Oh, organic reusable baby wipes—perhaps the second most debatable parenting topic right after cloth diapering! Reusable diapers and wipes might not be for everyone, but one can deny the numerous health and environmental benefits of choosing reusable cloth baby wipes (and cloth diapers) over disposable ones.
So, here’s everything you need to know about hemp, linen, and organic cotton reusable baby wipes, including how-to instructions and washing best practices for first-timers.
Table of Contents
- Cloth Wipes 101: Best Organic Reusable Baby Wipes
- Harmful Ingredients Found In Baby Wipes
- Are Reusable Baby Wipes Better?
- How Do You Use Reusable Baby Wipes?
- How Do You Clean Reusable Baby Wipes?
- The Best Organic Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes Made With Natural Materials
- Marley’s Monsters Organic Cotton Reusable Baby Wipes
- Esembly’s Certified Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes
- Green Mountain Diapers Organic Muslin Baby Wipes
- Charlie Banana Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Wipes
- Under The Nile Terry Cloth Baby Wipes
- Babee Greens Organic Cotton and Hemp Cloth Baby Wipes
- Best Cleaners For Reusable Baby Wipes
- What About Non-Toxic Disposable Wipes?
- Wrapping up: Best Organic Reusable Baby Wipes (Cloths)
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Cloth Wipes 101: Best Organic Reusable Baby Wipes
Imagine you’re a parent, standing at the crossroads of diaper duty. You’ve heard whispers of reusable baby wipes, but you can’t help but feel a little skeptical. The thought of dealing with all that “dirty business” might make you cringe and question if it’s really worth it…
Hundreds of eco-conscious parents are all in when it comes to diapering reusables: it saves money and resources, is more sustainable, and it’s usually better for your baby’s skin. Curiosity tugs at you, but your hesitation lingers. “But what about the mess?”
The thought of cleaning soiled wipes can seem daunting, but remember that it will become a part of your regular laundry routine.
In fact, the process can be quite simple!
You can choose to store used wipes in a wet bag or a dedicated container until laundry day. Once it’s time to wash, simply toss the reusable baby wipes in with your regular laundry load, using an appropriate detergent. (Or you can wash them in their own load if it makes you more comfortable!)
If you’re concerned about stains, you can pretreat the wipes with a stain remover or opt for darker-colored wipes that are less likely to show stains.
One of the biggest advantages of reusable cloth wipes is the positive impact on the environment. By choosing reusable options, you reduce waste and minimize the need for virgin single-use plastics, out of which most disposable wipes are made. Although it certainly won’t solve our climate crisis, this small change can contribute to a healthier planet for your child’s future.
Plus, the natural materials used in cloth wipes can often be gentler on your baby’s sensitive skin.
So on that note, let’s talk about some of the harmful chemicals found in regular, disposable baby wipes.
Harmful Ingredients Found In Baby Wipes
Skin irritation and allergic reactions are common concerns for new parents, especially when it comes to diapering. Not only do most babies have more sensitive skin than adults, but you also have to worry about the constant rubbing from diapers, combined with the wet environment.
But there are other potential health effects to consider as well, including things like hormone disruption. If you’re on the fence about using safer reusable baby wipes, you may find it helpful to learn about some of the substances commonly present in traditional disposable baby wipes:
One ingredient to be cautious about is fragrance. Unfortunately, the term “fragrance” is often used as a kind of “catch-all” term, and manufacturers are not required to disclose the specific ingredients used. This means that harmful substances, including phthalates (which are known endocrine disruptors), could be present in the fragrance used to scent baby wipes.
Then, we have preservatives. Obviously, preservatives are very important when it comes to baby wipes because you absolutely don’t want any mold or bacteria growing on them. But some preservatives are safer than others. For instance, bronopol and DMDM hydantoin are antimicrobial agents that release formaldehyde, which can be irritating and may cause allergic reactions and rashes.
Another group of preservatives to watch out for are parabens, including butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. These preservatives have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and an increased risk of cancer.
When possible, you’ll want to look for safer preservatives such as citric acid or potassium sorbate.
If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive into the chemicals that are commonly found in conventional disposable baby wipes, you can check out this guide.
Are Reusable Baby Wipes Better?
As mentioned earlier, by using reusable wipes, you significantly reduce waste compared to disposable wipes. Most importantly, they offer a natural and gentle alternative, as they are typically made from soft and organic materials without a bunch of added chemicals.
You also have control over the cleaning solution you use with reusable wipes, allowing you to choose a mild, skin-friendly option. (We’ll get more into the cleaning part in a minute!)
Plus, let’s not forget that while the upfront cost of purchasing reusable cloth baby wipes may be higher than buying disposable ones, in the long run, reusable wipes can save you money. After all, disposable baby wipes are not cheap! Instead of constantly buying packs of single-use wipes, you can reuse your cloth wipes after washing them, eliminating the need for repeated purchases.
Lastly, organic reusable baby wipes have various uses beyond diaper changes. They can be used for cleaning your baby’s face, hands, and body, as well as for wiping up spills or messes during feeding times. Some parents even use them as washcloths or for other household cleaning tasks, making them a versatile and practical choice. This can make your investment go even further since you can keep using them long after your child is out of diapers.
All of that being said, whether or not you choose to use disposable or reusable baby wipes (or even both!) comes down to your and your family’s personal preferences, needs, and budget. No matter what you decide, you are a great parent and you are doing your very best for your baby (even if that means doing things “imperfectly”)!
What Is The Best Fabric For Reusable Baby Wipes?
Organic Cotton Baby Wipes
Organic cotton is a popular choice for baby wipes due to its softness, absorbency, and breathability. It is a natural and hypoallergenic fabric that is gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. Organic cotton is also grown without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides, making it a safer and more eco-friendly option. It is easy to clean and maintain, making it a practical choice for reusable wipes.
Organic cotton does tend to be more expensive than conventional cotton, though. So even if you have to go with conventional cotton for budget reasons, it’s still a better option than synthetic materials.
Hemp Baby Wipes
Hemp fabric is known for its durability and strength, making it ideal for long-lasting and resilient baby wipes. It has natural antimicrobial properties, which can help inhibit the growth of bacteria and prevent odor. Hemp is also highly absorbent and can hold a significant amount of moisture, making it suitable for messier diaper changes. Additionally, hemp is a sustainable and eco-friendly fabric choice, as it requires minimal water and no pesticides to grow.
The biggest downside to hemp is that it is usually one of the most expensive fibers. It’s also still quite difficult to find American-grown hemp, as it’s been illegal to grow in the U.S. until recently.
Linen Baby Wipes
Linen is another fabric option for organic reusable baby wipes that offers excellent absorbency and durability. It is known for its exceptional moisture-wicking properties, which help keep your baby’s skin dry and comfortable during diaper changes. Linen is also naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for babies with sensitive skin. Like hemp, linen is a sustainable fabric choice as it is derived from the flax plant, which requires fewer resources to grow compared to cotton. It’s usually more affordable compared to hemp.
How Do You Use Reusable Baby Wipes?
If you’re using cloth baby wipes for the first time, there might be a bit of a learning curve since you can’t just pop the wipes into the trash can when you’re done. So here’s what to do:
Preparation: Before using organic reusable baby wipes for the first, it’s a good idea to pre-wash them to remove any manufacturing residue and get them ready for use. Remember always to follow the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Wet or Dry?: Decide whether you want to use the wipes wet or dry. Wet wipes are commonly used for diaper changes and can be moistened with water, a homemade wipe solution, or a gentle cleanser. Dry wipes can be used for various purposes, such as wiping hands or faces.
- Wetting the Wipes: If you prefer to use wet wipes, you can either dampen them with warm filtered water or prepare a wipe solution. A wipe solution can be made by mixing water with a few drops of mild baby soap or baby oil (here is an easy and natural DIY recipe), or by using pre-made natural wipe solutions available in the market (like this one). Pour the solution over the wipes and ensure they are evenly saturated.
Storage: Keep the moistened wipes in a designated wipe container or wet bag to keep them handy and prevent them from drying out. Make sure the container is airtight and leak-proof if you plan to carry them with you. Glass, stainless steel, or silicone containers are usually best. You don’t want to pre-make too many wipes at one time or store them in the container for too long. Doing so could lead to the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria.
Wiping: When it’s time to use a wipe, gently grab one from the container or bag and use them as you normally would. Wipe to clean your baby’s bottom during diaper changes, wipe their hands or face, or for any other cleaning needs.
Cleaning and Laundering: After use, place the used wipes in a designated storage container or wet bag until you are ready to launder them. Once you have enough used wipes, wash them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most reusable wipes can be machine-washed with a gentle detergent and dried on a low-heat setting. (Although air drying them may make them last longer and prevent shrinkage.) Avoid using fabric softeners or harsh chemicals that can affect the absorbency of the wipes.
How Do You Clean Reusable Baby Wipes?
When it’s time to clean your organic reusable baby wipes, here’s how to get the job done:
Pre-treat: If the wipes are soiled with solid waste, you can remove any excess by rinsing them under running water or by using a diaper sprayer. This way, you’ll help prevent staining and makes the cleaning process easier.
Wet bag or pail: Place the used wipes in a wet bag or a lidded pail that’s dedicated to storing soiled cloth diapers and wipes. This works wonders on containing any odors and keeps them separate from clean items until you’re ready to launder.
Now, on to the washing part. Some people may choose to wash their (pre-treated) reusable baby wipes with the rest of their laundry, while others choose to wash them in their own load. It’s up to you. But if you want to wash them in their own load, here’s how to do so:
Pre-rinse: Start with a pre-rinse cycle in your washing machine to remove any residue and loosen stains.
Wash: After the pre-rinse, proceed to a regular wash cycle. Use a detergent that is suitable for cloth diapers or baby items, such as Healthybaby. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate amount of detergent.
Temperature: Check the care instructions for your wipes, but typically, washing them in warm or hot water helps sanitize and remove any lingering bacteria.
Additional boost: To boost the cleaning power, you can add baking soda, vinegar, or a non-toxic oxygen boost powder to the wash cycle. These ingredients can help eliminate odors and stains.
Drying: After washing, you can air-dry the wipes by laying them flat or hanging them on a drying rack. If you prefer, you can also tumble dry them on low heat.
The Best Organic Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes Made With Natural Materials
Now, let’s get to our top picks!
Marley’s Monsters Organic Cotton Reusable Baby Wipes
Let’s start off with Marley’s Monsters reusable baby wipes—the ultimate eco-friendly alternative to disposable baby wipes!
Made from 100% cotton flannel, these washable and reusable wipes come in a delightful array of colorful patterns. Think rainbow colors, vintage fruits, cute turtles, and so many more. They are incredibly versatile, so they can be used as baby wipes OR as face wipes, washcloths, or even as an alternative to toilet paper!
These single-ply organic reusable baby wipes are not only practical but also durable, thanks to their sewn edges that prevent fraying. And in case you are new to the eco game, you can opt for the affordable starter kit. It’s packed with 3 UNpaper® Towels, six cloth wipes, and facial rounds.
Handmade with love by Marley’s Monsters in Eugene, Oregon, you can feel good about making this sustainable switch for your entire family.
Simply toss them in the washing machine with like colors and dry them in the dryer for easy care.
Esembly’s Certified Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes
Esembly’s set of 12 soft and sturdy washable cloth wipes promises to keep your baby clean while reducing waste. Crafted responsibly in Pakistan from organic cotton, these reusable baby wipes are exceptionally gentle on delicate baby skin. Plus, with their generous size, they can handle even the messiest diaper situations. No more endless packs of disposable wipes – just a set of 24-36 “Wipe Ups” is all you’ll need from birth through potty training.
And just like with other reusable cloth wipes, these versatile cloths are not limited to diaper changes alone. They also work wonders as bathtime washcloths and are great for wiping sticky hands and messy faces. For optimal results, pair them with Essembly’s foaming Wipe Up Wash.
Green Mountain Diapers Organic Muslin Baby Wipes
This set of 12 organic reusable baby wipes is made from a single layer of double-woven muslin, providing a soft and gentle touch for your little one’s delicate skin. The thin and lightweight fabric offers a familiar feel, similar to disposable wipes, but with the added benefits of being organic and reusable.
On top of that, the woven texture is touted for providing just the right amount of grip to prevent smearing while effectively cleaning. The cherry on top? These OEKO-TEX-certified wipes can multitask! Use them as a teeny tiny preemie diaper, as a cotton diaper liner, or even as washable tissues.
Charlie Banana Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Wipes
This practical set of 10 organic reusable baby wipes is completely free of dyes and perfumes to protect your baby’s delicate skin. The material of choice? STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® organic cotton, of course. Simply toss them in the wash after use, and they’ll be ready to be reused again and again.
To top it all off, the conscious company is a proud (fellow!) member of 1% For The Planet, meaning every purchase contributes to a greener world. It’s no surprise that Charlie Banana’s line has already won the Eco Excellence Award in 2022 and the Top Choice Award in 2022.
Under The Nile Terry Cloth Baby Wipes
Under The Nile puts a lot of emphasis on sourcing the finest 100% organic Egyptian cotton available. So much so that they are actually the first and only baby clothing brand to carry the prestigious Gold Egyptian Seal, guaranteeing they’re made from premium, butter-soft combed Egyptian cotton.
On top of that, they are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and ethically made in Certified Fair Trade facilities. Rest easy knowing that our wipes are free of azo colorants, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, fragrance, PVC, and lead.
I love their 6-piece set of reusable cloth baby wipes. Crafted with care, these terry baby wipes are incredibly gentle, making them suitable for everyday use. Their exceptional absorbency allows them to handle even the toughest messes, making them versatile enough for the whole family.
Babee Greens Organic Cotton and Hemp Cloth Baby Wipes
In a world filled with pollution, Babee Greens believes in offering organic cloth wipes and reusable cloth diapers to create a safe and eco-friendly nursery for your little one. No more constantly buying disposable wipes that end up in landfill. They are made of organic cotton and hemp, creating a gentle and soft fabric that’s perfect for your baby’s delicate skin.
The addition of hemp brings natural antibacterial properties, helping to prevent diaper rash and irritation. Not only are their cloth wipes better for your baby, but they are also more durable and can be used again and again. It might go without saying, but this brand’s best organic cotton reusable baby wipes are free from chlorine, alcohol, PEGs, sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, and dyes.
Best Cleaners For Reusable Baby Wipes
Now, you’re probably going to want to pair your reusable organic wipes with a gentle, non-toxic baby cleanser. Here are our favorite brands that are made with safe and skin-nourishing ingredients:
Healthybaby Wash System
With multi-purpose concentrate, you can enjoy a luxurious and gentle 2-in-1 foaming shampoo and body wash that’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin, including newborns.
The concentrate is specially formulated with botanicals and probiotics to support your baby’s natural microbiome. But that’s not all – each bottle of concentrate has the power to refill up to 6 stainless steel bottles, providing you with over 200 bath times and even more cloth cleaning rounds. (And I actually use this Concentrate as a foaming hand & dish soap, too!)
Ever Eden Extra-Gentle Head-To-Toe Cleanser
Ever Eden’s Baby Shampoo and Body Wash is created with a blend of plant-based ingredients to help strengthen, soften, and soothe, leaving your little one’s skin hydrated, healthy, and happy.
The silky-textured wash lathers up beautifully and rinses away easily, making bath time a joy for both you and your baby. The secret lies in Ever Eden’s thoughtfully selected ingredients. Gentle coconut-based cleansing agents gently cleanse without drying out the skin, while glycerin-based moisturizers and oils provide superior hydration, keeping your baby’s skin supple and moisturized. It’s also infused with cold-pressed and organic sunflower seed oil, a powerful antioxidant that conditions the skin and promotes a strong skin barrier.
Lastly, the formula also incorporates oat extract, which contains soothing oat amino acids that help reduce cradle cap and relieve irritated skin. Lastly, avocado oil, which is high in vitamin E, is an ideal carrier oil for active ingredients, as it closely mimics the skin’s natural oils, promoting optimal absorption and efficacy.
I mentioned Esembly’s concentrate and foamer bottle kit earlier. The formula is made ethically in the USA and is specially formulated to work seamlessly with their Wipe Ups for gentle and effective cleaning during diaper changes.
It’s also a versatile cleanser that can be used during bath time as a hydrating body soap, and it’s perfect for tackling sticky toddler hands and messy faces. With each bottle of concentrate, you’ll have approximately 4-6 weeks’ worth of foaming solution. You can opt for a refill option whenever you need it.
What About Non-Toxic Disposable Wipes?
Many parents decide to have both reusable cloth wipes and disposable ones on deck for different purposes. So to check out our picks for the best non-toxic disposable wipes, check out this guide.
As a new parent, you probably don’t want to put any harsh chemicals on your little one’s skin. Here are the safest organic and non-toxic baby wipes based on our research and testing.
Are reusable baby wipes worth it?
We think so… But it’s up to you! By using organic reusable baby wipes, you significantly reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. Disposable wipes contribute to landfill waste and take a long time to decompose. Plus, reusable cloth baby wipes are made from soft and gentle fabrics like organic cotton, hemp, or linen, which are less likely to irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. They are free from harmful chemicals, fragrances, and additives commonly found in disposable wipes.
Can you wash reusable wipes with clothes?
Yes, you can wash reusable wipes with your regular laundry. It’s best to wash them separately from heavily soiled items like cloth diapers or heavily stained clothing. Ultimately, the decision to wash them with clothes or separately depends on your personal preference and the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer of your organic reusable baby wipes.
Wrapping up: Best Organic Reusable Baby Wipes (Cloths)
By making the switch to organic reusable baby wipes, you’re reducing waste, saving money, and providing a gentle and eco-friendly alternative to keeping your baby feeling fresh. Free from harsh chemicals and additives, these hemp and organic cotton reusable baby wipes are gentle on your little one’s skin, reducing the risk of irritation and allergic reactions.
Whether you prefer all-in-one designs, pocket-style wipes, or two-in-one options, there’s a solution out there that will make your diaper-changing routine more convenient and sustainable.
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