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Monday, August 5, 2013

Baby Wipes

After poring over no fewer than 20 different "recipes" for homemade baby wipes, I decided to just combine the best aspects of a few recipes and make up my own!  Here is what I came up with:

What you'll need:
1 Tbsp olive oil (or melted coconut oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil)
1 Tbsp baby wash (whatever kind you use--pictured here is California Baby Lavender and Tea Tree Oil shampoo and body wash)
1.5-ish C warm water
Tea Tree Oil
Lavender Oil
Select-a-Size type paper towels
Container to fit 1/2 the height of the roll of paper towels (pictured here is ClickClack 3.5 qt container from Target--$14.92)

First, let me explain just a few things about the ingredients.  The essential oils are technically optional; however, USE THEM.  If you can only use one of them, use tea tree oil.  The tea tree oil will keep away any mold that could potentially grow in the container.  The container is a very humid environment--mold's favorite place to grow.  In most baby wipes that you buy, the mold is kept away from the alcohol they put in the wipes...but we don't want to use alcohol, so we use tea tree oil instead.  It is naturally an antiseptic, an anti-fungal, and infection-reducing.  That means that it will also help with diaper rash (getting it to go away AND keeping it away), eczema, and any sort of skin inflammation.  Lavender oil shares some of those same properties (and it just smells good!).  It is an antiseptic, an analgesic (pain killer), and a cicatrizant (promotes healing through scar tissue), among other things.  That means lavender oil can help with eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, scabies, and myriad other skin problems.

As for paper towels, pick whatever brand you want to...but make sure they're the "select-a-size" type.  Here is what I know about paper towels: much like toilet paper and cheese, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  I paid less than $1.50 for the pictured roll of Viva paper towels.  However many towels the package says it has, you'll be getting twice that many wipes...just make sure that unless you have a wide container, you don't want one of the double rolls.  

So how do you make them?

Get out your cutting board and a sharp knife!  Some recipes said to make sure you use a serrated knife, but I had no problem with a flat-edged knife.  It just needs to be sharp.  Lay the roll of towels on their side.  Now saw away until you're all the way through.  Now you have something that looks similar to two rolls of toilet paper.

In a glass measuring cup that holds at least two cups, add 1.5 cups of warm/hot water.  Add in the baby wash and oil.  For the essential oils, I used about 10-12 shakes of the tea tree oil and 15 or so shakes of the lavender oil.  It'll look really pretty like this:
At this point, I put the liquid into another container with a tight fitting lid, and shook it around to mix the oils up a bit.  In retrospect, I would probably add all of the oils, shake it up, and THEN add the body wash.  It got a little foamy!  Oh well.

Put one half of the paper towel roll into the container, cut side down.  Pour the liquid over the towels slowly.  I tried to get a good amount around the center and the edges so it could soak in from both sides.  If your towels are still really dry, feel free to add a little more water.  It'll look like this:
That yellowing is the olive oil.  See how the cardboard tube is pulling away?  Once it's pretty wet, you can pull it out of the center.  The towel that is attached to the tube can be pulled out of the middle.  This is where you'll pull the wipes from.  Now put the lid on and let them continue to soak for awhile.
I used these today and they work wonderfully!  The only thing I would change is that I would add maybe an extra 1/2 C warm water at the end.  I like my wipes a little more wet than these were--you know, for the demon adorable poops that come out of the toddler.

Have fun and happy wiping!