For some parents, the jump from cloth diapers to cloth wipes seems like an extra step. Disposable wipes seem convenient and inexpensive when, in fact, the opposite is true. Thirsties new Organic Cotton Wipe 6 Packs are here and are officially my new favorite Thirsties product. You don’t even have to cloth diaper to absolutely need these reusable wipes to be a part of your everyday routine. (But, if you are currently thinking about cloth diapering, here is a short Cloth Diapering 101 that answers some of the most FAQs.) In this article, we’re going to breakdown the top four reasons to use cloth wipes:
- Cloth Wipes are Cost Effective
- Reusable Options Keep Waste Out of Landfills
- Cloth Wipes are Multifunctional
- Natural Fibers Protect Baby’s Skin and are Easy to Clean
Cloth Wipes Are Cost EffectiveWhen we think of saving money with cloth, we immediately think of cloth diapers. Cloth diapers can save families thousands of dollars over the length of their cloth diapering journey. However, a cost savings not everyone considers is cloth wipes. Choosing cloth wipes can save a caregiver over $500 when compared to purchasing disposable wipes. A 56/72 count pack of disposable wipes at my local grocery store currently ranges from $2-$6.50, depending on brand. In other words, for the cost of two to three packages of disposable wipes, you could switch to a 6 pack of organic cotton cloth wipes and use them again and again.
I don’t know how fast your family goes through wipes, but I would compare our wipe use relative to the amount of times a day I hear “Mom”. With four littles, it’s extremely rare that there isn’t at least one kiddo who currently (badly) needs a wipe.So, you still don’t feel like cloth wipes will save you that much? Think about it this way: Relative to cost, saving $500 on disposable wipes could pay for an entire cloth diaper stash for one child. Just by switching to cloth wipes, you could pay to cloth diaper your baby too. How much do you need to budget for cloth wipes? This depends on how often you would like to do cloth diaper laundry. In general, plan to use one to two wipes per diaper change. (After having tested and routinely used the new Organic Cotton Wipes, it was rare that I actually needed to use two as they are a great size and perfectly thick. However, for planning purposes, let’s consider that maybe you have a serial pooper that needs two wipes per change.) 36 wipes per day is recommended to cloth diaper a newborn being changed 10-12 times per day, provided that you wash diapers every other day. I personally like to keep around 48 on hand because our older children use our wipes as well, but 36 wipes is sufficient for cloth diapering purposes. #ThirstiesTip Each 6 pack of wipes includes 2 green wipes, 2 blue and 2 orange. If you plan to cloth diaper while using a child care provider, you can keep track of your wipes by designating specific colors to caregivers or locations. (Think orange wipes for home, blue for daycare and green for Grandma’s.)
Reusable Options Keep Waste Out of LandfillsOne of the most common reasons that parents choose to cloth diaper is to prevent even more waste from being deposited into landfills. But why stop at cloth diapers? Not only do disposable wipes add more waste to our landfills, but they can also clog toilets and pipes through misuse. Disposable wipes can damage septic tanks, clog washing machine drains (if god forbid you accidentally wash a few) and their plastic containers can even put ocean life at risk. Reusable options like cloth diapers and cloth wipes can help to reduce the total amount of waste your family produces on a daily basis, which is probably already more than you think. The EPA now estimates that the average American produced 4.4 pounds of waste a day and in 2014, the US produced 258 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) collectively. To put that in perspective, 258 million tons is roughly equivalent to:
- 28 million full grown T-Rexes or
- 1.29 million blue whales or
- 842,655 Boeing 747 jets or
- 103 million pickup trucks
Cloth Wipes are MultifunctionalAfter trying the new Thirsties Organic Cotton Wipes with our entire family, we have found what feels like an unlimited number of uses. Using cloth wipes to cloth diaper and potty train our toddler was the initial test, but we found ourselves reaching for them throughout the day for so many reasons. While potty training, we started gave our toddler a clean wipe to practice with after we ensured she was clean. We didn’t have to worry about wasting wipes or spending extra money on wipes while she practiced. It was also a great way to get her used to holding onto a clean wipe rather than the toilet seat (grocery store bathroom practice FTW!). Because the new Organic Cotton Wipes are 8.5” x 8”, we were able to use the wipe once, fold it in half and use it again. The sizing on these is so perfect for cloth diapering, but I also found myself needing to use less wipes in general. Here are some more ways we use our Thirsties cloth wipes on a daily basis:
- In place of paper towels for wiping down surfaces in our vehicles and home
- In place of tissues for noses, hands and faces
- As a washcloth for bath time
- As a newborn doubler (one wipe, folded in half)
- In place of napkins in school lunches
- In place of the nursing pads that were left forgotten at home
- In place of a teether (one wet wipe, folded lengthwise several times and frozen)
- To wipe down grocery store carts (with Thirsties Booty Luster)
- In place of literally everything while camping
Natural Fibers Protect Baby’s Skin and are Easy to CleanAs Thirsties introduces more and more natural options to their collection, like the new Natural One Size Pocket Diaper, it’s becoming easier to build an entire cloth diaper system strictly with natural fibers. Natural fibers can eliminate rashes and help to make your cloth diaper laundry routine a little simpler. The new Organic Cotton Wipes contain 2 thick layers of 100% certified organic cotton. Many other products contain organic cotton, but are comprised of a blend using synthetic materials as well. If your baby has highly sensitive skin, blends may not be an option. Choosing natural fibers will not only be easier on your baby’s skin, but it will also make cleaning your wipes easier as well. You can wash your cloth wipes with your Thirsties cloth diapers using the same routine and detergent. The same wash routine will not work perfectly for every family, so yours may look slightly different from another cloth diapering caregiver. But, in general, here is an easy to follow wash routine recommended by Thirsties that you can combine with your favorite cloth diaper safe detergent:
- Prewash on warm with half the recommended amount of detergent.
- Wash on hot with the recommended amount of detergent.
- Add another rinse on warm.
- Hang dry or dry in the dryer on low. If your wipes are stiff after line drying, you can throw them in the dryer on low heat with some wool dryer balls to help soften them.