Baby wipes are one area that I’ve really been taking the easy, convenient road with since Yusuf was born nearly 2 years ago (already?!). I buy the natural wipes that are fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and hypoallergenic; they also contain some aloe and vitamin E to soothe the skin. We’ve been fairly happy with them, but never really kid ourselves into believing that they truly are all-natural. It was just the best we could do at the moment. Until now…
Although Yousef’s eczema has calmed down tremendously since we’ve traced the cause back to certain dietary culprits (mainly dairy and wheat), he still has some flare-ups in the diaper area that I just can’t seem to get rid of no matter what I try. His naturopath suggested switching diaper brands (which we’ve recently done), but I’m taking it one step further and taking him off of commercial baby wipes altogether, especially since he’s been complaining of a “boo-boo” as I’m wiping his little bum with the regular wipes. And with baby #2 due next month (!) now’s a good a time as any to finally make the switch to more gentle, soothing baby wipes.
I did some research and settled on this recipe from Wellness Mama. I played around a bit with the recipe since my first batch came out a little too soapy and a little too wet. I don’t know if it’s because maybe my paper towel roll was a smaller size? I’m not sure, but I reduced the amount of water and soap in the recipe and it worked out much better for us.
I also left out the grapefruit seed extract because I didn’t have any on hand. I knew the wipes wouldn’t make it past a week in our house, but if you think you’ll need yours for longer than that, then grapefruit seed extract is a really good preservative.
This recipe can be used either with a strong roll of paper towels (like Bounty or Viva) or some homemade reusable cloth wipes. If you’re looking for a way to make cloth wipes, Sara from My Merry Messy Life has a great tutorial for no-sew cloth wipes!
I’m planning on picking up some fleece fabric soon to make those no-sew wipes, but in the meantime, I’ve made two batches with a roll of Bounty paper towels. You’ll need to cut the roll in half, which will give you 2 separate batches. Note: The recipe below is for one half of the roll.
Depending on how you’ll be storing the wipes, you can either accordion-fold the wipes and place them in an old wipes container or something similar, or you can leave the towels on the roll, place the roll in a tall container, and remove the cardboard roll from the middle (more on that later). I did one batch of each method so you can see how each is done. Both are super simple and have their own advantages and shortcomings, so choose the one that’s best for you.
After mixing up the ingredients, you’ll pour the solution over the paper towels and allow it to absorb into the towels. For accordion-fold wipes in a wipes container, that’s where your work is done.
If you’re keeping your wipes on the roll, you’ll have to flip your container over after about 5-10 minutes and make sure the wipes are soaked very well. Once they’re soaked, you can just pull the cardboard roll right out of the center and pull up one wipe, which will get the roll started.
That’s it! Now you can use these as regular wipes that are pre-soaked AND pre-cut for your convenience. And you can rest assured knowing exactly what’s in your baby wipes and that they’re not irritating your little one’s soft little bottom! These wipes are also great to use on-the-go as a quick wet wipe for cleaning little hands and faces while on the road as well.
- 1 1/2 cups distilled water (or boiled and cooled)
- 1 tablespoon castile soap (or other natural, mild soap)
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel extract
- 10 drops grapefruit seed extract (optional)
- 1 taplespoon sweet almond oil (or olive oil)
- 10-15 drops essential oils of choice (optional)
- 1 roll strong paper towels (Bounty or Viva)
- Storage container (old wipes container, tupperware, plastic ice cream bucket,
- Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a sharp knife.
- Place one half of the roll in a tall container (or accordion fold the towels and place in an old wipes container).
- In a small bowl, add the water, castile soap, aloe vera, witch hazel, almond oil and grapefruit seed extract, and stir to mix well.
- Add the essential oils and stir to combine.
- Slowly pour mixture over the towels to saturate them. If you're using a wipes container, just pull the towels through the little slot in the cover and you're done!
- If using a tall container, flip it over after 5-10 minutes to make sure the towels are completely wet with the solution. Then flip it back over, pull out the cardboard roll from the middle and the first towel should come right out.
- Use as you would regular baby wipes.
- 1. This recipe is for one half of the paper towel roll. Depending on the brand and size of your towels, you may need to adjust the amounts of water and soap in the recipe.
- 2. If using reusable cloth wipes, just pour the solution into a shallow pan and place the cloth wipes in the solution until they're saturated. Then just place the wipes into an old wipes container and use as you would regular wipes. It's advised to wash the wipes separately from your cloth diapers because of the oils in the wipes solution.
The Ingredients Breakdown
- Water – Distilled water is best, or you can just use boiled water that has been cooled to the touch. Regular, unboiled tap water contains too many contaminants which will most likely start to grow bacteria in your wipes container almost immediately.
- Castile Soap – An all-natural, oil-based soap that’s super gentle on the skin. Dr. Bronner’s baby mild is my favorite for this recipe, but you can use any scent you like. Can be found at your local health food market or online at Amazon.
- Aloe Vera Gel – Acts as a moisturizer with natural anti-bacterial properties. Make sure you’re using the natural aloe vera gel, not the green stuff found at the drug store. Best place to purchase is either at your local health food market or online at Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Witch Hazel Extract – Acts as a preservative and has soothing and anti-bacterial properties. Use one with a very small amount of alcohol (no more than 14%) or an alcohol-free distillate. Can be found at any drug store or online at Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Sweet Almond Oil (or Olive Oil) – For moisturizing the skin. Can be found at your local health food market or online at Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract – Acts as a preservative. Can be found at your local health food market or online at Amazon.
- Essential Oils – Not only do essential oils add a nice scent to the wipes, but they can also add extra benefits like anti-bacterial, preventing and relieving diaper rash, healing irritated skin, etc. Good choices are lavender, chamomile, and tea tree oil. Can be found at your local health food market or online at Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.
Have you tried making homemade baby wipes? What other uses have you found for these natural, convenient cleansing wipes?