Lets Talk Wet Wipes And Their Impact On The Environment

Lets Talk Wet Wipes And Their Impact On The Environment

My friend Zoe from Eco Thrifty  was on BBC 5 Live this morning talking about wet wipes and then Blue Planet society posted this on twitter;

Which made me think out of all the subjects we look at in our daily lives to be earth friendly wet wipes take a back seat but instead they should take a front seat as they cause so much damage to our environment not just after use but during their production to.

So whats so bad about wet wipes

  • For a start they contain chemicals you don’t really want near your child’s bottom like alcohol, perfume, chlorine and dioxin. Not to mention other other ingredients like Potassium Laureth Phosphate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Maleic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E). Then of course DMDM Hydantoin is a formaldehyde-based preservative that’s been linked to cancer and allergies. And the artificial fragrances used in baby wipes may lead to allergies or allergic reactions. (If you would like to find out more visit Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.)
  • Then there is the disposing of these wet wipes after you have used them; All wet wipes are packed in plastic even the so called eco variety and no wet wipe is biodegradable generating 7.6 billion pounds of garbage each year. Or to put it another way, wet wipes are the 3rd largest consumer item in landfills and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste. Thats a lot of wet wipes filling up our land filled sites up and down the country. Thats without looking at how many plastic wet wipe packaging ends up in landfill.
  • Although wet wipes are not meant to be flushed down the toilet which clogs up our sewer system causing vast amount of damage, ending up in our oceans and being washed up on our beaches. People still flush them away as seen here;

So what is the alternative to shop bought wet wipes

Making your own reusable wet wipes is not only  really easy to do (requiring just 4-5 ingredients you already have in your home) and saves you £639.00 over the lifetime of each of your children. But if that is not enough you can customize the ingredients to deal with diaper rashes, thrush/yeast, dry skin, etc.

My Wet Wipe Recipe 

Ingredients :-

  •  1 Large pot of Camomile Tea,
  • 10 drops  Lavender Oil
  •  1 tbsp liquid castille soap

Or you can use;

  • 1 tbsp of (melted), sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil
  • 1 tbsp liquid castille soap
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup distilled water

Either recipe is good but I choose to use the first one on my homemade reusable wet wipes.

Other Things You Need;

  • Old Towels, old sheets or  fleece fabric
  • Airtight Container
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine (to hem your old towels or sheets)

making wet wipes

  1. Cut your old towels to the right size and sew around the edges to stop them from fraying. (I used a zig zag stitch as I found the straight stitch did not stop them from fraying in the washing machine.)
  2. Make a large pot of  Camomile tea and allow to brew for around 5 – 10 minutes, add 10 drops of Lavender oil,1 tbsp liquid castille soap to your tea and stir. Remove the tea bags and add your washable wipes and let them soak up the liquid.  (I use a jug instead of a cup in this picture because I was making 30+ washable wet wipes today)
  3. Transfer your wet wipes into an airtight container. After you have used your wet wipe place into a wipe-able bag and when you have collected enough wash them in the washing machine with you other washing. Once clean and dry, re-soak them ready for their next set of sticky fingers or dirty bum.

making wet wipes2

 Here are our wet wipes all ready in their air tight container for my sticky children to be cleaned.

Do you use washable wet wipes?

Are there any recipes you have found to be really good to use with your washable wet wipes?


8 responses to “Lets Talk Wet Wipes And Their Impact On The Environment

  1. Sweet! I’ve used washable cotton wipes at home with plain warmish water and wet wipes to go. Or when I managed to think about it before leaving the house, I took a little container with water with me and used the cotton wipes as well. Will definitely try this recipe! Thanks for posting.

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    • I never stored the solution separately, I socked a weeks worth of my my wet wipes soaked in the solution. I would think any longer than a week the solution would start to go off.

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