I’ve done my fair share of cloth diaper changes over the years. Like any concerned mom I opted for baby wipes I thought were safe and healthy for little ones. It turns out many baby wipes aren’t what they seem. So instead I came up with these DIY baby wipes with natural ingredients (plus they’re much cheaper!).
What’s Wrong With Diaper Wipes?
Ever checked the ingredients on your baby wipes? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Terms like “Fresh Scent,” “natural”,” and “sensitive skin” made me think I was choosing a healthy option. Instead many of these wipes are hiding ingredients like artificial fragrances (yep, even the unscented wipes). Then there are the harsh preservatives and parabens that can cause diaper rash on baby’s skin.
Even my favorite Huggies Cucumber and Green Tea wipes weren’t much better. At the time their ingredients were linked with issues including cancer risk, allergies, and developmental problems. I used these wipes for years, figuring that if they were made for a baby’s bum, they must be safe. Apparently not!
Since then many brands, including the big players have come a long way in cleaning up their ingredient lists. But there are still plenty of baby wipes out there with sketchy ingredients.
Non-Toxic Baby Wipes
After finding out what was actually in baby wipes I searched for healthier alternatives. There are some good ones, especially with the growing demand for better, healthier products. A lot of these options are more expensive than the typical baby wipes though.
If you’re too busy to make your own baby wipes, thankfully there’s a growing list of good options! Here are some different brands that meet my healthy mama standards.
- Made Of: Soothing Organic Baby Wipes
- Clearly Herbal Baby Wipes
- Baby Cozy Coconut Nourish Wipes
- Water Wipes (99.9% water)
- Attitude Eco Wipes
Make Homemade Baby Wipes
I stumbled on some recipes for homemade baby wipes, but they suggested baby oil, baby shampoo, and baby lotion. Baby oil may sound gentle, but it’s mineral oil, a byproduct of the gasoline industry. Baby wash and the other ingredients in these products have their own health concerns.
I figured if you could make your own with those ingredients, you could make a healthy version too!
Homemade Baby Wipes Recipe
After much trial and error (mainly error), I finally have a great baby wipes solution recipe. After using it on several kids for years, I haven’t had any issues with skin irritation.
A side benefit to my wipe making experiment is that homemade wipes are much cheaper. When I buy ingredients in bulk, the wipes end up costing way less. This saved us a ton when I had several in diapers. Healthier and cheaper- I’ll take it!
There are several ways to make your own homemade baby wipes. When I first started I used a plastic storage container and paper towels. Later on, I switched to cloth wipes for a reusable wipes version. The homemade wipes solution works with either option. It just depends on what you have and what you want to use.
I’ve included directions for the healthy (but less eco-friendly) version below too in case you want disposable wipes.
Reusable DIY Baby Wipes
There are several different reusable wipe options – no sewing required! You can cut up old receiving blankets and t-shirts into 9×9 (or larger) squares. Old baby washcloths work too. Fold them into an old baby wipes container and pour the wipes mixture onto them. You can also spray it on each wipe with a spray bottle before using.
If you want to buy premade fabric wipes, there are lots of options on Amazon and online. These organic flannel wipes are super soft.
Double Duty Wipes
This has been one of my most fun homemade discoveries. These wipes are definitely kid approved. My kids loved smelling them whenever I pulled them out to clean the baby. And then they’d try to steal one and use it to clean things. Guess I’ve instilled this a little too well. We’ve discovered these wipes also clean tile, counters, leather, and flooring. They leave a residue on stainless steel though.
I also make a lavender essential oil or tea tree oil version. These are great for all-purpose disinfecting when we’re traveling and as reusable makeup removal wipes for me.
This tutorial takes very little time and is a great alternative to store-bought wipes.
Homemade Baby Wipe Ingredients and Materials
I use either distilled water or water that’s been boiled and then cooled in these. Tap water will work, but it can quickly grow microbes. If you use your wipes within several days then boiled and cooled regular water can work.
A plastic container works well to store the wipes. My preferred option was the red Rubbermaid round container, but you can also use an old plastic coffee container or gallon ice cream bucket. When I first made these I used paper towels and the round, plastic containers fit them best. Since then we’ve switched away from using plastic.
If you’re using reusable cloth wipes, then a repurposed diaper wipes container or silicone bag does the job. These are nice for storing a few wipes at a time in the diaper bag for quick clean-up jobs. And if you’re using the spray bottle and cloth wipes option, then you can just keep the wipes in a basket on the changing table.
Natural Homemade Baby Wipes
- 1 ¾ cup warm distilled water (or boiled water that's been cooled some)
- 1 TBSP aloe vera gel
- 1 TBSP witch hazel
- 1 tsp castile soap (or less if desired)
- 1 tsp olive oil (or almond oil, omit for cloth wipes)
- 12 drops essential oils of choice (optional, I use orange and lavender)
- ½ tsp vitamin E oil (optional)
For Disposable Baby Wipes
- 1 roll Paper towels (use a quality brand that won't fall apart)
- Large plastic container
- Serrated knife (a bread knife works)
- Combine all ingredients in a pint size mason jar and shake well to combine. If using a spray bottle, then put all of the ingredients in your spray bottle instead.
- Place reusable cloth wipes in your container of choice and pour the wipes solution on them. Or just use the spray bottle to wet one as needed.
For Disposable Baby Wipes
- Cut the roll of paper towels in half using a sharp knife.
- If using an old wipes container, accordion fold the wipes into the container. If using a large round or square container, place the wipes cut side down in the container.
- Shake the wipe solution and pour over the paper towels in your container. Let the liquid absorb for about 5-10 minutes.
- Flip the container over to make sure the wipes are well soaked.
- If using a square/round container, pull the cardboard tube out from the inside. This should also pull the innermost wipe out and start them for you. Depending on the brand of paper towels you use, you might have to experiment with the amount of water to get the right amount.
- If your child has very sensitive skin, you may need to leave out the essential oils.
- You can also replace some of the water with soothing calendula or chamomile hydrosol.
Are you willing to try homemade baby wipes? What scents will you use? Leave a comment and let me know!