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Homemade Natural Baby Cloth Wipes

Posted Feb 03 2013 12:00am

Have you ever read the ingredients in those generic store-bought baby wipes?

Unfortunately, they are full of tongue-twisting names that aren't in my vocabulary, natural medicine cabinet or food pantry... Disodium EDTA, Caprylic Triglyceride, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Iodopropynyle Butylcarbamate, Sodium Hydroxymethlyglycinate and so on.

Why can't they just use normal, real ingredients?!

It drives me nuts that they go through all the work to produce a product that is full of weird stuff and ends up not being safe for our babies' sweet little bums. According to the Cosmetics Database  many of these ingredients have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies, developmental problems, reproductive toxicity, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption and cellular changes... Huh?!

Not touching another one of those wipes on my babies ever again!

With all my babies, at home, I used cloth wipes and would simply get the cloth wet with warm water to clean them up, but sometimes felt that I needed a little more cleaning power when dealing with the stinky stuff.

Plus, when we are traveling, I often ditch the cloth wipes and use disposable. After reading the ingredients and knowing what I know now... Won't be doing that anymore!

This pushed me to look for safer & healthier alternatives. There are , but they are pricey and I wanted to be able to keep using my cloth wipes or at least make my own disposable wipes.

On A Mission
I came across several recipes for homemade wipes on google, but most all of them called for baby oil (really mineral oil, a by-product of gasoline), baby soap and baby lotion... not exactly what I had in mind.

Then I remember the solution I mixed together for my Soothing Postpartum Pads ... {ding!} The light bulb went on.

I set out to make my own baby wipe solution using the recipe from my postpartum pads as a guide. After some tweaking I was able to come up with this great solution that leaves my sweet little babe's bum soft, clean and smelling superb without any irritation!

Not only do I use this to clean up my baby's bum, I have also found it to be great for cleaning my kids' dirty hands & faces... which leaves them (and mine too!) feeling fresh & clean. I find that it works and smells so much better than the  we often use when traveling.

The Ingredients
I like to purchase all the ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs . All their products are high quality and the prices are reasonable. I have been very happy with everything I've bought from them so far. Plus, when I buy these ingredients in bulk... I save a nice chunk of money!

Water: It is important that you use boiled, filtered water or distilled water to help the wipes from getting too musty smelling.

Aloe Vera Juice/Gel: Best known for its natural healing of skin, wounds and other skin issues. Leaves your baby's skin feeling soothed and fresh. Best to use aloe vera juice or gel with no preservatives.

Witch Hazel: A natural astringent and helps heal & prevent painful diaper rashes. I found that Mountain Rose Herbs' witch hazel is better than the ones at your local store because the alcohol level is lower. 

Castile Soap: Gives you a little more cleaning power to clean up the stinky messes. Don't worry, it won't dry your baby's skin.

Essential Oils: These oils will leave your baby's skin smelling clean and kill any lingering fungus or bacteria that can cause painful diaper rashes. I like to use a mixture of chamomile, rosemary and tea tree (you can use lavender instead of rosemary or calendula instead of chamomile, if you prefer). This mixture of oils are gentle on the skin and have wonderful healing properties.

The Wipes You can use any square cloth. I have a mixture of homemade wipes, bumGenius wipes and Circo washcloths. I have about 40 wipes that last me over a week.
I like to store my wipes in the tall plastic container, as you can see from the pictures. It works great and I can fit all my wipes!

But if you have an old Huggies wipe case, you can use that instead. Here's a great video tutorial on how to fold your wipes for that nice "pop-up" effect:


I really do love using reusable wipes over disposables. Here's my 6 reasons why:
    I know exactly what is in my wipes... no weird, yucky ingredients! Once they are washed and dried, they are ready for you to use them when you are running low on wipes. No need to worry about running to the store to get paper towels if you forgot to buy some when you went grocery shopping. Cloth wipes last for years and so frugal. Less trees are getting cut down for disposable wipes & paper towels (I'm not a tree-hugger fanatic, just considerate). They hold moisture well and you only need to use one wipe to get the job done. Sometimes I even use one wipe for 2 or 3 diaper changes! Great for cleaning dirty hands and faces. Doesn't leave them feeling greasy or smelling stinky.

Traveling with Wipes
If you are traveling and don't want to use reusable wipes. You can use heavy-duty paper towels. I've seen some mamas cut the rolls in half, soak the whole thing in baby wipe solution and store in a plastic container or baggie.

I, on the other hand, like to tear each sheet out, cut them in half, fold them inside a plastic baggie and soak them with the homemade solution. A little more work, but works great for me!

But I do sometimes travel with my reusable wipes and carry along a plastic washable bag that I can store the dirty wipes in. I've found that I can carry about 5-8 wipes in a hard, thin plastic Huggies wipe case and they work wonderfully... especially if I fold them to get the "pop-up" effect.

Now, let's get to work making these wipes!

Homemade Natural Baby Cloth Wipes
2 cups filtered water, boiled or distilled
2 Tbsp aloe vera juice/gel
2 Tbsp witch hazel
2 tsp castile soap
6 drops chamomile or calendula essential oil
4 drops lavender or rosemary essential oil
4 drops tea tree essential oil
about 40 cloth wipes or a roll of paper towel cut in half

Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Put half of the cloth wipes on a large bowl. Pour half the mixture over the wipes. Using your hands, squeeze and stir the wipes until all the liquid is absorbed.

Put the rest of the cloth wipes in the large bowl, stir the wipes solution to distribute the oils and pour evenly over the wipes. Again, using your hands, squeeze and stir the wipes until all are evenly damp.

Take your container, fold (regular or pop-up technique) the cloth wipes and set it next to the diapers. If you are using a container like mine, do not seal the lid tight... it will cause the wipes to get musty fast. Best to let a little air get in to keep things fresh.

There you go! Enjoy using them on your sweet baby's bum!

What you do think? Have you made homemade wipes? What essential oils do you like to use?

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