Sunday, February 3, 2013

Homemade Natural Baby Cloth Wipes

Have you ever read the ingredients in those generic store-bought baby wipes?

Unfortunately, they are full of tongue-twisting names that aren't in my vocabulary, natural medicine cabinet or food pantry... Disodium EDTA, Caprylic Triglyceride, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Iodopropynyle Butylcarbamate, Sodium Hydroxymethlyglycinate and so on.

Why can't they just use normal, real ingredients?!

It drives me nuts that they go through all the work to produce a product that is full of weird stuff and ends up not being safe for our babies' sweet little bums. According to the Cosmetics Database many of these ingredients have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies, developmental problems, reproductive toxicity, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption and cellular changes... Huh?!

Not touching another one of those wipes on my babies ever again!

With all my babies, at home, I used cloth wipes and would simply get the cloth wet with warm water to clean them up, but sometimes felt that I needed a little more cleaning power when dealing with the stinky stuff.

Plus, when we are traveling, I often ditch the cloth wipes and use disposable. After reading the ingredients and knowing what I know now... Won't be doing that anymore!

This pushed me to look for safer & healthier alternatives. There are natural disposable wipes you can buy, but they are pricey and I wanted to be able to keep using my cloth wipes or at least make my own disposable wipes.

On A Mission
I came across several recipes for homemade wipes on google, but most all of them called for baby oil (really mineral oil, a by-product of gasoline), baby soap and baby lotion... not exactly what I had in mind.

Then I remember the solution I mixed together for my Soothing Postpartum Pads... {ding!} The light bulb went on.

I set out to make my own baby wipe solution using the recipe from my postpartum pads as a guide. After some tweaking I was able to come up with this great solution that leaves my sweet little babe's bum soft, clean and smelling superb without any irritation!

Not only do I use this to clean up my baby's bum, I have also found it to be great for cleaning my kids' dirty hands & faces... which leaves them (and mine too!) feeling fresh & clean. I find that it works and smells so much better than the organic hand sanitizer we often use when traveling.

The Ingredients
I like to purchase all the ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs. All their products are high quality and the prices are reasonable. I have been very happy with everything I've bought from them so far. Plus, when I buy these ingredients in bulk... I save a nice chunk of money!

Water: It is important that you use boiled, filtered water or distilled water to help the wipes from getting too musty smelling.

Aloe Vera Juice/Gel: Best known for its natural healing of skin, wounds and other skin issues. Leaves your baby's skin feeling soothed and fresh. Best to use aloe vera juice or gel with no preservatives.

Witch Hazel: A natural astringent and helps heal & prevent painful diaper rashes. I found that Mountain Rose Herbs' witch hazel is better than the ones at your local store because the alcohol level is lower. 

Castile Soap: Gives you a little more cleaning power to clean up the stinky messes. Don't worry, it won't dry your baby's skin.

Essential Oils: These oils will leave your baby's skin smelling clean and kill any lingering fungus or bacteria that can cause painful diaper rashes. I like to use a mixture of chamomile, rosemary and tea tree (you can use lavender instead of rosemary or calendula instead of chamomile, if you prefer). This mixture of oils are gentle on the skin and have wonderful healing properties.

The Wipes
You can use any square cloth. I have a mixture of homemade wipes, bumGenius wipes and Circo washcloths. I have about 40 wipes that last me over a week.

I like to store my wipes in the tall plastic container, as you can see from the pictures. It works great and I can fit all my wipes!

But if you have an old Huggies wipe case, you can use that instead. Here's a great video tutorial on how to fold your wipes for that nice "pop-up" effect:


I really do love using reusable wipes over disposables. Here's my 6 reasons why:
  1. I know exactly what is in my wipes... no weird, yucky ingredients!
  2. Once they are washed and dried, they are ready for you to use them when you are running low on wipes. No need to worry about running to the store to get paper towels if you forgot to buy some when you went grocery shopping.
  3. Cloth wipes last for years and so frugal.
  4. Less trees are getting cut down for disposable wipes & paper towels (I'm not a tree-hugger fanatic, just considerate).
  5. They hold moisture well and you only need to use one wipe to get the job done. Sometimes I even use one wipe for 2 or 3 diaper changes!
  6. Great for cleaning dirty hands and faces. Doesn't leave them feeling greasy or smelling stinky.

Traveling with Wipes
If you are traveling and don't want to use reusable wipes. You can use heavy-duty paper towels. I've seen some mamas cut the rolls in half, soak the whole thing in baby wipe solution and store in a plastic container or baggie.

I, on the other hand, like to tear each sheet out, cut them in half, fold them inside a plastic baggie and soak them with the homemade solution. A little more work, but works great for me!

But I do sometimes travel with my reusable wipes and carry along a plastic washable bag that I can store the dirty wipes in. I've found that I can carry about 5-8 wipes in a hard, thin plastic Huggies wipe case and they work wonderfully... especially if I fold them to get the "pop-up" effect.

Now, let's get to work making these wipes!

Homemade Natural Baby Cloth Wipes

2 cups filtered water, boiled or distilled
2 Tbsp aloe vera juice/gel
2 Tbsp witch hazel
2 tsp castile soap
6 drops chamomile or calendula essential oil
4 drops lavender or rosemary essential oil
4 drops tea tree essential oil
about 40 cloth wipes or a roll of paper towel cut in half

Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Put half of the cloth wipes on a large bowl. Pour half the mixture over the wipes. Using your hands, squeeze and stir the wipes until all the liquid is absorbed.

Put the rest of the cloth wipes in the large bowl, stir the wipes solution to distribute the oils and pour evenly over the wipes. Again, using your hands, squeeze and stir the wipes until all are evenly damp.

Take your container, fold (regular or pop-up technique) the cloth wipes and set it next to the diapers. If you are using a container like mine, do not seal the lid tight... it will cause the wipes to get musty fast. Best to let a little air get in to keep things fresh.

There you go! Enjoy using them on your sweet baby's bum!

What you do think? Have you made homemade wipes? What essential oils do you like to use?


  1. Especially when it comes to the safety of the little ones, your reasons for using homemade baby wipes are really justifiable. Thank you for sharing the natural ingredients and methods of DIY baby wipes.

  2. love this! i too was tired of finding all the homemade versions online to be just as bad as the store bought versions. thanks for posting this baby-safe recipe :-) i plan to make them asap!

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I was wondering what you do with the dirty wipes? I don't really want to be doing laundry everyday.... I would like to try this with paper towel for traveling, would I follow the same directions, but replace the facecloth's with paper towel?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hello Liz!
      I just wash them when I wash the diapers, but you could also wash them with towels too. Yes, do everything the same way but replace it with paper towels. I am doing that right now with our travels too! I like the kind that come in half sizes and I simply fold it in half and stuff a stack into a plastic bag and pour the mixture in the bag. Works wonderfully!

  4. My one question..we've all had major messes, tmi daughters vagina gets packed with poop and its a process to carefully get it all out. Can ne of these products burn her delicate vaginal skin or my sons for that matter? I only ask bc when I had to use witch hazel down there it almost felt hot. Thank u! Cannot wait until I can try these

  5. Hello Lauren, for some reason the reply button is not working. So, I am writing you back this way. I hope you will be back soon!

    To answer your question... no, I have had no problems with any of these products burning my daughter's delicate vaginal skin or bottom. The witch hazel is watered down with the aloe juice and water. I don't recommend using straight witch hazel right on her vaginal skin as it might cause irritation.

    Hope you will enjoy the wipes as much as I have!!

  6. I came across this recipe in search of an all natural feminine wash. I suffer(ed) from vaginal itching and odor in spite of my doctor running several tests and ruling out any infections. Commercial fem washes are a definite no-no for me. I surfed the web for natural remedies and found that tea tree oil has been used for many years in natural douches for its anti fungal properties and Camomile is a natural anti inflammatory. I searched and searched to no avail for a natural recipe for fem washes or cloths but wasn't pleased with any of my findings. I stumbled across your web page finally and fell in love with this. It included everything I was looking for, plus, and is affordable to make. the only substitute I made was instead of Camomile oil, I used Camomile tea bags that I had on hand, and made a tea out of the distilled water. And I dont pre-make the clothes, I bottle my solution in a 16 ounce bottle and use as needed for (external) fem cleansing purposes. I have been using this for 2 weeks now and am in love with this. I will definitely will be keeping this on hand. This is a gentle, natural, affordable, and very effective solution to my, now non-existent, problem. no itchies or odor just feeling fresh. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. Even though your intention was for the little ones bottoms you helped an other wise clueless woman with her "big bottom" :0). This is truly a God send.

    1. Oh my! I am so blessed to know that this has been SO helpful for you! Thank you for coming back and sharing. I love testimonies like this! Thank you!

  7. I totally agree with anonymous above! I am a grandmother and have stopped using flushable wipes and am using your recipe with both the bottle as she suggested and flannel squares. I love it! I got the idea from a daughter who uses them as baby wipes, and then found your recipe.

  8. Hi, I was just wondering how long does this recipe last you? Could you make a larger volume and store it in the fridge? Just trying to figure the most time efficient way to deal with wipe solutions and avoid molding issues at the same time. Thanks!

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  10. I made these today. Thanks, Marilyn!


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