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Monday, April 6, 2009

Cloth Wipes or Toddler Training Wipes

I miss my cloth diaper wipes! My toddler is toilet training and paper toilet paper usage is a disaster! One, my child thinks a quarter of a roll is necessary to use each time she visits the potty. We have gone through a lot of toilet paper in the last few months! Two, have you ever tried to clean up a toddler who didn't make #2 in the toilet with paper toilet paper???? Virtually impossible; make the toilet paper wet and you add a whole new level of mess. Plus, you end up using a quarter of a roll to clean the kid up. (Maybe that's where she got that idea!). I have put her in the bath a couple of times when I gave up getting her clean, but I don't want to continue that for she would view that as a reward.

So, I have gone back to cloth wipes for potty training. It is easy to tell her, one square. And wet it with a little water it is 50 times less of a job to clean her up when I have to. My old ones were a bit crude and hubby complained when he used them on her that he disliked the odd sizes. So, I decided to make nicer, softer ones.

If you use family cloth (cloth toilet paper), this design would work well for that. I am not going to get into the debate of cloth toilet paper, but if you have never heard of cloth toilet paper use and are interested you could look at this or this site which I think are a good source of information. Googling "family cloth" would easily lead you to many articles or posts on the subject. Someone commented on my blog earlier that they use the money they save on this specific frugal/green project to buy the family a year pass to the zoo.

Side Note: I always get a giggle out of people that are "shocked, appalled, horrified" by mention of cloth diapers, cloth toilet paper, cloth pads, etc. What do they think people who lived before mass production of disposable products did? Prior to the late 1800s/early 1900s toilet paper didn't really exist (unless you count the ones that included splinters, then you could reach back to the mid 1800s) and even though it was available doesn't mean it was bought and used, especially in an era where underwear was unmentionable in mixed company! I can't imagine a woman from the Victorian era plopping down toilet tissue on the mercantile counter. My mom, who was definitely born much later, grew up with an outhouse equipped with the Sears catalog and corn cob husks and I don't consider her or my grandparents untouchables or crazies. More importantly, they survived! :)

First, I grabbed a big ugly flannel bathrobe I got from a thrift store. I doubled over the fabric and cut out a 7"x7" square (or what roughly resembles a square). I had done 6x6 earlier, but I thought they were a bit small.

Then I flipped it over so the wrong side of the material was facing out. (I could have skipped this step if I just folded it that way to begin with!) Then I just straight stitched all the way around and stopped about a third of the way from the folded side. (Where it shows my machine stopped in the picture)

I cut off the corners so when I turn it right side out, I don't have a hard little wad of cloth in the corners. (Don't cut the unsewn corner.)

Then turn the cloth inside out. It's poofy.

To sew up the hole and make it lie flat, Tuck in the hole and start there to zigzag stitch all the way around.

And now you have uniform-sized soft, 2 ply cloth wipes. I threw in one of my 6x6's to show you the zigzag more easily.

Wash like you would cloth diapers or cloth menstruation pads/tampons.


Together We Save said...

I have never heard of this nor ever thought about it. Makes good sense though.

Punkn said...

I used cloth wipes for both of my kids for the longest time but now that DS is training I guess I got lazy and just buy the wipes. DD has been trained for quite a while now but goes through toilet paper like crazy (she thinks she has to wipe after every drip and drop). Perhaps this is the kick in the butt I need to make some new wipes for both of them to use and save some trees (or at least make sure there is toilet paper for the adults to use)

Jill said...

Yay for cloth wipes! Our whole family uses them! We used to have TP for company but I keep forgetting to buy it. Our visitors never seem to stay long for some reason...I imagine they are mortified at the idea of using our bathroom. ;)

Anonymous said...

To help with saving the regular t.p. - step on the roll (horizontal) before you put it on the rod. The flattened tube will no longer spin around so freely and it helps slow down the dispensing.

Jeff9 said...

Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without felling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but please remember that in the big picture the industrial water users always far exceed the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.