As funny as it seems, many parents who are already cloth diapering seem to feel that using cloth wipes is an extra step and a little extra work. The truth is, if you are going to wash and use cloth diapers, you might as well add cloth wipes too!
Cloth wipes are extremely versatile and have so many more uses beyond cloth diapering. Many who take our Introduction to Cloth Diapering class find that cloth wipes are actually an easy addition to their cloth diapering journey and end up loving them. We even have several clients who do not cloth diaper, but love to use cloth wipes for other reasons.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to use cloth wipes, different types of cloth wipes and how to treat stains when using cloth wipes.
When using cloth wipes, some caregivers prefer to pre-wet their wipes. To pre-wet your wipes, first find a fairly waterproof container to keep your wipes in. Then, using your cloth wipe solution (Balm Baby makes our favorite, Spray That Bottom), soak your wipes in the solution so that they absorb your wipe solution, but are not dripping wet. They should feel moist to the touch, but only drip if you wring them out hard. Once you’ve pre-wet your wipes, make sure to use the full container of wipes within 48 to 72 hours as you will have to rewash them and wet them again at that point. (If you live in warmer climates, you should stick to 48 hours if possible.)
So, what happens at 48 to 72 hours? Sometimes your wipes can mold, attract unwanted critters or mildew if left in the same solution too long. To avoid this, try leaving a post-it on your wipes container with the time and day you refilled your wipes. This will help you remember when they need to be used.
You can also choose to pre-wet the wipes you keep in your diaper bag. For this area, I would suggest a waterproof wipes pouch or small wet bag to store your wipes. Again, make sure your wipes are not dripping wet as the zipper seal on wet bags sometimes won’t be 100% waterproof.
Spray As You Go
If you’re like me and you know for a fact that you can’t commit to using your wipes in a specific amount of time (because I can barely get all my people fed when they should be… oye.), then I would suggest that you use the spray as you go method. Using this method, you have two options. You can either spray baby’s bum directly with your wipe solution or spray your cloth wipe and then wipe baby. No matter which you choose, you will avoid having to use your wipes within a specific amount of time and you will also be able to forget about the wipes in the diaper bag for the same reason.
Another thing to consider, spray as you go also allows your wipe spray to last much longer than if you are using the pre-wet method. Spray as you go requires less wipe solution, so you can save a little bit of money with this method as well.
Types of Cloth Wipes
There are two major types of cloth wipes: synthetic and natural. Synthetic cloth wipes, our favorites are by GroVia, are great for really messy diapers and/or taking off makeup, wiping faces and cleaning up sticky messes. GroVia cloth wipes are 88% polyester, 12% cotton and come in packs of twelve. They are about eight inches by eight inches and come in 4 fun colors.
Natural wipes, like the new Thirsties Organic Cotton Wipes, are 2-ply and come in a 6-pack with gender-neutral stitching around the edges of the wipe – 2 blue, 2 orange and 2 green. They measure 8 x 8.5 inches and have two, buttery-soft layers of certified organic cotton. These new wipes are perfect for face, hands, bums and bath time.
Stains and Cloth Wipes
Stains are common with cloth wipes and they don’t mean you are necessarily doing anything wrong. To wash cloth wipes, simply add to your normal cloth diaper laundry and go. If you are not currently cloth diapering and want to wash your cloth wipes, you can add them to any large/heavy load of laundry along with the recommended amount of laundry detergent.
If you would really like to make sure your wipes are stain free, you have two options: you can use a stain remover like the Buncha Farmers Stain Stick, or you can lay your cloth wipes in the sun to dry and allow the sun to bleach the stains out of your wipes. Either way, your wipes will be stain free and ready to use again.
So, what do you use for wipe solution? Well that depends on your preferences. Some parents opt for just water to use with their cloth wipes and others prefer to make their own at home using a coconut oil based recipe. My favorite wipe solution is our Balm Baby Spray That Bottom product, vegan, organic, non-alcohol based solution containing witch hazel, extra virgin olive oil, chamomile calendula, comfrey, rosemary, neem oil and a blend of essential oils.
#protip If you choose to make your own wipe solution containing essential oils, make sure you are working with the correct dilution and carrier oils appropriate for small children.
I always thought that using cloth wipes seemed like an extra step and would be so much more work. Instead, I found that I saved even more money by using cloth wipes than I ever did buying baby wipes and I could use my cloth wipes for anything. At my house, we have about sixty cloth wipes that we use for faces, hands, butts and as washcloths, but it seems like we never run out of uses for them.
Do you use cloth wipes? Leave us a comment telling us your favorite uses for cloth wipes! For more natural parenting tips and tricks, LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Instagram at @ArcticBabyBottoms or join our community on Facebook at the Arctic Baby Bottoms Fan Group!