How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes

Infants are messy.  And cleaning up their, well, messes, can get costly if you use store-bought wipes.

Our homemade baby wipes cost a fraction of what we'd pay in store.

Making wipes is easy - less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

Additionally, we were surprised and pleased with how soft, yet durable homemade baby wipes could be. And, since they don’t contain any alcohol, they don’t exacerbate the pain of diaper rash.

homemade baby wipes

Cost Comparison

Kids' expenses add up quickly. As frugal parents, we had to watch every penny. For us, the savings we reaped was worth the few extra minutes of work each month.

We were spending on average $1.79 for a 88-count store-brand pack of baby wipes. Then we started making our own from paper towels. 

Typically, we pay $2.47 for a 193-sheet roll of Bounty paper towel, which we cut in half, doubling the number of wipes we get to 386. 

We buy the name-brand because it tends to be softer on sensitive baby skin than the tree bark economy variety, but if you go this route you can save even more money.

It costs us about $1.24 ($2.47 roll, cut in half) per batch for the paper towels.

To make the wipe solution, we combine a teaspoon of baby soap, a teaspoon of baby oil (with vitamin E and aloe) with two cups water in an old plastic food container from our local big box store. However, any appropriately sized plastic-ware container with a tight-fitting lid will work.


The store-brand of baby oil costs us on average $2.47 for 20 fl oz., which equals 120 teaspoons, costing about $0.02 per batch ($2.47 / 120 teaspoons).

The store-brand baby shampoo costs us an average of $2.98 for 28 fl oz, which equals 168 teaspoons or, again, about $0.02 per batch ($2.98 / 168 teaspoons).

Cost Per Wipe

1 batch homemade baby wipes = $1.28 ($1.24 in paper towel + $0.02 in baby oil + $0.02 in baby shampoo)

Homemade baby wipes = $0.007 per wipe ($1.28 / 193 wipes)

Store bought baby wipes = $0.02 per wipe ($1.79 / 88 wipes).

Total Dollar Savings

$0.007 per wipe vs. $0.02 per wipe doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but the store-bought wipes are 3X more expensive than the homemade version.

If you use one pack of store-bought wipes per week, per child in diapers, that is 52 packs per year.

When we had two children in diapers, we were using on average 104 packs per year, or 9,152 wipes (104 x 88 wipes per pack), which cost us $186.16 (1.79 x 104 packs).

But after we started making our own wipes, we only spent $64.06 for the same amount of wipes ($0.007 per homemade wipe x 9,152 total wipes used in 1 year).

That’s a savings of $122.10!

Homemade Baby Wipes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. baby shampoo
  • 1 tsp. baby oil
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ roll of paper towel

Materials

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • 10" kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • 1 three-quart plastic container with lid

Directions

homemade baby wipes

1. Combine baby shampoo, baby oil and water in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly with a whisk.

homemade baby wipes

2. Cut a roll of paper towels in half using a very sharp, straight-edged kitchen knife. (A serrated blade works, but is a rough cut and leaves paper towel bits everywhere.)

homemade baby wipes

3. Insert the ½ roll of paper towels in the plastic container.

4. Pour liquid into plastic container, over the paper towels.

5. Let soak in for 5 minutes.

homemade baby wipes

6. Once the liquid is fully absorbed by the paper towels, pull out the cardboard tube. (Note: if the cardboard tube doesn’t easily release, sprinkle a little water over the towels until they’re fully damp. Wait another 5 minutes and try again.)

homemade baby wipes

7. To use, pull the towels up through the center of the roll.

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