Homemade Baby Wipes

I began making my own baby wipes when my eldest was a few months old. But only this year have I got it down to a science, so I thought I’d share my method with you.

You’ll need Olive Oil, Baby Shampoo, Paper towels, and a wiper container to store them in.

A note on the paper towels: Viva brand paper towels are reportedly the best for baby wipes, but I just use the best brand BJ’s sold. I bought a 12 roll package of Bounty paper towels for $17 back in September, and I do believe it’s gonna last me over a year. Compare that to Huggies Flushable Wipes (my preference over regular baby wipes for their size and portability) which would cost me aprox. $100 a year. Plus, I don’t have to worry about all the fragrances and alcohol and stuff they put into store bought wipes. Whatever brand you choose, you will need the towels that tear into thirds.

To start, I rip a whole roll of paper towels into individual sheets (this is a quick chore every month or so). Then when I’m ready to make a batch of wipers, I take a stack of these and begin folding them. I used to just bend the whole hunk together so it fit into the container, but I found a little more time spent at this point in the process means way more convenience each time I change a diaper. So I fold them like this…


Here’s my stack, sized to fit my little wipes container.


I fold the towels accordion style, overlapping each new sheet about 3/4 an inch.

I know this may seem a bit finicky, but it really only takes a few minutes, and it’s worth it. They will pull out of the container in a continuous supply, just like kleenex.

Next, I put a little water on to boil – about 3/4 is usually enough for the amount of wipers I fold.

When the water has boiled, I add a tablespoon each of the olive oil and baby shampoo. This makes the wipers soft and, well, ‘wipeable’. I place my stack of folded towels into a loaf pan, and pour the water over top. Whisk the mixture well right before you pour it over to blend the oil in. Then I just let them set on the counter till they’re cool enough to pack away into my container.

I love the Huggies flushable wipes container – it’s small enough to throw into the diaper bag, and super convenient. With the pop up lid and my patented folding technique, grabbing a wiper in the middle of a messy diaper change is as easy as 1-2-3 and only requires one hand. For Jesse, I use a whole wiper, folded in half for nice thickness. Claire’s diaper changes are tidier and I only use a half a wiper at a time. The towels tear in half a lot easier than store bought wipes, so being thrifty with them is easier.

I’m totally sold on making my own wipes, especially now that I can make them as good as store bought, without paying the price!

Check out this follow-up post in which I answer questions and show my new method for bulk wiper storage!

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50 responses to “Homemade Baby Wipes”

  1. Lara Avatar

    Seems like you could take the wipes(after adding your choice of oils & etc)and seal them in a zip lock bag or other container & put in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them! Then they will be nice & cool to the skin & you should have no musty or bad odor. Try it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lonni Baird Avatar
    Lonni Baird

    Thank you for this recipe! These wipes are so soft and gentle. It’s worth the time putting them together, which really isn’t much time at all. My butt is forever grateful! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Tundra Avatar

      Thanks Lonni, your comment made me smile:)

  3. Carolina Avatar

    Can I flush those wipes down the toilette? Thank u

    1. Trina Avatar

      I don’t think that’s the best idea, as they are made with the sturdiest paper towels.

  4. Kelly Avatar

    Thank you for the recipe! I live in Key West where the weather is always humid. I make mine with Organic Coconut Oil and Dr. Bronner’s Baby Wash. Both inexpensive and last FOREVER! I also add, 2 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil and 2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and I have never had a problem with a bad smell, and mine have lasted for over a month.

  5. Alessandra Avatar

    I have made two batches of wipes so far using earth mama angel baby wash, boiled water, oil (once olive and the next organic baby oil) and lavender essential oil and both times they got a weird smell after about a week! I don’t see any mold and it’s not really a moldy smell, honestly it smells more like pot. What could I be doing wrong? I was amazed when I read that you keep yours up to a month!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Wow, Alessandra, I have no idea! Maybe try a different baby wash? What are you storing them in?

      1. Alessandra Avatar

        Thank you so much for replying! I really want this to work. Mostly because I hate all the bad stuff in store-bought baby wipes and the healthy ones are so expensive! The first time I used California Baby wash and it had the same smell. I store it in a recycled wipes container. Could it be the lavender? I think I’ll try a batch without it. I also thought about adding vinagar or tea tree oil.

  6. Ashley Avatar

    I want to try this recipe, but I have to admit I’m worried about the flushing aspect. Was SUPER gung-ho until I couldn’t find your site, got redirected, and read really awful comments on another bloggers recipe about them stopping up toilet. My thought process is that the oil and HOT water would help aid in the flushing process, but I guess we’ll see. It can’t be worse than the kids from church coming over and trying to flush an entire ROLL of tp down! As for the olive oil on the face, there’s actually a “wash your face with oil” challenge, you wash with castor, olive, and sunflower, I believe. It’s a nice moisturizer and in these amounts will be beneficial! Thanks for posting, I’m off for another adventure…

  7. Eventlookforless Avatar

    I was searching for homemade wipes. Thanks for the pictures. Can't wait to make these.

  8. bootsnag Avatar

    Just read your blog on the homemade wipes…I used sweet almond oil and just the natural organic shampoo I use on my hair..I also added a few drops of teatree and a few drops of lavender essential oils…love the folded technique…I'm going to use the organic cold pressed olive oil next time…thanks…cheers!

  9. Trina Avatar

    Yes, Kimberly – it sounds like you made too many wipes at once! ๐Ÿ™‚ I make a half a roll at a time – usually lasts me a month now with one in diapers, then I whip up more solution to moisten the other half of the roll.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Please help! I made baby wipes, and now they smell bad, I used baby bath, vegetable oil, and boiled water, what did I do wrong? Did I make too many at one time?(I made alot-2 paper towel, select a size rolls)
    Thank you for your help.

  11. Trina Avatar

    JB Walker, there's a photo of the clear, plastic pretzel container I use at this post…

    So delighted you're here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. JB Walker Avatar

    Just found your blog and LOVE it. Thanks for all the ideas. Just had a follow-up question about the wipes. Do you have pics of the new storage technique you are using? Thanks so much.

  13. Trina Avatar

    I believe the wipers would smell funny or even mold if stored for months, because they don't contain the preservatives that store bought wipes probably have. I recommend making them as needed and storing for up to a month.

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    Can they be stored for months?

  15. Libby Avatar

    I love that I found this! I made all my own wipes for baby 1, but I found that I used way more because I didn't take the time to fold them nicely. That is such a great idea! I also like the post on using mineral oil. So awesome!

  16. Linda Avatar

    So glad I found your blog about homemade baby wipes! And I'm glad you added pictures to show the way! I am making a “guess how many is in the jar” for a baby shower and I wanted something unique…this is it plus it will make a great gift for Mom-to-be while the lucky guesser gets a different prize.
    Thanks so much!!

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    For anyone who is not wild about using baby oil, use mineral oil. Baby oil is (last I knew) nothing more than mineral oil with fragrance added. Check out the ingredients list on a bottle of baby oil at the store. And the added fragrance could be quite irritating to sensitive skin. Mineral oil is a lot less expensive.

  18. Sarah W. Avatar
    Sarah W.

    Thank you for responding! I will maybe try using Baby Oil instead. It smells nicer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Lonni Baird Avatar
      Lonni Baird

      I use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Mine have never gone moldy, and lasted several months!

  19. Trina Avatar

    Sarah – The oil is to help soften the paper towels – and you're only using about a Tbsp. or two (depends on how many wipes you make), so you're not really going to notice the oil. It will not leave a residue on their face or bum. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Without the oil the wipes will just feel like a wet paper towel – which is not really that soft.

    1. Lady Anne Avatar
      Lady Anne

      Sarah, olive oil is the world’s BEST moisturizer. My Nana grew up in the outback of Australia, and had nothing else available to her. Until the day she died (at 93) she had the nicest skin. I also use it every evening, and nobody believes I am over 70. If I feel I need a bit of exfoliation (is that the word?) I just dip my oily fingers in salt and rub that on my face, then wash it off and re-oil.

  20. Sarah W. Avatar
    Sarah W.

    I'm glad I found this blog! I love the idea of homemade wipes, and my brother is expecting Baby #3, and my other one is expecting their first. I really want to give them a little starter kit, haha. My only question is: What's the oil for? I often wipe their little faces with wipes and I wouldn't want to put oil on my OWN face. Can this still be effective without it?

  21. Trina Avatar

    Leanne, I'm fairly certain you could flush these, because, though they are sturdy, they are still not as thick as the toddler wipes you get in the little containers, which they advertise as flushable!

  22. Leanne Avatar

    can you flush these homemade wipes down the toilet?

  23. Andrea Avatar

    ok, I just kept reading and found my answer! Sorry about that!

  24. Andrea Avatar

    I have a quick question for you about the wipes. Do you find that after a couple days that the wipes smell musty? Or is this not a problem? I'm going to whip up a batch, but I was just wondering if I should make a small batch so they stay fresh, or if you find it stays fresh enough when using a whole roll of paper towel.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Jennifer Avatar

      I made half a roll with organic unrefined coconut oil and target baby bath. These were so yummy smelling yet no fragrance really and make skin so so smooth. After 3-4 days they do have a musty smell. ? I have a very sensitive nose, though. Maybe that’s it. I want to love these so badly.

      1. Trina Avatar

        Jennifer, I’ve been making them with a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil lately, and it’s helping mine to stay fresh. Maybe add some of that in? Feel free to email me with any further questions you have!

  25. kelly Avatar

    love this! i just made my first batch. i think the 8-roll package of paper towels we bought tonight will last us about a year. thanks for sharing! i'm going to link to this post on my blog.


  26. Christy, the Simple Homemaker Avatar

    Thank you for the tutorial. I found your site by doing a search for homemade wipes. Enjoyed my visit here. God's blessings.

  27. Dana Avatar

    Thanks for the follow-up. If anyone has a picture of the cylinder container i would love to see it in action. Once I run out of wipes this is for sure on my “to-do” list.

    I also use cloth diapers (Bum Genius 3.0) and LOVE, Love, love them! My 12 week old started wearing them once the umbilical cord fell off – the 3.0's come with a newborn insert as well as a larger size insert. You can use both for double absorbency if you have a heavy wetter. They also have snaps on the front that let you adjust the size so they should last you until your LO is potty training.

    I use disposables at night but have only spent $20/month on diapers. The diaper sprayer is a must have if you are breast feeding and the cloth diapers are quick and easy.

    Love that there are so many environmentally conscious momma's out there!

  28. Trina Avatar

    Hi, Dana –
    I have rarely had my wipers go bad – I guess the key would be to gauge how much you would use within a week or two and don't make more than that in one batch. I think the wipers would go sour sooner in warm, summer weather, so when I made enough wipers for a 3 week road trip a few years ago, I kept all but the small box I was using in the fridge.

    I have now gone to the half a roll in a pull-thru-the-top container as Vicki describes above for use at home. This makes enough wipers for 2-3 weeks and I have yet to have a batch ever go sour. Hooray! Hope these tips help.

  29. Dana Avatar

    how long can you store the wipes in the container before they start to smell??? I'm just worried they'll smell musty if i dont use them up fast enough.

  30. Anonymous Avatar

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  32. Nancy Avatar

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I have looked all over for a recipe that uses olive oil rather than baby oil since I do not like prepared baby oil and this one turned out great!

  33. hailey Avatar

    Thanks for the advice on homemade baby wipes. I have been using the costco brand and they leave my baby's skin sticky for a little while. He has gotten diaper rash very easily and I wonder if it has something to do with the chemicals in the wipes.

    Regarding cloth diapers. I have the bum genius one size fit all diapers. I haven't gotten to use them much as they are a little bulky for my two month old. I'm excited to use them later because they work just like real diapers and its not like you aren't playing in their poo anyways. You can buy a little sprayer for your toilet so you spray the poo into the toilet and flush. Then just wash your diaper load. Its really easy. I have tried this when I was seeing if my little guy fit them yet. I work full time and have a six year old and it really isn't too much more to do. And I did the calcs and you save a crap load of money!!!

  34. Vicki Avatar

    Viva Paper Towels work great for this. I think anyways. I prefer them for my regular paper towel use. They are nice and soft and pretty strong.

    Can’t say a package will last a year as I have 2 in diapers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I cut my rolls in 1/2. I found a gallon size drink container (cylinder shape) for about $4 at Wal-mart. I pour the solution over the paper towels and pull up from the center. This works great for me. I like your folding technique – I would still do the cut in 1/2 thing in the container, but I may do your way for wipes on the go.

    Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. mira Avatar

    Just wait until you try cloth wipes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    TOTALLY worth it to use cloth diapers, Steph. You can spend anywhere from $0 (flannel sheets make wonderful prefolds, and the wool sweater you never wear is easily sewn into several waterproof covers) to $20 or up per diaper. I’ve spent <>maybe<> $100 total to diaper 2 boys so far, and who else do you know that can color-coordinate the diaper their child is wearing to his clothing?!

    2 of my favorite CD forums:


  36. Brittany Avatar

    Oh so awesome. I’m out of olive oil so i used baby oil, baby wash, and aloe vera juice. smells divine! and the accordion folding was super quick. I did it while watching the beginning of america’s next top model. : ) Thanks!!

  37. Trina Avatar

    Steph, I’d heard of people making their own wipes, but my system definitely came out of trial and error. One of these days I wanna try cloth diapers. They are not a money saver, I have heard, UNLESS you make them yourself, or use them for several children. The whole idea intrigues me, especially with the cool modern cloth diapers. Let me know how it works for you!

  38. Stephanie Avatar

    Wow that is sooo neat.I never knew you could make your own wipes.Did you find the idea somewhere or just make it up over time?I think I might try that in time.Have you ever looked into reusable diapers?I was thinking about buying some and wondered if you have tried them.I’m talking about Kushies or something like that not the ones that you have to pin.

  39. CVO Avatar

    sounds clever! btw – thanks for the email…I WILL get back to you, promise! I ended up finding a fab deal on patterns at JoAnn’s: Simplicity – reg. $16 for $2!!! and I scored on some clearance fabric at a $1/yd. so stoked. I’ll keep you posted.

  40. Traci Avatar

    This is one of those things that I’ve always thought about doing. I made them once, and although they were functional, I didn’t use a good enough paper towel for them. They were just a tad rough on Aidan’s skin. I had planned on trying it again with another brand towel, but then just never committed the time again.When I’m not working outside the home I think I’ll try again. We don’t spend much money on wipes because we buy in bulk and we only have one in diapers now but it would still save us some money.

  41. Lizzie Avatar

    I love all your tutorials, Trina! I’m so excited about your homemade wipes! I’m young and unmarried, but the ones I can’t use now I am saving up for later. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really enjoy your blog!

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