Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Adventure in Cloth Wipes

***I wrote most of this blog post before Eli was born and finally just added the pictures. So I am going to leave it written as it was!**

This Little Man is going to be here soon! One of the projects I have been working on since winter break is a collection of cloth wipes. I figure since we are going to be using cloth diapers, it just makes sense to use cloth wipes too! They all will get thrown in the wash together. Also, after some very precise math calculations I decided that 60 wipes would be a very good number to start with. It is probably high, but better to be looking at them than looking for them (Adam would say).

I, of course, did my research, reading lots of blog posts about cloth wipes. I figured that they are easy to make and I don't need to spend extra money on premade ones. They are for wiping a baby's butt so they don't need to be fancy! I liked the idea of using 8x8 wipes because when folded they will fit in a wipes container. We registered for the Oxo Perfect Pull Wipe Dispenser and plan to follow this lady's  recommendation.

After reading several posts, I decided to make a set of single layer flannel cloth wipes. DO NOT DO THIS. This blog was one of the examples I followed. To be fair, she said use flannel fabric, which I did. She also says she cut up a flannel receiving blanket, which I did not. This is another blog that says you can just use a single layer of flannel from the store. THAT IS NOT TRUE!

If you use a single layer of flannel from the store and zig zag stitch around the edge as suggested, you will have a fraying flannel mess.

Now, I wasn't expecting serged perfection and they are only for wiping a baby's butt. But if this is after one wash, imagine getting washed a couple times a week!?!

My first round of wipes involved washing the fabric and then cutting 60 8x8 squares. I then zig zag stitched around the edges of all the wipes. I started getting a little suspicious as they were getting a little frayed as I went. I threw them in the wash when I was done to test them out. Holy frayedness!

I decided that it was possibly because the zig zag stitches weren't right exactly at the edge. So I went back over them all and trimmed off the excess right up to the stitching. Then I threw them in the wash again.

THEN I had the idea to use my pinking shears and cut off the edges and THEN zig zag stictch again. This time I got smart. I only did about 20 of them. And then washed them.


Then I gave up. I sewed two pieces wrong sides together, flipped them around and then top stitched over the whole thing to make double layer flannel wipes. Double layer 6x6 flannel wipes by this point. 30 double layer 6x6 wipes. Not 60 single layer 8x8. 

In the grand scheme of things...no biggie. My mom thought the whole story was hilarious and picked me up some more inexpensive cute flannel at Joann for my second round. Because I still wanted 60! This time I embraced the double layer 8x8 wipes right from the beginning.

Wrong sides together

Top stitching

Double sided wipes

Overall the project was super inexpensive. All of the flannel was purchased 40% off or more. Just a few dollars and we will have cloth wipes to last us forever!

Storing the Wipes

As I said earlier, we got this Oxo Perfect Pull Wipe Dispenser as a shower gift. I thought using this method might make things a little easier and more "normal" and would probably encourage Adam to like the cloth. 

I found a container I had that was about the size of the wipes when they are folded up. I mix in about 2 cups of warm water, about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, a squirt of baby soap, and 2 drops of tea tree oil. A couple times I used 2 drops of lavender instead. (Not precise measurements because I just do it i my bathroom). Then I mix it up with my hand.

I fold the wipes (as she explains in the blog post) and put them in a stack. Then I put the pile in the container and squish it down so it soaks up all the water. I make sure they are all wet!

Then I stick them in the container! I can jam 25 in there.

Right now it is working well! We both much prefer the cloth wipes. We can usually use just 1 wipe per diaper change unless it is a massive one. The downside is that I have to do this about every other day at this point. But hopefully that will not continue as he has fewer diaper changes a day. We will see how long this continues. Maybe we will switch to the spray bottle method at some point. Depends on how much work it continues to be when I go back to work in August. 

If you cut up receiving blankets (I haven't tried this) and they are single layer, you might be able to fit 50 in the container. That would last a long time!

After they are used, we just throw them in the wet bag with the diapers and wash them all together.

We also use them for laying on top of Little Man during diaper changes because he LOVES to pee into the open air. We keep several of them in the diaper bag for the same thing. 

Overall, cloth wipes are a great idea! Inexpensive! Easy! Cute! Useful!