoms, use different colours / prints to avoid getting them mixed up.
Stick to natural fibres
Synthetic fabric like polyester contains plastic, which means when washing tiny bits of plastics are shed into our waterways. Check what the wipes are made from before you buy - if you’re moving to cloth for environmental reasons, it makes sense to make the right choice when it comes to material.
TOP TIP: A decent quality cotton top and plush terry backing is our preference; soft on the skin and they last for many years - from nappy changes through to weaning mop ups and on to cleaning cloths.
How to make them wet
We prefer to keep it simple by wetting as we go under the tap and giving a little squeeze to wring out any excess water. Others prefer to store them in a Tupperware with water and a few drops of essential oils (e.g. lavender oil). Alternatively, there are all sorts of wonderful recipes you can find online... we’re just not this organised! To make it sustainable for our family, we need to keep it simple.
TOP TIP: Run under the hot tap for a luxury nappy change experience! WARNING… since being spoiled with a ‘warm wipe’, our toddler (aka Little B) is outraged by anything less than lukewarm.
How to store once dirty
Either a little lidded bucket or you can dedicate a Tupperware for the job. We don’t have any issues with smells, though others do prefer to add a few drops of essential oil to keep any whiffs at bay.
TOP TIP: We line our bucket with a mesh wash bag which we then just throw in the wash to minimise handling the dirties.
How to wash
If you use cloth nappies, just chuck in with those. If not, give them a rinse in cold water and chuck in the machine with one of your regular wash loads. If your usual wash is 30-40 degrees, we’d recommend a wash at 60 degrees every week or so (i.e. with bedding or towels).
TOP TIP: We've never had any issues with staining but if you do, leave them out in the sun for a couple of hours and watch it magically bleach the stains away. We do this with our cloth nappies and it's amazing how effective it is!
How does it work when out and about?
A small ‘wet bag’ (you can usually pick these up online for around £5 or so) will do the job. You’ll want a section for the clean ones, and a separate section to store once dirty until you get home.
TOP TIP: Do not forget about them when you get home! No one wants to find 3 week old messy wipes in the bottom of the changing bag...
Can I tumble dry?
While air drying is the greenest way, the wipes can withstand a tumble drier just fine.
TOP TIP: Not a fan of the finish from air drying? Give them a 10 minute tumble after air drying to soften them up.
Ready to make the over to cloth baby wipes? Check out our reusable wipes.