The average baby will use around 2,500 nappies in their first year. Let’s be conservative and say you’ll use one disposable wipe for each nappy change (which if you’ve ever used a disposable wipe for a dirty nappy you’ll know that’s unrealistic!). Using the cheapest wipes I could find in my supermarket that will cost you a minimum of £25 for the first year. If you wanted anything branded or with less chemicals the cost could easily rise to £100+ per year.
A generous set of cloth wipes should cost you no more than £40. That’s all you’ll ever need. No matter how many wipes you use per change, how long your child is in nappies for, or how many children you have.
🧻 Will save you at least £200 (even after the cost of purchasing a set). More if you use them for hands/faces. And double for using on subsequent children.
🧻 The cost of washing is basically zero as you add then to existing wash loads (nappies ideally if you’re using them). But it’s such a tiny proportion of a wash load.
🧻 Can be repurposed as family cloth or cleaning cloths after toilet training.
🧻 Reduced need to buy nappy creams. My eldest always got rashes from disposable wipes. (We ended up using cotton wool and water for months and months.) As a result I’ve tested a lot of nappy creams.
The vast majority of disposable wipes contain micro plastic fibres. They cannot be flushed like toilet paper can, and are the cause of over 90% of sewer blockages. These blockages create overflows which results in plastic being spilled into our waterways. If sent to landfill, disposable wipes can take 100 years to degrade. When you consider that in the UK we get through 11 billion wipes a year you can begin to see the scale of the problem.
There are loads of cloth wipes available now. From big brands to WAHMs. Or your can make your own from an old towel (for even more environmental brownie points!). They all do the same job really, and they all do it well.
Having now tried a handful of different brands of cloth wipes, I have now linked my thoughts on some popular options from this page (Eco products > Cloth wipes > select brand).