Baby Wipe Alternatives – 7 Best Eco-Friendly Options

Baby Wipe Alternatives

If I have learned one thing from parenting, it’s that you can never have ENOUGH baby wipes. But with the overall cost, environmental responsibility, or the fear of harsh chemicals nagging you, you might be looking for some other options.

Worry not, because I bring you the best alternatives to wet wipes after extensive research.

These baby wipe alternatives can really come in handy when you’re in a rush and you just ran out of your store-bought wet wipes.

Besides, the plastic fibers in the wet wipes add to the environmental burden, hence it is great to know an eco-friendly alternative or two. The best part, you probably have them lying around in the house (like old baby onesies, and flannel shirts).

Here’s your guide to the best baby wipe alternatives that are eco-conscious and budget-friendly.

This article is not substitute for medical advice or consultation.

What To Use Instead Of Baby Wipes? – Best Alternatives

Did you know conventional single-use baby wipes end up polluting the environment much more than you’d like to think? They contain a mix of harmful chemicals including plastic that are not too great for the baby’s skin and the planet too1.

Whether you want to head to the market to buy some biodegradable wipes or you wish to do it yourself (D.I.Y), here is a list of the best alternatives to use instead of baby wipes.

Word of advice: remember to keep your wet wipes in a sealed box/container such as a ziplock bag or food storage box etc. to keep the wipes wet and functional.

1. DIY: Make Your Own Disposable Baby Wipes

The best way to make a green change is to take things into your hands, literally.

This is quite the perfect way to ensure that you are not using any harsh chemicals on your baby’s skin during nappy changes.

This decreases the chance of rashes and eczema, as the baby wipes alternatives are chemical-free and have no preservatives added to them. Win-win situation!

The best part? Making your own wet wipe alternatives is super-easy on the pocket.

How to Make Your Own Disposable Baby Wipes DIY

You can use paper towels as they make a good base for baby wipe alternatives. Stack the folded paper towels and place them in an air-tight container that seals well (ziplock, food storage bag).

Next, add your wet wipes solution to the bag. The solution is mostly water. If you deem fit, add some baby-safe lotion or aloe vera for soothing your baby’s skin.

Something I’d love to bring to your attention is that many online sources list baby wash as an ingredient for DIY wipes solution.

Please know that it can be HARMFUL to your baby’s skin. Since the wipe solution is not washed off, the baby wash can be quite irritating for your baby’s sensitive skin. If you still want to use the baby wash in your DIY wipes, then you will need to wash it off (and the goal of finding the best wet wipes alternative is not having to wash it off, right?).

Paper towels are great disposable baby wipes. Since paper towels are compostable, you’re doing your part in making the planet safer and the environment greener for the next generations to come. Do a little happy dance. Yay!

PRO TIP: Make sure to read my article about being an eco-conscious parent and how to choose products for your baby that are safer and more eco-friendly.

2. Reusable Cloth Wipes

if you use cloth diapers, you might actually be quite familiar with this.

Do you have stained or worn-out baby onesies sitting in the garage storage that you just can’t find the heart to throw away? Well, bring them in and cut them up to make your own eco-friendly alternatives for baby wipes.

These reusable wipes are a great way of utilizing those old clothes and it doesn’t cost a penny. Since baby clothes are really soft, you won’t have to worry about serging the fabric.

Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes

All you have to do is cut the old baby clothes in the appropriate square size (most parents feel 8 inches is good enough).

Fold them and stack over each other and place them in an airtight container that you can fill with water, aloe, baby lotion, or whatever you like (just remember it HAS to be baby-friendly).

You can also just keep a stock of dry cloth wipes next to your changing station, and use them with a diapering lotion2.

You can use old reusable cloths, baby clothes, terry clothes, receiving blankets, and whatnot.

These reusable wipes wash easily with cloth diapers, so you can use this wet wipe alternative and ditch the conventional baby wipes for good.

Of course you can find also plenty options of reusable and washable baby cloth wipes to buy, too.

3. Flannel Wipes

Another great wet wipes alternative is using old flannel shirts or receiving blankets. They are soft and make the perfect baby wipes without contributing to landfills.

If you don’t want to use your old shirts, you can get flannel cloth from the store. Flannel is quite inexpensive, cleans really well, and washes easily too. It is also soft and gentle on the baby’s skin.

Just like explained earlier, cut and fold the flannel, stack them in an airtight container, and immerse them in a wet wipe solution (water primarily; you can add aloe or baby lotion too to protect your baby’s delicate skin).

If you are a cloth diaper mom, flannel wipes can be easily washed with cloth diapers, so you can plan ahead and have them ready for the next use.

4. Washcloths

This is probably the easiest and most convenient alternative to wet wipes.

All you need is plain water and a washcloth. You definitely have them lying around in the house. If not, you could get some soft washcloths and you’re good to go.

Washcloths can be used as an eco-friendly alternative to baby wet wipes

Use warm water to soak the washcloth and use it as an alternative for wet wipes. It is better than cold wipes that can be uncomfortable for babies, and perfectly cleans your baby’s bottom.

If you find running to the tap a little inconvenient, you can keep a Peri bottle in your diaper caddy or diaper station. This way, you won’t have to make little bathroom runs before changing your baby’s diaper. Remember to use a soft washcloth so you don’t irritate your baby’s delicate skin while wiping.

This inexpensive alternative is great to protect your environment. If you use cloth diapers, you can easily wash the washcloth wipes along with the diapers.

5. Wash & Go

Ditch the wet wipes altogether and just wash your baby bum3!

Whenever it is time for a nappy change, remove the soiled diaper and take your baby to the bathroom to wash their bottom directly with plain water. This effectively removes poo and you can wipe any stubborn poo chunks.

This wash-and-go method is great for promoting healing if your baby has rashes.

Avoid putting the next diaper on without drying your baby.

6. Biodegradable Wipes

If you find that cloth and reusable baby wipe alternatives are not for you, you can get nature-friendly wipes that are sourced sustainably and reduce the environmental burden4.

Look for plant-based wipes such as sustainably sourced bamboo (naturally anti-bacterial), and 100% natural fibers like cotton and wood pulp with no preservatives or toxic chemicals. Oh, and they have got to be fragrance-free because fragrance can be harsh on your baby’s skin.

Look for biodegradable baby wipes made from bamboo - they are one of the best alternatives to wet wipes

7. Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper Spray

Another baby wipes alternative recently gaining popularity is the eco-friendly toilet paper spray. All you’ve got to do is moisten the recycled eco-friendly toilet paper with a wet wipe solution in a spray bottle and wipe away!

Just make sure it does not contain essential oils as they are too strong and irritating for babies.

8. Dry Wipes

These are also commonly used as an alternative to wet wipes. But you will need a spray bottle to wet them before you can use them for wiping your baby. They do reduce the environment overload though, and there are many eco-friendly options available.

What Should You Not Use As A Baby Wipe Alternative?

Many recipes for homemade baby wipes list ingredients such as baby wash and essential oils but this couldn’t be far from the truth.

As baby wash is not washed off from the bottom, it can cause irritation and rash on your baby’s skin.

Avoid using soaps with chemicals for your DIY baby wipes. Always use fragrance-free baby-friendly ingredients to keep your little angels happy and clean.

Essential oils are not good for babies, as they are too strong and can cause skin and lung irritation. Some dermatologists recommend the use of hydrosols (byproducts of essential oils) as they are mild and in a safe concentration for babies.

Other than that, avoid using alcohol or disinfectant wipes for wiping your babies. They are great for cleaning surfaces and stuff, but the alcohol or disinfectant can damage your babies’ skin and even cause chemical burns.

It is best to use baby-safe lotion or moisturizer. Aloe vera is a great option too. These options are soothing and do not dry out your baby’s skin.

What Should You Not Use As A Baby Wipe Alternative

What Can You Use Instead Of Baby Wipes? -FAQ

These are some of the best baby wipe alternatives that you can use instead of baby wipes. However, if you have some questions, here are a few commonly asked questions answered that we get from our followers.

Why Wet Wipes Are Not Eco-Friendly?

Most conventional baby wipes end up clogging the sewer systems.

Since they contain single-use plastics, they can disrupt marine life if they make their way into the sea, as they are not compostable.

So, unless the baby wipes are biodegradable (for instance sustainably sourced bamboo or 100% natural fibers), they usually end up in landfills as huge wipes mountains (fatbergs)5, while being harmful to the sewage systems as well as the sea creatures.

Are Dry Baby Wipes Better Than Wet Wipes?

Yes! Since dry baby wipes are sourced through natural fibers such as pure cotton, they are more eco-friendly and safe for cleaning. They are also fragrance-free, unlike most wet wipes, which usually have some sort of fragrance in them (chemical or perfume), that can irritate the skin.

This means dry wipes are better for sensitive skin.

How Can I Clean My Baby’s Bottom Without Wipes?

Here are a few suggestions on how you can clean your baby’s bottom without wipes:

  • Baby-friendly soap and washcloth: You can use soap and water to clean your baby’s bottom and wipe it away with a washcloth. Remember to wash off the soap properly.
  • Peri bottle: You can use a peri bottle to irrigate and clean your baby. This is great for cleaning your baby after a wet diaper.
  • Use the clean part of the diaper: Another thing you can do while cleaning your baby’s bottom after poo is to use the inner top clean part of the diaper to remove as much poo as you can. After that, you can wash off your baby’s bottom with water or a washcloth.
  • Damp toilet paper: Use eco-friendly toilet paper moistened with wet wipe solution spray to effectively clean your baby’s bottom.

Can I Use Water Instead Of Baby Wipes?

Of course! You can use water instead of water wipes.

Can You Wipe A Baby With Toilet Paper?

Since toilet paper is dry and rough, it can be harsh on your baby’s bottom. Plus it is not too effective at cleaning them properly. Though you can soak it in a wet wipe solution or even water, it is better to use other alternatives instead of toilet paper.

Besides, every diaper change will require a lot of toilet paper, so it is NOT worth the effort.

It can be a good wet wipe alternative from time to time, when you don’t have access to other options.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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