We all know how the little things add up, especially when we have a new little one in the house. Well, here is a great way to save about $40-$70 a year. And it’s really easy, especially if you are already using cloth diapers. Here’s what you will need;
3 cups distilled water (hot)
3 tsp. baby soap
3 tsp. olive oil
5 drops of tea tree oil (antibacterial)
1 empty wipes “pop up” container
3-4 old cotton t-shirts
Cut your old t-shirts (I used three shirts in size XL) into squares (approx. 6 1/2” X 8 1/2”) An easy way to do this is to lay the t-shirt out flat, cut off the bottom band, then cut up each side to the armpit. Measure about 6 1/2” up and cut a strip across that width (through both layers). Cut that strip into three equal parts. Then measure 6 1/2” up and cut another strip, and cut that into three equal parts. Then take the remaining top part of the t-shirt and using one of your cut pieces measure out and cut two more squares. You will get 16 squares out of one t-shirt cutting this way. You may end up with more or less and may have to adjust your cuts according to the t-shirt size.
To stack the wipes, lay one down with the longer end going north and south, and the short ends east and west. Then lay another one down below it, overlapping the first wipe half way. Then fold the first wipe over the second wipe so it is folded in half. then place another wipe on top where the first wipe was and fold the second wipe in half over this, continue until you have a large stack of wipes, each one folded into the next. Place the wipes into the empty wipes container.
In a large bowl mix the water, olive oil, baby wash, and tea tree oil. Stir with a spoon until blended. Slowly pour the mixture over the wipes to saturate. Close the lid and your wipes are ready to use. If you are making more than enough for just a few days, I would suggest keeping the wipe solution in a jar in the fridge to help preserve it longer. When you run out, just add a stack of dry ‘t-shirt’ wipes and pour the solution over until saturated. Another way that this could be done is to put the dry wipes in the wipes box and the solution in a spray bottle, you can spray the wipe before using it or since these ingredients are safe for your baby’s skin, you can also spray right on his/her bottom.
To clean, throw the wipes right into the wash with your cloth diapers. Sometimes you might encounter such a mess that you don’t want to clean out the wipe, or put it in with the washables. On those occasions, I just toss it right in the trash. I would have just tossed the old t-shirts anyway. This way they are getting used multiple times and since they are 100% cotton, they are biodegradable when we do choose to throw them out. We are told that disposable diapers take over 500 years to decompose and I can’t come up with any good information on how long it takes wipes to biodegrade but would venture a guess that it’s a pretty long time. Most wet wipes are made using cotton with synthetics, and other chemicals, and then they add alcohol, perfumes and who knows what else. We know that they don’t decompose quickly or else they would be falling apart after sitting on the shelf for 6 months. A 100% cotton shirt takes 6 months to decompose and cloth diapers are reusable for many years to come. And since we are making them ourselves and know exactly what is going into them we don’t need to worry about things like THIS happening to our children.
And lastly, if you are not using cloth diapers, I would encourage you to find a cloth method that suits your needs and try it for a while. You will not only save a ton of money, but you will help save our precious God-given environment for our precious God-given kids.
If you have any additional wipes ideas that are thrifty or environmentally friendly (or both), or if you have a recipe that you use, please feel welcome to comment below and tell us what is working for you.