Are Cloth Wipes Worth It? Benefits, Functionality, and Cost Savings

Are Cloth Wipes Worth It? Benefits, Functionality, and Cost Savings

If you're a parent, you've probably faced the never-ending need for baby wipes during diaper changes (or for cleaning up sticky hands, faces, counters, *insert every other surface ever here*🙃).  While disposable wipes have been the go-to choice for many, cloth wipes have been gaining popularity for their eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and superior performance. (not to mention, they’re even easier to use than you’d think!) In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of cloth wipes, including their effectiveness, cost savings, and environmental impact, using real-world comparisons with popular disposable wipes.

But first, a quick message from Liz, one of Esembly’s Co-Founders:

Cloth wipes are AWESOME! And I feel like I really am in the position to say this with confidence because I was a late convert to cloth wipes. For whatever reason I felt like they were too much and opted for disposable wipes with my first. But for my second baby I went for it and I can tell you, there is no comparison! Not only do cloth wipes function better than their disposable counterpart (which are never big enough or wet enough for those really messy diaper changes) but they will save you a bunch of money. For like $40 you can buy all the wipes you’ll need from birth - potty training instead of pack after pack of disposable wipes each week. AND the wipes just get tossed right into the laundry with your diapers so it’s no extra work for you! Cloth wipes are THE BEST way to get your baby’s bum clean without getting your hands dirty.

Ok, back to our post. Here’s what makes cloth wipes so magical:

Superior Functionality

One of the most noticeable advantages of cloth wipes is their superior functionality. Disposable wipes often fall short when dealing with those particularly *ahem* messy diaper changes. And a lot of the time, trying to mop up that big poopy mess with a thin disposable wipe leaves poop just as much elsewhere as it does on the wipe. Cloth wipes, on the other hand, are larger and more effective at cleaning up the mess. (picture below for reference!) Along with their larger size, the natural fibers used are more absorbent, meaning you can get more mess cleaned up with fewer wipes! In short, disposable wipes are never large enough or wet enough to tackle those really messy changes. Cloth wipes, on the other hand, are big like a wash cloth and can be dampened as much as you need them to be for the mess at hand.


Cloth vs synthetic baby wipes

More Gentle for Sensitive Baby Skin

Using cloth wipes is undeniably more gentle on delicate baby skin compared to disposable wipes, primarily because they lack the potentially harsh additives (alcohol, fragrance, preservatives, synthetic surfactants, etc) found in most disposable wipes. These unnatural ingredients can dry out and irritate sensitive skin, leading to rashes and discomfort. In contrast, cloth wipes allow you to control what comes into contact with your baby's skin. When paired with a gentle and natural wipe solution (we have one we kinda like 😉 which we’ll get to in just a moment!), cloth wipes provide a hypoallergenic and chemical-free option, reducing the risk of skin irritation and allergies. Not to mention, organic cotton always comes out on top for softness! 

Now, about that organic wipe solution we mentioned. We developed our Wipe Up Wash + Foamer Kit to be used with our Wipe Ups. Every ingredient in our Wipe Up Wash formula was carefully selected for its gentle and nourishing qualities, ensuring that your baby's delicate skin is well-cared for. With organic sunflower seed oil, organic coconut oil, and soothing organic shea nut oil, this formula provides hydration, protection, and a gentle cleansing experience (and it’s no-rinse, too!) Here’s how it works: 

  1. Mix up a bottle of Wipe Up Wash using the foamer bottle, the Wipe Up Wash Concentrate included in your kit and water. There are handy fill lines right there on the bottle to make it super simple. Store somewhere you can easily access at your changing table. (Discard and mix up a new batch if not used within 7 days*) 
  2. Store the cotton Wipe Ups clean and dry** in your changing area, making them readily accessible during diaper changes
  3. When changing your baby, grab a fresh cloth wipe and pump 4-6 pumps of foam onto it from the Wipe Up Wash solution. Give it a gentle squeeze to distribute the solution and then wipe down your baby.
  4. If you prefer, you can pat your baby dry with a fresh cloth wipe after cleaning, providing extra comfort and care.
  5. Toss the used cloth wipes in your Pail Pouch (or pail/wet bag), which can be laundered along with your cloth diapers. No additional work necessary! (you can read more about our recommended wash routine here! *include link to how to wash blog*)

    Pro Tip: The Wipe Up Wash can also be used at bath time as a hydrating body soap AND it is perfect for cleaning sticky toddler hands and messy faces when on the go.

    *​The reason for discarding any unused Wipe Up Wash after 7 days is simply to avoid bacteria growth. The Wipe Up Wash Concentrate is actually good for up to 4 years, but once water is added to the mix of natural, organic ingredients (with no synthetic preservatives), its shelf-life becomes just like that of any other perishable goods you might have in your kitchen.

    **We DO NOT recommend storing pre-moistened wipes for longer than 12-24 hours as doing so can create breeding ground for bacteria.. If you think you’d use them within that time window, go for it! Otherwise, we’d recommend storing the wipes clean and dry and wetting them with the Wipe Up Wash Foamer right before use.

    Cost Savings

    Perhaps the most compelling reason to consider cloth wipes is the significant cost savings they offer. Experts advise that you should plan to budget at least $1000+ for diapers and $200+ for wipes in your baby’s first year alone! For about 40 bucks you can get all the wipes you’ll need for the entire time your little one is in diapers. Any easy $250+ saved if you ask us. Check out how reusable Wipes Ups stack up against their disposable counterparts:

    (updated 2023)


    • Wipe Count: 768
    • Price: $22.99
    • Price per wipe: $0.03
    • Lasts for: 38.4 days

    Total cost for 365 days: $218.52

    Pampers Pure

    • Wipe Count: 560
    • Price: $27.99
    • Price per wipe: $0.05
    • Lasts for: 28 days

    Total cost for 365 days: $364.87

    Water Wipes

    • Wipe Count: 720
    • Price: $45.99
    • Price per wipe: $0.06
    • Lasts for: 36 days

    Total cost for 365 days: $466.29

    Esembly Wipe Ups

    • Wipe Count: 36 (3 packs)
    • Price: $43.50
    • Price per wipe: $1.20

    Total cost for 365 days: $43.50 (+ they’ll last for years to come!) 

    Environmental Impact

    Disposable wipes, often laden with non-biodegradable materials and chemicals, collectively have a significant environmental footprint. Their production (the actual wipes PLUS their wasteful packaging) consumes resources, and their disposal contributes to landfill waste and pollution. Not mention the energy used to transport this heavy, single-used product from factory to store to your home. 

    On the other hand, cloth wipes are landfill free! They're reusable, which means less waste and a smaller carbon footprint. By choosing cloth wipes, you're making a meaningful contribution to our planet's well-being. Every eco-conscious choice counts and no decision for the planet is too small. It's a simple switch that carries significant environmental benefits, underscoring the power of even the smallest actions in our collective effort to protect and preserve the environment. 

    So, is it worth it? 

    We sure think so! Cloth wipes are an excellent choice for parents looking to save money, improve functionality, and minimize their environmental impact. While they may require a small initial investment, the long-term cost savings are undeniable. Cloth wipes, when paired with a Wipe Up Wash Kit, offer convenience, superior functionality, and sustainability. So, if you're still on the fence about cloth wipes, grab a pack of Wipe Ups and give them a try — you just might be a late convert too 😉 Making the switch to cloth wipes can be a small change with big benefits for both your wallet and the planet.

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    Want to learn more about Cloth Diapering?

    Our co-founders host a free, virtual, Cloth Diapering 101 class every month to help cloth-curious parents get all the tools and information they need! You’ll learn:

    • How to use the Esembly diapers and accessories 
    • How to easily and effectively launder your Esembly diapers
    • The impact that your choice has on the planet, your wallet, and your day-to-day. 

    You'll leave with the confidence to Live Less Disposably and a 20% discount code to use on your first order. 🥳 We hope to see you there!

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