DIY Water Wipes — Chemical-free and Cheap, Cheap, Cheap

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Eleven months.

Over 11 months, Baby Bird and I have dealt with thrush and mastitis, colds, cuts, bruises, explosive poop, constipation … the list goes on and on.

But in 11 months, we’ve never had to deal with diaper rash. Until now.

She’s been really fussy lately during diaper changes, but I assumed she was being irritable like her mama, or that Mr. T was wiping her too hard.

Then, on Wednesday morning, I took a closer look and spotted the problem.

I know it’s not a big deal and that most kids get a rash before they’re potty trained, but that didn’t stop me from feeling guilty and heartbroken about my baby’s suffering.

We haven’t introduced any foods that would have caused the irritation, and I change her 2.3 seconds after she pees. That left her baby wipes as the primary suspect.

Now, I’m not a crunchy mom, but I’ll be a little scrunchy if it means helping my baby. As such, I decided to ditch the wipes and only clean her with water and washcloths.

Then she pooped. A lot. And I had to clean it up. And it was gross.

So the washcloth plan went out the window, and in came the decision to use water wipes.

I could’ve bought WaterWipes from Target, but those things aren’t cheap. I could’ve used any of the methods online that involve cutting up paper towels, but I was worried about them turning to mush. Plus, we still had a stash of the new wipes in her closet, and I HATE wasting money.

So I decided to wash a pack of disposable wipes and make them into water wipes.

You’re looking at the screen like WTF is she talking about? Who washes a disposable baby wipe? This chick did … and she did it successfully.

I put a half-pack of wipes through two wash cycles, using a bit of Dawn dish soap to strip them, just as you would a cloth diaper.

Washed and folded baby wipes

Once they were folded, I soaked the wipes with two cups of distilled water and two tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil (I added the oil to help keep Baby Bird’s skin moisturized). I then cut open an empty wipes package, washed it, stuffed the “water wipes” in, and taped the end closed.

Washed re-wetted baby wipes were resealed in the original packaging

I’m not worried about the wipes disintegrating (they survived two washes, after all), and I’m still cleaning Baby Bird with just water.

Here’s what you’re thinking now: What’s the plan once your stash is gone, huh? Won’t you have to shell out for WaterWipes then?

Nope. My brilliance knows no bounds.

Medline disposable dry cleansing cloths

I ordered 1,200 dry disposable cleansing cloths — which is what baby wipes are — from Amazon for $29.19. That’s about 2 cents per wipe, versus about 4 cents per wipe for a box of 540 WaterWipes.

I’ll have the convenience of disposable wipes (sorry, Earth), and I’ll still be able to protect Baby Bird’s skin.

I’m might not be crunchy, but I’d like to think I’m pretty clever.

***UPDATE (7:30 p.m. 7/21/17)*** Our dry disposable cloths arrived from Amazon and they are MORE than what I expected. They’re soft right out of the box, and they become softer when wet. They absorbed my water/coconut oil mix incredibly well, and they’re durable — I wasn’t able to pull a soaking wet one apart despite my best efforts. Since we’ll be using baby wipes for the foreseeable future, I’ll be ordering another box or two of these!

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Homemade Water Wipes — No Chemicals, Just 3 Ingredients
Homemade Water Wipes — No Chemicals, Just 3 Ingredients


  1. Thank you for this post! I currently can’t find water wipes anywhere and my baby girl is having a terrible rash. This is a huge help!!!

    • I’m so glad this info is helpful for you! Best of luck in getting rid of your little one’s rash! 🙁

    • Hi! Coconut oil of any kind will work. It’s liquid once it reaches room (or body) temp.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. How did you dry the wipes after you stripped them? Did you hang them or put them in the dryer? Or could you just soak them right after you take them out of the wasing machine wet?

    • I dried them because I was concerned they wouldn’t absorb enough liquid right out of the washer, but that probably wasn’t a well-founded concern. 🙂

      I used the air fluff cycle on my clothes dryer to ensure they didn’t shrink.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Yes, I melted before mixing it with the water. You can either leave it out for it to melt at room temp, put it in the microwave for a few seconds, or melt it on the stove.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Hi, Christan,

      The recipe is included in the text:

      Soak the wipes with two cups of distilled water and two tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil (added to help keep baby’s skin moisturized).
      Store the wipes in a reusable wipes package.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi! I love this post!!! I work for Medline and just an FYI, the wipes have no chemicals. I have a stock pile of Pampers sensitive but I am making these as soon as I run through these.

    • Hi, Lindsey,

      Thanks for your comment and for clarifying about the wipes! We’ve had great success using them.

  4. Do the wipes stay wet for a long time after you make your solution? I’m going to attempt this, potentially buying the oxo diaper container as my holder, but just wanted to be sure you wet the whole stack at once and just stored them “Pre-moistened”. I’ve been wetting each dry cloth as needed. My baby benefits from this type of water wipe, but it’s not practical to always have a bowl of water nearby!

    • Hi, Laurie,

      I’ve found that as long as you don’t try to pack too many wipes into the container, they will stay moistened. Just like with store-bought wipes, you’ll want to keep some of the water-oil mix at the bottom of the container.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Hello! When You washed the store brand wipes to strip them, you said you washed them in 2 cycles. Did you do this with hot or cold water? Did you dry them or let them air dry? Thank you! We are having an almost identical experience. Fantastic idea!

        • Hi!

          I washed in hot water: Once with the Dawn, a second time with just water to make sure the dish soap was all rinsed out. (And as I told another commenter, I ran the washer with just water and a cup of vinegar afterward to make sure the Dawn was all cleared out.)

          I put them in the clothes dryer (air fluff cycle), then soaked them in the water/coconut oil solution. I’m sure you could skip the drying, but I was concerned the wipes wouldn’t absorb as much water/coconut oil if they still had some moisture from the wash in them.

          Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your wipes!

    • There’s likely to be some bleaching involved in the manufacturing. I always ran them through the washer on hot before applying my wipe solution. It might seem like a waste since they’re new, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
      I’m not certain what they’re made of, but the Amazon listing should provide that information.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Thank you! We’re still going strong with our DIY wipes made using the cloths from Amazon. We haven’t had any more problems with diaper rash, and we still have a ton of wipes left to use. Give it a try and please let me know how it works for you! 🙂

  5. This is an amazing idea! Why didn’t I think of this when my kids were little. I mean one of mine is still little so I can totally do this! Thank you!

  6. You don’t have to wipe a baby after they pee. That is a waste of wipes and time! I did with my first until the pediatrician said we didn’t have to. Pee is “sanitary,” as they say.

    • I’m not sure that’s something I’d be comfortable with skipping, but I appreciate the suggestion! 😊

    • I think the fact that she never got it was all luck!
      Since we started using the DIY wipes, diaper changes have gotten SO much better. She’s not nearly as fussy as she used to be.
      Also, the wipes are even much softer now that they’ve been washed. When I get the dry wipes from Amazon, I’ll be washing those, too, before I use them on Little One.
      Hope it works for you, and thanks for reading!

      • Did you wash the disposable wipes in the wash machine or dish washer? I would assume the wash machine but you mention dawn dish soap so I just want to be sure. Totally converting my stash of pampers to these water wipes!!

        • Hi! I used the washing machine. After I cleaned the wipes, I ran the machine with just water and a cup of vinegar. This helped to clear out the Dawn and clean the machine.

          Thanks for reading!

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