Need Help with Cloth Wipes

Updated on August 15, 2008
D.B. asks from Trenton, NJ
11 answers

I recently switched to cloth diapers and LOVE it! My next step is cloth wipes. I'm struggling with which method to use. We are currently using the dry method with a spray bottle, but it is not working for us or wetting the wipes in the bathroom sink prior to changing. Both these methods don't seem to fit well with my household. How do I go about using a 'wet wipe' method an not get that mildew smell at the end of the day? Any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks to all of you who helped me make the switch to cloth, check my earlier post for an update.

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answers from Rochester on

Someone told me about usuing pieces of flannel. You cut them down to the size of wipes, mix water and baby soap for solution and put them together in a wipe container. Keeps them most, on hand and reusable. Good luck.

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answers from New York on

Well I just read what everyone else does, but I gotta say for me, this is just a step too far.

What I do-- Bought some nice and soft wash cloths and wet them,I sqirt on a little baby oil-- smells great.
for travel i put them in plastic baggies,

Also very easy to use is Paper towels,
and toss them in the garbage.
( they sell the paper towels that break in half.

another thing I keep a bucket that has a lid
( kitty litter --or--laundry powder bucket)

I toss a little warm water in there, and add the laundry detergent, dirty diapers and wash cloths all get tossed in there

At the end of the night or the next day depending on how the poops of the day are LOL -- I empty the whole thing in the laundry and wash, everything smells great, and washes up just as nicely,

I use colored G-diapers, with a white pre-fold
I bought white washcloths

I toss the g diap in the hamper, and the wash cloth and prefold in the bucket,this way all the whites are together,
and a little creamy clorox freshens them right up.

LAST NATURAL way to clean and freshen-- Vinegar
works great smells OK

But after the wash it smells good




answers from New York on

You should be able to avoid the mildew by using distilled water. It's with regular water in the supermarket.

I too am making the switch to cloth! Am interested in which ones you're using...



answers from Syracuse on

This is from Diaper Safari (where we get some supplies from). Works well! If you are traveling, just use Zip Locks and toss the dirty ones into the wet bag with the used diapers.

Q: How do I make my own wipes?
A: Place washcloths into a container. (The terry washcloths work exceptionally well, as they fit into an empty wipe box.)
In a bottle, mix the following:
2 cups distilled water
2 TBS vinegar
3 TBS. sweet almond oil
2 drops of lavender essential oil
2 drops of German chamomile or yarrow essential oil
You can use tea tree oil instead of the German chamomile/yarrow; however, I do not like to use tea tree oil before the infant is 6 months of age. If your baby has diaper rash, do not add the vinegar and use calendula oil instead of the sweet almond oil.
Shake up this mix and pour over the wipes so that they are moist. Store remaining mix in the fridge until next use. Add the used wipes to your diaper pail and wash with diapers.



answers from Buffalo on

We started out with the spray bottle, then moved onto wetting them for each change. What a pain! What I found that works well is this: We take an old milk jug and wash it out. I make my wipe solution in it, and each new fresh batch of wipes, I pre-wet them (about 24 at a time, but we have half wipes...they are 8x4 instead of 8x8) then they are ready to be used. The wipes solution we use is a few drops of tea tree oil and a squirt of witch hazel. I have heard of Mom's using any combo of these, including any fruit or veggie oil...almond oil, apricot oil, etc... Some Moms will use a few drops of organic baby wash instead of an oil, but tea tree is fairly common. It is anti-microbial so you dont get that mildew smell, but if you wet too many wipes at once and don't go through them quickly, they will start to smell after a few days. The solution in the milk jug stays clean, so I keep using it until its out, then make more. Its always available and you just wet a group of wipes at a time and you should be good to go. Does that help?

Edited to add: The above poster mentioned to use lavender oil...I have heard NOT to use this with boys...When I searched for a link it stated that "Lavender *AND* Tea Tree oil have been shown to raise estrogen levels in boys and cause breast growth." Looks like I'm gonna ditch the tea tree oil and stick with witch hazel and apricot oil!



answers from Rochester on

Hi D.!

I'm so glad you've decied to use the cloth diapers and wipes! I've been using them on my 2 month old and love them! I have a formula for a wipe solution that I love love love!
1 tbs of liquid baby soap (you can use any but I use Burts Bees)
1 tbs of any kind of oil (even olive oil but, again, I use Burts bees apricot oil)
4 cups of water
Just boil the water and add the rest of the ingredients.

We've been using the cloth wipes for wet diapers and regular wipes for soiled diapers just because it's easier.

Hope this helps!



answers from New York on

im so happy you decided to go cloth. i have done the same with my 2nd daughter and love it. im seeing people may not realize all the benefits of cloth wipes, but using paper towels isnt a "green" approach as it still has all the processing and waste.
anyway, i seem to prefer the velour. i have velour/sherpa which the sherpa is good to grab messes, but i just use one for the dirty changes to get the majority off(we are still exclusivly breastfeeding though). then i use the velour/velour to clean the rest and get in places. i dont mind the spray bottle myself but i read the absolute perfect solution for you. someone said to use that peri bottle they give to you at the hospital. the water shoots right out, you only need one hand, and you can still shake the bottle if you use any extras. in reading what others do, i think that would solve your problem. i personally dont like the idea of the wipes sitting in water, even if i dont see bacteria, i would worry. one other option would be to put water directly in the wipes warmer and let that warm, or just have a container with an easy off lid, then dip the wipe in right at the changing table.

i have been using booty cubes(check out for lots of need cloth items and accessories) but many people add a tad of baby wash, or a tad of baby wash and baby oil. hope any of this helps. good luck with the cloth, isnt it great:)



answers from Albany on

It's been a few years, but I also used cloth (Fuzzi Bunz) and I LOVED them. I also loved cloth wipes, once I got the hang of it. This is the recipe I used:

4 cups water (I used well water straight from the tap)
1/4 cup baby oil
1/4 cup baby wash

For baths, I used Burts Bees products, but it was too expensive for the wipe solution, so I just used regular old Johnson & Johnson. Worked great! The baby wash prevents mildew growth, while the oil protects baby's skin from soap irritation. My daughter has sensitive skin, but she never reacted to this solution.

And this is how it worked for us: First, I used a wipe warmer, since my baby was born in November. I would mix up a container of solution and keep it next to the warmer. As I folded the days diaper laundry load, I would fold each washcloth into the warmer. After 3 or 4, I would pour on just a bit of solution - enough to be damp, but not soggy. I would load up the whole warmer this way (maybe 10 - 12 wipes) and that was usually enough for the day. Here was my key to avoiding the "stink" - I flipped the whole pile each time I used one. That way, the water pooling into the bottom wipe never sat in the warmer for long.

Good luck with cloth - you'll never regret it!




answers from New York on

I'm not sure if this is quite what you're looking for but for a while we used papertowels and baby soap. You use bounty papertowels. Water and baby soap. I used them quick enough that I never had a problem with mildew. You just cut a roll of paper towels in half so that you have two short rolls and then soak to towels in a mixture of 2cups water and 2 tablespoons baby soap. You can tweek to water/soap if you think the paper towels get too wet or are too soapy. I soak one side for a few minutes then turn the roll over so that the other side soaks up the mixture. Then when the roll is soaked you take the center cardboard piece out and pull from the center. I liked this a lot.



answers from Utica on

Use the old fashioned method of a damp washcloth (warm) and put in your diaper pail with the soiled diapers. you can buy a packet of washclothes for a few cents each and re-use them after laundering. A drop of liquid baby soap on a warm, wet cloth will work well at cleansing.



answers from New York on

hi D., i dont know your reason for using cloth, so i guess if you are doing it to avoid the harsh chemicals you can try what i do, very simple. i just keep a roll of paper towels on the changing table, bounty makes very soft ones, the package is pink, and i keep a sport bottle of bottled water, and just use that. the water stays clean b/c of the squirt top, just refill or replace every day or 2. i only use water for most "clean" changes. i keep a bottle of california baby diaper area wash spray, its all natural and smells great, and i use a spray or 2 of that for the messy ones. if your reason for doing the cloth is to be earth friendly, then just replace the paper towels with a little pile of cloths. this works great for me, is kind to his little bottom, and doesnt over-complicate the issue.

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