Have you ever looked at the ingredients on typical, store-bought baby wipes? I hadn’t really thought about it until I was pregnant with my daughter, but when I started looking at them, I was a little freaked out. I looked at natural wipes as well, which are considerably better. In the end though, I decided to make my own for these two reasons:
*Homemade wipes allow you to control exactly which ingredients are used in the solution: the substances that come in contact with your baby’s skin.
*Homemade wipes are sooo much more cost efficient!
First, a word about skin…
You may be thinking that wipe ingredients don’t matter all that much, because it’s not like they’re ingested…
Hang on! Your skin is NOT just an impermeable outer layer. It is actually your (and your baby’s) largest organ, and plays an important role in overall health. Your skin is for protection, but it is also designed to absorb nutrients (like minerals) from the things it comes in contact with. This also means that it can absorb harmful, unnatural things. Read more about skin Here.
Why not store-bought wipes?
Here is a list of the benefits of using typical store-bought baby wipes (Get out your notepad!):
Okay…so I guess that’s all I can think of. To me, the convenience of buying pre-made wipes is not nearly enough motive for buying them. Regular ones do tend to be cheaper than natural pre-made wipes, but not nearly as cheap as home-made ones!
The biggest reason I don’t buy wipes from the store is the ingredients. I don’t trust that they are good for my baby, and I like to know exactly what I am using.
Here are a few ingredients commonly found in conventional baby wipes: fragrances, butylparaben, methylparaben, phenoxyethanol, PEG-40, propylene glycol, cetylpyridinium chloride, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (formaldehyde releaser)…and the list goes on. What are these ingredients you are wiping all over your precious baby? Some mysterious ingredients are simply natural substances with a technical name, but most of them are not at all natural, and many can have seriously harmful effects (such as allergies, organ system toxicity, and skin irritations). More information on ingredients can be found here.
To summarize, most pre-made baby wipes have a lot of unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. I choose to steer clear of those, and instead make my own!
Why make your own baby wipes?
I mentioned my reasoning for making my own wipes at the beginning of the post.
The first was “Homemade wipes allow you to control exactly which ingredients are used in the solution: the substances that come in contact with your baby’s skin.” My daughter has never had more than a little redness in her diaper area, which clears right up with coconut oil. That’s right – no fighting diaper rashes! (Part of this is also due to the diapers we use: Earth’s Best, which contains only natural ingredients and doesn’t irritate the skin.)
My second reason was, “Homemade wipes are sooo much more cost efficient!” My husband and I try to live as frugally as is practical, and this is one of the ways that I can help to keep our grocery budget minimal. We go through about 1 roll of wipes a week (equivalent to 1-2 pre-made packs). I cut a paper towel roll into three, so that’s 1 roll of paper towels (converted to wipes) every three weeks. Each roll is between $1-$2, depending on if it’s on sale and how many I buy at once. The rest of the ingredients are just pennies – A 32oz bottle of Castile soap is about $10, A bottle of Lavender oil is about $10 as well, and they both last forever (well, it seems like it). I use aloe from my Aloe Vera plant, so that’s free. It averages out to a couple dollars every few weeks.
Homemade baby wipe recipe:
-1 sealable container (I use a Rubbermaid one)
-3 cups water (boiled and cooled)
-1 roll Bounty paper towels (Viva also works, but I found them to be sort of strangely soft. Don’t use cheap, store brand towels because they come apart!)
-1 tsp Castile soap (unscented)
-1 tbsp Aloe (100% pure. Read the ingredients or use a plant)
-1 tbsp Witch Hazel (optional)
-A few drops vitamin E oil (optional)
-5 drops Lavender essential oil
1.Cut your paper towel into thirds (or in half if your container is big enough).
2.To mix the solution, use a large (1 quart) mason jar and fill it with water to the 3 cup mark. Or, just measure three cups into some other jar.
3.Add your other ingredients to the jar.
4.Place one paper towel section in the container, cut side down. Pour one cup of the water solution over it, or 1.5 cups if you’re using half of the paper towel roll instead of a third. You may need to add a little more water to make them wet enough. I add about ¼ cup additional water.
5.Remove the paper towel tube from the center. Often this will start the roll for you too, by pulling out the innermost wipes.
6.Store the remaining towel sections and solution, and next time you need wipes it’ll be super-fast to make!
Note: I have seen a few online recipes for baby wipes that do NOT use natural ingredients (such as baby oils and soaps). These wipes will be cheaper than store-bought ones, but may still contain harmful ingredients. Always read the labels and be aware of what you are using!