If you're already using reusable nappies, using washable baby wipes is, in our opinion, a complete no-brainer!!
You're already using a bucket for storing the nappies before washing, I guess, so throwing in a few additional wipes is just easy peasy and it'll save you a small fortune.
So, what are reusable wipes?
They're small pieces of cloth (generally around 20 x 25cm), roughly a little smaller than a facecloth. They're made of a layer (or sometimes 2 layers) of fleece, cotton, organic cotton or bamboo (or a mix of, say, fleece on one side, bamboo on the other). Fleece is nice and smooth, but the more textured cotton or bamboo wipes are more effective at cleaning up the mess.
They are then used to wipe baby's botty (you can get different colours so you can seperate your botty wipes from your dinnertime hands and face wipes). When cleaning up at nappy change time, personally I would wipe the worst of the mess away with a piece of toilet paper and then clean up the rest with the dampened wipes. You can use a wipes solution but generally just plain old water is quite adequate. If you're used to smooth disposable wipes you'll know that they often just smear the mess around. Cloth wipes pick it up so much more effectively and you can often clean a bottom completely with just one wipe (as oppose to 4-5 disposable wipes). Dirty wipes are then just thrown into the nappy bucket ready to be washed with the nappies.
Cheeky Wipes offer a very simple solution as they contain everything you need: wipes, little containers, essential oils etc. but, if you're using a bucket for your nappies, you can just dampen simple washable wipes with water and throw them in the bucket when used.
Out and about
Ok, so you've headed out into town or to visit friends and you want to use washable wipes. How does that work?
You simply dampen your wipes in advance (remember to wring them out a little so they're not too wet). Then just store them in a waterproof bag until they're needed. Pop-In wipes come with their own bag but there are plenty of other wet bag options available. When used, pop them in your dirty nappy bag with the nappies and you're done.
Reasons to move to washable wipes
1. Sewerage systems: Anyone who has seen footage of fatbergs clogging up UK sewers will know that these are formed, in part, due to disposable baby wipes building up in our sewerage system, attracting vast amounts of fat and forming a solid mass that can block drains leading to the potential for streets to be flooded with sewerage. Disposable baby wipes are often marketed as 'flushable'. Yes they will flush down your toilet successfully but the problem occurs when they hit the sewers. They really need 'sewerage friendly' written on the packaging rather than 'flushable'. Water companies generally say that nothing should be flushed down the toilet other than toilet paper (whether packaging says 'flushable' or not). Clearly encouraging people to bin their wipes rather than flushing them will help, but moving to cloth wipes removes the issue completely.
2. Natural: Washable baby wipes use just water. This removes any potential for baby to react to the chemicals used in disposable wipes.
3. Cost: If using washable wipes full time, you'll need no more than 20 wipes. A pack of 10 wipes costs in the region of £10.00 so for £20.00 you'll be kitted out for, not just 1 baby, but any subsequent children you may have. Even if you buy the cheapest disposable wipes, it's clear that the savings to be made are huge.
I don't use cloth nappies. Can I use washable wet wipes?
Definately. The only issue is that you won't have a nappy bucket to store them in prior to washing. Instead you'll need either a wet bag or container to store the dirty wipes in. Again, Cheekywipes solve this problem by providing an easy-to-use tupperware container, but you could just use an extra wet bag which you wash along with the wipes.