Full disclosure: I used wet wipes with my baby. I used disposable diapers, as well. At the time,
I knew nothing about plastic pollution and didn't think about the toxins in both wipes and diapers…I thought only of convenience.
Oh, the things we learn and wish we could do over, especially as a parent. If I had a baby now, I would give reusable diapers and wipes a serious try because the disposable alternatives are terrible for the environment, the sewers, and our babies' health.
Most wet wipes, standard and eco-friendly, are not recyclable and not compostable, as they are made of synthetic fibers. Just like all single use plastics, they will pile up in landfills forever... or in the sewer system. Billions of wipes, in addition to 18 billion disposable diapers, are thrown away every year.
Many people think they can flush wipes down the toilet, because of misleading marketing from manufacturers. As a result, they clog wastewater treatment facilities that costs U.S. utilities up to $1 billion annually, according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies
And, just like diapers, standard wipes are (most of the time) loaded with toxic ingredients: fragrances, paraben, phenoxyethanol and more. Make sure to read the ingredients list before purchasing.
Having a baby changes a life, especially when it’s the first one. So all I want to say here is to take your time to compare options, read, and watch videos (there are some posted on my website) as that will provide everything I wish I had known to feel less overwhelmed about cloth diapering.
As an alternative to disposable wipes, I recommend using washable wipes made of natural fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton
You can use the simple recipe below to make a batch of wet wipes that are both effective and gentle.
1-2 Tbsp Castile Soap
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
5-10 drops of Tea Tree Oil (anti-fungal properties help with diaper rash)
Add castile soap and olive oil to a large bowl with hot water.
Add tea tree oil then place washcloths in the bowl and swish around.
Squeeze and roll each wipe to remove water.
Place in wipes warmer of glass latch top jar.