Saturday, February 18, 2012

How to Choose Cloth Wipes

You would think that choosing a rag for wiping your baby's bum would be easy, right? Does it even matter what to wipe with? Apparently it does! When it comes to wipes it turns out it is hard to find a winner because one mom loves a particular one and the next mom hates it. Ultimately it just comes down to your preference and the price. Not all materials wipe the same way, so we are here for the Cloth Wipes 101. 

Flannel: Probably the most common material for simple wipes, flannel is soft and durable, as well as inexpensive. Some complain of it being too thin for big clean ups, often calling for two wipes per use. A package of twelve bumGenius Egyptian Cotton Flannel Baby Wipes is only $11.95. The twelve pack of GroVia Flannel Wipes is $10.95.

Knit Terry: This is our favorite material for wipes, it really helps clean the messiest of messes effortlessly. Thick, thirsty, and very good at grabbing the big stuff, ick. Perhaps our favorite so far are the Kissaluvs Knit Terry Wipes, they are so plush, simple, just good at their calling.  

Cotton Velour: A common material for wipes that is often used as the second layer in two ply wipes such as the Kissaluvs Organic Wipes pictured below. It has a slightly brushed texture so it isn't as abrasive as plain cotton weave. We have these and I like to use the colorful side to clean up the bigger mess and then the cotton velour side to wipe clean. 

Microfleece: This material is often combined with a different one in a 2 ply wipe like the Thirsties Fab Wipes. It is very soft and glides over skin, so it is best for the end of the cleanup. You wouldn't really want a wipe made entirely of microfleece. Some people prefer to use natural materials though like cotton, bamboo, or hemp. If that's what you want then microfleece isn't for you. 

Bamboo: Wipes made from bamboo have been springing up everywhere. Naturally bamboo is very absorbent and oh so soft. I'm not entirely sure how it would be knit to be able to 'grab' stuff for clean ups. You can try the Prince Lionheart Reusable Warmies to see how you like them, they come in an eight pack and cost $14.99. 

Hemp: This is a great Eco friendly material that is perfect for wipes with its natural antibacterial properties. It is often blended with cotton. These BabyKicks Hemparoo Premium Washies look really luxurious, pricier - but they come sewn like a mitten, perfect for keeping your hands clean for clean ups or even bath time. 

Single or Double layer: If a wipe is made from a single layer it has to be a rather think material that will not leak anything through. Many single layer fabrics actually have two sides with different textures. The other option is a double layer wipe with different textures, like the Kissaluvs Premium Organic Wipes. I prefer the thicker single layer wipes, in my experience the ones with double layers don't look great after washing because materials tend to shrink slightly at different rates and the wipe becomes uneven. 

Size: Again, depends on your preference or even how large your hands are! But 8 x 8 inches seems to be the consensus on sufficient size to wipe without getting anything on your hands. Wipes that are too big may be cumbersome, like small towels. 

How Many: I would say you need at least two dozen wipes if you wash every other day, even every three days. We get by with just one dozen wipes by washing them by hand between uses, especially the less soiled ones. Sometimes if a clean one is within reach I grab it to wipe spit up, so it is always good to at least have as many as you have diapers (unless you have a cloth diaper addiction and your stash is rapidly multiplying!). 

Though we have been cloth diapering for over three years, we are new to cloth wipes. With my toddler I used non-chlorine disposable wipes when we started cloth at six months, and then I started washing her at every change. Somehow that seemed so much easier and cleaner. But of course that only works at home, where we spend the majority of our time. Right now I love cloth wipes with my three month old son, but I'm also looking forward to being more comfortable just holding him over the sink and washing him clean. 

What's your favorite cloth wipe?


  1. Funny how the cloth wipe world has now started to get just as 'complicated' as the cloth diaper world! Right now we are using the Bamboo Wipes from and really liking them. I like their size, thickness, and that one side is good for scrubbing and the other gentle wiping to get the stuck on goo off.

    1. Yes, now we'll need a guide for choosing diapers, wipes, wet bags, accessories, sheesh! :) Thanks for commenting, those sound great!


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