Are Reusable Wipes Worth It?

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Sustainable baby products are becoming more and more popular, with the most common sustainable baby product being cloth diapers. However, a slightly less common product goes along with cloth diapers: reusable wipes. Many people like cloth diapers as they can be quite cost-effective, but are reusable wipes worth it as well?

Reusable wipes are worth it if you want to save more money on disposable wipes while maintaining sustainable cleaning. However, you might find reusable wipes not worth it if they’re too time-consuming. If time is your greatest asset, you may find disposable wipes more worth it than reusable.

The rest of this article will cover what reusable wipes are, how long you can use them, the advantages and disadvantages, and how to save money with wipes.

What Is a Reusable Wipe?

A reusable wipe is a piece of cloth, typically fleece or bamboo or a baby washcloth. You can soak it in a cleaning solution or plain water and use it to clean your baby instead of a traditional disposable wipe.

There are many ways to make reusable wipes. Some people choose to purchase them from cloth diaper brands or Etsy shops. But you can also easily create your own — it’ll save you quite a bit of money. Although fleece, bamboo, and baby washcloths are the most common fabrics used for reusable wipes, you can use any fabric to make them.

If you have an old muslin blanket lying around the house, you can simply cut it up into wipe-sized squares, put that in some wipe solution, and you’ll be good to go. That’s one thing that makes reusable wipes so affordable; a lot of the time, you won’t have to buy anything and can simply use materials you can find around the house.

What Age Can You Use Reusable Wipes Until?

You can use reusable wipes throughout your child’s lifetime or until the wipes are worn out, which can take a long time, even years. Because reusable wipes are not limited to babies, use them for children of any age — like you would with a washcloth.

Even if you don’t need the reusable wipes anymore when your baby has grown bigger, you can still use them for cleaning other messes around the house.

Many prefer to exclusively use reusable wipes around the house and not use them for diaper changes. That way, they can limit the use of disposable wipes to cleaning up poopy diapers, and they can be sustainable in other ways by limiting the use of paper towels and wipes in other scenarios.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Reusable Wipe?

The main advantages of using a reusable wipe are that you’ll save money, only having to pay the upfront cost, and they’re more eco-friendly. Some people say that they’re better at cleaning, but this is heavily debated, with some preferring disposable for bigger messes.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using a Reusable Wipe?

The main disadvantages of using a reusable wipe are that you’ll have to put more time in to clean up, you’ll have to store used wipes, and many argue that they don’t clean the baby as thoroughly as disposable wipes. 

When deciding to use reusable anything, be it diapers or wipes, you’ll want to consider the amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to cleaning and storing them. You’ll need to take the time to rinse any large waste off them after every use, store them in a dry pail, wash them, then hang dry them before using them again. 

While there are plenty of advantages to using reusable wipes, you want to make sure that you can commit before investing in them.

Are There Alternatives to Using a Reusable Wipe?

There are alternatives to using a reusable wipe. You can use disposable wipes, the most common option, or you can choose to rinse your baby off in every diaper change. Rinsing a baby off in a diaper change is especially common in countries where bidets are more common.

Are Reusable Wipes Expensive?

Reusable wipes aren’t expensive. If you decide to purchase reusable wipes, you’re looking at an upfront investment of $20–40. If you go with disposable wipes, you’ll end up spending close to the same amount every single month, with no reusing potential.

How To Save Money on Reusable Wipes?

You can save money on reusable wipes by buying them at discounts, or better, making your own using materials you have at home. Cut those up and use them as wipes if you have any soft muslin blankets, old towels, or t-shirts. Alternatively, you can buy second-hand reusable wipes.

Are Reusable Wipes Worth Having?

Reusable wipes are worth having if you want to save hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of your child. However, reusable wipes are only worth having as long as you can dedicate the time needed to maintain them. If you don’t have the time, they’ll only become a source of stress.

Reusable wipes need to be cleaned and stored properly. If you find them taking too much of your time — time you could’ve used for making money or spending time with your child — then you may want to consider getting disposable wipes instead.