Zero Waste Blog

3-Ingredient, DIY Zero Waste Baby Wipes

Before Grant was born, I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. Not only would we be cutting down on waste, and saving money, but I felt it was the healthier option for a product he would spend so much time in. And yet, I knew the newborn weeks would likely be hard as we transitioned into parenthood.

So while I had a few varieties of cloth diapers on hand to try out, purchased secondhand on Craigslist, I also had some backup disposable diapers made of compostable bamboo. It was definitely helpful to have both options, though we quickly grew to prefer the cloth diapers.

From the very start, we used cloth baby wipes. At first, we just ran the wipes underwater when we needed to do a change. Then, as diaper changes became more frequent, I pre-wet the wipes and rolled them up in a latch-top jar. However, water alone seemed to irritate his bottom as I had to rub harder to get his bum clean.

After some research, I found that to be both effective and gentle, baby wipes need three ingredients: a gentle soap cleanser, oil and essential oil. The essential oil is really optional, but I’ve found that certain oils can help with skin irritation, like baby rash.

My recipe is super simple, and I make the wipes every 2-3 days and place them in a wipe warmer. 

3-Ingredient Zero Waste Baby Wipes

INGREDIENTS

  • Castile Soap ( I used this bar, but you could also use liquid or another gentle cleanser)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5-10 drops of Tea Tree Oil (anti-fungal properties help with diaper rash)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place wipes in large bowl.
  2. Place soap bar on top of wipes and run hot water over the soap and wipes, or pump 1-2 tbsp of liquid soap over the wipes while water is running. 
  3. Remove soap bar (if using). 
  4. Pour about 1 tbsp of olive oil into bowl.
  5. Add a 5-10 drops on tea tree oil into bowl. 
  6. Squeeze and roll each wipe to remove water. 
  7. Place in wipes warmer of glass latch top jar. 

The wipes last me about 2-3 days. I wouldn't go longer than three days, as wipes will start to smell musty. 

11 comments

AnneC

I’ve been doing as Hayley mentioned above for years. Never had a baby but looked into DIY wipes years ago when trying to cut down on TP use. Cloth for #1 not a problem but even after TP feeling cleaner is better even if you use a bidet seat.

AnneC

I’ve been doing as Hayley mentioned above for years. Never had a baby but looked into DIY wipes years ago when trying to cut down on TP use. Cloth for #1 not a problem but even after TP feeling cleaner is better even if you use a bidet seat.

AnneC

I’ve been doing as Hayley mentioned above for years. Never had a baby but looked into DIY wipes years ago when trying to cut down on TP use. Cloth for #1 not a problem but even after TP feeling cleaner is better even if you use a bidet seat.

Charlotte

Not just used for babys. I’ve been looking for an alternative to the disposable wipes since I saw a news article on the BBC about baby wipes having plastic in them. We used baby wipes around the house for various purposes so thank you for the DIY alternative

Leesa

@Leah and @Hayley: your comments were very helpful with this post. Any responses to Hayley’s question?

Hayley

Any thoughts on storing the liquid in a squeeze bottle of some sort, and just wetting the cloth when you need it? Would this mixture last longer in there, or would it still start to smell musty? I imagine that the tea tree oil would help prevent mildew from forming.

Leah

Our kids are out of long out of diapers (it does eventually end!) I’m so grateful to our midwife for giving us the tip of using some of the thin cotton baby blankets as wipes. One blanket cut into wipe sized pieces gave us plenty!

Lily Cameron

I use a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer that is fine, though I wish it weren’t plastic :/

Anon, I don’t pre-rinse the wipes, I just throw them in the wash with the diapers and use the hot water cycle. Hope that helps!

Anon

Do you have a suggestion for washing these? Throw them in the wash or by hand?

What wipe warmer would you suggest?

What wipe warmer would you recommend? What are other ways of storing?

Little Plastic Footprint Blog

Hi, we are just coming to the end of using baby wipes really as our youngest is nearly 2 but I wish I’d of seen this sooner. I think people are generally reluctant to experiment with DIY on their babies / kids but when you think about it, the ingredients used above really are more natural and better for them anyway!

Thanks for sharing, I’ll report back how it goes!

Leave a comment