Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homemade Disposable Baby Wipes Tutorial

4/20/11 This is a revisited post updated with a breakdown of prices in parentheses next to the ingredients.  Prices may vary according to your area.  I recommend using the generic baby oil and shampoo but using quality paper towels.  Buy the paper towels in bulk (use your coupons too) for best prices.  Watch the sales.  Paper towels don't expire.  ;)  My cost for homemade wipes?  74 1/2 cents for a batch of 70 wipes.  So, YES, homemade wipes are cheaper than Wal-Mart wipes.

1/2 roll Quality Paper Towels    (58 1/2 cents for the half roll when bought in bulk)
1/2 Tbsp. Baby Shampoo or Baby Bath    (5 cents)
1/2 Tbsp. Baby Oil    (5 cents)
1 drop of Tea Tree Oil    (6 cents)
container for wipes
1 1/4 cups water

    Start with some good quality paper towels like Bounty. Yes, this truly turns out FAR cheaper than store-bought baby wipes even with Bounty. It makes a difference.  Don't waste time and extra money by buying the cheap stuff.  I hear Viva is good too for wipes.
    Unwrap them. We're doing a whole lot at once because we change a WHOLE lot of diapers in Pookieville. AND because I am all about efficiency. No sense getting the knife and cutting board out every three days when I need wipes again. And I do not make enough wipes to last a week. I'll get to that later.

    Now get yourself a cutting board and a knife.  Do NOT use a serrated knife.  I made that mistake for YEARS (yeah, I'm s-l-o-w sometimes).  It causes a huge fluffy mess.  Even the electric serrated knife makes a mess.  Just use the knife your grandma gave you that ended up being your favorite knife even though it doesn't match any of your other knives.  You know the one. 


    Cut it in half.  When cutting it sometimes makes a squeaky sound that upsets my chi. This is to be expected and does not lower the awesomeness of homemade wipes.

    Now, I like to use purified or distilled water to lower the chances of anything growing.  And I heat it in the microwave in a glass measuring cup until it boils which is 2-3 minutes. 

     center out
    Remove the paper tube from the center.  Just work it loose and pull it out.  It's a little easier if you wait until the roll is wet to pull out the center.  But soggy paper towel tube wigs me out.  I dunno.

     baby shampoo
    Add 1/2 tbsp (1 1/2 tsp) baby shampoo/bath to the 1 1/4 cup of boiled water.

     baby oil
    Add 1/2 tbsp. baby oil to the water/ baby bath mix.

    all ingredients in
    Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil (not to be taken internally by gremlins- or anyone)

    pour on paper towels in container
    Pour over the paper towels in container.

    Watch out for the steam!
    close lid
    All done!

    The tea tree oil helps prevent mildew from growing on the wipes.  But even with tea tree oil they will mildew in about a week (at least here on the central west coast).  So that's why we only do one-half roll at a time.  It's really fast once you've got the supplies close by.  I keep them on top my fridge and whip them together between doing dishes or cooking dinner. 
    These are ready to use as soon as cool enough.  My kids love to hug the warm container.

    This post is linked at , Tales from Bloggeritaville, My Coupon Teacher, Finding Fabulous, 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven


    Lisa said...

    Cool! Can you buy tea tree oil at regular grocery stores?

    Nikki said...


    I'm not sure. I'd check the health food section. It's more likely at health stores or Vitamin/ Natural type stores. I bought mine through a food storage order with Azure Standard when I was in the Frozen North. A little bottle lasts a long time. It is potent stuff.

    Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

    Really? Wow! I am passing this onto my SIL! Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday this week!
    Tales from Bloggeritaville

    Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

    I've seen these before, but I always forget about them! I'll have to keep them in mind when we have #4 in July. :)

    Lost In Tarnation said...

    I've made those before and couldn't believe how easy it was!! Every little bit counts!!!

    Coupon Teacher said...

    That is a really good idea! Bookmarking for someday when I have kids!

    Anonymous said...

    Silly question, but do you use from the centre or the outside of the roll?

    Nikki said...

    Coupon Teacher- The first time I made these was three years before my oldest was born. They were perfect for our camping weekend.

    I pull it out from the center of the roll.

    A. said...

    I'm impressed. I will definitely be trying. So they don't get soggy and rip after sitting for a few days?

    Nikki said...

    Amy- Nope. I suppose they might if they were a lesser-quality paper towel. But I use Bounty.

    Alicia said...

    Wow, thank you for this! Visiting from Life As Mom. I am going to try this, especially since I got tons of Viva paper towels for $4/pack. Just need to get some baby oil and tea tree oil.

    Jennie said...

    I 've heard of making your own before, but seeing you do it make it seem so much easier! Thanks

    Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

    Untypically Jia said...

    I've heard of this before but I've never seen a tutorial. Very cool!

    Kim said...

    Very neat. Thanks for sharing. I don't know how you do it. You make me look like a louse. 3 times the kids I have and you make homemade wipes. My husband will NEVER see your blog.

    Smockity Frocks said...

    EXCELLENT tutorial, Nikki! Good to know about the mildew, too.

    Shelby said...

    Seriously--don't use the serrated knife! I always thought "oh, a regular knife wouldn't cut it" but boy, it does. I also get my tea tree oil from Trader Joe's. This is such a great way to save money.

    Julie Bagamary said...

    Grat recipe. Tea Tree Oil can be found at Wal-Mart near the vitamins.

    The Saved Quarter said...

    Where did you get the container? That's the perfect size!

    Nikki said...

    The Saved Quarter-

    Thanks for asking. I keep meaning to update that. The container is from the 1970's. lol It's an old Tupperware container that I picked up at a thrift shop.

    I do know that you can get Rubbermaid and Rubbermaid type containers at most grocery stores and places like Wal-Mart that also fit pretty close.

    Just pick up an average size roll of paper towels and head over to the plastics section. Hold it up and guesstimate if it's about the size for half a roll.

    I used to do a whole roll at a time when I lived in Utah. But the climate is bone dry there where I lived. It's crazy humid here-- so I stick to half a roll at a time.

    {The Classy Woman} said...

    This is the first post I've ever seen about homemade baby wipes, very cool. I like your natural approach!

    Kudos to you for making your own, at least you know what is in them!

    As for the store bought brands (all of them) contain ingredients like nitropropane, diol, propylene glycol, etc which are all actually skin irritants and are formaldehyde based (yes formaldehyde is what they embalm bodies with-not good!). That is how they preserve them so they don't mildew!

    I love tea tree oil-good for SO many things. Great for your gums, wounds, disinfecting, cleaning.

    Stefany said...

    I used to make my own wipes and loved them! Thanks for the reminder about this because I really need to do it again!

    I am following you now. :)

    catherine B said...

    I have made my own wipes for 7 years - I never used tea tree oil so I am going to try that with the next batch. I usually cut and store the paper towels all at once then I can grab one when I need it. thanks for sharing!

    Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

    Wow, that looks pretty darned easy!


    Jelli said...

    Great tutorial! We use cloth wipes with water most of the time, but for a "deep" clean of the baby's bum, these would be great.