The 5 Best DIY Baby Wipe Alternatives

Whether you are trying to be more eco-friendly, avoid irritants, or just in a pinch, there are several DIY baby wipe alternatives to fit your needs. 

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Reusable Baby Wipe Alternatives

Reusable baby wipe alternatives are good for your baby, the environment, and your wallet. 

Washcloth

Possibly the simplest solution is to just use a washcloth instead of a baby wipe.

There are several benefits to using washcloths:

  • You probably already have several which would make this a free option! 
  • Even if you don’t have many to spare, they’re pretty inexpensive. 
  • They clean up baby poo quite well. 
  • If you cloth diaper, they wash easily with the diapers.

They aren’t totally perfect. They can be a little rough, though using super soft baby washcloths solves that. They also add to your laundry.

Washable Wipes

If you’re buying materials for resuable baby wipes anyway, it’s probably a good idea to buy a product that’s already designed with wiping in mind. 

OsoCozy makes a great flannel cloth baby wipe. It’s single-ply so it’s great to get into crevices for a thorough clean. And since it’s so thin, it also dries fast. 

They’re also 100% cotton, all-natural, AND unbleached, so you don’t have to worry about scary chemicals. 

When bringing them on the go, invest in a small silicone storage bag to keep them clean and dry in your diaper bag. 

Flannel that could be used for DIY baby wipe alternatives

DIY Baby Wipes

If you don’t love the available options above, it is really easy to make your own baby wipes. You get total control of the material and size this way, though it takes a bit more effort up front.

Washable Flannel DIY Baby Wipes

While there are lots of great fabrics for wipes, flannel is one of the most popular for DIY washable wipes. Flannel washes well, cleans bums well, and is fairly inexpensive. This is also a perfect use for old flannel shirts or sheets.

Most people make their wipes in approximately 8 inches squares. If you have a sewing machine or serger, a quick stitch around the edges will finish your wipes. For a no sew option, try cutting around the edges with pinking shears to minimize fraying. 

For a thicker wipe, you can sew together a 2-ply wipe. This way you can also use a different fabric for each side for more versatility.

Old Baby Clothes

Not sure what to do with those older stained or torn onesies? Too damaged to give away, but throwing them out feels wasteful. 

Cut them up for baby wipes!

You already know the material is soft and gentle enough for baby. Just make sure to avoid any areas with texture or appliques. 

Disposable DIY Baby Wipes

You can also make your own disposable baby wipes with paper towels.  There are lots of variations on paper towel baby wipes, but you basically place a half a paper towel roll in a container with whatever wet wipe solution you prefer and ta-da baby wipes.

You can find a detailed tutorial with a specific recipe from Family Favorite Recipes that includes pictures and even a video. 

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Comparing Baby Diapers

How To Use Washable Wipes

Wondering how to use a washcloth or other washable baby wipe? Well, it seems silly, but I was curious about the exact logistics of storing, using, and washing so I asked around and did some research of my own.

A wet wipe cleans better, so the big question around washable wipe alternatives is whether you store them wet or dry. Wet means they are ready to go at a moment’s notice, but risks mold and mildew since they lack the preservatives of commercially manufactured wipes. Stored wet, wipes are only good for a couple days, so don’t prepare too many.

Dry wipes alleviate the mold risk, but you’ll also need a way to wet the wipe or bum like a spray bottle. 

Then there’s the debate over what you use to wet the wipe. Just water? A special combination of water, soap, baby oil, and essential oils? 

You get control, which is great to avoid any chemicals that irritate your baby. There are tons of recipes online to choose from, but keep in mind that unless you also add an extra rinse step anything in your diaper solution stays on your baby. For this reason, some moms prefer sticking to just plain water. 

Whether you mix anything in the water or not, it is recommended that you boil the water beforehand (and obviously let it cool).

This comes down to personal preferences and figuring out what works for you. I found storing the wipes dry and using an old peri bottle of plain water the simplest way for us, but you may find another method works better for you.

The wipes can go in a wet bag or bucket or it is often recommended to soak them until laundering to help avoid staining.

baby about to get diaper changed

How Can I Clean My Baby’s Bottom Without Wipes?

Looking to ditch baby wipes completely? It can be done! 

After a pee, use a peri bottle with sterilized water to gently clean and irrigate. 

For poopy diapers, start by wiping as much poop as possible off with the inside top (or the cleanest portion) of the diaper. 

Then, place baby in a basin or infant tub. Use an angled peri bottle to rinse off the remaining stool. For stubborn poops, you might have to use your hands with some extra water to get them really clean. 

Make sure baby is completely dry before putting on a new diaper. Try using a blow dryer on the cool setting or a baby washcloth to blot them dry. 


So there you have it. Alternatives for those wasteful baby wipes for everyone’s type and budget. 

Do you have another idea for a DIY baby wipe alternative? Let us know in the comments below! 

About Author

Jo & Rachel

Jo and Rachel first had the idea for 'The Moms At Odds' in 2016 when our babies were turning 2 and we realized that we were very different parents.

As a mom, Rachel immediately felt this strong connection to her son and instantly decided she wanted to become a stay-at-home mom. Though Jo obviously loved her son as well, she counted the days until she could go back to work and interact with other adults.

They both struggled over getting their babies to sleep and while Jo believed in sleep training, Rachel looked for alternatives like dream feeding and no cry methods. As time passed and their children grew older the differences started to really add up – pacifier use, drinking during breastfeeding, organic foods, screen time, diaper brands, and on and on.

During this day and age, it’s so easy to look at our parenting differences as a bad thing. After all, we’ve all seen jokes and articles about “Mommy Wars” over one subject or another. Instead, we choose to embrace our differences and show you that in many areas there is no wrong answer. What works for one family may not work for another, and that’s perfectly fine. We can still all get along and raise perfectly healthy, beautiful children.

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