Thursday, July 29, 2010

Waste Not the Wipes!!

I have been extremely intrigued by a great many things lately... having a baby is an eye-opening experience of the best kind.

Countless topics have been discussed in our home over the course of the past few months, and bless D's heart, he has been right there with me, always supportive, going over pros and cons, always willing to be the other half (the sane half, really) of my "Oh I just read something else that turns my world upside down" conversations. Bless. His. Heart.

I will be posting several blogs over the course of the next few months (years) about eco-friendly kid raising. Yes, this farming, dirt loving, surely conservative woman just said the words (hyphenated word rather) "eco-friendly" and I plan on saying much more on that topic. The main idea is that I would like to protect my children. All of them. Even the girls. : ) As parents-to-be, we worry about some of the same things our grandparents worried about when they were raising their brood. However, we worry about much different things too. Things that, until late, have not reared their ugly heads for parents to worry about. We plan on doing all we can to give the Cherry Clan the kind of wholesome, homegrown, dirt-streaked life we enjoyed and love still.

Project #1: Reusable Wipes!!

I like to save money. "Like" may be the wrong word here... ummmm... I'm so cheap I squeak.

There I said it.

I'm also somewhat of a naturalist. A homesteader. A home-loving housewife.

All of the above.

Back to the wipes...

I first read this recipe on Progressive Pioneer, a wholly inspiring blog written by Amy Thompson. The woman has a soul of gold, to say the least. She shares great ideas for making the most out of raising your children, easy do-it-yourself projects, and if I start now I'll be here all day explaining the benefits of following her blog... so just do it. However, I will give the same disclaimer for her site as I did for the other... I am not responsible for the addiction that ensues after visiting her world. ; ) You can find her baby wipe recipe, among other great articles here.

Reusable Baby Wipes

What you'll need:

For the wipes -
flannel squares (to fit whatever container you'll keep the wipes in)
a serger (the other day I called my mom's a surge protector and I thought she was going to pee her pants)
a sewing machine (if you have one of the nicer four-spool sergers you won't need the sewing machine)

For the solution -
3 cups warm water
2 T olive oil
3 drops essential oil (mint, lemon, lavender, you pick!)
2 drops tea tree oil
2 T natural baby wash (preferably the no-suds kind... I'll tell you why later. Ugh.)

Step #1: Wash the fabric. You'll always want to wash fabric before you start working with it - especially flannel which can shrink up to 3" in the first wash. Dry on low heat, and you're ready to start cutting!!

Step #2: Cut your flannel into squares/rectangles that will fit into the container you're going to be storing them in. I used a BPA-free plastic container with a flip top lid. NOTE: you will want to cut the pieces about 1/8 of an inch larger (on all sides) than you actually want. The serger will take off about that much from each side. NOTE#2: The wonderful thing about flannel is that, if you start a cut at one end, the fabric will rip easily and give you a nice, quick, straight edge. Excellent!

The golf pattern - my dad would be so proud.

Is this not the CUTEST fabric for a builder's family? I'm in love.

Step #3: Double up the fabric. The flannel I purchased had a print on one side and not the other. The material is also softer on the printed side than the non. Because of that, I serge two pieces of fabric together - printed sides facing out obviously.

Step #4: Serge all four edges of the fabric pieces. Trim the tails.

Come back soon to see what I do with these scraps!! It's so exciting!!

Step #5: Because I was using a 3-spool serger, I ran a straight stitch down each edge (in the middle of the serge) just to insure that these bad boys would not come undone. Ever. If you've got a 4-spool serger you won't have to worry about this step. If you do add a straight stitch, just trim all excess thread from the wipes, and fold them so they're ready for solution!

Step #6: Make the "wet" part of the wipes...

Put all ingredients in the blender. NOTE: This is the reason you want a baby wash that doesn't create bubbles... I had a lovely explosion in my kitchen last night because I thought I could ignore Amy's advice on that.

Curiosity killed the cat.

And foamed the kitchen.

Step #7: Add your liquid to your wipes. I just put half the wipes in (I can fit 12 in each container I bought), added the liquid, squish squish squished, added more wipes, more liquid, etc until they reach desired liquidiness. Yes. Liquidiness.

What's amazing about flannel is that it holds liquid VERY well, but doesn't drip. Perfect.

Congratulations! You have reusable wipes!!

In the past 24 hours I have used mine to wipe a butt, wipe a counter, clean a picture frame, dust a piece of wood furniture, clean a dirty face, and polish glass.

Yes. I used clean ones for some *ahem* tasks.

Happy wiping!!


  1. These are perfect! I wish I had had the time and resources to make those- they look perfect!!

  2. Maddy, when's your birthday? ; P

  3. I stand in awe... you're amazing country chick!

  4. These are great!... for some day :) What are the puffy things on the right?

  5. Jamie I'm glad you asked! I had scraps left over, so I asked D what I should do with them... he came up with a BRILLIANT idea!! Blog coming soon! Dun dun dun duuuuuunnnn!!!!!

  6. you really want to reuse something that has been somewhere so horrible? I've had to clean the underpants in many a toilet training experience, and each time I look at the soiled underwear and say to myself, "Do we really need to try to save it? Couldn't we just throw it away? Really?" That's my only hang up.

    By the way...I love this blog. I am all about the homemade everythings too. Thanks girl!

  7. I gave up cloth diapers for a REASON, there is NO WAY I'm washing wipes!
    Now, for a sponge bath while camping, maybe.

  8. I, personally, really do want to reuse something that's been somewhere so horrible, and I'll tell you why.

    Bless my washing machine's heart, it has seen some nasties. I've put much worse things into that machine's mouth than a poopy diaper or soiled wipe.

    Between the chickens and the dogs and the horses and the cows and animals giving birth and animals dying, I have touched and smelled and eaten (sorry) more nasties than I care to admit. : )

    Having said that, we do a couple of things around here that minimize the effect. After changing a poopy diaper, I'll scrape or drop the poo into the toilet, hence leaving only a little on the diaper itself. I am also a fan of the long-standing trick of using the diaper to do as much wiping of the rear as possible. These wipes only see a little of what really goes on behind the curtains, you know? We put essential oils and baking soda and whatever natural product we can get our hands on in the bottom of the diaper pail to minimize smell, and I do laundry daily, which means they don't have the chance to marinate. ; P

    Oh that and I don't mind poo. Did I mention that? It doesn't bother me. I just grew up around too much of it I suppose. : ) So I'm kind of a cheater.


  9. Cloth wipes just make sense when you use cloth diapers. I use both. Not as nice as yours, but they get the job done. I love using cloth--they're great.