Thursday, November 1, 2012

All About Accessories: Cloth Wipes

Well the time has come for us to discuss cloth wipes! Cloth wipes are very versatile, they can be used with cloth diapers or disposable diapers. They can be used as wash cloths, cleaning rags, whatever. I have tried many many types of wipes since we started using cloth wipes.

Why Cloth Wipes?

I use cloth wipes because when my son was only a few weeks old we ran out of the sensitive wipes the hospital sent us home with. I had bought the same wipes I've used since birth for my oldest son, Huggies cucumber scented  ones. Love them for my son, they smell great and do the job well, but my little baby got a horrible rash! I switched back to sensitive and all was well. We were cloth diapering and I was having to put the wipes in a separate bag and take them outside no matter what time of day or night, no matter what weather, because it was that or stick them in the kitchen trash can! (no thanks!) So I switched to cloth wipes for two reasons. 1. Because it was better for my son's skin. This is the big one. I had to find something that would keep my son clean and not hurt his skin. Could I have bought sensitive wipes? Yes I could've. That brings us to my second reason. 2. It was easier. Seriously, it was way more convenient than buying regular disposable sensitive wipes. I would much rather wipe with a cloth wipe, toss it in the diaper and spray it off with the diaper then put it in the wet bag with the diaper and wash it with the diaper than separate the stuff into disposable and reusable, bag up the disposable wipes, spray the diaper and put it in the wet bag, then go back and put the bag of dirty wipes in the outside trash. No thanks, too much work, too many steps! I like to keep things simple. I also have one other big reason. 3. It saves money. Sure it cost me money to buy the wipes but you know what? Totally worth it! I was spending $22 a month on wipes. I now don't buy wipes, if I do it's the occasional $2 package. That's $22 more a month in my pocket. Sure it doesn't seem like too much but when you are struggling, it's a lot! That is $11 more towards Christmas presents, towards groceries, towards clothes and shoes for your children, towards eating lunch out or whatever you want it to go towards! That is your money, why are you wiping poop with it and throwing it away?

How's it work?

Well it can work any way you want it to! Like most things cloth diaper related it's all about what works for you and your family! It's all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. A lot of people keep pre moistened cloth wipes in a wipe warmer. Some keep premoistened cloth wipes in an old plastic disposable wipe container or a huge zip lock bag. Some people keep them dry and just get them wet with water. Some premake solution from scratch and keep it in a spray bottle or peri bottle and squeeze it on the bum or wipe then use the wipe. Some people use booty bits, soapy bits of wipe solution you dissolve in water and moisten the wipes that way, either ahead of time or when it comes time to clean the mess!

What Solution to use?

It is all about what you prefer! There are tons of different recipes for homemade solution. It seems they mostly contain a little bit of soap, a little bit of oil (olive, baby, coconut, etc) warm water, and/or essential oils (tea tree, peppermint, lavender, etc) Some people just use plain water, and others yet use booty bits. I can't speak to the other two because I've never experimented with either way of doing things, but I use booty bits. Booty Bits can be called soap bits, wipe bits, etc. Basically they are tiny tiny cubes of soap that you dissolve in warm water. I prefer Crow Mountain Craft's booty bits and it has worked so well it's all I use. A little goes a long way. Suggested use is to dissolve 2 cubes into 2 cups of hot water or 1 cube into 1 cup water. I have cut the cubes in half before (but I don't anymore because it's very time consuming and difficult as they are already small to begin with!) and dissolved 1/2 a cube in 1 cup water and it's worked just fine! I love them because the smells are better than anything I'd ever be able to get when making my own, a little goes a long way, and honestly it's easier. See I'm not a stay at home mom, I work. I also have two kids, a dog, a husband, and a house to care for. I teach my son's preschool co-op once a month and have other various church, social, family, and friend responsibilities, plus I have to sleep sometime! So I go for what is easy and works. These booty bits are easy and work! My favorites are Pink Sugar and Leather and Lace. I keep mine in a peri bottle or other squeeze bottle and squeeze some onto the wipe then wipe the tuchas. Super easy!

What wipes to use?

Cloth wipes can be a little overwhelming. Do you want terry, flannel, bamboo, micro fleece, what? I simply started with baby washcloths. You know those small thin ones you can get cheap at walmart? Those are the ones! I bought two packs of 5 for $.98 a piece. I thought it was brilliant and while they did work they didn't absorb the solution like I felt they should. But they will do in a bind and I haven't gotten rid of all of them now that I've moved on to bigger and better things. Next I tried sewing squares of flannel together. I had heard that if you cut up receiving blankets and sewed the squares together they made great wipes. Having never sewed I went ahead and did it. It was super easy and they did work, but not as well as I liked. I had my eye on some cloth wipes that were part flannel and part terry cloth but I didn't want to splurge. Lucky me, Super Green Label started making those types of wipes and they were much more affordable than the ones I had been looking at. Everywhere else I was finding them for about $2 a wipe which seemed so unreasonable to me, but SGL had them for just $1 a piece! That was more reasonable and I was able to swing some. BEST. IDEA. EVER. I have never regretted my purchases from SGL, and the wipes were no exception! One side is flannel and the other terry. They work as wash cloths and baby wipes and we use them as both. They are very absorbent and where I was going through 3-5 wipes a change with the baby wash cloths and homemade wipes, I was using 1-2 for even the messiest diapers! Plus they are way cute!

These are my actual Super Green Label wipes! Very well constructed, cute, and affordable! They work great and are my absolute favorite wipes!
I have also come across GroVia wipes. I found them at Mama's Emporium. I heard they were good so I got some to try. These wipes are Organic Cotton Terry Cloth Wipes and let me tell you, they are soft! I especially love them for pee diapers but they are very absorbent! I thought they would be about the same as the infant wash cloths but I was very pleasantly surprised. So now I reach for SGL wipes first, Grovia wipes second, and the homemade/baby wash cloths last.

I Recommend

Super Green Label 2 sided wipes found here.
GroVia Organic Cotton Cloth Wipes found here.

Bottom Line

Bottom line is you have to play around and see what is right for you but I highly suggest Super Green Label  and Mama's Emporium for wipes. Try a few different wipes and solutions and see what works for you! I recommend storing wipes dry and wetting them with solution right before you use them, and I suggest Crow Mountain Craft's Booty Bits for the solution.

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