I decided early in my pregnancy that I wanted to do cloth diapering. Chief was very supportive of my plan, even though a few others looked at me like I was crazy. That made me nervous, but after speaking to a few mommas that were cloth diapering and reading various blogs, the most common sentiment that I heard was that it was a lot easier than most people think. Most moms who began cloth diapering after the first child or when their child was older only wish they would have started earlier. I have been loving it thus far. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do cloth diapering and then have wipes that need disposing of though, so here I have a recipe for cloth wipes that can just be thrown in the wet bag and washed with the diapers.
Even if you don’t cloth diaper, these wipes could also be used to wipe up a child’s face or body. And, let’s be honest…I admit that sometimes a quick scrub to myself with these in the morning is the closest I get to a shower before I head out of the house! I also like using these wipes to get in to the little rolls of chub that milk likes to get stuck in.
I watched a number of YouTube videos and read a number of blogs and then did some trial and error to come up with my favorite method and recipe for these wipes. I made my own video here. As with all these kitchen beautician recipes, don’t become hung up on acquiring exactly what is listed but just jump in and do a few tests with whatever you have on hand and I promise you it will quickly become second nature and you’ll find your own tweaks that you’re happy with.
First of all, you will need wipes. I ended up buying some unbleached organic cotton ones from OsoCozy. A number of other moms just used cut up old t-shirts or receiving blankets so you could do that if you want to save money or if you are handier with a sewing machine than I am. I usually fill the wipes warmer with about 30 wipes but you could do less depending on how often you need them.
There are a lot of recipes out there but my favorite mixture is below:
- Boiled then cooled water (or distilled water)
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s unscented)
- 1 Tbsp. witch hazel
- 1 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
- 10 drops essential oils. My favorite is a mixture of tea tree, lavender, and vanilla essential oils. Other good options are chamomile or tangerine. You could also make a big batch of chamomile tea with the boiled water to incorporate it that way.
I think the water and oil are the two most crucial ingredients because they are what really clean and soften the skin, respectively. Coconut oil could always be substituted with almond oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, or whatever else you have on hand. Go ahead and try a batch with just these two things if you need time to acquire the other items listed in the recipe. The witch hazel adds astringent properties and the aloe vera gel soothes skin. The essential oils provide a nice scent, allow for the incorporation of aromatherapy and many have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Baby shampoo could be substituted for the castile soap.
You could also use distilled water but I usually just boil a full teapot of water when making my tea or coffee in the morning and then set the unused water aside. Boiling it will ensure you have killed any bacteria that could foster mold growth, etc.
In a large bowl or casserole dish, I put in the oil, castile soap, witch hazel and aloe vera gel and then pour the warm water over it. I then drop in the essential oils.
On other blogs or videos I watched, moms rolled up their little cloth wipes. Bless them but I really don’t have the time to spare. I just fold mine in half and it takes about 1 extra minute for every load of laundry.
I take the stacks of folded wipes and dip them in to the solution until they are saturated but then squeeze them out so they are wet but not dripping. You generally don’t want them too wet or baby’s bottom will stay wet after wiping and could result in yeast, etc.
I then place mine in a special wipes warmer made for cloth wipes and I really love it. It is by Prince Lionheart*. I know that wipes warmers aren’t really necessary but it’s kind of a nice treat and my little one loves having her diaper changed. I like the way it opens up fully and the wipe doesn’t need to be pulled through an opening. It’s very easy to do one handed. I have heard of some other ones that work well for cloth wipes including the OXO brand, but haven’t tried it so I can’t speak to it.
For travel, I place about 5 wipes in to a Buti-pod that I really like. Again, as a mom it’s nice to have little emergency showers in your handbag!
If there is any extra solution left in the dish you dunked the wipes in, you can set it aside and add it to the next bath. Another option is to put it in to one of the perineal irrigation bottles you might have leftover from your delivery. These things are the best for a number or purposes. I sometimes use it to soak cotton balls that I use to clean in crevices or you can squirt the solution on to a dry cloth wipe and wipe baby up that way.
That’s it! It sounds like a lot but, as you can see from my video, each batch takes about three minutes to make once you get the hang of it. It’s so nice not having to buy wipes and not even needing a rubbish bin in the nursery.
* As far as cleaning your Prince Lionheart warmer, I wipe it out every time I change out the wipes. I remove the Everfresh replacement pillow, rinse it and wring it out. While it is removed, I spray the inside of the warmer with a vinegar and water solution and wipe it out. The replacement pillow needs to be replaced once every three months.