Today my blog was going to be about making your own baby wipes. After researching the topic, I have a few cautions about those DIY baby wipe recipes that you see on the internet.
First I would like to discuss why all of those recipes exist in the first place. Most major brand baby wipes are filled with ingredients you would probably never use on yourself, and you certainly don't want them on your new born baby. But there are so many other concerns that come with a newborn that wipe ingredients are sometimes an afterthought.
Here are the ingredient list for some major brand wipes. I would see these products at the market and think, without reading the ingredients, that they were natural wipes. Clearly they are far from natural.
Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes
Water/Agua/Eau, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyglycerin, Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polypropylene, Rayon, Lyocell
Pampers Natural Clean Wipes
Ingredients: Water, Tocopheryl Acetate*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, BIS-PEG/PPG-16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipropylene Glycol. *Vitamin E
Huggies Cucumber and Green Tea Wipes
Ingredients: Water, Potassium Laureth Phosphate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Malic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Fragrance
Huggies Natural care Baby Wipes
Gentle Ingredients: Water/Eau/Aqua, Amodimethicone, Polysorbate 20,Sodium Methylparaben, Malic Acid, Sodium Lauryl GlucoseCarboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Methylisothiazolinone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, (Vitamin E is in the Form of Tocopheryl Acetate
All is not lost, there are some great products on the market that are natural, well as natural as a baby wipe can be. My personal favorite is the Honest Wipes. The cloth wipe itself is very substantial. Meaning you use less wipes per clean up which is good because they are $4.95 for 72 wipes.
Purified Water, Citric Acid, Silver Dihydrogen Citract, Decyl Glucocide,Sodium Citrate, pomegranate Fruit Extract, licorice Root Extract, Chamomile Extract, Cucumber Extract, Masterwort leaf Extract
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes
Ingredients: Water, cocamidopropyl pg-dimonium chloride phosphate (plant-derived conditioning agent), citric acid (plant-derived pH adjuster), quillaja saponaria wood extract (plant-derived cleansing agent), aloe barbadensis extract (plant-derived emollient), tocopheryl acetate (synthetic antioxidant), sodium benzoate (synthetic preservative).
Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes
Ingredients: Water, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Vegetable Oil, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-2-Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glyceryl Oleate, Dicaprylylcarbonate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry) Seed Oil.
Some people turn to DIY wipes to save money or to avoid toxic ingredients. The problem that I have with these recipes is that some of them also contain questionable ingredients like mineral oil. Some recipes tell you to use essential oils that may not be safe for newborns I am also concerned about preservatives.
When wipe recipes call for grapefruit seed extract, they usually tell you it's optional. It is the preservative within the grapefruit seed extract that would supposedly be the preservative for your product. If this is left out there is no preservative at all. Grapefruit seed extract is a good antioxidant but not a preservative.Vitamin E is not a preservative it is also an antioxidant. It will keep oils from going rancid but will do nothing for a water based product.
All water based products need to be preserved. Bacteria love to grow in water. You probably wont be keeping your wipes in the refrigerator. A warm environment would causing bacteria to grow even faster. At some point in time I would expect for human waste to be introduced into the wipe solution by way of your hands inadvertently touching the product. A lot of nasty stuff could be growing in your product that you wouldn't even be able to see.
My conclusion, baby wipes definitely need a preservative, even if they are made at home.