Zero Waste Baby Wipes

cloth wipes banner.pngPicture credit:

Written by Stephanie

July 2018,  (For Plastic Free July Challenge, Day 27)


Wipes are an essential as soon as you have children, every parents need them on hand. That’s why disposable wipes have become so popular, not only for kids: it’s a booming industry that grows 6-7% each year. But this is a terrible product for the environment, city sewers and our health. The UK is even considering a ban on wet wipes.

What is the problem with disposable wipes?



  • Most wet wipes, standard and eco-friendly, are not recyclable and not compostable, as they are made of synthetic fibers: just like all single use plastics, they will pile up in landfills forever… or in the sewer system. There are a couple of compostable options but always check with your local waste management company as standards vary from one city to another.
  • Many people think they can flush wipes down the toilet, because of misleading marketing from manufacturers. As a result, they clog wastewater treatment facilities: it costs U.S. utilities up to $1 billion annually, according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies
  • In yesterday’s blog post I wrote that 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown away every year. People use disposable wipes when they change their babies diapers and for emergency cleanups, at home and when they are out. How many billions of wipes does that make? And I’m only talking babies wipes here…
  • Just like diapers, standard wipes are most of the time loaded with toxic ingredients: fragrances, paraben, phenoxyethanol and more.





Reusable cloth wipes

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I didn’t do cloth diapers with my kids but I was the master of cloth wipes!

With my first born I started by using lots and lots of disposable cottons to change her diapers. I quickly realized it was very expensive. I came across reusable wipes online, I was curious to try. After a few days I was convinced!

I’m a french mom, both my girls were born in France. Over there, we don’t use wet wipes to change diapers, we use “liniment”, a natural lotion that looks like a thick cream. That’s why we use lots of disposable cotton squares and no wet wipes.

There are many cloth wipes online now, like these ones in bamboo flannel.

I definitely recommend using natural fibers like bamboo and organic cotton, flannel and terry being the most popular types of fabric. You’ll find many on Etsy.

Another recommendation: if you choose printed wipes, ask the maker how the fabric was dyed. Personally, I always prefer unbleached wipes without dyes, just like cloth diapers.

Instead of buying new you can also purchase some fabric and sew a set. Just make sure the store owner knows how the fabric was made and that it’s truly eco-friendly.

Keep a stack on the changing table, put some lotion (“french” recipe in the next part), clean your baby’s cute bottom and place the wipe in a bucket. If it’s too soiled, rinse it and put it in your next laundry. Easy peasy.

When you are going out, bring a wet bag with you for the dirty cloth wipes. You’ll wash them when you come back home.

Written by Stephanie

July 2018,  (For Plastic Free July Challenge, Day 27)


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