A couple weeks ago, I made the horrifying discovery that my favorite baby wipes, Kirkland Premium Baby Wipes (from Costco), contained an extremely hazardous ingredient and vowed to switch to cloth wipes. Well, we made the switch and so glad I did for many reasons.
I researched to find the most economical, yet efficient cloth wipes and selected 3 to try (granted there are oodles of cloth wipes out there). I only considered unbleached cotton or bamboo. Two of the wipes I selected were all cotton, one terry and one flannel, and the third was bamboo.
Kissaluvs are my favorite. They are thick, unbleached, undyed, terry cotton with two sides. One side is burley terry loops, perfect for cleaning up bigger messes and the other side is smooth for the final touches. They are soft, effective and not to thick, yet not to thin. But if you are used to a thin baby wipe and prefer something very thin, you may not like these as well. I however, had no problems going from a thin baby wipe to these. Kissaluvs wipes hold a lot of mess too, even with a pretty messy diaper, I only needed 2 wipes and in less messy occurrences, only one wipe was needed to do the job. They also washed very well and though we’ve only used them a couple weeks, they seem like they will be the most durable of the bunch. They are affordable to at $1 per wipe. I give them an A.
BumGenius’ bamboo wipes were also excellent. They were very soft, made of bamboo and a touch of polyester. Bamboo is more environmentally friendly in that it grows quickly and does not require the use of pesticides like cotton traditionally has. They are thinner than the Kissaluvs, but still have a two-sided texture, though more of the two-sidedness of a cheap Gerber baby washcloth, which they reminded me of, though the BumGenius bamboo wipes were certainly much, much softer. These wipes are a tad thicker than a disposable baby wipe, so those looking for a thinner wipe may prefer these. The also did the job well and did I mention they were soft? These would also make great washcloths for baby’s delicate skin. They are a little more pricey averaging $12.95 for 8 wipes. I give these an A-.
The unbleached cotton flannel wipes were also nice. These were the thinnest of the bunch, about the same as a disposable wipe. They were great for smaller messes and were fairly soft. However, you will need to use a few more of these than you would the Kissaluvs, which would mean more washing. They also did not wash as well for me – the ends were rolling after 1 washing, which is not a huge issue, but my concern was they would not be as durable as the other 2 wipes. I did like the fact that they were made of unbleached cotton. But if you prefer a thinner, no frills wipe, then you will certainly like this one. The flannel wipes are also the most affordable at 15 wipes for $9 for the ivory version. I give them a B (To be fair, I may have given them an A- if I didn’t like the Kissaluvs so much! The minus would be for the ends curling.)
As for how I used these wipes, I got a #5 plastic squeezable water bottle from Target and filled it up. All the wipes were roughly the same size and folded in half they fit in a regular wipe container. When I needed a wipe, I squirted one with water and wiped away. I keep (or try to) a small bowl in the closet by the changing table to dump the dirty wipes into. When the job is finished I take the wipes to the laundry room where I have a bucket of water to dump these in. Come wash time, I wring them out, toss ‘em in the washer and that’s it. A little more work than a disposable, but surprisingly, it’s not as much effort than I thought it would be. I work full time, so it’s not like I am looking for things to fill my “spare time” up with.
How many will you need? That really depends on how often you do washing. If you cloth diaper, it would be easy to toss these in the wash and you could get by with less. Since I planned on 1 time a week and my daughter is 2, I figured I could get by with a few less, but baby #2 will be here in 15 or so weeks, so I also considered that. I got 20 of the Kissaluvs, 8 of the BumGenius and 15 of the flannel wipes (counting individual wipes). I probably go through half this in a week with the 2 year old, but I know the new baby will require much more! Probably starting with 20 is reasonable, more if you have a younger baby (who poops more) and plan to wash only once as week.
Care is also very easy. I received a little “instruction” manual with the wipes. It was recommended that they be washed and dried 3 times before use to help remove the natural oils. This was probably the most painstaking part. I washed and dried them with towels, then with bed sheets, then with more towels… But soon we were up and running.
Again, I am glad I made the switch. I feel like this is a win-win-win. I feel good that these are gentle on my daughter’s bottom, both in softness and lack of chemicals being “applied” at each wipe. I feel good that I am not adding to landfills, and these are being washed with items that I wash weekly anyway, so I am not using extra water or electricity to wash the wipes. We will still use disposable wipes for on the go, but I will make sure they are unbleached, chemical-free and safe, like Seventh Generation or Tushies wipes . As a last resort we will use Pampers Sensitive wipes since they are more readily available, though they do contain parabens, so will not be my first choice, but who does not run out of wipes on the go? Happens to the best of us…