So you’re thinking of making the switch to reuseable/cloth wipes? Great news for you is reuseable wipes are actually becoming cool again with the rise of the eco warrior and more awareness of the environmental impact our choices have on the world around us. Personally I love helping folk make the swap from disposable over to environmentally friendly alternatives, so let me talk you through why I’m so passionate about cloth wipes for your family!
Zip back to 1985 when I was born (I know, I know, long time ago), my mum used cloth nappies on me and then if we fast forward to 2006 I was due with my first daughter and started to undertake the minefield of researching cloth nappies, I realised that reuseable wipes made perfect sense to use along with them. That said, even for parents who aren’t choosing to use cloth nappies, as a mum of 3 I will still highly recommend opting for reuseable wipes to save both money and the environment.
Personally I use my reusables every day. I use them with my oil cleanser morning and night to remove any grease dirt and makeup. And although my children are out of nappies we still use our cloth wipes daily to clean sticky hands and faces. In fact, I find them so convenient to use I bring them on holidays with us in the motorhome.
Let’s start with the reasons for using cloth wipes on your children as the pros are very compelling.
You never run out of wipes by accident when you have reuseable ones at home. You just wash more to have them ready to use.
No harsh chemicals on your skin! This also makes them perfect for babies with sensitive skin.
They do a much better job of cleaning poo off babies bum! No really, you can clean a babies bum rather easily when you have a fabric wipe to clean with, I often only needed one cloth wipe to clean up after a poopy nappy.
They are great for cleaning babies hands and faces quickly and easily (you can use different colours to differentiate which are bum and which are hand and face wipes).
They will remove cleansing oils from the skin with much more ease than a disposable cotton round.
They will save you lots of money over the life of the wipe as you will reuse them MANY times. If you concider most families use 2 packets of wipes a week, you can see how people are spending £100’s on wipes for their baby! Reuseables will cost conciderably less.
The cost can seem steep to begin with as a set of 10 to 12 wipes will set you back £8+ and I would recommend having a minimum of 20 – 30 wipes. I get it, however you need to remember the longevity of these wipes. 13 years after I got my first reuseable wipes I can vouch that many of them are still on the go.
You do need to store and wash your wipes – not everyone likes the idea of washing a wipe that may have poop on it but you can put them into a wash net meaning the whole net goes into the machine and you don’t have to touch the wipe again until it has been washed.
How to use with your baby:
Prep them as you go – you can use your wipes by getting them damp with water as you go. Lots of folk will have a spray bottle of water to spray their wipes as they use them or soak at a sink.
You can also create a solution to soak your wipes in each day and keep them in a storage tub. Personally I found this option handier when on the go and I kept my wet reuseable wipes in a Tupperwear style tub. Some people will infuse the water with a chamomile tea bag to help soothe their babies bum.
Pop used wipes into a wet storage bag when on the go or into a nappy bin when in the house. I highly recommend having a net in the nappy bin so the dirty wipes can all be thrown in the wash in one go.
Soak and launder your wipes. Some people wash daily and won’t need to soak but if you are cleaning bums with your wipes and waiting for 2 or 3 days for a build up of wipes to wash then I recommend using something Bio D Nappy Fresh which is antibacterial and a germicidal soak and laundry detergent. Why Bio D? Personally I prefer Bio D as it is vegan, cruelty free and environmentally friendly so it ticks all my required boxes.
Reuseable wipes for cleansing and removing makeup:
Think about your last trip to a spa for a facial. Could you imagine them using a disposable wipe to cleanse your skin? No way! And for very good reasons. Most disposable wipes are harsh on the skin and can damage your skins own micro flora. They also won’t actually do a very good job of cleansing the skin at all.
When you think of a spa, you think of a lovely cream or oil cleanser being used to massage the skin and loosen up any makeup, grease and dirt and it will ALWAYS be removed with a warm cloth mitt or flannel. Why? Because they are more hygienic and do a wonderful job of catching the product and removing it easily from your face.
For me, the same rule applies at home. I like to use a cleanser that feels like I am at a spa, nothing harsh or drying on my skin and then I use a warm flannel to remove the product and any makeup or dirt from my skin. That flannel then goes right into the laundry basket – do NOT be tempted to reuse the same flannel for more than one cleanse as the damp material will be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow and this could lead to breakouts. Always reach for a new one.
When selecting my reuseable wipes I went for a bamboo and organic cotton mix. For me this seemed a more sustainable option than those made of cheaper cotton or worse, synthetic materials. Wipes made from synthetics will release micro-plastics into the water when being used and laundered. You will see a lot of cleansing cloths advertised as magically taking makeup off with water – these are the synthetic ones I’m talking about and while they do exactly what they say, I just didn’t feel happy knowing I would be releasing micro-plastics into the water each time I used them. I wouldn’t recommend them, however if you still opt for them, I would say they are environmentally better than disposable wipes but perhaps think of getting a Guppy Friend to pop synthetic wipes into as these will catch the micro-plastics shedding in the washing machine at least.
My favorite brands to recommend for folks to try:
There are so many great brands out there I have bought from and love.
Cheeky Wipes are for certain one of the most popular ones on the market and they offer packs with storage tubs and wet bags to give you everything all in one swift purchase.
Little Lambs are a company who are mostly focused on nappies and their bamboo wipes are a really lovely quality. When I bought them I was super pleased they came without any plastic packaging and were tied to keep them together with only a ribbon.
Muslinz are the brand I own the most of. I bought these to build up a bigger stash for my face. The come in a pack of 12 and are a larger size than the baby wipes offered by the previous brands. They do however come in a plastic bag that seems unnecessary when they are purchased mostly by people trying to be more environmentally concious.
If you are trying to decide between fabrics, bamboo is the more environmentally friendly one and concidered to be softer than cotton also. It’s better for the environment due to needing less water to grow and no pesticides or fertilizers are required in the growing process.
As for how many you need – that really is like asking how long is a piece of string. You will need to think of what and who is using them as well as how often you are able to launder them. Personally we have around 40 – 50 wipes in our house and have likely spent around £45 ish on them. I do feel that they have more than earned their money back over the years of use we have put them through and as time passes we will continue to use them likely for many more years which will only serve to make them even better value over their lifespan.
Will they always look and feel brand new?
My honest answer is they won’t always look pristine, no. In fact I have 2 wipes with a green stain on them from removing face paint last Halloween. After laundering if they dry naturally in the air they can feel crunchy like a towel would. A tumble dryer does have them come out softer, again much like a towel but they do always remain perfectly soft when they are soaked in water ready for use.
You can try to keep them looking brighter by sun bleaching them (setting them out on a sunny day to let the sun naturally bleach the stains out) or by soaking in a natural and environmentally friendly bleach such as Sodium Percarbonate.
As said above I am a huge advocate for making the switch to reuseable wipes. Regardless of the brand or if you make some yourself from an old towel at home – this is one easy swap that’s good for you, good for baby, kinder to your pocket and to the planet!
P.s. Drop any questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them x
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