Once you become a parent, you’ll quickly realize that there is a baby product out there for everything and I always recommend asking yourself whether or not you actually need the next thing on the list. When I first discovered dry baby wipes I was immediately skeptical – why would I want to use a dried out wipe? After giving them a shot, however, I changed my tune.
Dry baby wipes are an incredibly flexible tool for cleaning up babies and their messes because of their versatility, durability, reusability, larger size, and overall value. They are normally made of 100% cotton and can be used in place of standard baby wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.
You never know what kind of mess your baby will be creating for you next, but you know it’s coming. I love having a few dry baby wipes handy because they let me tackle it in the best way possible for that particular situation. Let’s walk through the basics and see how they compare to regular wet wipes.
What is a dry baby wipe?
In essence, a dry baby wipe really is very similar to a normal baby wipe without the cleaning solution added. Practically, you can think of these as a paper towel, baby wipe, and tissue all rolled into one product. Let me list a few common features of my current favorite dry wipe, the Medline Ultrasoft Dry Baby Wipes (link to read reviews on Amazon). Although there are many different brands on the market and the details will vary, most of them will have the same basic features and utility. In fact, this is the same kind of dry baby wipe that you’ll find in many nurseries at the hospital.
- Durability – These are made from 100% cotton and they are meant to hold up to multiple uses. What this means is that you can dry up a spill, rinse it out, and use it to wipe your baby’s face. You can think about it like a paper towel on steroids. Since they are dry, you can also store them easily in places you might not want to store a wet wipe like the car.
- Value – You can find these particular wipes for about $.04 per wipe which is pretty average, at least for natural baby wipes. Since they are so durable, you can truly use these as disposable washcloths and get even more value out of them by using fewer throughout the day.
- Size – Average baby wipes are about 5.5 by 7.5 inches which gives you about 40 square inches of real estate. These wipes, however, are 10 by 13 inches – an incredible 130 square inches! This means you’ll get much more absorbency.
- Soft and gentle – These are made from cotton and designed to be as soft as possible for use on fragile or sensitive skin. Just because they are tough, doesn’t make them rough! Since they don’t have any solution on them, there will also be no issues with harmful chemicals in the wipes that could cause diaper rash or other irritation.
- Versatility – If you need to wipe up a spill, use them dry. If you are just wiping off food from a dirty face, soak them in warm water. If you need to give your baby a bath, use water and gentle soap. Once they are wet, rinse them and use them again!
I want to say again that I seriously had NO IDEA how useful dry baby wipes were going to be until I actually used them for myself. I totally thought they were going to be a waste of time and money, but I became a convert instantly.
Dry baby wipes vs. toilet paper or tissues
This is what I thought when I first saw them on the shelf, but they are totally different.
Remember that these wipes are much more like a paper towel and washcloth mixed together they are super durable. Sure, you could use toilet paper or tissue during a diaper change but they won’t hold up nearly as well. Plus, once you get either of these wet it’s game over – they will come apart immediately. They are also pretty thin which means that if they get wet during a diaper change, that wetness just got all over your hands – yuck!
Remember though that even if you can’t use toilet paper or tissues instead of a dry baby wipe, you COULD use the wipe instead of the other options because it will be just as soft on sensitive areas.
Dry baby wipes vs. wet baby wipes
This is where it will likely come down to preference. At the end of the day, dry baby wipes are really just dry versions of the normal kind with extra points in size and durability.
If you find yourself using wipes for diaper changes 99% of the time, you might just want to stick to the wet versions because it means less hassle involved in cleaning up pee and poop. When you have a number 2 emergency on your hands, the last thing you want to have to do is run to the sink to wet your baby wipe to get the job done. Then, what if you need a second or third wipe (for the fabled poomageddon)?
Once you have the baby’s legs up in the air with one hand and the diaper off, it’s too late.
Of course, just because you use wet wipes for diaper changes doesn’t mean that you’ll miss out on using the dry versions. As I said, they are super helpful to have around and they are a great substitute anytime you find yourself reaching for a paper towel. You can also dip them in baby soap to wipe your kiddo down one day and degreaser to wipe down the kitchen the next. Truly versatile.
If you aren’t sold on using dry baby wipes and want to check out some of my recommendations for all natural, biodegradable baby wipes then check these out!
When would I use a dry baby wipe?
I’ve hit on this a little already, but there are loads of everyday uses for these wipes. As an example of what makes these awesome, picture your baby sitting in his high chair eating a nice plate of spaghetti. If your anxiety level just jumped because you know just how dirty that baby is about to get, raise your hand.
Now, after the baby has gotten good and messy, you can take a dry baby wipe and scoop up all of the spaghetti bits off of his face and the high chair. Next, shake the wipe off into the sink and wet it down with some warm water and wipe off that face and hands to get the sauce off. After that, rinse the wipe again and this time add a little dish soap to get the high chair nice and clean and ready for the next meal. With just ONE WIPE, you’ve cleaned up an entire lunch disaster. You simply can’t do that with a regular paper towel or most baby wipes.
In addition to all of the normal baby messes, here are a few other uses we’ve found:
- Plastic toys (with soapy water)
- Toilet paper (bigger and softer)
- Cleaning up the kitchen (sinks, counters, etc.)
- Dusting (works great with a little Pledge)
- Wiping down dirty shoes
- Detailing the inside of a car (just spray some of the shiny stuff on them)
- Makeup removal
As you can see, there probably won’t be any shortage of things to use these for around the house!
A quick DIY wipe solution to use
I don’t make my own wipe solutions often, so I’m going to share a great one that I found over at DIY Natural. All credit goes to Matt and Betsy at that awesome blog!
- 1 tablespoon of oil (your choice between almond, grapeseed, or olive)
- 1 tablespoon of castile soap
- 1 cup of filtered water
- Essential oil blend (2 drops chamomile, 3 drops lavender, 5 drops tea tree)
- .25 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (works as a natural preservative)
Combine all of these ingredients, water first, and load them into a small spray bottle. Be sure to shake the bottle before using it because the ingredients will separate!
Note: Since this is a natural solution, it’s best to use it up within a month or mix up another batch.
Can I flush a dry baby wipe? No! Don’t flush these wipes or any others as they can cause potential issues with the sewer system!
What are the most common materials for a dry baby wipe? Many are made from 100% cotton, but they can also be made from wood pulp and other natural or synthetic fibers. Check the label on any product before you buy it!