Cloth Wipes 101

Cloth Wipes Week has begun! This week will be filled with reviews of wipes and wipe solutions to add more brands and reviews to my cloth wipes section. I hope to have a little something for everyone: both newbies and veterans. I will be reviewing different brands, fabrics, wipes solutions, talk about making your own wipes or solutions, and even have some guest posts. 

Some people jump right into cloth wipes along with cloth diapers and others still use disposable wipes. We all have our own reasons, but I have listed some basic reasons to consider cloth wipes. If you are not using cloth wipes, maybe it will help you overcome your reservations. I did not start using cloth wipes immediately, but it has made my diapering a lot easier and a lot cheaper over the past year. 

Below is a guest article I wrote for the first time around blog during her Fluff Butt event (with some revisions) about getting started with cloth wipes. 

Cloth Wipes 101

I will be the first to openly admit that I did not use cloth wipes when I first started cloth diapering. It was probably almost 3 months of cloth diapering before I started toying around with cloth wipes and 6 months before I went full time. Why? Like many moms who venture into the waters of cloth diapering it is all VERY overwhelming in the beginning and you add a newborn and a deployed husband to the mix and I just thought it would be more work. I kick myself in the butt now, because it may have made life a pinch easier.

If you are just starting to cloth diaper this may not make sense at first, because all you can think about is more laundry. But cloth wipes are thrown in the same diaper pail/bag as the diapers and go in the wash at the same time. So you won’t be running any extra loads. The only extra step is taking them out of the laundry and folding them in half (if you choose to, or some are shaped to fit in a case/warmer without folding as well). I still keep some limited disposable wipes on hand for different purposes, but use cloth wipes with diapering a good 98% of the time.

Some reasons to consider cloth wipes:

1. Save money.
Okay, so let’s say you purchase 24 high quality wipes totaling $36. Disposable wipes over 3 years, for diapering alone, can cost an average of $500 (depending on brand). That is a savings of $464 for buying NICE wipes. You can also find cotton wipes for pretty cheap or make your own for pennies to the dollar, which will save you even more money. If you just use water you are all set, but you can also spend $64 on nice wipes solution materials or formulas over the years and you’ll still be saving $400.

2. Less trash.
The last thing you want is to be lugging more smelly trash to the garage during the week. Using cloth diapers and wipes were a lifesaver after I was in a car accident and could not take the trash out or drive to the store. I could get my laundry in the washer though! I also couldn’t leave a trashcan for wipes in the nursery after DD started crawling, because she was trying to get into the yucky mess, so it was an even bigger hassle to take the dirty wipes to a different room or trashcan. 

3. Convenient.
No last minute trips to the supermarket to buy wipes when you realize you’ve used the last one. And we all know that you never have a coupon or find a sale when you really need them!

4. Better for Baby.
Control what goes on your baby’s bottom when you make or purchase your own wipes solution. Many disposable wipes often contain alcohol and other drying chemicals. Some mamas use just water, but I choose to have some cleansing elements in my wipes solution. And cloth wipes are super soft! My favorites are bamboo terry and velour.

5. Absorbent! 
90% of the time I only need one cloth wipe to clean up even the dirtiest mess. This will depend on the size of the wipes, of course, but I was using 3-4 wipes (sometimes more) on really big messes with disposable wipes, because they just aren’t as absorbent as a soft, fluffy cloth wipe! 
{If you enjoyed reading Cloth Wipes 101 I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. Amber Liddle says:

    I always wanted to use cloth wipes but we had gotten a case of wipes right before switching to cloth diapers. So…they just ran out and we started using our baby washcloths as wipes. I love it–it's warm and soft on the butt, and easy to throw in with the dirty diaper. I won't be buying any more paper wipes :)

  2. Teresha@Marlie and Me says:

    I just one a set of Monkey Snuggle wipes and cannot wait to start using them…no more running to the store to buy disposables (it was defeating the purpose of not running to the store to by diapers, LOL!)

  3. LOL. Aside from the deployed husband, your story sounds just like mine. I started with disposable wipes because I couldn't imagine how cloth wipes could be better than the all-powerful "wipey". But they are! It's so easy to just throw them in the diaper pail. They really DO clean messes better with fewer grabbing for more. I rarely use more than 2, when sometimes I'd be up to 10 wipeys!! I have a bunch of plain unbleached flannel, but I also have a dozen adorable flannel prints from a WAHM… I save these for the diaper bag so others can see and adore them. Ha ha! If you aren't using cloth wipes, you should really reconsider, it's so worth it.

  4. I bought a few packs of VERY brightly colored cheapo baby washcloths and am using them for wipes. I like the bright colors because they are very easy to pick out of the diapers after doing the laundry. I keep them in a box that used to hold disposable face cleansing cloths.

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