Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Range Cloth Wipes Solutions

For years, I’ve been using Baby Bum Drops and Baby Bits to make a solution for my cloth wipes. (Read my comparison of them here.) A few months ago, I was inspired to try making my own. I make a lot of our cleaning solutions (complicated things like vinegar and water) so I thought it would be similar. A quick search online brings up lots of sites and recipes to try. (This site seemed particularly clear.) I read through a variety of them and then just cobbled some together with ingredients I already had on hand.

Here they are! I used some 16 ounce spray bottles. You can buy these at all kinds of stores for about $2 each, depending on how fancy you get. (I don't like to prewet my wipes; I think they get musty. I just spray each one a little right before I use it.)

I have read mixed things on using plain water for wipes. Some people say it works fine; others have said it can be irritating. I opted for oil and water solutions, one with soap and one without. You can choose the essential oils you like best, too.

Oil-Based wipes solution
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 drops essential oils (I use lavender.)
  • Water to fill
In a 16 ounce spray bottle, add the olive oil and essential oils. Fill with water. Shake well before use.

Castile Soap wipes solution
  •  2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp liquid castile soap like Dr. Bonner's (which our grocery store carries)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil 
  • 2 drops essential oils (I use lavender.) 
  •  Water to fill
In a 16 ounce spray bottle, add all the ingredients and water to fill. Shake well before use.

I like to use the solution that includes soap for particularly messy diaper changes. I try to finish with a wipe of the oil-based solution to replenish natural oils that might have been washed away by the soap. I find I have to refill my solution bottles once every two to three weeks (and that's with two in diapers).

I had started with more oil, but it seemed to be staining the diapers so I've cut back. I am also careful with the tea tree oil. There seems to be conflicting reports on whether it's a good idea to put it on skin or against diapers.

I thought about doing a price comparison on purchasing the little blocks of soap to dilute, but I wasn't sure I could figure out how much a drop of essential oil would cost. The castile soap and oils do probably seem more expensive in the beginning, but a bottle of essential oil will literally last for years. I use the castile soap for most of our washing around the house (diluted) and a bottle of that also easily lasts for years. I think it's safe to say the cost of making your own wipes solution is minimal. I love using the dino pattern wipes from Kissaluv, but there are lots of sites online to find information on making your own wipes, so you could be saving a lot of money by using cloth wipes and homemade wipes solutions.

Just a reminder, if you follow any of the links above to Cloth Diaper Outlet and make a purchase, I receive a small referral.


  1. Are the essential oils necessary or just for smell? I was thinking about switching to cloth wipes, but was wondering if you could just do it with oil and water. Or water and baby soap (like baby bath soap - thought I'd read that somewhere?) Just curious!

  2. Michelle, I believe the essential oils are only for nice smells and you can certainly leave them out. Oil and water would be fine, as would water and baby soap. (In fact, the castile soap can be distilled to make a body wash for the bath or shower. It's not recommended for babies under six months, but I think that's because it's not tear-free, which is why we choose not to use it at all for the kids in the bath.)

    I love using cloth wipes - they're often better than the disposable ones in terms of cleaning up and no extra work if you're already washing cloth diapers. Kansas Dad prefers disposable and we still use the disposable ones when we're out and about.

  3. I second that cloth wipes work better. And we just use plain water on ours, though I do keep a small spray bottle of water with a *tiny* bit of baby soap in it (Burt's Bees if you're interested), for those really messy changes, first thing in the morning, or if it seems like extra cleaning is needed. We do pre-moisten ours and usually have no problem as long as we don't do too many all at once so that they sit around. Depending on the time of year and the age of the baby, we put more or fewer wet wipes in at a time. And we use them when we're out and about too, as long as we're using cloth diapers (and therefore have a wetbag for all the dirties).


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