On a scale from “totally zen” to “running around the house screaming,” realizing you’re almost out of baby wipes is definitely near the higher end of the spectrum. But what do you do if you can’t get to the store right away (or worse, the grocery store is all out)? Welp, friends, you have to get a little creative.
Luckily, with a few items you probably already have around the house, you can make a batch of DIY baby wipes that work just as well as the real deal. They’re better for the environment, gentler than many store-bought wipes and actually pretty easy to whip up in a pinch. (And did we mention you’ll save a ton of money by making them yourself?) OK, let’s do this.
How to Make Reusable Baby Wipes
What you need: baby washcloths, water, baby wash (we love Puracy body wash and shampoo), and coconut, almond or olive oil, spray bottle.
- Fold clean, dry baby washcloths and place them next to the changing table. (If you don’t have washcloths, you can also use old, clean t-shirts or pieces of flannel cut into squares. If you’re going to be using the fabric over and over, use a sewing machine to hem the edges of the squares.)
- Combine 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons baby wash and 2 tablespoons oil in a spray bottle, then give the bottle a light shake to combine.
- When you’re ready to use a wipe, spray the liquid onto a washcloth until it is completely saturated, then clean the baby’s diaper area as usual.
- When you’re done with the reusable wipe, place it into a small trash can, then clean all of the used wipes—preferably once a day—in the washing machine.
- Use or dispose of the liquid wipes mixture within a week. Because the liquid contains no preservatives, it will not last as long as store-bought wipes do.
How to Make Disposable Baby Wipes
What you need: paper towels, serrated bread knife, large bowl or pot, water, baby wash (we love Puracy body wash and shampoo), coconut, almond or olive oil, an old wipes package or other clean, plastic container with a lid.
- Carefully cut the roll of paper towels in half using a serrated bread knife.
- In a large bowl or pot, mix 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons baby wash and 2 tablespoons coconut, almond or olive oil).
- Place one of the paper towel half-rolls in the bowl and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is completely saturated.
- Flip the paper towel roll and let the opposite side soak for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the cardboard roll from the liquid mixture and place the paper towels in an old wipes package or other clean, plastic container.
- Pull from the center of the roll to dispense one “wipe” at a time.
- Use or dispose of the wipes within a week—because they have no preservatives, DIY wipes will not last as long as store-bought wipes do.
OK, But Is This Actually Safe?
Your DIY projects are usually limited to homemade slime and Peppa Pig cupcakes, not something you’re going to use on your kid’s butt. So, should we feel comfortable making and using homemade baby wipes? We asked 'Doctor Jarret' Patton MD, pediatrician and author of the Whose Bad @$$ Kids Are Those? book series, and he approved of our DIY wipes above.
"When making your own wipes, use recipes that do not have toxic chemicals in them," Dr. Patton added. "Recipes that use bleaches, disinfectants, and other strong chemicals not for use on the body are harmful to your baby. Using ingredients that are mild and non-toxic are best. When in doubt, it is always OK to simply use a washcloth and water."
How Much Money Will Making DIY Baby Wipes Save Me?
Here’s the great news: making your own wipes will save you a ton of money. Because you’re using items you probably already have around the house, making DIY wipes is basically free. Now, compare that to store-bought wipes. Let’s say you buy one pack of Honest 72-Count Wipes (which are great, by the way) once a week. One package will set you back $5.49. If you make your own wipes for one year, you’ll save $285.48. Not too shabby.
Anything Else I Need to Know?
If your baby has allergies, a skin condition or any other health issue, talk to your pediatrician before making and using DIY baby wipes. But while it’s always good to get the OK from a professional, DIY baby wipes contain no preservatives or chlorine (unless you are using a paper towel that is made with chlorine), so you might find that they’re even more gentle on your kiddo’s skin than the wipes you typically use. Sure, DIY baby wipes aren’t quite as convenient and portable as the store-bought kind, but they’re cheap, safe and, like the cast of Friends, they’ll be there for you.