Washable Wipes

Washable wipes are just what they claim to be, wipes that you wash! If you are already using cloth nappies then washable wipes are a logical choice, used in the same way as a disposable wipe they can be used on hands, faces and bottoms and popped into the wash with your nappies or regular laundry. Bamboo, polyester fleece and cotton are great materials for wipes but any washable fabric will do, the polyester fleece wipes are especially easy as they do not fray, negating the need for any hemming. I find a square cut at around 15 - 20cm works just fine.

Why use washable wipes?

Over the course of infancy, it is easy to spend £200 - £300 on disposable wipes a huge amount, especially when compared to washable wipes that can be made or bought for a one off cost of between £10 and £35
Being 5 times thinner than that of an adult, a babies skin will absorb much of what is put on it and disposable wipes are often full of potential irritants in the form of fragrances, alcohol, moisturisers and chemicals, just take a look at the ingredients list on the packet, even the more expensive "sensitive" disposable wipes contain a huge array of these ingredients and the fragranced "non sensitive" ones are just plain scary!

How are washable wipes used?

There are various methods and everyone has their own preference. If you try one and find it unsuitable it is easy to adapt until it's right for you.

For a long time I kept my homemade wipes dry and used a travel size spray bottle to store the solution until needed, I now use cheeky wipes and so store them in the solution and tub supplied with the kit, this can also be done with wipes and homemade solution. A thermos flask is another storage vessel used by some, with the added benefit of keeping the solution warm for comfort. All of these methods work brilliantly, it is purely a matter of personal choice. Remember not to make too much solution or store it for too long as you will notice that they become musty, make up a week's worth at a time and check it regularly and this should not occur.

Wipes solution suggestions

Of course you can buy pre-mixed wipe solutions but they can easily be made at home. Generally wipe solutions contain a few key ingredients such as essential oils (due to their scent and anti-bacterial properties), soap (to cleanse), water (to cleanse whilst diluting the other ingredients) and oil (often baby oil, olive oil or calendular oil, to help the wipes glide across babies bottom gently whilst keeping their skin soft)

Here are a few basic recipes to try...

A nice simple one is..

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons baby wash
1 1/2 cups pre-boiled water cooled to room temperature

Just combine the ingredients, it couldn't be easier!


One of my personal favourites has always been..

1 chamomile tea bag
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon baby bath or shampoo
1 drop lavender oil
1 cup boiled water

Steep the chamomile tea bag in the water for a few minutes, then add the remaining ingredients


2 tablespoons of your preferred babywash

2 tablespoons of olive oil (alternatively 1 tablespoon of calendular oil)

2 drops of tea tree oil

2 cups of pre-boiled water cooled to room temperature

Once again the ingredients are added to the cooled water and gently mixed.


If convienience is the key then there are always Cheeky Wipes! These nifty little kits are great value for money and contain all you need to make the switch to washable wipes, I have been using them for a while now and can't fault them. Available now from Birth 2 Potty.