Do you have a baby with sensitive skin? Or do you prefer a holistic and environmentally-friendly approach to raising your family? If so, you may be interested in reusable cloth wipes.
If you’ve been considering using the cloth wipes in your diapering routine, you won’t want to miss this article.
We’ll look at key features the wipes should have, as well as the maintenance and care of the wipes and the benefits of using cloth. Then, we’ll show you which are the best cloth wipes currently on the market.
The Benefits of Using Cloth Wipes
If you’ve decided to move away from disposable wipes, you aren’t alone. Here are some of the big reasons other moms have made the switch.
1. Sensitive Skin
Many disposable wipes are sold with drying or irritating soap solutions. Even those labeled for sensitive skin may contain perfumes. If your baby blisters easily or is susceptible to diaper rash, you should consider switching to cloth wipes.
When using them, you decide what kind of solution, and how much, to use. You can purchase a baby-friendly cleansing solution, make your own at home, or simply opt for warm water (1).
2. Environmental Concerns
Many people prefer using these wipes over disposables because they’re throwing less away. If you’re making a concentrated effort to produce less waste, choosing cloth wipes can be a good option (source).
A bonus? You can even purchase wipes made from recycled or upcycled materials. This can give you more bang for your Earth-saving buck.
3. Cost Efficiency
Cloth wipes can be quite inexpensive to purchase, and it’s not uncommon for them to last a long time. In my own home, our wipes are in heavy rotation and washed daily. They’ve been in use for 18 months and still have a lot of life left in them.
If you consider how much money I’ve saved over those last 18 months by avoiding purchasing disposable wipes, it all adds up. Now, consider the financial implications of using cloth wipes on multiple children. There’s big money to be saved here (2).
Features of the Best Cloth Wipes
There are two main things you’ll want to check out when shopping for wipes. The first is size. The second is material.
The smallest cloth baby wipes are usually about 5 inches by 5 inches. You may find cloth wipes as large as 10 inches square. They’re usually square, though you may occasionally find wipes in a rectangle shape.
I like at least 8-inch squares, as they’re large enough to tackle whatever my baby has in store for me.
They’re easy to fold for a clean side and I don’t need to use as many. It’s also a good size for folding and stacking — you can even pop them in an old disposable wipe container for a simple storage solution.
Fabric choice will be important when selecting your wipes. You want something that’s going to be safe for your baby’s skin. Cotton is usually a great choice.
But all cotton isn’t created equal. Brushed cotton, like flannel, is both soft and absorbent. This is great when gentle cleaning is necessary.
A cotton terry cloth can also be a good choice for wipes. These have more of a texture than flannel.
Other natural fabrics can work too. You’ll find them in a variety of materials and blends, including hemp and bamboo fabrics.
The fabric you choose to go with will predominantly depend on personal preference — for you and your baby. No rule says you need to choose one over all the others. You’re welcome to have a mixture and use what suits the situation best.
The Best Cloth Baby Wipes of 2020
If you need recommendations on which cloth wipes to go with, below are some of our favorites.
1. Charlie Banana Reusable Organic Cotton Wipes
We all want the best for our babies. Don’t want to compromise on how your material is sourced? Consider wipes made from organically grown products.
The Charlie Banana wipes are a great choice if you’re looking for a plain cotton wipe. Single-ply, versatile, and certified 100 percent organic, you can be confident about how this cotton was grown and sourced.
At just about six inches square, these are a great size for day-to-day diaper changes. What I love best about them? If you decide they aren’t quite right for your diaper routine, you’ll find they’re great for other baby care situations.
Whether you use them for after meal clean-up, diaper changes, bath duty, or house tidying, these cotton wipes are ready to work. They’re sturdy, soft, and a great organic option.
2. Baby Tooshy Organic Bamboo and Cotton Velour Wipes
Branching out beyond cotton, bamboo can be a good choice when using cloth wipes. If you’re looking for a decadently soft wipe, alternative materials may be just what you need.
Not only are these wipes incredibly soft and luxurious, but the organic bamboo and cotton velour is also anti-microbial and hypoallergenic. The fabric is absorbent and works well, even on the most sensitive skin.
These wipes are double-sided, with the bamboo side providing the texture you need for big messes. The cotton velour offers a great super-soft option for times where you don’t need to bring in heavy-duty equipment.
These wipes are truly oversized at 10 inches. The options are endless when it comes to finding opportunities to use them. You may just decide to order an extra set for face washing and bath time.
3. GroVia Reusable Cloth Diaper Wipes
Looking for something with a little more texture that’s ready to deal with messes? Terry cloth is a great option. They wash and wear well, and make clean up a breeze.
These GroVia wipes are a great size at 6 inches square. They’re designed with your baby’s comfort in mind. A soft polyester and cotton blend, you can expect your wipes won’t shrink much in the wash.
GroVia offers a complete line of cloth diaper products, and I love that these wipes are compatible with a wipe warmer. It’s a great option for soothing tender skin and for diaper changes during brisk weather.
You may find these wipes shed excess fibers in the beginning. This should only last the first few washes and won’t impact the functionality or life expectancy of the wipe.
4. Buttons Flannel Reusable Wipes
If one of the reasons you’re considering using cloth wipes has to do with finance, you’ll want an affordable one. Choosing a less expensive option doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality, though.
These wipes strike a great balance between quality and affordability. They’re generously sized at 7.5-inches square, and are made from 100 percent unbleached cotton flannel.
Soft and effective, they’re a great choice for getting your cloth wipe collection up and running.
As these wipes are single-ply, you may find you use more during diaper changes than when using double-ply. However, the generous number of wipes in this pack helps offset that drawback. You may even opt to buy more than one pack because of how inexpensive and versatile they are.
In my experience, many wipes with a serged edge are made with polyester thread. I love that these Buttons wipes use cotton threading for assembly as well.
5. Birdseye Cotton Cloth Wipes
Cotton is a classic choice for wipes and skin care. It washes well, performs well, and is highly versatile.
Birdseye is a longtime fixture in cloth diapering. It stands to reason you could find an equally good use for it in reusable wipes.
I may be partial to these organic cotton cloth wipes because they’re my favorite size — 8-inch squares. I love the large quantity and splash of color. It almost makes diaper changes fun.
These wipes are double-ply, which I prefer to use in my own home. Having two layers gives you a little extra thickness that’s perfect for diaper changes.
This cotton is absorbent and sturdy. Like other cotton products, you’ll likely find these become softer with more use and washes.
6. OsoCozy Organic Flannel Wipes
Flannel is soft enough for even the most sensitive skin. It both washes and wears well.
Flannel is my fabric of choice when it comes to wipes. It’s soft, hard to stain, and up for the task of hard-core diaper duty.
These 9-inch flannel wipes from OsoCozy are an organic flannelette. They’re extra soft, and though they’re one-ply, they’re a great addition to your stash.
I love that these wipes are oversized. You can expect them to shrink a little after their first wash and dry, though. The great news is they’ll continue to soften with use and washing.
You’ll also find a few washes give the wipes a little more texture. It goes a long way toward making diaper changes quick and easy.
7. Babygoal Reusable Bamboo Cloth Wipes
Space in the diaper bag is at a premium. But just because you’re on the go, doesn’t mean you can’t have a great cloth wipe.
At just under 5 inches, these Babygoal bamboo wipes are perfect for diaper bags. Absorbent and soft, they’re a great option for cleaning dirty hands and faces as well as diaper changes.
While I love oversized wipes at home, they just aren’t as convenient when I’m out and about. These wipes give me the same cloth I love at home — and the convenience I need when I’m running around.
I normally use two-ply wipes in my own home. These are a great example of why — they’re soft, cushy, and have great absorbency. You’ll likely notice these wipes become more absorbent with use — it can take a few washes to fully break the fibers in.
Caring for Your Cloth Wipes
Unlike disposables, you will have to wash and take care of reusable wipes. But it’s not hard to do, especially when you thinking of the money you’ll be saving.
Exclusively breastfed bowel movements are entirely water soluble. Simply collect your used wipes in a dedicated bin and toss them in the laundry by themselves at the end of the day.
Have an older child eating table foods? Or a bottle-fed baby? You’ll need to take an extra step then.
You should discard any solid waste in the toilet and give the wipe a quick rinse before washing. You can use a handheld diaper sprayer, or simply dunk and swish the wipe in the toilet. Don’t be intimidated by the sprayers — they are easy to attach to your toilet and use.
You may wash the wipes in either hot or cold water. While I rarely ran cycles twice when I had a newborn, now with a toddler I frequently do. But that’s up to you.
Cloth Wipes and Your Baby
Using reusable wipes may be easier than you think. Once you’re used to the routine and see the benefits of cloth, you may never think about disposable wipes again.
All these options are great wipes to consider. But our top pick for the best cloth wipes is the Charlie Banana Reusable Organic Cotton Wipes. We love their versatility and that they’re certified organic.
Have you started using cloth wipes yet? What have you found works best for you? Or what are you excited to try? We’d love to hear your experience — leave us a comment below.
And please share our article with the other parents in your life!