This Reader Will Never Buy Baby Wipes Again…

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Sent from reader, Samantha:

When my first daughter was an infant, she had trouble in the warmer months (aka March through October in KY) with topical yeast infections. Worried for my miserable baby, I took her to the doctor, who promptly prescribed a topical anti-fungal . . . which did not work.

In desperation, I hit the internet for inspiration. I have been making my own baby wipes ever since! After two days of using the homemade wipes, my daughter’s skin issues were nowhere to be found and diaper rash became a thing of the past! Not only that, but they cost significantly less than even store-brand baby wipes and take less than 10 minutes to make!

I now use the wipes for my youngest, who’s still in diapers, but also to remove my makeup, clean dirty hands on the go, you name it! Interested?

My cost breakdown and recipe are below:

Viva Vantage 6-roll pack with 95 sheets per roll goes on sale for $4.99
I get 2 wipes per sheet, so that’s 190 wipes per roll.
190 wipes X 6 = 1140 wipes per 6-roll pack.
$4.99 for 1140 wipes = 0.0044 cents per wipe or about 42 cents per 95-wipe batch.

Coconut oil – I use 2 tablespoons per 95 wipes
You can get a 2-pack of 30-oz jars at Wal-Mart for $9.98
That’s roughly 17 cents per ounce.
An ounce is equal to 2 tablespoons, so that’s 17 cents per 95-wipe batch.

Olive oil – I use 1 tablespoon (1/2 an ounce) per batch
It costs roughly 16 cents per ounce.
That makes it 8 cents per 95-wipe batch.

Dickinson’s alcohol-free witch hazel is about 23 cents per ounce.
I use 1 tablespoon (1/2 an ounce) per 95-wipe batch.
That means it’s roughly 11.5 cents per 95-wipe batch.

Tear-free baby/kids wash/shampoo – I use 1 tablespoon (1/2 an ounce) per batch.
The cheapest I’ve found is about 7 cents per ounce.
That means it’s roughly 3.5 cents per 95-wipe batch.

Total cost of “ingredients” with the half-cents rounded up:
.42+.17+.08+.12+.04 = 83¢ per 95-wipe batch.

One 6-roll pack of Viva Vantage will yield 12 batches. This means that 12 batches (1140 wipes) cost me $9.96 or 0.00874 cents per wipe! Compare that to a 1200-wipe pack of Parent’s Choice wipes, which is $20.98 or a little less than 2 cents per wipe! With those, I’d only have to use 50 wipes to spend $1. With mine, I’d have to use over 100 wipes to spend $1! Plus, my kids have never had diaper rash and my 2 girls have been cured of topical yeast infections since I adopted the following recipe.

Items you’ll need:

~Viva Vantage paper towels (Tip: nothing else works as well. I’ve tried!)
~coconut oil
~olive oil
~tear-free wash or shampoo
~alcohol-free witch hazel (Tip: alcohol-free is important here! I recommend Dickinson’s.)
~a measuring cup
~boiling water
~a tablespoon
~a container large enough to fit the width of the paper towel roll into. (Tip: I use a washed-and-dried 30-oz plastic coffee can. It’s the perfect size and shape, and you can keep the lid and close the container to keep the wipes from drying out.)


1. Put water on to boil.
2. Cut a Viva Vantage roll in half, resulting in 2 shorter rolls. (Tip: You’ll want to use a serrated knife for this to make it easier on yourself.) Dust off all the resulting little fluffs.
3. When the water is boiling, pour out 1 1/2 cups (12 oz. – for drier wipes) or 2 cups (16 oz. – for wetter wipes) in a measuring cup, then pour the hot water into the container/coffee can.
4. Add two tablespoons of coconut oil to the hot water. Stir until it melts and mixes.
5. Add 1 tablespoon each of the witch hazel, tear-free wash/shampoo, and olive oil. Stir to combine and don’t worry if it gets bubbly.
6. Set your half-roll of paper towels vertically into the mixture. After a couple of minutes, the center cardboard roll will be soggy and you can easily remove it and throw it away.
7. After 15 minutes or so, flip the roll over and put it back inside the container/coffee can so that the liquid distributes evenly.
8. As soon as the liquid is evenly distributed and not too hot to the touch, you can tear off the wipes at the perforations and move them to any container you like. I keep washed-and-reused Cottonelle fresh wipes containers and fold my wipes inside those at home. I throw a plastic zipper bag of wipes into the diaper bag or my purse when I’m going out.

Be warned: What started as a desperate search for something that would help my baby’s topical yeast infection resulted in addictive cost savings!


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Comments 47

  1. Susie

    Haha! This cracked me up. I really thought this article would talk about chemicals on baby wipes.
    On a more practical note, I don’t know which mom will have the time and energy to make the wipes every time.

  2. Lisa

    I always made my own. 1 roll of Bounty paper towels cut in half with the cardboard removed. Mix 1 cup of water, half cup of Johnson’s baby wash and a half cup of Johnson’s baby oil in a tall Sterilite container from Walmart. Place half roll of towels into mixture and flip a couple of times and viola!!

  3. Belle

    I’d be wary of putting hot water into plastic containers that aren’t meant to hold joy liquids – especially if what’s used will go directly on your skin and sensitive areas. You never know what chemicals or materials leach in from the plastics that may be toxic, dangerous, or potentially carcinogenic. I’d vouch for a safer container like glass that’s safe for hot materials. Cheers!

    • SamSim

      This is something I hadn’t considered! Thanks for the FYI. I do this so often and use them for so many reasons now, I should probably just find the right size glass container and buy a couple.

  4. Belle

    Hot liquids* not joy liquids, lol

  5. Mia

    This is a lot of work! I have a toddler and a newborn and I definitely don’t have time for this. I applaud you though for doing this and it’s always good to know there are other options out there.

  6. Rman

    What is babes are sensitive to coconut oil? What can be used instead of that?

    • Sara

      I use Viva paper towels cut in half, 3 1/2 cups of water that was heated in the microwave, (cooled down), 1 tbsp of baby oil and 1 1/2 tbsp of whatever you already bathe your baby in.

    • redden

      Have you considered Avocado oil, Grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil. I didn’t see where you said you couldn’t use olive oil. Best to you finding a suitable oil.

  7. Rman

    In other words have high allergic reaction to coconut products

    • redden

      oops, sorry I’m new. I put the comment under Sarah.

  8. Erica

    I applaud all moms out there! I am expecting so I was thinking of making these ahead of time… do they last or keep for a long time? Thank you!

    • Mari

      I wouldn’t make this ahead at all, there is nothing to prevent this from molding

    • SamSim

      I probably make 2 or 3 batches a week – I’m using one and have one on standby in the kitchen. The standby batch is always closed in the coffee can. I haven’t had any issues with mold over a 2-week period, as long as I boil the water and everything. Hope that helps!

      • Erica

        Okay, great. Thank you!

  9. Juli

    An even easier and more cost effective way is to make/buy cloth wipes. Just wet them with water, wipe and wash! But I also cloth diaper so I have the spray attachment to the toilet to get the poo off before it goes in the washing machine lol they’re great for hands and faces too if you want to at least cut the costs that way 😉 don’t worry, I have separate wipe for faces and bums 😂

    • Jennaayyv

      I clothed diapered my first too!! But no cloth wipes though 😂.

    • amanda

      yes! I was going to say this too! we kept cloth wipes in a wipe warmer in the kitchen and nursery. So handy for sticky hands and faces, I kept my cloth wipes going long after baby potty trained.

    • SamSim

      The cloth wipe/cloth diaper moms are the ones I admire! I cloth diapered my youngest for a while and I just don’t have the fortitude to keep up with all of that.

    • Lauren

      Agree; if you’re going to cloth diaper, you might as well use cloth wipes. It doesn’t make the logistics any harder!

    • Lillian

      Before I had the babies, I made my wipes: flannel on one side and some fuzzy on the other. even after we gave up on the cloth diapers, we kept with the wipes. just spray some soapy water on them. they lasted forever. but I never would have been able to do it if I had waited for the babies to come first.

  10. Ashley

    Thanks! This recipe seems fairly straightforward to me and looks like there are lots of uses for the wipes!

  11. 50ShadesofLipstick

    I did this w/ kiddo #1 for a few months to save $, but quickly learned that it just doesn’t work when you’re out a lot or traveling. After that, I started to just rinse my kiddos off with our bidet (for pee and poop). It’s a lot cleaner and greener than disposable, homemade, and cloth wipes. No extra laundry whatsoever and zero instances of diaper rash!

  12. Laura

    While I dont even have time to brush my hair most of the time, I’m pretty positive if my child had skin issues I would find time to do this. Thank you for sharing your recipe and most importantly thank you for the reassurance that doctors don’t always have the answers. I’m currently dealing with my little ones Eczema. Nothing has worked-prescribed or over the counter. My next step is trying a hollistic approach with ideas I find online.

    • jennifer

      My husband has had miserable painful blistered eczema the last few summers, but none at all this summer! He started using Simple Sugars body scrub with emu oil. It was on Shark Tank. You might want to read the testimonials. It’s safe for babies too. : ) Best of luck.

      • SamSim

        I have horrible hand eczema! I’m going to have to check this out!

        • Maria Rajewski

          You might want to try black cumin seed oil as well! Did amazing things for me 🙂

    • Amy

      My little one had terrible eczema. We tried various creams and soaps, both prescription and otc, as well as some home remedies. Our doctor finally suggested allergy testing. Turns out the eczema was the result of food allergies, and my little ones skin has completely cleared up. You can grow into or out of food allergies at any point in your life, so just something to consider for those suffering from eczema.

    • ann

      There is some clear lubricant called plastibase. It has to be sold as a prescription but it technically is not one. It’s only sold like that because it has no official label. It helped my daughter with eczema but it works if you put it on at night.
      My baby was 6 months old when I used it on her and now she’s 24 and only had it when she was very little.
      It is an airplane lubricant and was discovered when an airline employee with eczema was lubing the place and his eczema got better.
      Some doctors may not know about it and your pharmacy with have to order it but it’s cheap and comes in a big container and it works!

  13. KR

    I was concerned about leaving soaps and other stuff on the skin without rinsing when reading homemade wipes recipes, so, I started to make mine with just 3 ingredients (going strong for about 6 months now):
    1) Viva paper towels (not Vantage, regular Viva is softer and more like cloth) – each roll cut in 2
    2) Water
    3) 5-6 drops of tea tree oil per 8-10 oz of water, roughly (tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties)

    I keep the water-tea-tree oil mixture in a rinse bottle, and only wet the wipes as needed. Works really well, and there is no need to pre-soak paper towels or find containers to store them in – I just keep mine in a roll.

    • AKPolargirl

      Please be careful if you are using tea tree oil. According to Webmd there have been reports of some problems when it is used in children.

    • SamSim

      The spray bottle is a great idea! I used to use the other Viva because it is so cloth-like, but we found that it tore really easily so I switched to the more textured kind. It seems to be more effective on my messy kids, especially my middle child – she plays outside and comes in with a layer of dirt all over her.

    • redden

      Have you ever read up on St. John’s Wort Oil? I used it on both of my babies. It’s the same anti bacterial/ antiviral as Tea Tree Oil but you don’t have the concerns of cutting the oil. It smells absolutely delightful.

  14. KR

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the math in the post seems to be off: 1140 wipes at $9.96 results in just under 1 cent per wipe at 0.874 cents per wipe, not 0.00874 cents per wipe. It is 0.00874 dollars per wipe. Still a better deal than store-bought, and more natural, so, thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Junglewife

      I was thinking the same thing. She did the math and it came out to .008, but that is dollars, not cents. Her wipes are actually about half the cost of the store bought wipes.

    • SamSim

      I apologize if my math isn’t right. I thought I checked it a couple of times, but maybe I should have had my husband give it a once-over – he’s the one with the head for numbers in our house! lol

  15. Alicia

    Seems like a great option especially for at home use. I feel like reading through the instructions took more time than actually making the wipes so after you’ve done it one or twice it’d be super fast. I’ll have to try!

  16. Sara

    I use Viva paper towels cut in half, 3 1/2 cups of water that was heated in the microwave, (cooled down), 1 tbsp of baby oil and 1 1/2 tbsp of whatever you already bathe your baby in.

  17. Jodi P

    Viva Vantage is a scrubbing paper towel

  18. E

    I did this a few times when we lived overseas and I had no time to do our usual cloth wipes/diapers. Wipes were sooooo expensive there. I just used regular paper towels, whatever I found there, and it worked perfectly. I just use cloth wipes with water normally. But we cloth diaper (third kid too and we still cloth!) so they all get washed together.

  19. JMcRayde

    Good for you! I’ve also made my own baby wipes since birth. My kids are now 5yr/3yrs! The recipe I use is a little different….still use the Viva rolls, add only lavender Castile soap and aloe Vera to clean distilled water (I just use boiled water) they smell great and are the best for everything!

  20. Laura

    I made wipes for a short while with my second child. It was easier than I expected, and they worked quite well. I also used the 30 oz plastic folgers cans, and even spray painted the outside to look better sitting around my living room. Thanks for reminding me- I feel like I should do this again now that I have a 3rd baby, because saving money is always a good idea!

    • Laura

      Also, my oldest had the worst cracked, bleeding diaper rash when he was a baby. I tried every cream in the diaper aisle, and had several prescription medications from the pediatrician and nothing was working. I tried cornstarch in my Pampered Chef Powdered Sugar shaker as a last resort on my grandma’s suggestion, and he never had a diaper rash again! The other two never had a diaper rash because I used cornstarch on them right from the get-go. Also this way, you don’t have to touch the sticky creams OR baby’s diaper area!

  21. kharrington

    What a great idea. All these people talking about hot water in a plastic container is hilarious. I think this is such a great idea. Good job momma! My kids are sensitive to cheap products, so we have stuck with honest diapers and wipes. If I ever need to switch, I will definitely be trying this!

  22. Jess

    I did this for a brief while. it wasn’t worth my time to make up a batch of these to save the 45 cents savings per batch over buying wipes.

  23. Bianca

    I use water wipes, I swear by these and have no issues with my daughters skin. If I don’have these wipes, I rinse regular wipes in hot water before use. I hate the chemicals in those commercial brands.

  24. DJ

    My sister used wet paper towels for both of her daughters. Her kids were born in 1990 and 92. She used a container to keep them wet and never added any other ingredients.

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