Many parents express concern when it comes to store-bought baby products like disposable wipes. A desire to create less waste and a preference for organic materials are among the reasons some parents choose to make their own. Employing soothing, natural components in the diapering process can be very rewarding. Switching out disposable wipes for a washable material is an environmental-friendly bonus.
Homemade Baby Wipes Solution
There are many homemade baby wipes solution recipes that you can easily make yourself. Really, you can just use water, but I like having something that smells nice when I’m changing a stinky diaper! Plus, some of these recipes also have anti-bacterial properties, which helps baby stay clean and fresh.
The best way I have found to use these solutions is to make a little up at a time and keep it in a plastic squeeze bottle with a lid. Until I lost it, I used the peri-bottle I got from the hospital when my son was born. That was perfect! You can find bottles at places like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Dollar General or Target – look where they have travel size bottles of lotion and things. Spray bottles work great for this as well.
When it is time to change your little one, just squirt (or spray) some solution out onto your cloth wipes and use the wipe to clean up baby. Then toss the dirty wipe in with the diaper until wash day. Easy!
You can also mix up a small amount of solution, dip your cloth wipes into it, then squeeze out the excess water. These “wet wipes” can be kept in one of those plastic commercial wipe carriers for easy travel. You should mix up a fresh batch of this every day to prevent your wet wipes from getting funky.
Below are several excellent recipes, including directions and tips, for creating homemade baby wipes. Both recipes utilize natural ingredients from Mother Nature to comfort and soothe babies during diaper changing while satisfying eco-conscious parents.
1. Herbal Harmony Baby Wipe Solution Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup distilled water
- 1 1/2 tsp. Castile soap
- 3 tbsp. Aloe vera gel
- 2 tsp. organic calendula herbal oil
- 4 drops organic lavender essential oil
- In a glass liquid measuring cup, mix all ingredients together.
- Pour through stainless steel funnel into sterilized 16-ounce bottle.
- Transfer 1- to 2-ounce portions of solution into a smaller bottle with spray/misting top.
- Spritz liberally onto cloth before use.
- Refrigerate remaining wipe solution (Keeps for 3-4 weeks in refrigerator).
Using distilled water is an important component of these recipes. Standard tap water can breed mold. If distilled water is not a practical option, simply boil tap water and allow it to cool before using it in one of the baby wipe solution recipes.
Castile soap is vegetable-based, and most brands available in retail boast organic ingredients. Aloe vera gel is manufactured by pulverizing the leaves of the plant. The resulting gel has a wide range of skin-positive effects that Native populations have utilized for thousands of years. Aloe vera has an anti-inflammatory property that makes it a wonderful ingredient in natural, homemade baby wipe solution recipes.
Calendula herbal oil is extracted from marigold flowers. It is traditionally used as a homeopathic remedy for diaper rash, a form of dermatitis. For parents seeking plant-based alternatives to mass-produced ointments, calendula herbal oil is a natural product with strong therapeutic value.
Lavender essential oil helps protect against dry skin and eczema. The oil gently cleanses skin while reducing any irritation or redness. Its anti-fungal property helps prevent eczema breakouts. Lavender essential oil also has its own natural anti-inflammatory effects, due to the presence of beta-caryophyllene in the oil.
2. Sensitive Skin Baby Wipes Solution Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup distilled water
- 1 tsp natural soap
- 1 tbsp. Aloe vera gel
- 1 tbsp. witch-hazel extract
- 10 drops grapefruit seed extract
- 1 tbsp. sweet almond oil
- 10 drops essential oil of choice
The directions are identical to Recipe #1, while there are some changes in the ingredients list for the benefit of sensitive skin types.
Castile soap can again be used in this recipe, however, there are alternatives. A non-soap cleanser like Cetaphil almost completely minimizes irritation to the skin. Another choice might be olive oil soap; sensitive skin can benefit from the oxidation of its natural sebum brought about by the squalene in olive oil soap.
Witch-hazel has a long history in folk medicine as a cooling agent for irritated skin. A tablespoon of witch-hazel extract will leave the skin feeling refreshed. For an even more refreshed feeling for babies, www.happybabycompany.com has an excellent line of natural diaper balms and oils to use during diapering.
Sensitive Skin baby wipes have the optional addition of essential oil. Chamomile, wild orange and rose are popular choices of essential oils to add to homemade baby wipes. Essential oils are favored for their palliative effects, and for their pleasant aroma. The choice of which essential oil to add to Sensitive Skin baby wipes is entirely up to parents, or it can be eschewed altogether.
3. YourClothDiaper.com’s Baby Wipes Solution Recipe
After trying several different homemade wipe recipes, we came up with one of our own cloth wipe solution recipe to use in our wipe warmer.
- 1 1/2-2 cups of distilled water,
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel,
- 1 TBS. organic Calendula oil,
- 2 TSP. baby shampoo– we like Cetaphil Organic,
- 2-3 drops of tea tree oil,
- 2-3 drops of lavender oil
Mix all ingredients and put wipe warmer over wipes. We keep our wipes on the side and dip them in as needed. We find this keeps them fresh. You can also put this in a spray bottle if you prefer.
4. Antifungal Baby Wipes Solution Recipe 1
- 1/2 cup distilled water,
- 1/4 cup vinegar,
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel,
- 1 TBS. of calendula oil,
- 1 drop of lavender essential oil,
- 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
This recipe comes from Stony Mountain Botanicals. The vinegar and essential oils discourage yeast growth so the wipes should not get moldy.
To prepare, use a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour all your ingredients in, cover the jar and shake to blend the ingredients. Place your wipes in a container and pour on enough solution to moisten them. Store any extra solution in the fridge. It should stay fresh for a long time especially if you used distilled water.
You may use this recipe with cotton/cloth wipes or make your own with paper towels. May not be suitable for a baby with a diaper rash, as the vinegar make acts as an irritation.
5. Antifungal Baby Wipes Solution Recipe 2
6. Basic Wipes Solution Recipe
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp baby shampoo/wash
7. Basic Wipes Solution Recipe 2
8. Calendula + Grapefruit Seed Wipes Solution Recipe
9. Tea Tree Wipes Solution Recipe
10. Lavender Wipes Solution Recipe
11. Lavender + Olive Oil Wipes Solution Recipe
Making You Own Cloth Wipes
The best material for reusable baby wipes is brushed cotton, like flannel. Flannel is both soft and absorbent, perfect for babies’ gentle skin. Repurposing old flannel sheets is a creative and inexpensive way to get material for homemade baby wipes. After washing and drying, simply cut flannel into 4” x 8” or 8” x 8” strips. The smaller squares will easily fit into commercial wipes containers for convenient storage and travel, and the larger ones will fit after folding.
The suggestion to use a soft, absorbent material like flannel as a washable wipe might not always make sense to parents in travel situations. To make any of the wipe solutions into disposable wipes, a roll of gentle, high-quality paper towels can serve as a good option. Cut the roll in half with a serrated blade, and place one half in a container for storage. See my post on making wipes from paper towels here.
Baby Wipes Solution Storage
Upcycling an old wipes container is a practical, green idea. Pour chosen wipes solution into the container, so that it soaks completely into the half roll of paper towels. In 10 minutes or so, the cardboard center tube can be easily removed. Pulling a wipe from the center of the roll will get the wipes started for easy access.
To maximize the shelf life of the wipes solutions, it is important to portion small amounts into a spray/misting bottle and refrigerate the remaining quantity. Without the presence of chemical preservatives found in store-bought wipes, the solutions don’t have the same length of usability. Refrigerating them will keep them fresh for close to a month.
For parents, it can be difficult to sort through all the baby skin products available in stores. Cutting back on waste, chemicals and costs are big priorities for many people, and keeping the comfort of little ones in mind is an added concern. These homemade baby wipes solution recipes are great choices for parents looking to care for their baby with the soothing, loving touch of nature.
With all of that said, although repurposing an old wipes container will be your cheapest option, I prefer to use an Anchor Hocking stainless steel container to avoid plastic.