When I was pregnant and excited about the idea of using cloth diapers, my thoughts about cloth wipes could be summed up in one word: “Gross!”
After just a few weeks of hands-on experience using cloth diapers with disposable wipes, I discovered a few things: (1) Disposable wipes are irritatingly flimsy and usually caused my hands to get messy; (2) Disposable wipes will end up costing much more than cloth wipes; and (3) It’s no easy task to keep one hand on the baby while putting the wipes in the trash and the diaper in the pail. Maybe if I had three arms.
When I switched to cloth wipes I fell in love with the awesome scents of the spray solutions that I tried. My favorite ready-made wipe spritzes are Kissaluvs Lotion Potion and Thirsties Booty Luster. However, I recently noticed that I had all the basic ingredients for homemade solutions so I decided to whip up some batches and see what I could come up with myself.
There are four types of ingredients you can use in your homemade baby wipe solutions:
Liquids. This is really the only critical ingredient. There are plenty of people who simply use water and like it that way. Witch hazel is also commonly used; just note that the cheapest witch hazel in your local drugstore is probably about 14% alcohol which could sting if baby was ever battling a bad rash. You can also buy more expensive, alcohol-free witch hazel.
Soaps. I like using a little liquid soap in my solution because it helps get the skin really clean after a messy diaper, and I can use a soap that smells good as a built-in fragrance. If your baby has sensitive skin, be sure to use a soap that doesn’t bother his/her skin. Pure castile soap, such as the Dr. Bronner’s pictured below, is usually a good pick for sensitive skin.
Skin Nourishers. These ingredients help make the wipes glide smoothly along and keep baby’s skin nice and soft. Don’t worry, you won’t be using enough to cause repelling in your diapers. Coconut oil is a nice option as well, but only if the temperature in your house will be 76-78 degrees (F) regularly; otherwise it will solidify.
Fragrances. There are endless possibilities with essential oils! With a few of my concoctions, though, I went overboard on fragrances so I’ve decided that just a mild scented soap is good enough for me.
You can decide exactly what you want to put in yours depending on what you have on hand, how much you want to spend on stuff you don’t have on hand, and how sensitive your baby’s skin is.
Here’s the basic formula that works for me. Instead of giving absolute measurements, I find it easier to just use parts so that it can be scaled to whatever size batch is needed.
Basic Wipe Solution Formula:
• 5-8 parts liquid
• ½ to 1 part soap
• 1-2 parts skin nourishers
• Essential oils – just a few drops
Because I like to keep my wipe solution in a spritz bottle on the changing table next to a stack of dry wipes and a carafe of hot water, and because I wanted to try a lot of small batches, I bought 3-oz spray bottles. Here are my two favorite mixes:
What are your favorite ingredients to use in wipe solutions? Do you store your wipes wet or dry?