How to Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Reusable or Disposable

Mother changing diapers of baby girl

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It should come as no surprise that babies can be expensive. Between food, toiletries, diapers, clothes, and toys, costs quickly add up. If you're looking for ways to save money, you're not alone. One trick that can save a surprising amount of money is making your own baby wipes.

Using reusable wipes—or even making your own disposable wipes—instead of buying packs of disposable wipes can save you as much as $150 a year. Making your own wipes also reduces waste and puts you in total control of the products and ingredients that are touching your baby's body. There are two different ways to make wipes—with pieces of cloth and with paper towels.

How to Make Reusable Wipes

Cloth wipes are reusable, so they cut down on waste. But making them requires a bit of sewing savvy. You can either stitch cloth wipes by hand or use a sewing machine if you have one. That said, you don't have to be an expert at sewing to successfully complete this project. Overall, it takes about 20 minutes to make reusable cloth baby wipes.

Make sure that any products—such as soaps and oil— that you use in your mixture are safe and non-toxic for babies and small children.

Here are the supplies you'll need to make your reusable wipes.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baby oil
  • 2 tablespoons baby shampoo or baby wash
  • Receiving blankets, flannel shirts, or baby washcloths
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Spray bottle

Directions

  1. Cut blankets, shirts, or washcloths into 8x8 squares.
  2. Put two pieces of fabric on top of one another and use a serger or a tight zig-zag stitch around the edges to sew the pieces together.
  3. Make the wipe solution. Combine water, baby shampoo or baby wash, and baby oil into a spray bottle. Shake to mix.
  4. When you need to use a wipe, spray it with the wipe solution.
  5. Store dirty wipes in a small trash can.
  6. Rinse the soiled wipes before you toss them in the washing machine.
  7. Launder the wipes separately from the rest of your family's laundry, and make sure to use the hot/sanitize setting on your machine.

How to Make Disposable Wipes

If you can't bring yourself to hop on the reusable wipe bandwagon, you also can make your own disposable wipes to help you care for your baby. Paper towels make great disposable wipes and they're super easy to make. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 roll of premium paper towels
  • Serrated knife
  • Large bowl
  • Large liquid measuring cup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baby shampoo or baby wash
  • 1 tablespoon baby oil

Directions

  1. Cut a roll of paper towels in half using a sharp, serrated knife. Don't remove the cardboard tube.
  2. Mix water, baby shampoo or baby wash, and baby oil together in a liquid measuring cup.
  3. Put paper towels, cardboard tube and all, in a large bowl and pour liquid mixture on top. Let paper towels soak for 10 minutes.
  4. Flip the towels over and let soak for another 10 minutes. Adjust the amount of mixture and soaking time if needed to make sure the towels are completely saturated.
  5. Pull out the cardboard tube once the towels are soaked. The wipes should dispense from the middle of the roll.

Storing the Disposable Wipes

Keep in mind that if you use natural or organic baby washes and oils in your wipe mixture, the lack of preservatives means these wipes don't have a months-long shelf life.

These wipes will be "fresh" for a few days or up to a week, so store the wipes in the refrigerator. Keep them in a large plastic bag, an airtight plastic storage container, or an empty disposable wipe container.

A Word From Verywell

If you have the time, it's worth the extra effort to make homemade wipes. Aside from the money it saves you in the long run, if you have a baby with sensitive skin, you have complete control over what ingredients you use. As a result, you can ensure that you only use the gentlest ingredients on your baby's delicate skin.

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