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!
So, 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!
I 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.
The 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!
(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!?