What’s Lurking In Your Disposable Baby Wipes?

Recently, Julia Clark of Earth Angels Diaper Co posted an article on the Convenience of Cloth Wipes.

As a cloth diapering mom who has used cloth wipes from the get go, I feel compelled to lobby for others to use them as well. Why? Aside from the fact that Cloth Diapering and cloth wipes go hand and hand and using them together just makes sense, there’s one very important factor to consider…ingredients!. While the ingredients used in disposable baby wipes are deemed ‘mild’ by the manufactures, commercially produced disposable baby wipes still contain preservatives, surfactants, artificial fragrance and parabens.

If you aren’t familiar with the process for creating disposable baby wipes, take a moment to research. If the ingredients alone aren’t alarming, perhaps you will consider the manufacturing of the non-woven fabric which includes melting plastic pellets? Thats right, those disposable baby wipes are a combination of melted plastic and pressed synthetic materials. Additionally, many of the mega producers of these products conduct testing on animals. Of course its never mentioned, but think about amount of pollution that must derive from the production process alone.

I use cloth wipes for many of the same reasons that I turned to cloth diapers, and for the cloth diapering mom, using cloth wipes really is convenient. At home, your cloth baby wipes can easily be stored in a reusable container. For cloth diapering on the go, pre-moistened wipes can be placed in a zip lock bag or you can take a more fashionable approach with a wet bag like the mini offered by Wahmies.

If you’ve never used cloth wipes before, plain water will usually get the job done but many prefer to use a baby wipes solution for messier changes. Baby wipes solutions have pleasant scents and contain natural ingredients like tea tree and lavender essential oils that make clean up much easier. Some popular baby wipes solutions are available in a spray bottle which allows the user to spray the solution directly on baby’s bottom, or onto the cloth wipe. These include brands like Northern Essence foaming baby wipes solution, Kiss a Luvs Diaper Lotion Potion, and the new Bum Genius Bottom Cleaner which features a light and pleasant vanilla scent.

Alternatively, wipes solutions can be made by dissolving soap like cubes in warm water. The solution is then poured directly on the wipes in a reusable container, or added to a spray bottle and used as needed. Baby wipes cubes such as Buns Up by Granola Babies, Monkey Doodles Baby Wipes Cubes, and Booty Cubes are offered by a variety of cloth diaper retailers.

Are you a frugal mom? If so, you may prefer to make your own wipes solution. A quick google search on the topic will render a plethora of baby wipe solution recipes. Most of these recipes are easy to make using safe household ingredients, however use caution with those that recommend using commercial baby shampoos and lotions. These items contain many of the irritating chemicals that defeat the very purpose of using an all natural baby product.

Why add an unnecessary step to your diaper changing routine by finding a way to dispose of your baby wipes? With cloth wipes, you simply place everything in the diaper pail or wet bag and it all goes into the wash. You’ve all ready made the decision to cloth diaper. Why not further reduce your carbon footprint and use cloth wipes and natural ingredients too?

Still not convinced? If you just love disposable baby wipes, and you feel you want to continue to use them, consider using a brand like Seventh Generation, that contains natural ingredients which pose little or no risk to your little one. If you aren’t sure about your brand of baby wipes, you can look up the information here.


  1. Cassondra says:

    This is a fantastic, and informative article!
    As a wipes solution maker myself, I have dedicated much of my time researching ingredient and essential oil safety. I agree with what has been brought up in this article about using caution when home made wipes solutions call for commercial products (like baby wash or shampoo). Shampoo and Baby Wash manufacturers are not required to list every ingredient contained in their product(s). Unfortunately, many commercial products do leave out the fact that their shampoo or baby wash contains phthalates. Recently the media has brought attention to phthalates and their potential to cause reproductive problems, and their toxicity.
    I highly recommend checking the ingredients list on any product that is intended to be used on your loved ones skin, and do a little research on those ingredients. :)

  2. Erica Herring says:


  3. Angela says:

    I just wrote a blog about cloth wipes …. they are so much more convenient! And I use Cassandra’s Booty Cubes products!

  4. Cindy says:

    Elements Naturals makes a 100% Natural and Compostable wipe with all natural ingredients. I bought some at my local Whole Foods and will never use another brand

  5. Janice says:

    If you’re looking for natural, eco-friendly reusable baby wipes, check out the Bottoms Up Baby Wipes Kit (http://www.bottoms-up-baby.com).

    The kit includes 25 reusable cloth baby wipes that generally last a week for my 1 year old daughter. They’re conveinent, multi-purpose affordable and smell great!


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