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How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes
Updated on
September 11, 2023

How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes

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How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes.
Photo by Maddie Eisenhart
How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes

With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, shoppers have been grabbing a multitude of personal care items off the shelves to stay stocked for a few weeks while practicing physical distancing. And that includes—you guessed it—baby wipes.

If you are a parent of a young child in diapers, those empty wipe shelves mean you might have to get a little creative with your diaper changes until stores are restocked. The good news? You can make your own baby wipes with items you likely already have in your kitchen. Here’s what you need to know:

DIY Baby Wipes: The Basics

There are plenty of tutorials online that can give you detailed recipes for how to make your own baby wipes (this is a good one). But don’t stress if you don’t have an exact ingredient match in your pantry or the recommended container. The basic baby wipe formula is:

  • A roll of paper towels (or reusable cloths if your paper towel supply is also running low).
  • Boiled or distilled water.
  • A gentle cleanser like baby wash, castile soap (Dr. Bronners, for example) or baby shampoo.
  • An oil to keep your baby’s skin from drying out. If you’re not sure which ones are baby friendly, you can use pantry staples like coconut oil or olive oil.
  • A storage container. You can upcycle an old wipe container, use plastic food storage containers or repurpose a large jar with a wide mouth. Anything with a tight-fitting lid will do.

How to Make Your Own Baby Wipes

  • Cut a roll of paper towels in half with a serrated blade, like a bread knife. Stronger paper towels will work better than bargain brands, but work with what you have.
  • Place half a roll inside your container. Containers with wide openings work best here, like Glad or Rubbermaid food storage containers. But anything you have on hand will work in a pinch.
  • Boil two cups of water and let it cool a bit (or use warmed distilled water if you have it on hand). Regular tap water is more prone to bacteria growth, so this helps keep your wipes sanitary.
  • Mix two tablespoons of soap and one tablespoon of oil into the water.
  • Add the mixture to your paper towels, cover with the lid and let soak. After a few minutes, you should be able to easily remove the cardboard center from the roll of paper towels.
  • With the cardboard center removed, pull a wipe from the center of the roll the same way you would a normal wipe.

While you might be tempted to make and store multiple batches of wipes the way you would with store bought, these homemade wipes may develop mold after a few weeks (the hazards of moisture!) So your best bet is to make one or two containers-worth and then replenish with a fresh batch when you run out.

What to Do if You Don’t Have Paper Towels

If paper towels are in short supply in your area, you can make reusable wipes with cloth you probably already have around your home. Thick, soft fabric works well, so this is the ideal time to repurpose all those receiving blankets you grabbed at the hospital. Burp cloths and worn flannel sheets also work well.

Cut into 8” or 9” squares and then follow the same recipe as above. If you want to be able to use your cloth wipes beyond the immediate future, sew the edges or cut them with pinking shears to avoid fraying.

Helpful Tutorials

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Babylist Staff


Babylist editors and writers are parents themselves and have years of experience writing and researching, coming from media outlets like Motherly, the SF Chronicle, the New York Times and the Daily Beast, and the fields of early childhood education and publishing. We research and test hundreds of products, survey real Babylist parents and consult reviews in order to recommend the best products and gear for your growing family.

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