Making Your Own Wipes

I’ve mentioned the hundreds of dollars you can save compared to disposable wipes by switching to cloth wipes, but you will save even more by making them yourself. You cannot beat the convenience factor of ready-made wipes and for an average of $1.50 a piece it may be worth it for most families. If you are looking to save extra money, want a larger stash of wipes than you can afford, or have fabrics you can re-purpose, making your own wipes may be the most budget and eco-friendly choice.

Making your own wipes is not like making cloth diapers. You don’t need to be a skilled seamstress, designer or have special fabrics. You only need to know how to measure and cut, although finishing the edges will keep the edges from fraying so they will last longer. And don’t forget, cloth wipes are not just for dirty bums, but can be used as tissues, to wipe faces, hands or clean up other unexpected messes in or out of the house. They can even be used to wipe off make-up or as a washcloth in the bath, so the uses are endless. 

The first step is to decide what fabrics you are going to use.  Popular fabrics include flannel, terry, fleece, velour and sherpa, although you could use knits or other soft, absorbent fabrics as well. Hemp and bamboo blends are also popular choices for many of the fabrics mentioned above. In addition, you can repurpose fabrics from clothing and baby gear around the house including T-shirts, undershirts, old flannel sheets/pillowcases, PJs, even receiving blankets that are either getting old or you may have gotten a few too many at your baby shower. Remember if you choose to use new fabrics you will need to prewash your fabrics if you don’t want them to shrink in their initial washing, or, add an extra inch to them when cutting them out if you don’t prewash the fabric 

The second step is to decide what size wipes you want. My recommended sizes would be 8X8″ if you want a generously sized wipe that will fit nicely in a case or wipes warmer when folded in half, and 6X8″ if you don’t want to be bothered with folding. If you want to get fancy you can round the edges or make circle/oval shaped wipes. Heck, you can even make triangles and octagons if you really want to get creative, although they may not enhance the function of the wipes. 

When cutting your wipes out of the fabric I recommend using a square quilting ruler. This is something many of you may have lying around and if you don’t own one and don’t plan on making very many wipes, cutting out a piece of cardboard to the size and shape you want will do the trick. Having this template will speed up the cutting process. You can use a fabric pencil or pen to outline the wipes using the ruler then cut with a rotary cutter or scissors. 

Finishing the edges is not a requirement if you don’t have a sewing machine or serger, however, the edges of many fabrics will fray, thus, shortening the life of your wipes. If you are using old fabric from around the house you may not mind, but I would personally recommend securing the edges if you can. A straight or zigzag stitch on a sewing machine about 1/8 in. from the edge will do the trick or any overlock stich on a serger. A 3 thread overlock is a sure bet, or you could even use a 2 thread overlock or rolled hem stitch depending on the fabric. 

And that’s all folks, your wipes are complete! I would guarantee the majority of you reading this could have figured all of this out on your own, but maybe some of you didn’t think to make your own wipes and now you can! Or maybe you forgot about your stack of flannel receiving blankets stored in the garage you could use to make a stack of wipes and will make some! 

{If you enjoyed reading Making Your Own Wipes 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. Christina's Cookies says:

    When I first started CD'ing we were so short on $$ that I had to make wipes from receiving blankets and sew them by hand -my sister killed my sewing machine and we probably won't ever be able to replace it :(
    That's still all we have for wipes and they have worked great! I have been needing to make more but I just don't have the time to sew them by hand lol! Too bad DH isn't very good with a needle- he is laid off and needs something to keep him busy! ;P

  2. My flannel wipes are my favorite, but I only have a few of those and I use baby wash clothes when I run out of the flannel wipes. The wash clothes aren't as soft, but they do the job.

  3. Dianna@KennedyAdventures says:

    we use baby washcloths. Do you have pictures of your wipes??

  4. Patricia (Mummatutu) says:

    love my own made wipes best but that's because they are custom made to my HUGE hands!!! My hubby likes them too since they fit well in his hand for a one swipe washnig of the poop!


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