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Baby On A Budget: DIY Wipes

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby On A Budget: DIY Wipes

Baby on a Budget is a series of posts that I'll be doing to share all the ways we've managed to save money while bringing up our baby.  When I read the stats about how much money new parents supposedly spend getting ready for a baby and caring for a baby in its first years, I cringe! I can certainly see how it happens though.... These posts are meant to help you stay away from that awfully high number!!

We have been making our own wipes at home using paper towel since the beginning and I can't believe how easy it's been! This is not to say that I don't buy wipes every once in awhile when they go on sale (my husband is currently heading to the store, coupons in hand to grab some $4 boxes of wipes for $1.25 each!).  I use commercial wipes if I'm in a pinch, if I'm going away for a weekend or for out of the house diaper changes (I like how compact the travel wipe cases are).  At home, however, I much prefer my homemade wipes as they hold up better, smell better and I can adjust their moisture level to my preference.  As I use cloth wipes for most diaper changes, I use these homemade wipes for messy hands and faces at mealtime and diaper changes on laundry days.

You will need:
  • Strong Roll of Paper Towels  (I pick up Bounty when it is on sale- with coupons of course.)
  • Baby Wash/ Shampoo
  • Baby Oil
  • Water- tight container

 First, use a sharp knife to cut the roll of paper towel in half.  I originally thought a serrated knife would work best for this but this is NOT the case.  It is messy and sawing away at the roll takes much longer than a nice quick slice with a very sharp straight edged kitchen knife.

Next, remove the cardboard tube from the middle.  This is not quite as easy as it seems but you get better at it with practice.  I use a shimmy method with my hands at both ends and occasionally get my teeth involved.

My sister very generously gifted me the perfect DIY wipes container.  It is a President's Choice canister that I would guess is meant for spaghetti or something but it is tall and has a lid that is easy to open with one hand.  It is also water-tight! If you are unable to find an awesome canister like this, a regular, empty wipes container works OK too.  Take your container of choice and put a tbsp of oil and a tbsp of baby wash into it.  This is not an estimation- I just dump what looks good to me in and call it a day.  I haven't found that it really matters all that much.  Then, put a cup or so of water in the canister and swish it around mixing the soap and oil up really well.  It took me a couple of tries to get just the right amount of water but now that I know what I like it's perfect every time.  Some people use previously boiled water.  I did that a few times but stopped as it was extra work and didn't seem to matter.  Maybe it matters more if you don't use them up quickly?

Next, insert your paper towel with the cut side down.  I find it's less messy this way. Close the lid and flip the container upside down so the water soaks into the paper towel faster.

Once the paper towel is perfectly permeated, pull up the end of paper towel from the middle of the roll and use the paper towel from the middle of the roll to the outside. I cut up all my paper towels and 'core' them at the same time right when I buy them so making wipes takes me about 2 minutes to do.  I often enlist my husband for the paper towel cutting as he has the technique down to a science and a bulk package of Bounty takes him about 5 minutes.

That's all there is to it.  I do the exact same thing to make my cloth wipes except I use a canister about half the size of this one and use cloths instead of paper towel.

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