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lilybee's Blog

Make Your Own Decomposable Baby Wipes

So, in the process of researching alternatives to traditional polyester baby wipes (that stick around in a landfill for a squillion years) I discovered a few recipes for making your own.

After a bit of experimentation here's the method that's worked best for us.

To do this you'll need,

  • A Roll Of Paper Towel, cut in half with the cardboard tube removed. .
  • A resealable box, the kind that regular wipes come in is good.
  • A moistening solution

There are a bunch of different recipes for the solution, the one that I like the look of is:

  • 1 cup distilled water (warmed up)
  • 2 tablespoons baby lotion
  • 1 tablespoons vinegar


Step 1:

Cut your roll of paper towel in half, straight down the middle. I used a bread knife but if you're got an electric knife so much the better.

created on: 08/31/08

Step 2:

Pop the cardboard tube out

created on: 08/31/08


You could skip both those steps if you are using paper towel that comes in those half sheet sizes. If you are then you spend some time ripping sheets off and folding them into a concertina stlye pile, (so one lifts another out of the box like traditional wipes)

created on: 10/04/08

Step 3:

Mix up your solution. The recipe above is what I liked best. I just mixed the vinegar and water first then added the lotion and whisked it with a fork. Some recipes call for baby shampoo or wash but I didn't love the idea of putting super-drying soap on Ted's skin when it isn't going to be washed off.

Step 4:

Pour the solution over the paper towels, a bit of trial and error and I found that pouring down the tube like this is the best way to get even coverage. Give the roll a squeeze then toss any solution that's pooled in the bottom of the box. You want the wipes to be moist, not drippy.


created on: 08/31/08

Step 5:

Pop the lid on the box and use them like you use normal wipes. created on: 08/31/08


A few things to consider,

I used Bounty paper towels because that's what we had, but if you wanted an even more eco version you could use the unbleached recylcled type, I will be next time.

Also, stuff generally needs air to decompose, so don't put them inside the grubby disposable diaper and do up the 'tabs' to keep the grossness in.

You can find stacks more recipes for the solution here.

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Well, we get 8 packs of recycled, unbleached paper towel for about $7CND.  There are 100 sheets in a roll (more if you use the half-sheet rolls). A box of 80 wipes is between $4-5, though bulk refill packs are less (I can't remember how much exactly as it's been a while since we bought them). Of course you have to take into account about half an hour per week for 'build time', with your time being worth at least $10 an hour.


So whats the price comparison?

Just found this linked from elsewhere. great advice!  i'm gonna try it soon :-)

This is such great information, I'll be linking to this.

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