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Diaper Wipes

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > What/Where to Buy > Diapers > Diaper Wipes



Alternatives to Wipes

July 2004

We need to stop using commercial diaper wipes and replace them with cloth, or paper, and plain soap and water. We'd prefer to find a disposable alternative to wipes for cleanliness reasons.

Our 23-month-old seems to have developed a sensitivity to the chemicals in the wipes so we are trying soap and water and paper towels. But the paper towels seem a bit rough and our daughters are still yelling when we wipe (there is no rash but they are uncomfortable). I read the website where many parents used washcloths, but we would rather use something we can dispose of in the diaper pail. We are changing two children and so poopy washcloths for both turned into a mess we fear is hard to keep sanitary while we store them before laundering.

I'm curious to hear from others who are using paper. We'd like to find the softest variety of paper or paper towel that is affordable. Hopefully the options out there are not fantastically expensive (like fancy dinner napkins for example?). Any advice or product recommendation is welcome!


We've had great luck with 2 kids (not one incidence of diaper rash) by using a small plastic pitcher filled with warm water and Viva paper towels (the softest) ripped in half (for less waste). We keep the water at a perfect temperature by wrapping a diaper wipe warmer around the pitcher. to finish off, we use a hair dryer/blow dryer to make sure they are completely dry. Works like a charm and we aren't using any chemicals! Nancy
This has been recommended before, but I would like to second it: Quickables. They are the soft paper towel like (but much thicker and softer) things you get at the hospital (at least at Alta Bates) when you have your baby. I order them online at diapersusa.com for about $3 for a package that lasts a month or two (I cut them each into 4 pieces to save money, 1/4 of a quickable is, I find, a good size) I order a bunch at once to save on shipping. My son is 7 months old and has never gotten any kind of diaper rash. I do use regular pampers wipes for outings, but you could just wet a few quickables and put them in a ziploc bag (you'd have to throw them out if you didn't use them that day, though). Anyways, I've tried both and quickables are much cheaper and better than wipes, in my opinion. As for wetting them, I keep a small dish of water by his changing table which I try to change twice a day or so (only clean quickables go into it); but my baby doesn't care if the water is cold, if yours does you might have to get fresh warm water every time. agellen@socrates.berkeley.edu
We have never used conventional wipes, and have found 2 alternatives that both work well. First, we went to the Crate & Barrel outlet on 4th Street in Berkeley and bought a coffee dispenser (~$15)- the kind they have in coffee shops where you press the lever and it pumps out a stream of liquid. We fill the container with warm water, place it on the changing table, and put an empty plastic container under it to catch overflow (this saves you from having to run to the tap to wet your wipes). Our two alternatives are (1) Bounty paper napkins (no printing on them, and can be easily found on sale at Target or Longs), and (2) Blue Shop Towels from Costco (designed for use in the garage, but amazingly soft and easy to dispense off a paper towel holder). Commerical Wipe-Free
Instead of diaper wipes, which weren't so much in use when my babies were little, I used to take a roll of toilet paper (the softest you can find) and remove the central tube, then soak it with baby oil, turning it over so it was really soaked. Just pull from the middle, and presto, clean bottom, nice smell, very cheap, inert ingredients vs perfumes and chemicals. Granted, it doesn't travel. I'd put a small lunch sized paper bag on the edge of the changing table with tape and dispose into there, or it can be flushed. I liked it a lot. I think this is a Vicki Lansky trick. . . Bonnie
When our son was a newborn, we used a very soft, cloth-like paper towel that we got from the hospital and wet them with plain water. I then found the same or a similar product at Baby World on College ave. They are packaged like napkins and are in the baby wipe section of the store. They are pretty big, so we just tore them into the right size. Hope this helps! Ariel
A softest paper towel I know of is the one by VIVA. VIVA fan
WHen our babe was little we used Viva papertowels (often on sale at Target) and hot water that we kept in a pump thermos (I think they have them at Costco occassionally). I'd fill up the thermos every morning or so. Viva papertowels are very soft, almost feel like cloth. Anita
I can't believe I'm posting a response because my child is now 18 years old, but one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was the following: Get a container that a roll of toilet paper will fit into. Gently work the center piece of cardboard out of the middle of the roll of toilet paper and put the roll into the container. Take some nice mild body oil and drip a bunch onto the roll so that it soaks down in to the toilet paper. Flip the roll over and put some more oil on. We used an oil with a slight scent. Use the toilet paper from the inside out. We used this method for all the diaper days, and I believe we avoided a lot of diaper rash. And when she had a rash, using the toilet paper with a little oil was gentle and soothing on her skin. We ended up using commercial wipes only when we left home. 18 years later
We used Viva paper towels, cut in quarters. Our doula recommended them. We bought a coffee carafe and put warm water in there 1-2x/day to use with the paper towels. It was a great system, then when our baby was 6 months old and we thought her sensitive skin stage had passed, we started using Kirkland unscented wipes from Costco, which we really like. It's more expensive, but now we are spoiled. By the way, Viva paper towels are really expensive, so we used them only as diaper wipes, and got cheapo ones for all other household purposes. We still use the Viva quarters to dry her off after we wipe her with the wipes. Anon
I just wanted to recommend that plain water is often enough and I think soap can be quite irritating to the baby's skin and would need to be rinsed off. When our babies had rashes we always switched from ''natural'' wipes (tushies, etc.)to plain water even for poops and it worked and cleared the rashes within 2 days. Some of the cloth diaper services may have a recipe for you of a homemade solution (something like a drop lavender oil in a half gallon of water, well I can't remember exactly but there should also be such recipes on the web) As for the paper cloths Alta Bates has plain soft ones shaped like large dinner napkins so you could try medical supply stores or call Alta Bates and beg for a source. anon
let the more natural type of wipes (with less chemicals in them) dry out, (leave the top off the box) then just wet them with water. it's kind of experimental but I found them less irritating that way. or a medical supply store. anon
What you want is Quickables. They're the dry wipes used on babies at the hospital. They are softer than paper towels and look kind of like napkins. You can order a case of them online (or get them at Johnson's (?) health care supplies on Shattuck, but they cost more there). We have used these, moistened with water when needed, almost exclusively (rather than packaged wet wipes) and our son has had very little trouble with diaper rashes. The quicker picker upper
our first born had a similar problem when he was very little -- his skin couldn't tolerate even the unscented, non-chemical etc. wipes -- and our pediatrician advised us just to put the little guy's private area under a faucet and wash him down, and then pat him dry. it turned out to be a lot less of a hassle (and a lot less icky) than we anticipated, and his beet-red bottom returned to its natural color in no time. maykutch
October 2003

Has anyone tried an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable wipes for infants/toddlers? Any advice is appreciated.


What about the simplest alternative at all -- a damp washcloth? Those little baby washcloths work very well. We had to do this with my son for most of his first year, as he has very sensitive skin and would react to the use of whatever chemicals they put in the wipes. True, you have to get used to running water over the washcloth before you get to the diaper table, but it doesn't take long to learn this new habit. The big advantage, other than no chemicals and no trash, is that you can warm the washcloth without any extra effort or gadgets! And unlike diapers, you don't really have to worry about extra laundry, because a few dozen washcloths can fit in any load without trouble. Oh, one other thing -- you need to put a couple of clean ones in a ziploc in the diaper bag, and change them every few days. Karen
We washed our own cloth diapers for 2 years and used those thin, baby washcloths for wipes (nice for her since we could use warm water on them). Generally it took one or two wipes at the most for a messy diaper change. If you aren't washing your own diapers, you might want to keep a small tub for the washcloths and wash them pretty often (every few days with lots of water on hot - with other linens is fine). That way the smell won't bother you and they won't dominate the laundry load. We kept between 10 and 20 in our supply. freyja
Baby washcloths with plain water work great. One caveat: when I stored mine in a warm wipe warmer they gave my son a rash, so keep them cold or wet them in the sink right before using. Catherine
Go to your local fabric store and by a yard or two of cotton flannel. cut flannel into ''wipe-sized'' squares. Keep these ''wipes in an old plastic wipes cotainer and add a solution of water a couple drops of lavender oil and a couple drops of tea-tree oil. your all set! -OR- go to any cloth- diapering website (just type in ''cloth diapers'' or ''cotton wipes'') you should be able to find organic cotton wipes, sometimes even hemp wipes and solution recipes (probably cheaper to just make your own!) Jessica
I have always used cloth wipes and have been completely happy with them. I also use cloth diapers and throw everything in the same pail and then in the wash. However you could very easily just throw wipes in a separate bucket if you weren't washing your own diapers. I use flannel square wipes. You can cut flannel into pieces (old sheets, fabric from store, etc.) If you don't feel crafty www.ecobaby.com has cloth wipes. Washclothes work too but are a tad rough on a newborn. Melissa
We've found that warm water and a flannel square work great as a baby wipe. The soap and chemicals aren't necessary to clean up a poopy diaper. I made 24 flannel squares (6'') and we wet them in the sink before we change our daughter's diaper. Some people fill a thermos with warm water each morning so that it's readily available. If you don't want to cut up a yard of fabric and hem it, you could also buy a couple packs of cheap baby washclothes. We wash the wipes with the rest of our regular laundry... Our baby is almost two now and we've found this to work just fine. I do have a ziplock full of pampers wipes in the diaper bag that I use when we're away from home. Candace
My wipes alternative? Wet cloths! You can buy big bundles of white wash rags at Costco. Use them whole or cut them in halves or quarters (depends on the size of the baby . . . and her poops!). Wet them with warm water before use & dump them right into the washmachine after use. Bleach them if needed. I even brought them with when going on excursions, already moistened. susan
My daughter is now 3 1/2 and out of diapers, and I can proudly proclaim that I bought maybe 4 packages of wipes her whole little life (used for changes on the go). What we did is bought bought several of those small baby washcloths; you can get them cheaply in a 6-pack or something at Target. We keep them in a little bin at the changing table. We also have a coffee carafe (also cheap from Target) filled with warm water (actually our daughter didn't mind and we were lazy so often we just used room temp water). For each diaper change, we just dampen a cloth, wipe away, and then toss the dirty cloth into a separate bin for washing. (I made the mistake of putting them with dirty baby clothes and things got a little moldy.) Just throw them in the wash when you do your baby laundry. The trick is to figure out how often you change diapers and you do laundry to make sure you buy enough cloths. It pays for itself in just a few weeks, and is NOT the hassle others might suggest. You can do it! Elizabeth
We cut up some soft cotton knit into squares and wet them with warm water from a large coffee-dispensing-type thermos (you know, it has a button you depress on the top and liquid comes out). We put the dirty wipes in a container and laundered them regularly. We got lazy with our second child and used regular wasteful paper towels and wipes. Molly G
Here is what we've used for our 5 month old since he was born: I take a large water bottle and add (1) a few drops of lavendar essential oil, (2) a few drops of tea tree oil, (3) a tablespoon of baby wash, (4) 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, and (5) a tablespoon of apricot oil. Then I add water until the bottle is full. I bought a bunch of soft wash cloths and just squirt some of the solution on them. I bought enough so that I only have to wash them about once per week. Rebekah
This worked for us beautifully: we bought about 30-40 cheap baby washcloths from Babies R US/Target/Walmart and kept them dampened in an electric wipe warmer. They fit perfectly! The washcloths run about $2.99 for 8, Baby trend brand I think, and just have a plain serged edge. We used the Gerber brand washcloth for the baby's other parts because they had a nice 1/4'' edging on them which made it very easy to tell which were wipes and which were real washcloths. I know they sell flannel/hemp/other cotton wipes but we found that we didn't really need anything highly absorbant. When we were done using them, we just placed them in a small open plastic container. Our baby is breastfed, so odor wasn't really an issue. If they were really messey, we rinsed them out and for a short while kept a small covered pail with plain water to soak them in. We washed them every day or two. I don't have a fancy washer, so I started the cycle on rinse, then ran a complete cycle when the rinse cycle finished. This worked great for us, was very economical and evironmentally friendly. When we took the baby out for short trips, we even packed a few in a ziplock bag and brought another ziplock labeled dirty for the used wipes. Good luck! Sian
For ''environmentally friendly alternative'' to wipes when my sons were in diapers we only used cloth diapers (5 years worth - cheaper and environmentally more friendly than ''disposables'') and stuck their butts in a warm sink of water. It was quick, cheaper, and less smelly than wipes and no big deal. When needed we used wash clothes with warm water, sometimes soap. Never had diaper rashes. Didn't even use baby powder. anon.
I use cloth wipes. You can make them or order them off ebay. There is a stay at home mom who makes them and sells them on ebay. I think I paid $16 for 48 wipes. That amount lasts for about 5 days and then you wash them. I make a diaper wipe solution using about a cup of water, a 1-2 tablespoons of some kind of oil (apricot kernal, almond, etc.), a few drops of lavender oil and a drop of tea tree oil. Then I pour the solution onto the wipes and keep them in a diaper wipe warmer. They work even better than the disposable wipes. I just wash them along with the cloth diapers. Or if you don't use cloth diapers, you can wash them on their own. love those wipes
I never used disposable wipes (and neither did any of our parents!). I just got a couple of dozen cheap, thin washcloths. I dampened them before using (maybe I kept a squeeze-bottle of water by the changing area - I can't remember now), and just tossed it in with the other baby laundry. For a poopy diaper, I used the diaper itself to start the cleaning, but if the washcloth got really icky, I rinsed it before putting it in the hamper. (Of course, if you are washing your own diapers, just wash the ''wipes'' along with them). I used jsut plain water - and never had trouble with rashes. R.K.
My oldest son had exczema so we really tried to avoid the wipes. The best solution was to invest in a TON of cotton baby washclothes and just use water. For trips out, we'd put the used cloths in a plastic bag and wash them when we got home. This worked quite well (I usually wiped the worst of the solids with tissue paper before cleansing with the washcloth - if at home and it was really a liquidy mess I might rinse him off in the bathroom sink and just disinfect the sink afterwards). If I thought he needed moisturizing - I'd use one of the hypoallergenic ones suggested by my doctor. For a two week trip back though I did buy the most ''natural'' disposables I could find and just paid the exhorbitant price. Karen H.
We use washcloths to wipe our children, instead of wipes. I keep a caraffe (with a button to press to make the water come out) and a small bowl next to the changing table. When it is time to change a diaper, I squirt a little water into the bowl, dip in the washcloth and wipe... The wet/soiled washcloth goes into a covered garbage can, lined with a plastic bag. The load gets washed as often as needed. As someone who thinks of herself as an environmentally aware person, this solution makes me feel really good. Not only am I not adding more trash to the landfills, this method is gentle to the skin. Michelle
We cut up an old flannel sheet for wipes, and we kept warm water next to the changing table in a coffee thermos (the kind with the pump). good luck! anon
When my daughter was a baby I used to carry moist washclothes in plastic bags to wipe her, as her skin was very sensative. It worked very well for the wet diapers, and was a little gross for poop. good luck - Mom of Tender Bottom
a hot water/coffee urn full of warm water near the changing table, and some small pieces of paper towels is what i've seen used a lot. a bit less of an impact. or you could use baby wash cloths or cut up cloth diapers. then you need to treat them as hazardous waste and would need to store and wash in the same way you would a cloth diaper. linda
We keep water in the wipe warmer and use little baby washcloths as wipes (sometimes we will first use a conventional wipe and then finish the job with a washcloth if it's a particularly messy one). I like the idea of using water on his bum instead of whatever it is they put in the wipes... anon
When our 2-year-old was a baby, his pediatrician told us to try with cotton balls and water... As an infant, we used a wet old towel. When he was able to stand up, we just washed him with soap and water in the bathtub. It has worked until now, and no more rashes! Cristina
It's easier to deal with non-disposable wipes if you are also washing non-disposable diapers, but yes, it's very easy to create an alternative to the commercial wipes. Make a solution of water, baby oil and gentle soap. You could probably come up with an exact recipe by Googling for it or checking some cloth diapering websites, but different people prefer different proportions. Then just use small washcloths, homemade flannel squares, or cloth diapers soaked in the water/soap solution to wipe. (Plain water also works perfectly well for many people.) Toss the used wipes in the laundry with your cloth diapers, or if you're using a diaper service, into a separate laundry pail.

If you like the idea of avoiding the commercial wipes but don't want to wash cloth ones, you can do the same thing with high- quality paper towels. You can even submerge a whole roll of the towels -- some people like to saw it in half -- into a tub of the right size and shape filled with your water/oil/soap mix, kept at your changing area, and then tear off one towel as needed. Holly


I'm not sure what you're worried about exactly... if it's the use of paper, then you could try keeping a few moist baby washcloths in a ziplock baggy, and another one to put the dirty ones in (I always just use water, no soap-type stuff required). If it's something in the solution on the wipes that you're concerned about, you could just use paper towels (the Viva brand ''cloth weave'' type are the only ones that are soft enough, in my opinion), wetted with water. Of course, these are not recycled paper, but the recycled paper is not soft enough for baby's nether-regions! I use a mix of washcloths and paper towels at home, depending on what's going on down there, and only use the wipes (Tushies brand) in the diaper bag, which cuts down a lot on wipes. anon
With my first child, I bought several dozen small cloth wipes from an on-line company called Barefoot Baby. I loved them -- just kept them dry to use at home, and put moist ones in a ziploc bag to put in the to-go diaper bag. We still have quite a few leftwhich my now 4 year old uses in her play kitchen. We have a new baby, and this time I'm just using non-chlorine-bleached and unscented wipes that I buy at Whole Foods. It was certainly less expensive and more ecological to use the cloth ones -- I may yet get around to ordering some more. Alysson
We just use pieces of cloth that we squirt w/ water for pee, and it works just fine, and it's really no trouble. We keep a little pail next to the changing table, and just wash them with the regular wash. We use regular wipes for poop, because it just seems easier & cleaner, but I'm sure you could also wipe w/ your own wipes this way for poop too, you'd just need to be a little more careful about the cleanliness of the pail. anon
up until our daughter reached one year old, we used cotton baby washclothes to clean her during diaper changes. we ran warm water over the washcloth before each use, rinsed it in the sink after each use, and hung it up to dry on the shower rod. we often re-used it throughout the day, and then started over again the next day with a clean cloth. when her poops changed as a result of eating solid food, we switched over to disposable wipes for the poopy diapers, but continued the wet washcloth routine for all other diaper changes. obviously, it's a lot of careful handwashing and sink sterilizing, but it was definitely worth it. also, since our baby was a winter baby, we believed the warm cloths must have felt much more comforting than a cold wipe during those first few chilly months of hers. pam
We use warm water washclothes. Most gentle on tiny bottoms. LogicalMama
We use bathroom tissues. Before each changing, we collect some warm water into a small container and bring to the change table. Then we dip folded tissues into water and wet half of it. Repeat with new tissues if needed and then use the last one dry to pat dry. You can flush the used tissues down the toilets. We only use wipes on trips or to cleanup messier bowel movement. I fold plenty of tissues in advance and place in boxes. To fold, I take some bathroom tissues of 5-7 squares long and fold twice. You do this no more than once a week. We found Northern bathroom tissues work quite well while wet. S. Z.
At home, I always used warm baby washclothes. When it was time to change baby, with the baby in my arms, I would grab a handful of washclothes, carry them to the sink, run them under warm water, then change his diaper. I also used cloth diapers(with a service), so I was regularly washing poopy diaper covers and these washclothes. I think my babies always appreciated the warm soft wipes on their bottoms and sensitive genitals. While out, I mostly used purchased wipes. eve
I bought some dry wipes at Baby World on Piedmont Avenue and then I got one of those coffee containers with the button on top that you press and liquid comes out of the spout. I filled it with water and put it in her room. It keeps the water warm and I always have it nearby to dampen the dry wipe. Gretchen
We just use wet paper towels with a little liquid Cetaphil on them and then dry the baby off with another paper towel. The Cetaphil helps condition the skin too, which helped when our baby had diaper rash. anon

A more natural brand of wipes?

Feb 2002

I was wondering if anyone knows of a more natural brand of baby wipes. My mom recently told me that some of the chemicals in wipes are bad for skin, particularly baby skin. She was referring to Propylene Glycol, the second ingredient in the Kirkland brand I use. I could use washclothes I suppose, but since I don't own my own W/D, that would be a lot of washing for two babies. Any suggestions of where I can find more natural wipes? Thank you Angela


Seventh Generation makes all natural baby wipes. I get mine at the El Ceritto Natural Grocery. I would imagine that Whole Foods carries them as well. Dinah
I think most of the time all you need is water. I used either a wash cloth, or since you don't have a washing machine, you can use the "cotton squares or rounds" they sell for makeup removal. They sell them at Costco pretty inexpensively, or at Long's, etc... Lucia
Make your own! It's cheap, easy and they work well. Here are some recipes, but you don't need all that oil. I make mine with out oil, and they work fine. I've also tried it with massage oil, and olive oil. I only us about 1.5 teaspoons of oil, a teaspoon of babysoap and 2 cups of water per box (or 1/4 a roll of paper towel). One important note- use Bounty, the extra strong stuff. Other wise, you'll have a mess on your hands! Rachel
There are two brands that the El Cerrito Natural Grocery sell, or if you are feeling ambitious you could even make your own solution. There is a great recipe at www.fuzbaby.com. I use the homemade solution with cloth, but you could also use heavy paper towels. You can add to it essential oil and it really smells nice, and its a pleasing alternative to the traditional baby wipe odor. Melissa
I made my own wipe solution for when my son was an infant, using about 2c water, 2 T olive oil. a drop of lavendar oil, and a drop of tea tree oil. Calendula oil is also helpful if your babies have rashes. I kept the solution in a wipe warmer and dipped clean cloth wipes in it. You can also use paper towels, although its probably worth buying the softest kind possible. The Tightwad Gazette suggests cutting the paper towel roll down the middle the long way removing the tube halves and then placing the stack of towels into the wipe solution. Now that my son doesn't poop more than once a day, I just wet a cloth in wam tap water..
We use Tushies brand natural baby wipes with aloe vera. The company claims that they contain only ingredients that are naturally found in plants and fruits. They are a bit on the pricey side, but we stock up when they go on sale at Berkeley Bowl. We are very happy with the quality of the wipes, and our son almost never gets diaper rashes (although I have no idea if the wipes have anything to do with that). Kathryn
I can tell you what works the best, but I don't know where to get them! Maybe someone else out there does-- the cloths they provide in the nursery at Alta Bates and also at Children's hospital are the softest paper goods I have ever felt! We've been unfortunate enough to have 3 hospital stays with our toddler, and I've learned to take all the packages I can get my hands on! They are plain white squares, folded twice I think and very thick and soft--they work great with warm water. They come in clear plastic bags with no labels at all, so I have no idea who makes them. I even called Alta Bates to ask where I can get them but they didn't know. If I ever find out where to get them I will stop using Huggies Wipes (Natural Care) altogether! Another great thing to take if you're ever admitted to Children's are those blue and white plastic changing pads--they put bags of them in each room and they really come in handy if your baby ever has diarrhea! Tracy
My older daughter had a negative reaction to all of the wipes. Now with my second baby, I always rinse the wipe in warm water before using it. This way, it is warm and chemical free. Mark
When we were in the hospital (Summit in Oakland) after delivering our son, the hospital supplied us with warm water and thick paper towels (very soft) that were disposable to use as wipes. I think they said that these could be found in a medical supply store. They held water well and did not irritate the baby's bottom at all. Perhaps you could call the hospital and find out what they were. Good luck! CBS
Try "Tushies." Lots of places have them, including Berkeley Bowl, Health Is in Alameda, and Citikids in SF. Or, you can go wipe-free. A pediatrician at my son's practice swears that if you just sit the baby's bottom in a tub of water or under running water to clean it, you'll never have problems with rash. Fill a wash tub with luke warm-water , gather up baby's clothes around their armpits, and sit them in it. Use your fingers to splash the water around to clean them, then pat dry. It's a little less convenient than wipes, so I use washclothes when I'm in a hurry, and Tushies while out & about. Katy
I have seen moms use paper towels dipped in warm water; I don't know about the chemicals in the paper towels.
Ruth Yaron's book "Super Baby Food" has a "recipe" for homemade paper wipes that I've used (and modified) Here's the modified version that I've been using for about a year and a half. The wipes pop-out (really!) and you can reuse the container indefinitely. (I use name brands where I've found there is a difference)

Cut a roll of Bounty paper towels in half and remove 
the paper tube core Lift up the flap that glues the 
outside sheet.  (You'll be using the paper from the 
inside out though.)

1 rubbermaid 10 cup container (2.4 liter size) with 
lid (score a "X" in the middle of the lid and cut out 
a hole approx. 1/2" diameter)

1 and 3/4 cups of water
6 drops of lavender oil
3 drops of tea tree oil
1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon of dr.bronner's castile soap
Slosh the water, oils and soap around, drop in the half 
roll of paper towel (it'll take about 20-30 minutes for
the water to be absorbed)
Pull out the center most towel an inch or so through 
the lid, snap in place.
River
Here's another person in favor of water and a soft cloth. We cut up a couple of old, very soft flannel sheets and we use these squares with water from a squeeze bottle when we need wipes. They are very soft on my son's bottom, very easy to just throw in the washer, and we always have plenty on hand. (For what it's worth, we do our own cloth diapers, too, and the wipes go in with the dipes, it's *way* easier than most people think.) Kristine
A regular wipe rinsed out in warm water cleans just fine, and has the added benefit of not freezing the baby's buns off. Jennifer
We were also impressed with the cloths they had at Alta Bates. Turns out they're called Quickables. We couldn't find them locally, so we ordered them from the web (do a web search for "Quickables") and use those, with warm water, as baby wipes. (The latest box isn't as soft as the first ones, though.) We keep a pump-top carafe (the kind they serve coffee in) on the changing table, filled with warm water, so we can easily wet the dry Quickables. Nomi
We were able to find Quickable's wipes (the really thick and soft paper wipes used at Alta Bates for diaper wipes) at the hospital supply place near the Berkeley Bowl.
About Quickables, Johnson's medical supply on Shattuck across from Berkeley Bowl has them. Just buy a whole bunch and you won't have to go often. Kitty

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