Reducing our waste one wipe at a time

In my post a few months ago, about trying to find a balance between reducing our waste and coping with day to day life, I mentioned one of our biggest waste culprits is baby wipes!  Having a daughter with complex needs, a pre-schooler and two dogs mean that we use a LOT of wipes in our house!

Photo of cheeky wipes clean and mucky boxes and essential oilsSo, I did actually get round to ordering some more washable wipes to try out again!

I had previously had a batch of Cheeky Wipes and a ‘clean wipes’ box to keep them in (the older smaller box in the picture). However I completely lapsed in using them when I gave up with washable nappies (we just never found any that fitted J).  I think this was mainly just because I got out of the habit, as in my mind the washable wipes had been part of the whole cloth nappy ‘package’ and once I didn’t need the nappy bucket I didn’t have anywhere to put the used wipes!

A problem easily rectified by buying a new ‘mucky wipes’ box (conceived for that very purpose!) and some new wipes and essential oils!

Cheeky wipes do sell the whole kit as a package, or you can buy bits and pieces like I’ve done. (They also sell kits and bits for washable make-up wipes, breast pads and panty liners too!).

There is a choice of different fabrics for the wipes. I’ve gone for bamboo, which is really nice and soft, but great at removing everything that needs removing!  In fact I find them much better at cleaning than disposable wipes, and seem to be much kinder on the skin too, as we are having to use much less Sudocrem!

Photo of cheeky wipes stacked in the clean boxI also got a batch of minky wipes with our last order as part of a special offer running at the time.  They are extremely soft, but not quite as good for removing poo!  Good to have a mix of both types though I think.

Now that I’ve got all the kit in place, I’m finding it really easy to slot back into our regular routine!

I like to stack my clean wipes, but you can just pop them into the fresh box more ‘freestyle’, then you just add some water with some skin calming & fresh smelling essential oils.  The ‘mucky box’ is also filled with some water and some (naturally anti-bacterial) tea tree oil and it has a little mesh bag that fits exactly inside to collect the used wipes, which is then easily un-hooked and tipped into the washing machine!  I tend to run them in the machine on their own in a short rinse wash, then I’ll add some other washing and run a full thorough wash.

Photo of mucky box being prepared with mesh liner & essential oilsThe clean wipes can then be popped straight back into the ‘fresh box’ still damp!

The reason I decided to write this post now, about how using washables is working for us, is that in the last few weeks I’ve seen a few articles shared on social media, particularly in the SEND community, saying there are proposals to phase out disposable wipes from sale in the future!  This does raise a lot of issues for families with young kids, but also those with disabled children, and disabled adults for that matter!

Like most things, I’d say there needs to be a balanced approach.  I’m extremely keen to try and reduce our waste, but I can see that washable is not for everyone, or for all situations.  At the moment, I can’t see me ever be organised enough to use washable wipes out and about, and also I don’t know how you would manage on holiday without access to your own washing machine!

I also use a lot of antibacterial wipes when out and about (I have OCD) and the idea of wiping down a changing bench that someone else has used and then taking the wipes home to wash them…. ugh!

Close up picture of a packet of Kinder by Nature wipes on a wooden table(Edited to add:  I now always try buy plastic free disposable baby wipes for out and about, I’ve not seen any plastic free antibacterial ones yet unfortunately.  The plastic free are more expensive than the average pack of wipes, but at least I’m able to buy a lot less of them than I was.  I’ve generally managed to find either Eco by Naty or Kinder by Nature by Jackson Reece for sale in the supermarket.  If I’m more organised I’ve also tried Mum & You wipes which you can buy online in bulk which makes them cheaper.  I’ve found them all pretty good, a bit more tricky to get out of the pack one-handed, not as slippy as the plastic ones I guess! But I think that also makes them all the better for cleaning with!)

However, just using the washable wipes when we’re at home I can already see an impact on the number of packets of disposable wipes we are buying…. so even if we are just saving one wipe at a time, I think it all helps!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. I just mention Cheeky Wipes as that’s the type of washable wipes I have experience of and it’s a product that works well for us – but there are other brands and you could also make your own DIY set!?


Spectrum Sunday
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

18 Replies to “Reducing our waste one wipe at a time”

  1. I totally agree. We’re similar in that I try to avoid waste where we can but we simply end up throwing a lot out because of either what we need for the boys or due to their… shall we say destructive abilities. We tried washable nappies but it didn’t last long, our eldest just hated them. Now I know he’s a sensory lad I can understand why. Thanks so much for linking up to #spectrumsunday

    1. Definitely got to be a balance with what works with your family and what is achievable within the stresses of everyday life! Even if I can only manage a little bit, I figure every little bit helps!

    1. I think the key for me has been not to put to much pressure on myself, just do a little bit where I can and every so often review what else I can manage to reduce, reuse or recycle.

  2. Now where was this when I had a tot in diapers !!! This s great! I would say perfect for home but it is good to have the disposable ones for on the go. #kcacols

  3. I had lots of good intentions when my daughter was born… but I never actually got around to trying washable wipes. I think if I had another I’d be more willing to give it a go at home, but I’d find it very hard to give up wetwipes for changing while out and about. #KCACOLS

    1. I totally get that! I started with them when I was trying cloth nappies, but when I didn’t get on with the nappies I totally lapsed with the cloth wipes too! It’s one of those things you need to get to fit with your routine or it becomes a chore… and yes, I always have some wet wipes in my bag!

  4. I didn’t know you could get washable wipes! My kids are older now, but I always have a packet of wipes in the house for if we go out for the day or something.

    1. I think that’s part of the thing isn’t it!? Nobody really knows about the alternatives to regular wipes as they aren’t available in places you’d normally pick up some packets of wipes!
      Someone on my Facebook page suggested these biodegradable/plastic free wet wipes for out and about…
      I’ve ordered some to try out! It’ll be interesting to see if they work well, but again they have to be ordered online so it’s not the same as just being able to pick up a pack in the supermarket!

  5. We don’t use as many wipes around the house now, especially for cleaning. I used to use them for everything but I have a reusable cloth which is much better as it can be washed. I am working on reducing my daughter’s use of baby wipes in favour of cotton pads but it’s slow work right now!

  6. I wasn’t aware of washable wipes before reading this – I wonder if we can get them here in Mexico? I’ll have to investigate. I admit we still use wipes for a variety of cleaning purposes even though my daughter is out of nappies, so I should really make more of an effort and use washable cloths! Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS

  7. I think if you can work this into your day, kudos. I didn’t get on with cloth nappies and can’t imagine it’d be much different with wipes but respect to anyone that does. #kcacols

  8. I’ve been thinking about this recently and want to start using things like reusable kitchen roll! #KCACOLS

  9. I’be Been tempted to give reusesble products a go. We did switch from night nappies to washable ones when he was in the in between stage of toilet training and they worked out great. Shame they’re so expensive from most places x

Comments are closed.