Baby wipes. Where once I believed these to be only good for removing poop from the adorable behinds of tiny humans, motherhood quickly taught me that these small squares of goodness are used for so much more. Stick hands? Wipes. Messy faces? Wipes. Questionably clean table? Wipes. Makeup remover? Wipes. A baby wipe is good for so many things, and it’s used on some of the most delicate parts of those little bodies. But have you ever read what’s in them? A quick glance down my regular wipes’ ingredient list had me shaking my head, and looking for a better solution.
So, why not make your own? Because effort, that’s why. What if I told you that you could make your own wipes in less time than it takes your kids to watch an episode of Paw Patrol? No poop is too big. No wipe is too small.
Step 1: Prepare.
Cut a paper towel roll in half. This is actually the hardest part, believe it or not. I naively assumed that paper towels would be easy to cut through, but they just aren’t. Pro tip: do not try to use a serrated knife. Just don’t. Your best bet is to quickly sharpen a large chef knife, and get slicing. Again, serrated knife = bad idea. Now you need to remove the cardboard centre from the roll. I found that the easiest way to do this was to use scissors to cut the tube all the way through, and then roll it into a little spiral inside the paper towel. I told you this was the hardest part. Gently, pull the first paper towel from inside the roll, so it’s sticking up out of the centre. I had to toss the first sheet, because it had been mangled in my tube-removing attempts, but the second sheet was ready to roll. Or unroll. Whatever. Put that half-roll of paper towel in a large ziplock bag. You have successfully completed the hardest step. Go you!
Step 2: Make the Juice.You’re probably going to want wet wipes, because dry wipes are just never a good time. The solution you’ll make is super easy, and so gentle on the skin. Mix 1 ½ cups of water, 1 tbsp of Shampoo + Body Wash, and 1 tbsp of Face + Body Serum. I found that a whisk was the easiest way to get them all thoroughly mixed together. Carefully, pour this solution over the top of your paper towel roll (hence that beautiful ziplock bag!)
Step 3: Squish it in!
Squeeze the roll all around, soaking up all that wipes solution, and evenly soaking the entire roll. My kids thought this was definitely the best part. Make sure you seal that zipper before letting the squishing begin. Again, learn from my mistakes.
Step 4:Store it!
Put your roll of wipes into a reusable container. It works best if the wipes can stand upright, since you’ll be pulling them out of the centre to dispense them. My first plan was to use a short, wide shaker cup, and it would have been perfect, except I couldn’t find the lid. An old coffee can would work. Anything that’s round, and at least as wide as your paper towel roll. You really don’t want them crammed in too tight, or it’s a little hard to pull them out. I ended up cleaning out an empty Lysol wipes container really well, and that’s actually working great!
Tips: Don’t cheap out on the paper towel. I’m all for saving a buck, but I tried this with a cheap brand of paper towel and it just wasn’t the same. Nobody wants a wipe that rips when it gets pressure put on it. Let’s remember what the primary use of these is. Spend the extra couple of dollars and get the high quality towels. I think this solution would also work amazing on reusable cloth wipes. It could be kept in a spray bottle, or on the wipes themselves, to make it even more eco-friendly. You’re also going to want to use the full-sized sheets, over the half-sized ones. The half sized-ones would be a great size for face wipes, but they don’t have the surface area you want for a full on diaper disaster.
The solution itself works great. It removes my makeup gently, and also makes its way through diaper changes with ease. It’s got the same gentle scent of the wash and serum, without being overpowering, and those amazing ingredients that are so beneficial in the wash and serum really help keep my little one’s tush healthy and smooth.
One thing I also love about making your own wipes is the cost comparison. Even if you’re just starting, and having to buy the ingredients you’ll need, it’s not going to cost a whole lot more than buying a case of wipes would, and since you’re only using 1 tbsp of each ingredient at a time, those two bottles are going to last!
It’s cost-effective, environmentally friendly, safe for the whole family, and actually betters your skin just by using it. What more could you ask for?
Kelsey Kitt is a work-at-home-mom of three in northern Alberta. When she’s not chasing kids around, she is also an author, freelance copywriter, wine lover, and digital content creator. You can follow her and all her family’s adventures on Instagram at @mommydoesntlie.