Reusable baby wipes are becoming increasingly popular among parents as they are simple to use, affordable, effective and gentle on sensitive skin. Not only that, many parents are ditching the disposable wipes for a more eco friendly alternative as they are on the search for plastic free wipes. Cloth wipes are also suitable for newborns, so no need to be using cotton wool that just ends up a sticky mess!
We'll go through everything you need to know about cloth wipes. From what material, how to clean them, what to use them with, how to store them, how to use them on the go, how many you need and how to get started.
The basics of reusable baby wipes
Essentially, reusable wipes are a square of material that are used to wipe baby and toddler faces, bums and hands. They are then washed and used over and over again.
What material is best for reusable baby wipes?
A popular choice of material is cotton, bamboo or a blend of the two.
Cotton is generally a little cheaper and can go a little crunchy in hard water (you can just rub them a bit and they soften up, plus they are used damp anyway so it doesn't really matter).
Bamboo wipes have similar properties but are a bit softer.
A blend is a great choice for best of both.
Both of these materials can be used for hands, faces and bums.
What to soak reusable wipes in?
Now you've decided what material wipes you are going to choose, you may be wondering what you use with them...
It's a good idea when using plain water to use cooled boiled water. This helps prevent the wipes going musty.
Poppets cloth wipe solution smells absolutely incredible and softens the wipes a little too.
Sometimes you'll see about using essential oils as a solution for clean wipes however, I think it's best to avoid these as if not used correctly it can cause skin irritation.
How to use reusable baby wipes?
It's super simple. Grab your damp wipe, use on baby, store, wash. (We'll go through storage options/washing guidelines in a minute).
How to store and wash reusable baby wipes?
Either store them dry in a basket, and damp as you go with a spray bottle at the changing table/use the tap prior to laying baby down to be changed
Store already damp in a plastic box/wet bag so that you can grab and go
Dirty wipe storage and washing:
If you're using for hands/face only - just chuck the dirty wipe in with your usual washing
If you're using for bums and NOT using reusable nappies - rinse off/knock off any solids post weaning into the loo, store in a wet bag until you are ready to wash. Wash alongside your usual washing
If you're using reusable nappies - add into your wet bag/bucket and wash with your nappies as you usually would
How to use reusable baby wipes on the go?
Grab yourself a wet bag, put in your pre damped reusable baby wipes and use as you would disposable baby wipes. The only difference is once used to pop into a 'dirty' wet bag ready to wash at home. Take a look at our double pocket mini wet bags which are absolutely perfect for out and about as they have one pocket for clean wipes and one pocket for dirty wipes.
How many reusable baby wipes do I need?
It depends what you want to use them for and how old your baby is.
If you want to use them from birth, around 40 wipes will be plenty. This will see you through the early days where baby is changed so frequently and will also be enough when baby gets older for hands/face when weaning begins!
If your baby is a little older and you only want to use them for nappy changes or just faces/hands then 20-30 will be enough.
I would advise starting with 20 and seeing how you get on - you can always pick up more if you need them!
How do I get started with reusable baby wipes?
So now you know what material, what to soak them in, how to store them and wash them, and how many you need you should be all set to get going. Here's a little shopping list of what you may need:
Poppets Cloth Wipe Solution (optional)
Mini wet bag (for storing at home/out and about)
Spray bottle/storage box for damp wipes
Mesh bag (if your washing machine tends to get stuff trapped in the door seal)
Alternatively, take a look at our reusable baby wipes starter kit!
Final thoughts - reusable wipes are such a great alternative to disposable wipes and are a super simple plastic free alternative. Cloth wipes can be used alongside cloth nappies, or alone if you're not ready to take the plunge. If you want to find out more we have lots of information on getting started with reusable nappies.