There’s a lot of fuss about shortage in supply of staple household goods at the moment due to concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic. The shelves in my local Aldi are completely void of pasta, rice, disposable paper goods and most canned foods. I can’t give you any tips on making your own pasta or growing your own rice, but I can give you some ideas for replacing those disposable paper goods so that you’re no longer reliant on the supermarket for these daily needs.
In fact, it’s one of the loveliest things about reusable nappies and wipes: you never run out!
A key part of my desire to use cloth nappies with my children was so that I wouldn’t need to be reliant on the supermarket for one of the most important items of my children’s early years. Cloth wipes take that self-sufficiency to a whole new level, especially when you realise just how many disposable products they can replace.
Here are 6 of the best ways to use cloth wipes. Be sure to let me know yours in the comments.
Well, yeah. Just use them as wipes for baby bottoms, fingers and faces. Just dampen the wipe, do the job and then toss it in the wash with the rest of your laundry. If it’s a particularly soiled one, you’ll probably want to rinse first, but otherwise: your washing machine will do all the work. PLUS, you can avoid the use of various chemicals and “fragrances” often found in baby wipes. Oh and it could save you over $500 during your child’s time in nappies. #winning
Tip: If you’re out and about with little access to fresh water, you can dampen your wipes before you leave home and store them in a Teeny Tote.
Growing up, we always had a pile of paper serviettes in the middle of the table and we used one each at almost every meal. Over the course of a year, our family of 6 would have gone through over 6000 paper serviettes. Gosh, even if we only used them with dinner, we would have still used over 2000.
In terms of cost, Mum always got the cheap ones (99 cents for 100!) so the outlay wasn’t lavish, but even if cost saving wasn’t a huge priority for me, the idea of having to remember to throw a pack in my trolley every week was enough to turn me off! We’ve been using cloth serviettes for well over a decade now and have a disposable pack on hand for parties.
Switching from disposable kitchen wipes to the hardy reusable kind is one of the simplest things you can switch today to save money, reduce landfill and cut one more thing from your shopping list.
Most disposable kitchen wipes brands are made to last a couple of weeks at most. If you wash them in the machine, they perish much more quickly.
Make the switch from these flimsy wipes to cotton or bamboo wipes that are designed to be washed regularly. We keep two out each day: one for washing little faces and the other for wiping benches. I then throw both in the washing basket at the end of the day.
One of my favourite swaps of the past few years has been paper towel. Instead of using paper towel for most kitchen needs, I now use “un-paper towel” or simply wipes.
One of the reasons people hesitate to switch from disposable to reusable products is the perceived extra work involved, but for most of these items, the only thing you need to do is throw them in the machine with your other dirty laundry.
If you haven’t heard of family cloth, it’s essentially using reusable cloths of some kind in place of toilet paper. If toilet paper shortages and fighting in the aisles over the last square of 3 ply isn’t something that thrills you, you may want to consider making this switch.
We’ve only had toilet paper for the past century and many parts of the world still don’t have it at all, so we know it’s something that humanity can live without. To effectively practice family cloth, you’ll need wipes by the toilet, a small lidded bucket with warm soapy water (out of reach of curious small folk) and a good sense of humour. And disposable loo paper for guests 😉 Add in a few drops of essential oil to help with any odours until it’s time to wash them.
You’ll want to wash every day, but rinse the wipes first before putting them through a normal cycle with other washing and detergent. If you’re already using cloth nappies, this is so easy: just throw everything in the machine together for the pre-rinse.
It feels like an odd switch to make at first and the kids will probably think you’re crazy and it will certainly invite lots of comments that you could live without. But then, your decision to use cloth nappies may have done that too!
Once your cloth wipes have seen better days or you no longer need them for nappy changes, they can be downgraded to the laundry rag bucket and used for several more years of hard labour.
Keen to make the switch to a more self-sufficient family home? Grab some wipes HERE.