Beginner, Diaper Accessories

How to Make Cloth Wipes – It’s Easier than You think!

Maybe you have finished my Cloth Diaper 101 series and already decided to go with cloth diapers for your baby, but you are unsure about the wipes. Or maybe you have decided you want to use cloth wipes, but you’re not sure if it makes more sense to purchase them or make them. In this post, I will show you how to make cloth wipes. It is one of the easiest and cheapest sewing projects you will ever do!

After reading through this, you can decide if you would rather save time and purchase cloth wipes, go ahead and try making your own, or just use disposable wipes.

Materials

  • 1 yard flannel (makes about 20 wipes)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread

Prephow-to-make-cloth-wipeshomemade-cloth-wipes

Lay out your yard of fabric and cut into squares. I used a buffalo check flannel which made measuring easy–I cut every 8-9 squares, so about every 8-9 inches.

You can decide the size you want to make your wipes. I wanted them to be on the larger size so that if I needed more than one, I could just fold it and use the other side. You will want to consider where you plan to store them, though. Make sure they fit!

Sew

After cutting your wipes to the size you wish, get your sewing machine threaded and ready to go.

sewing-cloth-wipes

I’m going to let you in on a little secret–I can’t sew worth beans. I really am pretty terrible. But I managed to sew cloth wipes. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

Side note: I can’t WAIT until I have a spot in my house where I can leave my sewing machine out and ready to go. For now, I have to store it in a tub in the basement in between uses. I guess that’s not the end of the world, but I definitely don’t use it very much when it’s always packed away. How can I get better when I never practice? But I digress….

Sew all along the edges of your wipes. I chose a zigzag stitch. I rounded the corners and trimmed them when I was done (good sewers would probably not need to trim, but alas, that is not me….)

Trim & Wash

Because I rounded the corners with my sewing machine, I took a pair of scissors and trimmed each wipe as close to the stitch as I could get without cutting it. I also trimmed areas along the straight parts of the wipe where I didn’t get close enough to the edge.

You seasoned sewers out there probably think I’m pathetic! But for you sewing novices, there is hope. 😉 Just trim if you need to. homemade-cloth-wipesAs you can see… I did not bother matching my thread. I used what I had on hand. These are just butt wipes! No need to worry about matching, unless you want to of course.

Once you finish, toss them in the wash to get them ready to use.

How Do I Use Them?

You can buy a wipes container to store them in if you wish. You can make your own wipes solution to store them in. There are several recipes out there, but click here to see my favorite recipe for homemade wipes solution.

You can mix together the wipes solution and put it in the wipes container, or you can mix it directly in a piece of Tupperware that you plan on storing your wipes in. Then you can set a pile of wipes gently in the liquid, and seal.

Another option is to keep a spray bottle near your changing station. You can just spray your cloth wipe right before using it until it’s wet enough. You can make a solution (like I described above) or just use water.

I go back and forth between spray bottles and containers of solution for storage. I feel I am better at keeping up with the spray bottle, but I like the convenience of a wipes container and how the wipes are a little more saturated that way, but sometimes I forget to replenish it!

I did not get on the cloth wipe train right away; in fact, it wasn’t until recently did I explore this. I really don’t know what took me so long to go for cloth wipes! I think I was just afraid that they would be a lot to manage.

Most of the time you can care for cloth wipes just by throwing them in the diaper pail or wet bag after using and wash with your next load of diapers. If they are very soiled, you can dip & swish them in the toilet or spray them off before putting them in the diaper pail.

See? That’s not so bad!

Making cloth wipes is very easy. I got my yard of flannel for $5. I’d think 40 is a good number of cloth wipes, so you’d spend another $5 and get your stash for $10. Not bad! It is definitely more expensive to buy them, but your time is also worth something (this project took about an hour…but that’s because I’m not very skilled with a sewing machine!) You can decide for yourself if it’s a project worth pursuing or if you’d rather purchase them.

If you still don’t feel ready to go for cloth wipes, that’s just fine. Lots of cloth diapering families use disposable wipes. It’s all about what works best for you!

Would you try cloth wipes? Let me know in the comments below!

Holly Lee

I'm Holly and I'm the mom of two awesome young boys. We have been cloth diapering for 5 years. My family and I live in Minnesota with our dog, Ruby, and cat, Gherkin. Outside of Rocking the Cloth, I am also a middle school teacher. Thank you for visiting Rocking the Cloth--feel free to email me at holly@rockingthecloth.com if you have any questions or concerns. I'd love to help!

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for another great post Holly. I have made my own wipes in the past for my bubs, using paper towel, mainly to keep the nasty chemicals away from their little butts, it never occurred to me to use fabric in order to help the environment also, so thanks for the idea! I’ll definitely look into it. Any tips on the best essential oils to use?

    1. Hi Zoe! Thanks for the comment! I like to use lavender because it’s soothing and safe. I have also heard that lavender and tea tree are great for rash prevention.

  2. Dianne says:

    This is interesting. I shall make some cloth wipes and I was thinking I could make a batch to use around the house…maybe for Windows etc…

    1. Yes Dianne! That’s one of my favorite things about diaper accessories in general–they are super handy around the house, even when the diaper stage is over!

  3. Holly,
    This is such a great idea. I grew up with cloth diapers. we used a diaper when wiping the bottom. this lead to extra wash. The extra cost of throw away diapers and wipes makes it tough on parents today. If they would use cloth wipes that they make, they would spend about as much as one package of throw away wipes.
    Keep sewing, you will get the hang of it.
    John

    1. Thanks John! The wipes are certainly handy, even once the kids are out of diapers! They can be so versatile.

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