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Why Cloth Wipes?
February 6, 2012 4:53 pm | by
Cloth Diaper Creams

A better question would be, why not? You’re already using cloth diapers, for a wide variety of reasons – environmental, cost savings, convenience, and keeping chemicals away from your baby’s sweet tush. Cloth wipes take it one step further.

One of the biggest reasons moms choose cloth diapers is to save money. Let’s face it, babies are expensive! Wipes are a small expense compared to some of the bigger items babies need, but every little bit counts.

So how much would using cloth wipes save you?

The average price of a baby wipe is $0.03/wipe*. Assuming a total of 5,340 diaper changes per baby** and 1 wipe/diaper change, that will cost you $160.20 in wipes alone. And those are conservative figures. That doesn’t count the diaper that requires 3-4 wipes, or the time you run out of wipes and have to get the tiny, expensive pack at the closest gas station, or the special trip you make to Target just for wipes where you end up spending $100 on other things.

Cloth wipes are a one-time expense, costing between $20-$40, depending on the wipes you choose. You’ll need approximately 1.5 times the number of diapers you have to ensure that you won’t run out of cloth wipes before you do diaper laundry.

Now, $120 in savings may not seem like a lot of money, but that’s a car seat or a swing right there. And don’t forget all the other reasons listed above to use cloth wipes.How do cloth wipes work?

Cloth wipes are ridiculously simple. You can purchase some wipes and wipe solution, or you can make your own wipes. I have also used some thin, inexpensive baby washcloths that worked well.

Once you have your supplies and a baby with a dirty diaper, the process is straightforward.
Spray the cloth wipe with wipe solution (or plain water, which I discovered works fine when I ran out of wipe solution). Remove the dirty diaper, wipe the baby with the moistened wipes, then toss them both into the diaper pail. When you wash your diapers, the wipes go right in the laundry with them.
On the go, I tuck a travel sized spray bottle of water and a few cloth wipes into the diaper bag and squirt the wipes right before each diaper change. It couldn’t be easier, and it just makes sense.*Price per wipe from
**Assumptions made when calculating the number of diaper changes:
0-2 months: 10 diapers/day
2-6 months: 8 diapers/day
6-12 months: 6 diapers/day
12-30 months: 5 diapers/day
Potty trained at 30 months (2.5 years)
30 days/month

About the Author

Jessica von Wallenstein is a stay at home mom who chronicles her parenting adventures at She has three children and is buried in cloth diapers.



  • Anonymous said...
    July 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I think I will start using cloth wipes for my babies. Not quite yet though. It took some serious work to convince my husband to use cloth diapers and even then I bought them used because th initial cost of buying new shocked him. I will probably go the route of cheap baby washcloths, that way I can just buy a pack or 2 at a time and he won’t notice the slow change.

  • market research said...
    April 30, 2012 at 5:20 am

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  • Claire (The Half-Hearted Housewife) said...
    February 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    And if your kids end up being like mine and wait to potty train, then you can add another whole year of wipe use in to calculate your savings 😉

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 8:03 am

      You made me snort my breakfast. Hahahaha.

  • kschep said...
    February 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

    We need to switch to cloth wipes before I clog up my washer with the accidental disposable wipe that sneaks in. we like to reduce waste in as many ways as we can.we use reusable sandwich bags and love them. Its just so nice to have multi purposes for products and not just one time use then garbage.

  • Anonymous said...
    February 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I just made a bunch of cloth wipes from old receiving blankets! It was free and we use them instead of paper towels to clean up lo after eating.

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

      What a great idea! I need to bring some to the kitchen and do that.

    • Kate said...
      February 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      I did this too, and it worked out wonderfully! I made them 2-ply with cotton jersey from old t-shirts. I use them for everything!

  • Anonymous said...
    February 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I go through a lot of wipes too. I know mine have saved more than $120! Love my cloth wipes.

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

      Woohoo! I can’t imagine using disposable wipes now with my cloth diapers. The concept is just foreign to me.

  • Anonymous said...
    February 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    You wouldn’t use cloth wipes on yourself so I don’t know why you would trouble with it for baby- the cost is miniscule.

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

      It’s not just the cost savings, it’s more of the convenience issue. When you’re already doing cloth diapers, it’s easier to throw the wipe in the laundry than to find a trash can for a disposable wipe. Especially for messy diapers where you just want to wrap the whole thing up and toss it in the diaper pail.

      I also find they work better than disposable wipes because they’re a little more substantial.

    • Anonymous said...
      February 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      and actually i do use them for myself as well… saves money on toilet paper and i wash them with the rest of my diaper laundry…

  • Jessie said...
    February 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    For us, it’s mainly because sposie wipes make DD break out into a HORRIBLE rash so just plain old water and whatever wipes we have around work great 😀 (It’s also just easier to wash than separate)

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Boo to rashes, but glad you found a solution!

  • RandiDeeAnn said...
    February 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I love inexpensive baby washcloths (the thin ones) from the dollar store the best. Walmart just took the edging off their cheap baby washcloths so I’ll try those, too. I used Walmart’s before, too. They work much better than ‘sposie wipes.

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 7:53 am

      I use the thin Circo washcloths from Target. I like the slightly rougher side to clean messy bums.

  • Brandy said...
    February 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Not to mention, it’s easier to toss the wipe in the laundry with the diaper than it is to remember to throw away the wipe separately!

    • Anonymous said...
      February 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      That’s a Number 1 reason!

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Especially on the go!

  • Laundry Lady said...
    February 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Cloth wipes have other uses as well. We still use them, at least part of the time, for my daughter who is now using the potty. I’m planning to use them post partum since they are much gentler on more sensitive areas that toilet paper. They are great for wiping little noses and faces in a pinch. I use them to wipes excess coconut oil off my hands when putting it on my daughter. We use them to clean up my daughter’s hands when we are on the go as well. I’ve found that my wipes have saved me far more than $120. Usually one or two wipes would do for a diaper change with cloth wipes. I always used two and many times three with disposables. Plus, my daughter has sensitive skin so when I bought disposable wipes I often had to choose a more expensive brand.

    • Jessica said...
      February 8, 2012 at 7:50 am

      All good points! I use them all the time for runny noses. And I can clean most diapers with only one wipe as well.