Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Baby Wipes

When my 4 year old was about 2 months old I saw a blog about making your own baby wipes using paper towels.  I told my husband about it and gave me a "are you nuts" look.  He then gave me a great visual of a paper towel falling apart while cleaning up one of my sons many blow outs. Needless to say, I quickly forgot about making my own wipes.

Several months ago I saw another blog post about making baby wipes and I decided to give it a try. My daughter tends to have very dainty poops so I wasn't worried about creating a bigger mess if the paper towels fell apart.

I tried two different recipes and three types of paper towels so bear with me as I break it all down.

But first things first, we need to get the paper towels ready.  This is something you want to splurge on and get a brand name.  You don't want to have a cheap paper towel fall apart during use.  Trust me..... you don't want that to happen.

All three of the brands I used came with the option of pulling off a smaller size. (you know the ones that have pictures on the package of using 1 2 or 3 sheets?) This made for a good size wipe.  

Take a paper towel roll and cut it in half using a serrated knife.  Sounds easy right?  For me, not so much.  I don't know if I have a bad knife or if I just have no idea how to use a knife because all my paper towels looked like a massacre. It's surprisingly hard to cut through the cardboard center and by the time I'm done there are so many pieces of paper towel bits all over the kitchen that you would think Edward Scissor Hands had been the one to cut the paper towel. It was the same situation with all three brands of paper towels.

Once you have your paper towel cut, place it in a container with a lid that seals.  You can either open the lid each time you need the wipes, cut a whole in the lid to pull them out one by one, or pull each piece apart before hand and place them in a sealed container.

I tried to use an old Clorox wipe container but it was really narrow.  I eventually got the paper towels in, but it was extremely hard and tore up the paper towels even more then my hack job had.

Since the Clorox container was a bust I tried a #10 can and cut a X on the top.  This method works pretty good but sometimes the paper towels do fall out and it needs to be re-thread.

I also tried the pulling them apart before hand method.  It took some time to pull them all apart, but it was really easy to use during a diaper change. I kept them in a regular Tupperware container and I just took the lid off before the diaper came off then I could grab what I needed.

Both the #10 can and the pre-pulled methods work great, it just depends on your preference. 

Onto the recipes;

The first type of recipe I used came from this website. There is a great 'how to' video that starts around the 3 minute mark and there is a list of other things to make with the paper towels like glass cleaner. According to this women, the wipes cost about 75 cents each.  And she has some awesome cut the paper towel skills.

Home made baby wipes
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baby wash
  • 1 tablespoon baby oil or mineral oil


You take half of the paper towel roll, put it in the container. Mix together to and a quarter cups of water, two tablespoons of baby wash and 1 tablespoon of baby oil or mineral oil depending on if you would like the fragrance or not. Then you are going to pour that over the paper towel roll. Then you are going to reach in and pull out the cardboard tubing. It's easier to pull out once it's wet. Then, as you need a wipe, you just reach for the center and pull out as you need a wipe, very easy. You can cut little slats in the top of the container so you can pull it out and it remains closed. Or you can leave it and just pull the lid off as you go.  

The verdict: These worked pretty good but I wasn't a huge fan.  Towards the end of the roll, they started to smell a bit funky, and my daughter seemed to get more diaper rashes.  Plus they just seemed too wet.  The next recipe uses a 1/4 cup less water and it made a big difference. (I have no idea why this font is different, blogger is being crazy today)

Then I tried a recipe my sister sent me from her DoTerra magazine
DoTerra Homemade Baby wipes
2 cups warm water
2 T doterra fractionated coconut oil
3 drops lavender
3 drops melaluca (tea tree oil)

cut paper towel roll in half with a serrated knife. Use half of the roll now and half later.  Place towels in storage container. Add the oil and water mixture, turning until liquid is absorbed. Remove the cardboard roll, and pull wipes from the center. 

I don't have DoTerras coconut oil and to be honest, I have no idea what they mean by fractionated.  So I just used the regular coconut oil you can get at a store and melted it before adding the other ingredients. 
The Verdict: I really love this recipe.  The wipes always smell so clean and fresh and my daughter rarely gets diaper rashes with them.  Plus I am surprised at how much a difference it makes to have 1/4 cup of less water. I did have one batch that had mold on the last paper towel. My guess is because I didn't measure my ingredients well that time and I didn't mix it before I poured it in.

Ok are you still with me?  We are almost done I promise, get up, stretch your legs if needed.

Now the paper towels I used.

Bounty's Verdict: This is the only paper towel that I used both recipes on.  The recipe with the baby wash had too much water.  That extra 1/4 cup of water made the paper towels pretty wet which made them tear easily.  But with the DoTerra recipe these worked great.  They come out of the #10 can very easily.  Towards the end of the roll they do get a bit thin, I think they sort of  deteriorate.  But I just double up on wipes and they still work fine.

Viva Verdict: These are thick and feel almost the same as some store bought baby wipes. They are also really soft.  But they are impossible to tear apart with one hand.  When I pull them out of the #10 can they just keep coming.  It's like a cheesy magician trick where the handkerchief keeps coming out of his sleeve.  These are ones that need to be torn into their individual squares before hand.  It's a little annoying but it makes diaper changes a lot easier. Also, the rolls are smaller so I go through the wipes faster.

Brawn Verdict: I have nothing good to say about this one.  They were to thin and fell apart easily.  I got so annoyed with them that I tossed the roll about half way through.

The Verdict of the Verdicts: The DoTerra recipe is great and works very well.  Bounty and Viva are both good and I really don't have a preference between them.

PHEW!!!! Who knew there could be so much information on a poop cleaner?  If you actually read this whole post then I am very impressed.  Or maybe I should lecture you for using this post as an excuse to procrastinate when you really should be cleaning something.  HA HA  BUSTED! 


  1. I'm going to try these when I get low on the wipes on hand!

  2. I'm going to try these when I get low on the wipes on hand!

  3. I'm going to try these when I get low on the wipes on hand!

  4. I" love to try,,,I truly like to read your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such nice information. I definitely add this great post in my article section.

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  7. want to try at least one of them. There is so much to try in baby cleaning.

  8. I tried 2 cups water, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 tbsp. mild baby soap - boiled the water first and used Viva paper towels (select a size) and mine are falling apart!!! I boiled the water first and didn't let it cool completely - do you think that's my problem?

    1. That could be it. Sometimes the first half of a roll will fall apart and I haven't figured out why yet. I'm not sure if it's the temperature of the water when I pour it on, or if it's the paper towel roll.

  9. Hey, good update! I'm glad I came across this article coz I was not much aware of homemade baby wipes. Very helpful truly :)