Wet wipes are another menace to our planet. People go through thousands of them each year and even flush them down the loo in spite of advice not to. It amazes me to see packaging labelling the wipes as ‘flushable’ when in reality they will still block the drains and don’t degrade quite as easily as they seem to suggest.
Before William came along, I jumped the gun and bought an all-in-one reusable kit from Cheeky Wipes. This turned out to be one of our best decisions in terms of reusables as, although it means we have boxes and bottles and bags, we have everything we need for relatively mess free clean ups.
The Cheeky Wipes system is simple – there is a box for clean wipes (add water and essential oils) and a box for dirty wipes (with water and a different essential oil). The dirty box came with a liner bag to help load the dirty wipes into your machine, but we abandoned that in favour of just holding the lid closed to pour out the murky water and tipping them into the machine. We also found that at first, the clean wipes started to smell a bit stale after around 24 hours or so, so we tended to put less than the recommended amount in and replace the water and oil at least once a day. We tried all three of the essential oils that they stock for the clean wipes and found the mandarin one lasts the longest, but leaves a slight orange mark on some of the cloths, and the lavendar one tended to smell stale the quickest, but they’re all quite nice.
We used Cheeky Wipes from the very start – we have 25 coloured microfibre cloths that came with the kit and then Stuart got some plain ones from eBay after a few weeks (personally, I’d prefer to buy them from Cheeky Wipes to support a UK-based small business). This has been plenty for us so far (at 8 and a half months). The kit comes with bags to be able to use the wipes while you’re out and about, but we kept leaving them in our nappy bag and they don’t smell great after a few days left, so we do keep some disposable wipes for out and about, and just try to avoid changing him outside the home.
What shocked us when we did use disposable wipes while on a trip away was how many you need to use per nappy change – we got through an entire packet in a weekend and they were just rubbish in comparison to our cheeky wipes. I honestly don’t know how people can use disposable wet wipes for every nappy – they are so much worse at cleaning up poo, they leave a sticky residue and you need to use half a dozen per nappy change rather than one or two!
Now that we’re on solid foods, the Cheeky Wipes are also great for cleaning up food mess and sticky hands and, again, one is plenty for a quick wipe down of mess, although now that we’re teething, sucking on the wet wipe seems to be a new favourite thing to do, so I tend to have one for the boy to play with and one to actually clean him up with!
About two months ago, buoyed by our success, and overloaded with wipes after my sister kindly made us a load more (by buying a towel, cutting it up and overlocking it with her machine), we decided to make the switch to adult wipes (my sister likes to call this Family Cloth, but we just call ’em wipes). We still use toilet roll for ‘number 2s’ for all three of us, but for everything else we use wipes. For us adults, our wipes are just dry on the back of the toilet and then we have a small bucket of water with the cheeky wipes oil next to the loo (I say bucket, I mean empty, large yoghurt pot) – we’re down to around one roll of toilet roll a week, which turns out to be somewhat fortuitous now that toilet roll is becoming currency in the wake of Coronavirus!