Instructables

How To Make Your Own Decomposable Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are mostly made of polyester, even the supposedly 'eco' ones... *coughseventhgenerationcough*
Which means they'll probably still be sitting in landfill sites when giant cockroaches take over the earth. Here's how to make your own decomposable wipes. They happen to work out a bunch cheaper than the other kind too, so you know, win win.
 
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Step 1: You'll Need....

A roll of paper towel. Recycled, unbleached gets you extra points... I used Bounty 'cause it's what we had.
A resealable box (an old baby wipe container is good)
A bread knife or an electric knife

A moistening/cleaning solution. We'll get to that in a minute.

Step 2: Cut Your Roll of Paper Towel In Half.

Picture of Cut Your Roll of Paper Towel In Half.
Saw away. It's easier with an electric knife, (NOT an electric saw... I mean you, dad) but any serrated blade will do.

Step 3: Yank Out the Cardboard Roll

Picture of Yank Out the Cardboard Roll
roll out a smaller roll.jpg
Pull that sucker out, or you could just roll out a smaller roll and make a smaller batch of wipes.

Step 4: Mix Up Your Solution

The solution I used was
  • 1 cup distilled water (warmed up)
  • 2 tablespoons baby lotion
  • 1 tablespoons vinegar
There's a link to more recipes, including fancy essential oil ones here ( it's near the end).
My recipe uses vinegar instead of soap, 'cause soap is super drying if it's not washed off.
Pop all the ingredients into a clean receptacle then shake or whisk them together.

Step 5: Pour Your Solution Over The Paper Towel

Picture of Pour Your Solution Over  The Paper Towel
This is easiest to do if you set the roll upright in the box then pour 'down' it. You might not need all the solution, you want your wipes to be moist NOT drippy. Give the roll a squeeze to get rid of any extra goo, but plump it up again when you're done squeezing.

Step 6: The Finished Pruduct

Picture of The Finished Pruduct
Use wipes on stinky baby bottoms. Bear in mind that stuff needs air to decompose, so don't wrap the wipes up in a disposable diaper and redo the tabs.
fegundez12 years ago
Baby wipes were thought up by someone to disconnect people who are at their most vulnerable from their cash! Don't use anything on your super tender skinned infant until you have used on yourself for at least a week. Change the diaper as soon as it is soiled and you will have no rash or other type of problems. Use a vitamin e zink oxide ointment like desitin to keep those tender parts smooth and happy! Warm water and clean toweling work wonders and are much cheaper and generally chap free!! Babies shouldn't "feel the burn" ever or at least until they are in some foreign port and old enough to make their own choices!
jfox162 years ago
I tried these vs using The adult flushable wipes.

The paper towel is very harsh on the skin I found even using once a day
caused irritation from the roughness of the toilet paper.

The second problem I had was they do not flush and its kind of gross to fill up
your trash can with but wipes.

It would be nice if someone could come up with one that flushes.
suzigrosart2 years ago
It depends on the type of paper towel you use. I found that the cheaper brands didn't hold up as well. Go for the ones that say they hold up to scrubbing.
cgibbs42 years ago
what stops the paper towel from breaking apart while your wiping the baby
Carola3 years ago
My kids are 23 and 27 and I just used wash cloths--you can get a dozen for 4 or 5 dollars. And I used warm water. I filled a pump thermos in the morning and it stayed warm all day. I just put it over a paint bucket and voila! a little sink. Use a little soap, if needed. You can also put a drop or two of a fragrant oil in the thermos. I just threw them in with the diapers to wash. Today, I use wash cloths--the same kind I used for the baby "wipes" for paper towels. Haven't bought paper towels for 27 years. Try it, you'll like it.
JEarly19903 years ago
I just buy 100% Cotton, non-dyed Muslin fabric, sew them into squares, place them in a container with solution, use, rinse and wash. When I feel they are getting old I just make new ones.
An Villain4 years ago
I speed read this and saw, How to make your own disposable baby.
bailey62784 years ago
Wouldn't it be easier instead of cutting paper towels in half to use the super absorbant toilet paper rolls? Just a suggestion. I'm definitely going to try this. I'm expecting a baby in Feb and need to save money anyway I can. Thanks for the idea!!
bluemommy4 years ago
Doesnt the paper towels break when they get wet??
Did you work for Johnson & Johnson because you sure do know how to make lots of personal products
When I was a baby, my mom and all the other moms used warm wet wash clothes and then they were washed. This isn't always practical, and I think your Instructable is wonderful. I am confused about the comment above that says your "product" won't decompose" What about compostable toilets? The "poop" is supposed to bio-degrate. Not a criticism-just confused.
jauncourt5 years ago
I made these and love them, but instead of baby lotion I used jojoba oil and aloe vera gel with about 2 drops of soap to help emulsify the oil into the water. Works great :)
chotii5 years ago
I hate to tell you this, but ANYTHING that goes into a modern "sanitary" landfill will still be sitting there a hundred (or more) years from now, virtually indistinguishable from the way it looked the day they flattened it into anaerobic preservation and covered it with more trash. That includes any fecal material, folks. It will not break down, will not decompose, will not compost, will not rejoin the circle of life. It will just sit there with no oxygen for a very, very long time. Do a google search on William Rathje's archeological digs in landfills.
majeral5 years ago
I don't have any baby's but I do have a 18 year old cat that has dummy problems , so trying to stop using paper towels I cut up any old T-shirts and just wipe it up and toss. Also under (cotton ) Oh yes I get a yard or 2 of a cotton fabric on sale cut and use for napkins wash toss out when they are used up... Vie
Gadisha5 years ago
Thanks! :) I'm definitly going to try this.
brewabel5 years ago
how cool. the wife and i were just talking about doing this ourselves. i can take that off my list of things to google now. thanks!!!
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