I once asked my mom about how they “went” in Laos and she described third-world bathroom needs much like a drunken camping trip I took with my party troupe once. Both scenarios involved dug holes and anything nearby resembling paper. I think she was messing with me but my story unfortunately is true. Now with little shitters of my own, it made complete sense to use cloth wipes with cloth diapers. Definitely more so now that new research shows that such hygiene convenience can come with major health concerns.
A January 2014 study was conducted on commercial baby wipes and its harmful reaction causing painful, itchy rashes to site of application. For users and young kids especially, that is usually their buttocks, hands, and face (hopefully not with same wipe nor in that order). According to the research, the culprit is “methylisothiazolinone (MI), a chemical that investigators believe is found in roughly half of all the wipes sold in the United States.” Wet wipes are nice to have on hand for easy clean-up for those crazy-long car trips or outings without a bathroom in sight. So, what are busy and convenience-reliant parents supposed to do if they want to avoid this risk? Well, there are alternatives so you limit your family’s reaction to commercial baby wipes:
Other Brands Since the affected subjects used Huggies and Cottonelle, then check out other brands. Remember, if you experience an allergic reaction from anything (not just butt wipes), stop using them. Duh.
- Luvs wipes
- Pampers wipes
- Parent’s Choice wipes (Walmart brand)
- up & up wipes™ wipes (Target brand)
- Kirkland Signature™ wipes (Costco brand)
“Natural” Disposable Wipes I’m not sure where in history did the term “disposable” be considered of nature but this can be a good option (with one claiming 99.2%, whoaaa) to “naturally” wipe butts and such.
- Seventh Generation Free & Clear wipes
- Earth’s Best Chlorine Free wipes
- BabyGanics wipes
- Burt’s Bees® Chlorine-Free wipes
- Pampers Natural Clean wipes
Homemade Disposable Wipes These? These are cool because 1) cheaper 2) Safer ingredients and 3) still convenient to wipe and toss.
- DIY Baby Wipes with lavender and ylang ylang
- Homemade Disposable Wipes with tea tree and coconut oil
- Natural Homemade Disposable Wipes with Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile Soap
- Homemade Disposable Pop Up Wipes
- All Natural Baby Wipes with aloe vera and witch hazel
Commercial Cloth Wipes If you’re (kinda) one with Mother Nature, consider the sustainability of reusable cloth wipes. There are plenty of manufacturers to make this “natural” need so you don’t have to.
- Bumkins Reusable Flannel Wipes
- GroVia Reusable Cloth Diaper Wipes
- OsoCozy Organic Flannel wipes
- Thirsties Fab Wipes
- BabyKicks Washies
Homemade Cloth Wipes If you’re really one with The Mutha, make your own or at least find a small business that will.
- Organic wipes on Etsy
- Family Cloth Wipes
- No Sew Cloth Wipes
- How to make Cloth Wipes- 2 techniques video tutorial
- DIY Cloth Wipes from t-shirts
Wipe Solution The key to get the proper clean is moistening. Components of good moistening are: 1) soap (cleanses), 2) water (cleanses and dilutes), 3) some sort of oil (“glides”), and 4) essential oil (antibacterial or aromatherapy, optional).
- Kissaluvs Lotion Potion concentrate
- Olive ‘n’ Tea Tree solution (my personal go-to)
- Tea tree and vinegar solution
- Cloth wipes solution cubes
Confession: we have been using bathroom cloth for months now. Yup, for the entire family, adults and all. With convenience, there will always be risks. Fortunately for me, I have peace of mind that I am not only contributing to literal planet waste but also I can control what my family’s bodies use for their hygiene needs. The frugality is nice, sure, but it also doesn’t leave me desperate when that last roll of toilet paper tissue is lingering on by a ply. I just wash along with the cloth diapers and fresh, clean wipes for our butts.