Well, my very good friend was telling me that she uses reusable nappies and reusable wipes with her newborn. Ever since this conversation, I’ve felt guilty that I’m not doing more for the ‘war on plastic’. I use reusable bags, reusable straws, reusable take away coffee cups and felt maybe I should give reusable wipes or nappies a try.
I’m hoping to start potty-training Millie soon so felt trying reusable wipes made more sense. I decided to use the brand ‘Cheeky Wipes’ mostly because their tag line “Making a bum job better!” gave me a little giggle. I had a look on their website and read a bit about their products and the FAQs and I worked out that I’d end up saving in the long run as we use wipes for nappy changes and to wipe hands/face at meal times so we go through quite a lot. I feel I should add here that I have NEVER thrown a wipe down the toilet and beg you to stop if you’re doing this.
I ended up ordering the ‘all-in-one washable baby wipes kit’ with the fabric material of minky/bamboo. The minky side is softer for faces and the bamboo side is better for bums. The kit comes with a ‘fresh’ container to store clean wipes, a ‘mucky’ container with a mesh bag to store dirty wipes, a ‘fresh’ travel bag, a ‘mucky’ travel bag, 25 cloths/wipes and two 10ml bottles of essential oils.
They often have offers on and so I ended up with an extra 10 wipes for free! The kit cost me £44.99 in total which may sound like a lot but I will definitely save money compared to buying disposable wipes. You can also find the various kits on Amazon by clicking the button in the article below.
Basically, you store clean wipes in the ‘fresh’ container with water and drops of an essential oil. When you have used a wipe, you transfer it to a mesh bag attached inside the ‘mucky’ container which is filled with water and a tea tree and lemon essential oil. Storing the dirty ones in the water helps stop the stains from sticking. When you need to wash the wipes, you unhook the mesh bag from the mucky container, transfer the mesh bag to the washing machine and wash with your other dirty towels/bedding.
You can also use the wipes whilst out and about as you can use the travel bags which work in the same way – you take some wipes from the fresh container (squeezing off the excess water) and put them into the fresh bag and bring the mucky bag with you. Once you have used a wipe, you transfer it to the mucky bag which has a built-in mesh bag that can be unzipped and put straight in the washing machine.
Before I began using them I had several questions which I will now attempt to answer as you may have similar questions.
Will I regret buying them?
I decided to use the wipes for the first time at breakfast time to clean Millie’s hands and face. It was a little tricky because she just kept wanting to touch them as they’re so soft! I then had a go at using them for a wet nappy and all went well. In the afternoon I felt brave enough to use them for a dirty nappy. I ended up only needing to use one wipe as it was great at getting the poop off. I was even brave enough to pack 5 wipes into the travel bag and took them with me on a trip to a cafe. Day one was a success and I’ve now been using them for a few weeks. I definitely do not regret my switch from disposable to reusable.
How can I use them for nappy changes (which happen upstairs) and mealtimes (which happen downstairs)?
First world problems right? I’ve got the travel bags on the dining room table so I can use the wipes at mealtimes but think I need a spare set of these so I don’t have to keep taking them in and out of the changing bag. At the end of every day, I transfer the dirty wipes from the mucky bag into the mucky container by tipping the bag upside down and giving it a little shake. I then put the clean wipes that I didn’t use back into the fresh container for the next day. After a couple of days, I refresh the water and essential oils in the fresh container to keep the wipes smelling nice.
Will I get poop on my hand?
Although the wipes are smaller than I’m used to, I wipe most of the poop off with the front of the nappy then use a wipe to clean what is left. I have only ever used one wipe per poopy nappy and have never got any poop on my hand, I am happy to report.
How often will I need to wash them?
After a couple of days, I wash the dirty wipes. They’re easy to wash – unhook the mesh bag from the container, make sure the drawstring is loosened a little, drain off the excess water and put them in the washing machine. I have found it’s easier to put them in the washing machine before anything else you’re washing otherwise some of the excess water goes on your hand and that has made me feel a bit ick. I add some antibacterial laundry detergent and wash them with towels at 40 degrees. The website says to dry them every other time but I’ve dried them each time on the washing line/clothes horse to avoid a musty smell. They clean really well and are still soft after being washed.
Will the box of dirty wipes smell?
I am really sensitive to smells and even though I wash the wipes every 2-3 days, when I open the mucky container it does smell dirty to me. It’s not like it smells of poop but it just has a smell so I have to breathe through my mouth whenever I open the container. I’m wondering if this is because I’ve got it stored in a drawer and so it isn’t well ventilated? I haven’t got much space in Millie’s room so might have to move the boxes elsewhere. My friend who uses the same wipes has said she has never noticed a smell so I think it may also be my extra-sensitive nostrils!
Will it all be too much of a faff?
I’m not finding the whole process overwhelming at all. I’m not going to lie – it is obviously extra jobs having to keep the water fresh, wash and dry the wipes, make sure there’s always wipes in the fresh container and that all the dirty wipes get put in the mucky container but it quickly becomes part of the daily routine. Disposable wipes are a convenience of course but just think how many you use and where they end up!
Will my husband ever get on board with them?
A couple of days after the wipes arrived, I was struck down with tonsillitis (yes struck down sounds dramatic but it was the worst bout I’ve ever had so felt I was dying!) which meant he was left to his own devices. I thought he’d end up using the disposable wipes we had left but he didn’t. He was brave and he gave it a go. His epic review which I felt was so insightful that I needed to share it with you was, and I quote, “Not bad!” From my husband this equates to a 5 star review and he’s continued to use them despite not being willing to admit that I was right – they’re easy to use, you don’t get covered in poop, they wash well and we’re saving the environment one ‘Cheeky Wipe’ at a time.