Cloth wet wipes

Everyone who has a child knows them: wet wipes. And: Everybody uses them. You don't think much about it for a long time either: Tear open the wet wipe pack, wipe it with a cloth and throw it away. So simple!

The market for pre-packaged wet wipes is huge, and stores are faced with an unmanageable diversity. Almost every chain has its own brand and diaper manufacturers such as Pampers and Huggies offer matching wipes to their diapers. However, they have one thing in common: they are practical, available everywhere and you don't have to worry about washing after use. But do these advantages really outweigh the disadvantages?

In order to prevent the thin and sensitive skin of babies in the diaper area from becoming inflamed, it should be thoroughly cleaned every time they change diapers. Irritations develop very quickly and are a familiar and annoying topic for all parents, especially in the diaper area. On average, babies in Germany are wound around eight times a day - i. e. in the course of about three diaper years, the child's intimate area is cleaned with wet wipes on average almost 9000 (!!!!!!!) times. We think that this fact is reason enough to take a closer look. It is obvious that parents want to give their children only the best and there are nowadays hardly any wet wipes whose manufacturers do not advertise with the additives "perfume-free","extra sensitive" or "skin-friendly".

We have dealt intensively with the subject of wet wipes and have noted down everything important for you.


 Inhalt


Disposable Wipes

What are disposable wipes made of?

Disposable wipes consist of carrier materials and chemicals. Nonwovens made of synthetic polymers (e. g. polyester, polypropylene and polyethylene) are mainly used as carrier material.

Reinigung des Babys mit Feuchttüchern

© tiagozr / fotolia.com

While these nonwovens are synthetic fibres in themselves, they do not pose a major threat to the children's skin, they are a major burden on our sewage systems. Disposable wet wipes should never be thrown in the toilet, but always in the waste bin.

The cloths do not decompose, but settle in the sewerage system and get caught in huge lumps. These block the waste water routes and can cause backwater in toilets and bathtubs.

How dangerous and expensive it is to dispose of these cloths in the toilet can be seen on The Guardian e.g. It has released a nasty and impressive video: Under the city of London a 130 tonnes congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and cloth diapers blocked the sewer system.

In the following video, the American broadcaster MSNBC has investigated what happens to wet wipes in the sewerage system and what kind of pollution this represents for the sewage treatment plants:

 

What chemicals are contained in the disposable wipes?

At a first glance at the brands available, we discovered that most manufacturers now advertise with "sensitive","extra sensitive" and "fragrance-free". If you can believe the promises made on the packaging, the cloths seem to be quite harmless. However, during further research we came across more and more areas of application for these cloths, which suggests that there is a lot more than just water being used. Or did you know that the baby wipes can also be used to remove grease? In return, they really work perfectly and better than anything we knew before.

Wet wipes should

  • be very good cleaning
  • kill germs
  • be extremely durable and moist,
  • have a pleasant scent,
  • be very thin and
  • be maintain.


In addition, many cloths are said to have an anti-inflammatory and skin soothing effect. Of course, this is not possible without chemistry!

Disposable wet wipes contain, for example, a wide variety of parabens. Parabens are synthetically produced chemicals that are primarily intended to improve shelf life. In Denmark, parabens in children's products have been banned since 2011 and two parabens have been banned in baby products since 2015. However, there are still many cosmetics and other products with parabens.

Here we would like to present the results of an article from Danielle's blog „Gewünschtestes Wunschkind“ regarding the use of chemicals in baby wipes. She writes about hormonally active ingredients in baby care products for children and has broken them down in great detail. (We quote here directly from your blog and recommend to all those who want to read more about the pollutants in one or the other wet wipe brand (only in german).

 

PRODUCT NAME
CHEMICALS
 

Methyl-

paraben

Propyl-

paraben

Ethyl-

paraben

Butyl-

paraben

Babysmile Feuchte Tücherxxxx
Babytime Comfort Feuchttücher sensitivxxx 
Cherubin lingettes épaisses Feuchttücherxxxx
Euro Comfort Wipesxx  
Huggies Natural Care Wipesx   
Huggies Pure Feuchte Baby-Pflegetücherx   
Lanisoh Clean and Condition Baby Wipesx  x
M-Budget Baby-Feuchttücher Reisepackxxxx
Milette Baby Care Baby-Feuchttücherxxxx
Milette Kids Lilibiggs Fresh & Cleanxxxx
Milette Soft Baby-Feuchttücherxxxx
Nivea Babys Toddies 2 in 1 xxx
Pampers Baby Fresh x  
Pampers Feuchttücher Sensitivexxx 
Pampers Kandooxxx 

 

Wow, crazy, right? If you would like to learn more about the dangers of parabens, we recommend to google "parabenes or chemicals in baby wipes".

The tenor of the articles you will find is the same: The threat of parabens has long been underestimated and the accumulation of different types of parabens in the human body has not been sufficiently researched. There are other ways to make wet wipes durable: surfactants, alcohols and essential oils can have a similar effect on shelf life - these substances are mainly used by certified natural cosmetics suppliers.

In addition to parabens, however, the wet wipes also contain surfactants, fragrances, alcohols and many other substances. All of these substances can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.

On the Internet there are many reputable sources dealing with wet wipes. For example, WPRI report.

As a result of the latest research by german Ökotest, the following can be summarized:

  • A little less than half of the products tested contain many problematic ingredients.
  • Eight products contain the preservative polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB). This substance is now banned by the EU in cosmetics and has been classified as a hazardous substance (CMR2). Due to its approval as a preservative, it can still be used in wet wipes purely legally and has also been proven in some brands.
  • PEG/PEG derivatives are now only contained in the wet wipes of a few suppliers. These derivatives serve as emulsifiers or surfactants, but can make the skin more permeable to foreign substances. Unfortunately,"classic" wet wipe brands like Pampers and Huggies still use them!
  • 35 of the 43 newly investigated products contain phenoxyethanol. KO-TEST is not currently evaluating this substance in the baby wipes, but is observing it closely: The preservative is currently being evaluated by the EU Commission because of a possible liver-damaging effect.
  • Halogen organic compounds were detected in three products. These compounds are a group of several thousand substances containing bromine, iodine or (mostly) chlorine. Many are thought to be allergenic, some of them cause cancer, and almost all of them accumulate in the environment.


To be honest, we are not experts in chemicals and pollutants in cosmetics either - but one thing has become clear to us when we read the various reports: there is no reason for us to bring these pollutants to the sensitive and delicate baby skin.

Ökotest strongly recommends to refrain from using baby wipes and simply to clean with water. Midwives like Katharina Kerlen-Petri from the German Midwives Association emphasize: "We point out to the parents that there is far more in it than just water (...), many babies are sensitive at the beginning." Dermatologists also advise against the frequent use of disposables and recommend paper towels or cloth with water or vegetable oil.

What are the alternatives to disposable wipes?

A washable cloth soaked in water is the most sensible and healthy alternative. These cloths are available in different materials, e. g. terry cloth and flannel. They are easy to wash and dry. Some parents also use disposable washcloths made of cellulose or cotton wool pads.

Flannel wipes

Our washable flannel wipes are ideal for gentle and lasting cleaning. Whether bottom, face or hands: everything becomes clean and you know exactly what gets into your baby's skin - or rather NOT. The flannel wipes can be moistened with water, so they do not contain any chemicals or additives that could become dangerous.

Flanellfeuchttuchset grün Flanellfeuchttuchset blau Flanellfeuchttuchset orange

In the shop you will find the flannel wipes in sets of 10 pieces in different colours as well as a complete white set.


Flannel Wipes

Size: ca. 18x18 cm

Material: 100% cotton

Care instructions: washable at 60°C, dry on a leash or in a tumble dryer


Washcloths

Our washcloths are made of the finest terry cloth available on the market - the absorbency and resilience of the fibre are second to none. The certification of the raw material according to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is the highest standard for ecologically produced fibres and also includes social criteria. This fabric is produced especially for the WindelManufaktur. The low proportion of polyester fibres ensures that the fabric remains soft even in hard water and never becomes hard or scratchy.

Biobaumwollfrotteewaschlappen Set Biobaumwollfrotteewaschlappen Detail Biobaumwollfrotteewaschlappen einzeln

In our onlineshop you will find the organic cotton terry cloth wipes as a set consisting of 5 pieces.


Organic Cotton Terry Cloth Wipes

Size: 19x19 cm

Material: 91% Cotton, 9% Polyester

Care instructions: washable at 60°C, occasionally at 90°C, dry on a leash or in a tumble dryer


Use of washable wet wipes

Uncomplicated for home use

At home, the use of washcloths moistened with water is certainly not a problem for anyone. Most parents have found a sensible strategy for their own, how this can work. The cloth wipes, terry cloth pads, flannel wipes, cotton wool pads, disposable washing cloths or the also frequently used kitchen paper can be wiped off at the changing area

  • with warm water from a thermos flask at any time.
  • keep it in a can soaked through.
  • moisten with warm water in the washbasin immediately before changing.


You can always have cans or wetbags with soaked lobes at your fingertips wherever you go - so there's no need to use disposable wipes in the household.

In the water with which the cloths are moistened, you can also add a few splashes of essential oil or coconut fat - but we recommend that you take a good look here to see if there are any allergies. Clean water is the least likely to cause any redness during daily cleaning.

Heating boxes for wet wipes

It is very rare that children do not like the cold water of the prepared cloths. After a short change they have got used to it most of the time. However, if your baby is very sensitive in this respect, we recommend using a thermos bottle of warm water and moistening the cloths shortly before use. However, there are also warming boxes for wet wipes ("Baby Wipe Warmer"), which are widely used in the USA. However, the danger with these devices is the bacterial load in the permanently warm environment. To counteract this, these heaters work with antibacterial chemicals, for example. From our experience we can say that these devices really only make sense in exceptional cases.


Cleaning the baby under running water

Once you have passed the nappy supergau and you feel like you need a hundred washes, you can easily clean the baby's bottom in the sink under the faucet or in the shower with the shower head. To do so, simply take off your baby from underneath and rinse with plenty of warm water. Most children love this procedure with the warm water very much!

Practical on the go

Of course, the really big breakdowns always happen when you don't need them; -) But with the right tricks, it's no problem on the way to do without the disposable wet wipes and their chemicals.

We recommend waterproof containers to store the wipes on the road. For example, this could be


We advise against using plastic bags, as they are difficult to clean and must be disposed of regularly. Tins and boxes can be cleaned thoroughly and wetbags can even be washed at 60°C in the washing machine. Therefore, these alternatives are clearly preferable to plastic bags.

Wetbags

Wetbags can be used in connection with reusable wet wipes in various ways: you can

  • store the dirty wipes in a wet bag (e. g. also together with the dirty diapers) or
  • transport fresh, moistened cloth wipes in a wetbag to prevent them from drying out and leakage.

Wetbags are our "all-rounders" - their fields of application are manifold. They are not only useful for wet wipes, but also for example for

  • carrying clean or dirty cloth diapers safely on the road,
  • collecting dirty cloth diapers in the nursery or at home,
  • keep wet clothes in the nursery during the potty training phase until they are taken home and
  • keep wet swimwear or sports equipment waterproof.
Wetbag aufgehangen Wetbag im Einsatz - Transport von Windeln Wetbag waschen kinderleicht

Wetbags are easily washed again and again and can be used anywhere.


Wetbags

Size:

medium Wetbag: 25x38 cm

large Wetbag: 44x65 cm

Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Polyurethan

Care instructions: wash at 60°C, air-drying (please avoid tumble dry!)


Skip Hop Case 

ATTENTION: The Skip Hop Case has been taken out of our assortment due to a lack of quality. We are currently working on an alternative and hope to present it to you soon!

The Skip Hop Snug Seal Case is the ideal dispenser for our washable flannel wipes and super practical on the go. You can open and close the lid with one hand. The wet wipes can be pulled comfortably through the large opening. Perfect for wiping up quickly or cleaning your child's hands and face. Sustainable wet wipes replace disposable disposable products.

Skip Hop Feuchttuchbox (rot) Skip Hop Feuchttuchbox im Einsatz 

The case is slightly smaller and flatter than its predecessor, the Skip Hop Box. A silicone gasket for leak protection and a bracket on the inside are also new, which pushes the cloths upwards for easy removal.

To use them like wet wipes, you will need to moisten the wipes with water or a suitable solution as described above. The cloths should be moist but not dripping wet. When the lid is closed, the cloths do not dry out.

Skip Hop Feuchttuchbox - viel Platz für Feuchttücher Skip Hop Feuchttuchbox - leicht zu entnehmen Skip Hop Feuchttuchbox - leicht zu entnehmen  

Our washable fabric wipes are gentle to your baby's skin and free of chemicals and preservatives. They also protect the environment, since they do not have to end up in the garbage after use.

The Skip Hop Snug Seal Case has a practical silicone strap to attach to the stroller or diaper bag.

Thanks to the transparent box, you can always estimate how long the wet wipes will last.


Skip Hop Case

Size: 21 x 12,5 x 3 cm

Material: Plastic (free of BPA, phthalate and PVC)

Care instructions: clean with soap and warm water


 

Storage of washable wet wipes

After use, you can simply store the dirty wet wipes until the next wash.

On the go we recommend our medium sized wetbags for this purpose, and the large wetbags for the home.

Wetbag Größenvergleich

Size comparison - large and medium wetbag

Large wetbags are great for the home, as they can hold the complete amount of diaper and damp cloth until the next wash.

Medium wetbags are practical because they do not take up much space in the changing bag, handbag or pram.

Wetbags have many other advantages:

  • They can be closed with a zipper and thus no odour can escape.
  • They can be washed even at 60°C and are therefore always hygienically clean (in contrast to diaper buckets or similar, which should be cleaned and disinfected regularly).
  • Their membrane is made of polyurethane laminate, which does not enclose the cloths airtight, but only moisture-proof and thus no mould or similar can form.

Normally, you can store the used wet wipes as they are and do not have to pre-rinse them - pre-cleaning is only recommended for extremely dirty wipes with a lot of stool.

Cleaning of washable wet wipes

Washing temperature: We recommend 60°C. The wipes and wetbags can also withstand washing temperatures of 95°C - however, 60°C is sufficient for hygienic cleaning, save energy and are much gentler on the fabrics.

Detergents: We recommend that you continue to use your tested detergent - so you can be sure that you can handle it well. If you are looking for a new detergent, we recommend to use perfume-free and preservative-free powder detergents - preferably in organic quality and/or with "sensitive" label.

If you would like to learn more about washing our products, please read our detailed washing instructions.

How many wet wipes and wetbags should you have if you don't want to use the disposable items?

We recommend a range of:

How do I prepare wet wipes at home if I want to take them with me in a wetbag or in a box?

There are two ways to prepare wet wipes:

You can either

  • just pour water over it or
  • soak the cloths with a mixture of water and oil.

Production of the water-oil mixture

You need:

  • your flannel wipes
  • Coconut oil (we recommend virgin coconut oil, best in organic quality)
  • some splashes of washing gel or similar (best of all, the kind you have had good experiences with your baby)
  • a bowl so big that all the wet wipes you want to use fit into it and there's room for stirring up a little more
  • hot water
  • a lockable box or wetbag

It's simple:
Pour the hot water into the bowl and add half a tablespoon of coconut oil and a few drops of washing gel. Then stir thoroughly and you will notice that thanks to the emulsifying effect of the wash gel, the coconut fat has been thoroughly dispersed in the water. Now simply place your flannel wipes in the bowl and allow them to soak thoroughly. You can then simply take it out of the solution after about half an hour, squeeze it out and store it in a lockable box or your wetbag until use.

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We are interested in your experiences with washable wet wipes - do you have any tips you would like to share with "new" mums? We would be very happy about that!