Thursday, July 31, 2008

Green Thrifty Thursday

A while back, Sparx posted about recycling/re-using her son's baby wipes. She would wash them after using them and gets at least a dozen uses out of them before throwing them away. At first, I just read it and moved on, but it stuck in my head. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it for myself.

Reading the fine print on the wipes packaging, did you know that most wipes are partially made of cotton and/or polyester? When I think about all the wipes we have gone through with 4 kids, that's a lot of cotton being used only once and then thrown away, piling up in the landfills.

I told the husband what I wanted to do, and he was all for it. So we took an old ice cream bucket and labeled it 'DIRTY WIPES' and started throwing used wipes in there. Really poopy wipes went into the trash, but the pee-pee wipes and lightly poopy wipes went into the bucket. It was filled up in about 2 weeks!

When it was full, I took the wipes and washed them with the laundry. I separated out the wipes from the clothes and then packed them in another clean ice cream bucket.

I added about 1 1/2 cups of water with a few drops of baby wash soap mixed in. After I got it as wet as I wanted, I labeled it 'CLEAN WIPES'.
I compared the washed wipes with a new wipe and they are still thick as ever, although a little bit furry from being washed. I can definitely see myself doing this permanently and getting more uses out of each wipe. This is good for me in several ways: I am helping to keep trash out of the landfill (reduce); I am buying less wipes and saving money (re-use); I am using the same wipes several times and using an old ice cream bucket (recycle).

Thanks, Sparx, for the great idea!


The WoodLand School said...

I just found your blog from Foothill Home Companion ... and I'm *thrilled* to be here : )

I would love to chat with you about your amazing financial success story (and get any "digging out of debt" tips you can offer)!

Wendy said...

This is a great idea!

I had the same thoughts when I was pregnant with my fourth baby, which prompted me to invest in cloth diapers, which we used for my last two babies. Loved them! And both girls were potty trained before they were two. I think it was the cloth diapers, which made them much more aware of their bodily functions ;).

We used cloth wipes, too. Since we were already washing the diapers, figured we might as well wash all of the wipes, too :).

Lantana said...

Your generation amazes me! No Baby Wipes when I raised my children. I used a warm wash cloth and rinsed it out a few times before I finally threw it into the regular wash. Now I carry travel packages of baby wipes with me in my car to wash my hands after shopping! I admit they are sooo handy, but there are other ways to save money. Nothing wrong with a warm washcloth! Wink, wink, from a great grandma and mother of 5 grown children. Thanks for listening!


Sarah and Jack said...

You can easily make your own too. I have blogged it more than once I think, but you just need to cut up either a yard of flannel or an old receiving blanket and use that. Wet them as needed, wash them like you are now, and they will last until the babe is potty trained for the grand investment of $1. (Flannel can be had for a dollar yard at walmart, and sometimes at the fabric store too.)

Sparx said...

Jenny - you're welcome! I put the poopy ones in the bath and rinse them and reuse them too... we've got a load of old flannels and I do use them sometimes too, not sure why I didn't go whole hog and just not bother with wipes at all!

Thanks for taking me up on this one, everyone else seems to think I'm bonkers - but I have a two year old son and we're on our 8th pack of wipes so we're not doing too badly.