Written By: Ann Granger – Founder of Little Aussie Monster
If you’re considering cloth wipes but are hesitant because you’re not sure what to do with the poo or how to handle the washing! We have put together some cloth wipes tips below that may make your life easier.
Breastfed poo stage:
This is the best time and the easiest time to use washable cloth wipes. Breastfed poo is water soluble, so it washes out really easy in the machine.
The best part of using cloth wipes with the breastfed poo, is they clean it up so much better! 1 or 2 cloth wipes and you’re done. When using disposable wipes with this type of poo, you’ll find they just ‘shift’ it around. Plus you can end up using 10 wipes for just 1 clean! This is why parents need to buy disposable wipes in bulk.
Food or formula poo stage:
This is the scariest stage for some families to use cloth wipes. What to do with the poo? Is the main questions we’re asked. Parents don’t want a box of poo sitting around the house.
An easy option is to use toilet paper first to remove the bulk of the mess. Then use the cloth wipe to clean off the rest from the skin.
At this stage sometimes there can be changes in consistency from dry to wet. By setting up your cloth wipes with extra water, it can help with those dry poos. If the wipes are too wet for the job, it’s easy to squeeze them out a little before using.
Using them with cloth nappies:
This makes it much easier, you can put your dirty wipes in with the dirty nappies. Then they all go into the wash together. Wash just like you do cloth nappies, short wash first then long wash. More details on washing can be seen here.
Using them with disposable nappies:
The Cheeky Wipes All in One system is the best option for using cloth wipes with disposable nappies. This kit provides a special container for the dirty wipes. The dirty/mucky wipes container has a mesh bag that clips in. You put your dirty ones in there, then when it’s time to wash, just pick up the mesh bag and put into the machine.
Washing cloth wipes:
Washing them is quite straight forward and if you’re washing cloth nappies, just put the wipes in with them. If you’re using them with disposable nappies, put your dirty wipes in a container or basket until wash day. Aim to wash them each day or second day. Put your wipes in a mesh bag into the machine. Run them through a short warm or hot cycle, then after this short cycle they can be washed with the family washing for a final deep/more thorough clean.
Hang them on the line to dry for the best environmental impact. If you’re running low on wipes you don’t need to wait for them to dry. Just place them back into the water mix. But to keep them at their most fresh, try to let them dry completely as often as you can.
Going out and about with cloth wipes:
Most find it easier to take the wipes out already wet. Just place what you’ll need into the Cheeky Wipes fresh wipes bag or a mini wet bag. However with the mini wet bags, you’ll have to run your wipes a little drier or dry. The PUL material is breathable, so it will let the moisture seep through eventually.
Or you can go out with dry wipes and wet them as you go with a water bottle or a tap.
After using the wipes, either place the dirty wipes in with the cloth nappies or into a dirty wipes bag. The Cheeky Wipes Mucky Bag has a removable mesh bag and is great for dirty wipes when out without cloth nappies.
When you get home, just put your dirty wipes with your other laundry. Take out any clean unused wet wipes and place back into your home container. Or leave them in the bag for tomorrow or to use at home. Don’t leave your wet wipes in the bag for too long as they will go mouldy. In some environments the mould can grow in 1-2 days.
Using just plain water can be very drying on the skin, especially when it can be applied 10+ times a day with newborns. Adding a little 1-2 drops of essential oil, baby bath wash or coconut oil to the water can help to keep the wipes fresh longer and baby’s skin moisten. But just remember it should only be a little bit, more isn’t necessarily better.
If you use essential oils, just make sure it’s very diluted and you check it’s safe to use on your baby, not all oils are. Lavender, Chamomile and Mandarin are all renowned for their calming effect on babies and skin care benefits. Their hygiene and anti-septic qualities and fragrance make them perfect for soaking in water for fresh wipes
Cloth Wipe set ups:
There are many different ways to use cloth wipes, you can use face washes with any containers and bags you like. Or the Cheeky Wipes systems come with everything you need to use them at home or out and about. I personally used a Cheeky Wipes mini kit for my 2 boys, the picture below is my kit that is now 7 years old.
No matter what type of washable wipes you use, by just choosing reusable will make a difference financially and environmentally. And using the occasional disposable wipe doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent or have destroyed the environment. Just do what you can, when you can every little change/swap makes a difference.