Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homemade baby wipes!

Oh my gosh!  I absolutely cannot believe that I waited this long to actually try making these homemade baby wipes.  I had heard about it and seen youtube videos about it, but just didn't feel like trying it out I guess. Mr.D was potty trained shortly after he turned 2yo.  (In case you're wondering, he WAS NOT ready, but I was.  He's a smart kid, so I did it.  I bought him some big boy undies, put em' on him and that was it.  No diapers during the day.  No pull ups. We went to the potty regularly, and sure he had some accidents but after about a week he got the hang of it.  Patience young Jedi....patience)  Nonetheless, he still wears a diaper during naps and at bedtime.  He just sleeps right through it.  So!  I do use the wipes when he's wet after the naps or in the morning.  I also like to keep some in the car for sticky fingers and what not.  You know what I'm talkin' about. So I got down to the bottom of my wipes container and thought, "you know what Mel, let's go ahead and try making some!"
A while back I had thought about trying this out so I bought the little travel size baby shampoo and baby oil specifically for this task.  Here we go:
OK, so I've really looked around, read other tutes, watched several videos, and essentially here is all you need.

  • A roll of good paper towels.  NOT a cheapy brand.  Apparently they're cheap for a reason.....they tear up easy.  I always buy the "tear-a-size" paper towels because the regular size is always way more than what I need.  The "tear-a-size" seemed to work really well for this project because they are well, just the right size when you pull them out.
  • A sharp long serrated knife, or a bread knife.  
  • A container to store your new homemade wipes.  I just re-used my old container.  Other folks have just used a plastic storage container that is large enough to house the new wipes.
  • Baby oil.  Some folks use olive oil or other special organic oil.  I just went with the basic baby oil.
  • Baby shampoo.  Some folks use special organic baby shampoo.  Really it's your own preference.  It's the gentle good smelling shampoo that you want.  I love the way Johnson's baby shampoo smells so that's what I got.  Honestly, any baby/kids shampoo would be fine. 
First you need to cut your roll of paper towels.  I originally cut mine in half, which is what ALL of the tutorial/videos say to do.  Well, when I got to where I put the 1/2 roll into my container, it didn't fit.  It was too tall.  I wanted to be able to pull the wipes out from the center hole.  You know, like you do the Clorox wipes?  So, I would suggest measuring how tall your container is.  In order for mine to fit into my old wipes container, I actually had to cut my roll into thirds.  Yay!  More wipes out of 1 roll!
My container is a little over 3 1/2 inches tall and a roll of paper towels is 11 in. long.  11 inches divided by 3 is a little over 3 1/2, so I measured 3 5/8 in. from both ends and mark.  Now get that sharp knife out and cut. Just an easy back and forth motion.  Like sawing a log.  Here is my post-cut picture.  Yikes!  Obviously my knife was not a sharp one.  Oh well, it's all the same.  Remember I originally cut my roll in half per original instructions.  I didn't take a picture of the new roll cut into thirds.  But you get the idea. Just remember if you're going to reuse your old container like I did, cut the roll into thirds! This half roll actually makes a perfect size napkin so I'm sticking it on my paper towel holder.

Next, you'll get a bowl and mix your ingredients.  Let me say that apparently there are large fatty rolls of paper towels, and then there are smaller regular rolls.  I guess the ones I buy are the large fatties.  I didn't realize. I say this because you'll need a little more sauce for the larger rolls.  My rolls actually say "Super Roll" in the top left hand corner.  For a regular roll you'll need:  1 cup of hot water, 1 TB shampoo, and 1/2 T oil.  For a fatty roll you'll need: 2 cups of hot water, 2 TB shampoo, and 1 TB oil.  (it's not rocket science, right?) Put your water, oil, and shampoo into the bowl and stir.  Set one of the cut rolls into the container you're going to store them in.  Now you'll pour your mixture all over the cut roll.  Just try to evenly soak the roll.  Close the lid and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  After the 10 minutes go back and turn your container upside down.  This is just to make sure that the paper towels soak up all of the liquid.  Honestly, it should have all soaked in during the first 10 minutes.  The flip and do 10 min more is just to make sure.  Anyway!   Here is a picture of my roll after it's been soaked.

You'll notice in my soaked image, the center cardboard piece is gone.  That's the next step.  Since it's soaking wet, you should be able to pull it out pretty easy.  This can be tricky because it may tear into a few pieces at first, but no big deal.  Just stick your fingers in there, pull it away from the edges, grab it, and pull it out.  You know how when you use a roll of paper towels, that last paper towel is kind of stuck to the cardboard tube?  Well, it's still stuck.  So when you pull that cardboard piece out, you'll have you're center paper towel pull out with it.  Yay!

Here are my ready to go homemade wipes in the container with that center piece ready to poke through the top of the container.  They pull right on out one by one with ease.  Pretty easy, huh?  If you've got some friends that use regular wipes all the time, maybe you can ask for their empty wipes containers when their done.  Either make all 3 at once, or put the other 2 cut rolls in your commissary  for when you run out of roll no.1.  (Please don't let me word commissary fool you into thinking I'm one of those food hoarders.  We have an extra little closet in our house where we store any and all extra stuff.  Nothing to write home about.  Just some extra toothpaste/toothbrushes/floss/soap/lotions/tp/paper towels/etc.)
So that's it!  Homemade baby wipes for the baby or to keep in the car for messy kiddos.
It took me all of maybe 10 minutes labor time to make these things.  Again, I wish I would have started making them a long time ago.  I try to keep my paper towel purchases at no more than .75 per roll.  When they're on sale, .50 all day and twice on Sunday.  The baby oil and wash cost me a couple of bucks for the travel sizes, but a lot of us already have that stuff on hand anyway.  Not only that, but I only used a few Tablespoons from each and there's tons left to make who knows how many more containers of wipes.  Better yet, get the regular size bottles from the dollar store!  Oooh!  Even bigger savings!  ChaChing! All that being said,  I figured out that my homemade wipes cost me no more than .68 cents, and that's estimating pretty high.  I think this makes a great side gift for a baby shower.  Print out the basic instructions, tie it onto a string, attach it to the container, and she'll save tons of money for several months, maybe even years to come.  OK, maybe not TONS of money, but a significant little chunk anyway. Sass it up if you want and make a cute basket out of it along with a pack of diapers, the rest of the baby oil, shampoo, a cute Tablespoon for measuring, and on and on I could go.  Happy Day!

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