How to Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Baby with a package of wipes

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Madelyn Goodnight / Getty Images

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It should come as no surprise that babies can be expensive. Between baby 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 is making your own baby wipes.

Making your own wipes instead of buying disposable wipes can save you up to $150 a year, and in the case of reusable wipes, can also reduce waste. Additionally, DIY baby wipes put you in control of the products and ingredients that are touching your baby's sensitive skin. Learn how to make your own reusable or disposable wipes in just a few simple steps.


Click Play to Learn How to Make Baby Wipes

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 a set of reusable cloth baby wipes.

What You Need to Make 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

Step-By-Step for Making Reusable Wipes

Cut blankets, shirts, or washcloths into 8-inch by 8-inch squares. Place one piece of fabric on top of the other one. Use a serger or a tight zig-zag stitch around the edges to sew the pieces together.

Make the wipe solution. Combine water, baby shampoo or baby wash, and baby oil into a spray bottle. Shake to mix.

When you need to use a wipe, spray it with the wipe solution. Store dirty wipes in a small trash can.

Rinse the soiled wipes before you toss them in the washing machine. Launder the wipes separately from the rest of your family's laundry, and make sure to use the hot/sanitize setting on your washing machine.

How to Make Disposable Wipes

If you can't bring yourself to hop on the reusable wipe bandwagon, you also can make disposable wipes for routine baby care. Paper towels make great disposable wipes at a fraction of the cost of store-bought wipes.

What You Need to Make Disposable Wipes

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

Step-By-Step for Making Disposable Wipes

Cut a roll of paper towels in half using a sharp, serrated knife. Don't remove the cardboard tube.

Mix water, baby shampoo or baby wash, and baby oil together in a liquid measuring cup. Put paper towels (with the cardboard tube) in a large bowl and pour liquid mixture on top. Let paper towels soak for 10 minutes.

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.

Pull out the cardboard tube once the towels are soaked. The wipes should dispense from the middle of the roll.

Safety and Storage

Make sure that any products that you use in your baby wipe mixture are safe and non-toxic for babies and small children. Florencia Segura, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Einstein Pediatrics in Vienna, VA, also notes that all soaps and oils should be fragrance-free to minimize the chances of your baby having a reaction.

Keep in mind that the lack of preservatives means homemade wipes don't have the same shelf life as storebought wipes. Dr. Segura advises storing homemade baby wipes no longer than 3-4 days due to the potential for mold growth.

Storage options for homemade wipes include any clean, airtight container. You probably already have something on hand that will work. Large plastic bags, plastic storage containers, and empty disposable wipes containers are all good choices.

A Word From Verywell

If you have the time and the desire, it can be 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, making your own wipes means that 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.

By Jennifer White
Jennifer White has authored parenting books and has worked in childcare and education fields for over 15 years.

Updated by Cara Henderson
Cara Henderson

Cara Henderson is a registered dietitian nutritionist. Her writing and editing experience includes serving on the editorial board of Preemie magazine, and 17 years of experience writing for health and wellness publications.

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