The 5 Top Uses For Cloth Wipes Revealed
Learn the five top uses for reusable cloth wipes, and understand how they benefit your baby, your wallet, and the environment.
Cloth wipes are quickly becoming an essential item for parents of babies and young children.
If you’re wondering what they are exactly, they are baby wipes made of one or two layers of material that can be washed and reused time and time again.
Cloth wipes provide an alternatively to using and throwing away thousands of disposable wipes throughout the early years of your child’s life (and beyond).
Having some reusable cloth wipes is not only good for your baby and the environment, but will save you money in the long run too.
By choosing to reuse instead of opting for single use items such as disposable baby wipes, you are reducing the amount of household waste being sent to landfill.
To make life easy for new parents, we’ve detailed our top five uses for cloth wipes.
Before we get into it, let’s talk more about some frequently asked questions about cloth wipes and take a look at how they work.
How many cloth wipes do I need?
Having a stash of around 20 cloth wipes should allow you a good few days of use before washing.
The amount you really need depends entirely on what you intend to use them for and how often you intend to wash them.
Many parents and caregivers find they prefer to have more than 20 to ensure they don’t run out, whereas some manage with less and either wash regularly or top up with disposable wipes when needed.
Are cloth wipes worth it?
In the long run, using cloth wipes saves you money vs using disposable baby wipes.
Let’s do the sums, a pack of 80 Huggies disposable baby wipes costs $5 from Coles at the time of writing this blog post.
If we average a baby needing to use 10 wipes per day for nappy changes for the first year of life, and seven wipes per day for the following two years, this means they'll get through a total of 8,760 wipes in the first three years of life.
This would have cost around $550 - and this is being conservative as we have only calculated usage based on wipes for nappy changes and not all the other uses, which we’ll go into later.
Buying a pack of 20 cloth wipes from NappyLuxe provides a bulk-buy discount and therefore costs only $64.87.
These wipes can be repurposed for other uses after they’re no longer needed for young children (more on this later).
This means that using cloth wipes instead of disposable baby wipes provides a total saving of $482.63.
What is the best material for cloth wipes?
Cloth wipes come in many different sizes and materials.
Terry towel cloth wipes are cheap, but they quickly become rough against the skin after a few washes.
Bamboo terry velour cloth wipes are a more premium choice of material for cloth wipes, providing luxurious softness against baby’s delicate skin, even after years of washing.
In addition to the choice of material, size matters when it comes to cloth wipes.
Choosing cloth wipes that are too small in size can make them fiddly to use and less effective than larger sized cloth wipes.
NappyLuxe cloth wipes have been carefully manufactured to be generously sized and made from premium bamboo terry velour.
How do you use cloth wipes for nappy changes
Cloth wipes can be either be stored wet in a plastic container, or dry with a spray bottle to apply water onto each wipe as it’s needed.
If storing wet, ensure the wipes don’t sit wet for more than a few days as they may start to smell musty or even go mouldy.
Either way, ensure you have the wipes in easy reach of your change table setup.
When you're changing your baby’s nappy, grab a wipe (only water is required, no need to add soap or essential oils) and clean up baby.
You’ll find you’ll probably only need a single reusable cloth wipe vs five or more disposable wipes it often takes to clean up after a messy poo nappy.
How do you wash reusable cloth wipes?
It is recommended to wash cloth wipes in the washing machine with other light coloured items at 40 - 60 degrees.
If the wipes are used for nappy changes and are heavily soiled with poo, 60 degrees is optimal
If you’re not using cloth nappies yet, don't despair, cloth wipes are usually sufficiently clean after just a single wash.
This is because they only have two layers and don’t hold onto stains or smells as much as multi-layered nappies.
Learn the five top uses for cloth wipes
We’ll now detail our five top uses for cloth wipes to help you get started with using them.
Starting with the most obvious one, cloth wipes are ideal for nappy changes.
Not only will they save you money and help protect the environment as outlined above, but they are good for baby, and are quicker and easier to use.
One cloth wipe picks up considerably more muck compared to a disposable wipe, which is fiddly and notoriously tricky to get out of its packet in your moment of need.
Many disposable baby wipes are heavily scented and contain a number of added chemicals.
By using a natural piece of cloth with nothing but water, you are avoiding putting unnecessary chemicals on your precious baby’s bum, and reduce the risk of them developing painful nappy rash.
If you’re planning on having more than one baby, these same wipes can be reused for every baby.
Simply sanitise them between babies by putting them through a 90 degree wash in your washing machine or boiling them in water on the stove.
Cloth wipes are an excellent way to clean up baby’s face and hands (and body sometimes!) after baby-led weaning or a messy meal.
Children need their faces and hands wiped long after the nappy wearing years so you’ll find these are useful for many years.
Keep a stash of dry wipes under the kitchen sink, when baby has finished their messy meal, grab a wipe and wet under the tap to clean up baby.
With this wipe only having food on, you can simply rinse under the tap and hang to dry to use again later that day.
When the paint, chalk, playdough, and slime comes out, there’s always a clean up operation required afterwards.
Especially if the messy play involved stomping in muddy puddles.
Cloth wipes provide the ideal way to clean up after such fun events, picking up considerably more than their disposable wipe counterparts.
Top tip: if your cloth wipes have picked up a considerable amount of brightly coloured paint or mud, give them a hand wash in your laundry sink before putting in the washing machine. This will help avoid any colour running onto other items of clothing.
From a young age, your beautiful baby will need a regular bath and cloth wipes provide the ideal washcloth to wipe their delicate skin.
What’s more, these can be used for many years into their teens and adulthood.
Cloth wipes aren’t solely beneficial for little ones, they make the perfect reusable makeup removal tool for us adults too.
Feel the luxurious softness for yourself and glide a cloth wipe over your eye to remove mascara, without the need for the excessive rubbing required with disposable makeup wipes.
Simply wet the wipe, apply your usual cleanser, and gently wipe away.
BONUS 6TH USE - when the children are older and their faces and hands don't need to be wiped anymore, use your stash of cloth wipes as household cleaners.
In summary, cloth wipes are versatile and have numerous uses for your baby, yourself and your home. Not only do they save you money but they provide a more gentle and natural alternative to disposable wipes, and are better for the environment too.
Meet the Author
Natalie, Founder of NappyLuxe, is an eco-conscious mother and entrepreneur who discovered the benefits of cloth nappies for her family and the environment. With a mission to create the ultimate cloth nappy, she spent years researching and testing various designs before launching NappyLuxe - a range of high-quality, easy-to-use, and ultra-absorbent cloth nappies. Natalie is a member of the Australian Nappy Association, that aims to grow cloth nappy usage across Australia. She is passionate about sharing her experience and expertise, helping parents make informed decisions and embark on their own sustainable parenting journey.