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 this article will help you overcome your reservations. 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, some are shaped to fit in a case/warmer without folding and other people just use them tossed in). I still keep some limited disposable wipes on hand for different purposes (mainly in the car when we are away from home), but I use cloth wipes almost 100% of the time at home.
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 around $500 (depending on the 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 plain water you are all set, but you can also spend as much as $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 trash can in the nursery after my daughter started crawling, because she would go straight for the yucky mess, so it was an even bigger hassle to take the dirty wipes to a different room to throw away. One trick I have learned over the years is that you can toss the disposable wipes in your wetbag, wash them with your diapers and then pick them out of the washer or dryer before throwing them away– use them to wipe down your washer before tossing them will get another use out of them and keep your washer cleaner!
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. You can use just water, or use some cleansing elements in your wipes solution like castille soap or other store-bought or homemade wipe solutions. And cloth wipes are super soft!
The majority of the time I change a diaper 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!