Sunday, October 9, 2011

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Cloth Wipes: A Hybrid Approach

Before my daughter was born, during my endless research on cloth diapers, I came across a blog about how to make your own cloth wipes. “That sounds simple,” I thought, and I proceeded to print out the tutorial, hit up the fabric store for some fun flannel prints, and allowed my fabulous mother in law to sew them up (I haven’t sewn since 6th grade home economics, so I figured I would hand it over to someone who knew what they were doing). A few days later, I was the owner of almost 100 cloth wipes for about $25, quite economical.

Then came my daughter, a slow start into cloth diapering, and a few very poopy diapers. I was not sold on our cloth wipes. For wet diapers, I was a convert, but they just didn’t seem to do the job at getting the pasty poop off my daughters bum quite like my disposable wipes could. Thus, my hybrid approach to cloth wipes began. For over 6 months we have been using both cloth wipes and disposable wipes without a single accidental washing of a disposable.

I have read that many people make the switch to cloth wipes after one too many disposable wipes snuck into their laundry. Honestly, we haven’t even come close to that happening. During a diaper change, if my daughter is wet, I simply spray a cloth wipe with one of our wipe solutions (bumGenius bottom cleaner, California Baby Diaper Area Wash, or a sample of Monkey Doodlez wipe cubes), dab her bum, and throw the wipe and diaper in the wet bag. If the she is poopy, it all starts the same, but once I have used the initial cloth wipe to remove as much of the pasty poop from her bum, I reach for my Target brand Up and Up Fragrance Free Sensitive wipes to do the hard work. A few disposable wipes later and my little one is fresh and clean once again. I have a small trashcan right next to the changing table that the disposable wipes get tossed into, while the dirty cloth wipe and diaper make their way to the bathroom to get sprayed. Easy as pie.

Some may say, “But what about when you have dirty diapers to change when you are away from home? Don’t disposable wipes sneak into your wash that way?” Because I clean almost every diaper, wet or dirty, with the diaper sprayer, this still has never been a problem. Upon arriving home from being out, I bring any dirty diapers up to the bathroom to clean. If I used a few disposable wipes, they are still inside the diaper and promptly get thrown into the trash before the diaper gets sprayed. Again, easy as pie.

My daughter has quite sensitive skin, but we are fortunate to never have had a problem with any of the wipe solutions we have tried or with disposable wipes. I only use wipe solutions that are made specifically for that purpose and have only used fragrance free sensitive disposable wipes. Because of this, she stays happy during diaper changes even if she has a bit of a red bum or rash.

Although our hybrid approach is still sending some disposable wipes into the landfills (something I really do not like about disposable diapers), I know it could be worse. Each time I pull a clean cloth wipe from the laundry, I feel better knowing it is one disposable saved from our Earth. If you are looking to make the jump to using cloth wipes, rest easy knowing that even a hybrid approach like ours makes a difference.

Bio: Michelle is a part time stay at home mom to her 7-month-old daughter. When she isn’t reading cloth diapering blogs or scouring the Internet for fluff deals, she can be found reading, running, or out and about with her husband and baby girl.

10 comments:

Boo said...

I find poopy messes come off easier with presoaked wipes as opposed to sprayed wipes. Have you tried that?

Kathy Townsend said...

When it comes to poopy diapers I feel the opposite way about cloth vs disposable wipes. I feel like the cloth wipes do a much better job at getting things clean. I really like the thirsties fab wipes, the velour really gets things clean. Seems to work much better for me than the flannel wipes.

Kathy Townsend said...

Also the cloth wipes seem to work better for me when they are fully wet. I pre-moisten mine to use at home. When I am out, I use a spray bottle and it doesn't seem to work as well.

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

FYI: If one of your disposable TARGET brand cloth wipes makes it into the wash, NO big deal at all. They actually stay together and can even go through the dryer (yep, I've had many experiences) I did the full switch after the price of wipes went up, I just didn't want to pay for them, I found that spraying some solution right onto the butt works better for us then the disposable ones.
THOUGH, one thing about the disposables, (only the target brand, I haven't had the same luck with any other brand, they get all nasty) is if you wash and dry them, you can use them as a liner for your diaper. It's a much cheaper solution then buying the disposable liners, plus, you get to use the wipe first, so you're recycling.

Megan said...

The best thing for us was the use of a wipes warmer. Now my cloth wipes are always warm and wet and work great for poopy diapers. I didn't love cloth wipes until we started using the wipes warmer.

Jess said...

What is wrong with disposable wipes getting washed with cloth diapers?

News from Fancy Cloth said...

When I used disposable wipes like you. hybrid style.. I washed my disposable wipes with my cloth diaper laundry, and I would reuse them once more.some disposable wipes are 100% cotton fibers ;) I hardly use disposable anymore though.

angela said...

Sounds like hard work! I made cloth wipes too, but I use terry cloth on one side and flannel on the other. I use just plain warm water instead of cleaner. Honestly, I don't use a diaper sprayer either. Most of the time, his poo just rolls off, but some times I have to grab a small wad of toilet paper and help it a little. But I digress, the terry cloth is very very helpful in getting a clean bum.

Amanda said...

I have found the exact opposite to be true. At first I thought cloth wipes would be a pain but I tried it out and discovered how much better they cleaned up after a poo. I used disposable everything with my twins and sometimes it seemed like I would go through 10 wipes to get them clean. I've never had to use more that 2 cloth wipes to clean up baby girl. It's funny how something that works for one doesn't necessarily work for someone else.

Christawr said...

I have found that I HATE using disposable wipes, it seems to take so many more for poopy diapers compared to cloth wipes!


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