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The majority of wet wipes sold contain plastic which means they never break down.
People use wet wipes for a variety of different reasons including wiping baby’s bottoms, taking off makeup and cleaning the house. Whatever you are using them for the good news is that there are lots of eco-friendly alternatives to the store bought wet wipes.
Use A Flannel
Flannels have gone out of fashion over the last 20 years or so but they’re starting to make a comeback! You can use them for a multitude of different uses and they last for a really long time.
They’re perfect for cleaning sticking fingers, wiping bottoms, taking off makeup, cleaning your house, the list is endless. The other plus point of flannels is that they’re cheap and easy to clean. Simpy stick them into your normal wash.
We use flannels at home and love them.
Reusable Baby Wipes
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative to baby wipes then reusable baby wipes are the way to go. You can buy packs of wipes or you can buy a baby wipes kit. The ones I would recommend are from a company called Cheeky Wipes.
You can find out more about how these reusable wipes work in my blog post here: Cheeky Wipes Review – Reusable Wet Wipes
Reusable Face Wipes
As well as baby wipes Cheeky Wipes also sell reusable face wipes for taking off your makeup or just washing your face. Again, you can either just buy the wipes or buy a kit.
Personally, I just bought the wipes and then I use coconut oil to take off my makeup. To use them I simply put hot water in my sink and soak a wipe in the water. I then put some of the oil on my face on the areas that I want to remove my makeup and use the wipe to rub it off.
Make Your Own ‘Ready To Go’ Wet Wipes
If you don’t want to buy reusable wet wipes then you can make your own using old clothes, cloths or material that you have at home.
What You Need:
- A box with a lid to store your wipes in. If you already have tupperware boxes they work really well or you could even reuse a plastic takeaway container. You can also store your wipes in glass jars with lids.
- Essential oil of your choice
- Cut your material into squares (5”x5” is a good size for makeup wipes)
- Pour water into your container (not too much) and add a few drops of your essential oil
- Put your wipes into the box and turn them over a few times to soak them in the solution.
- Squeeze out the wipes to remove any excess water.
- Then store your wipes in your container with the lid on.
- The wipes are now ready for you when you need them.
When you’ve used your wipe throw it in your washing basket ready for the next wash. They can go in with your other items.
Compostable Sponge Cloths for Cleaning
If you have been using wipes for cleaning your home then an alternative is to start using *compostable sponge cloths.
I recently bought some from a company called Boobalou which is run by a lovely lady called Jo. She sells a whole range of eco-friendly and zero waste products for your home so definitely go and check out her website.
The sponges are made from natural renewable raw materials, cotton, wood pulp and flax. They are a lot more absorbent than the supermarket sponge cloths and are also plastic-free so no microplastic pollution going down your drain either.
To use them you get them wet, squeeze out any excess then wipe down whatever surface needs cleaning. You’ll also need to use a cleaning product with them.
I have been using mine for a while now and I love them! They hold a lot of water, are very durable and best of all they don’t release microplastics. When your sponge has come to the end of its life it can be composted.
Check out my natural homemade cleaning products here
Check out my Plastic Free Washing Up tips here
Reusing Old Clothes
If you are currently using wet wipes for cleaning your home then a good alternative is to make cleaning rags from old clothes and material.
Simply cut the material up into manageable squares and use them for everything from dusting to cleaning your bathroom.
Not only will this save you money as you’ll be reusing items that you already have in your home but it will also help to reduce the amount of waste you produce.
Don’t Be Fooled!
Don’t be fooled by ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ wipes. Although there are a few brands out there that do make biodegradable and compostable wipes is not always so clear cut. A lot of the wipes need special conditions to break down which most people don’t have in their home composter.
Of course if you have no other option then do opt for the biodegradable or compostable ones over the ones that contain plastic but please remember no wipes are flushable even if it says they are on the packet! The only thing that should go down your toilet is waste from you and loo roll, that is it!
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.