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cloth diaper

Money, Parenting

Are Cloth Wipes Cheaper Than Disposable?

January 29, 2016

OK, admit it.

Some of y’all thought we were crazies when we wrote about our cloth diapering venture.

But today I am putting the final nail in the coffin for you because I am going to share why we also make our own cloth wipes. I swear we aren’t turning into Colorado hippies despite how with each passing year we get more and more crunchy…hmmm.

You are also going to get a taste of just how nerdy we are with all our calculations, equations, and measurements. I’ll be honest, we primarily cloth to save money. Sure there are other reasons in there but if it wasn’t going to save us moolah, we probs wouldn’t be doing it. Same goes for cloth wipes. It had to be economical for us to consider it.

Making the leap into cloth wipes sort of happened on accident in the beginning. I bought lots of barely used cloth diapers on Cragslist for a hella good deal from a lady who was so utterly sleep deprived (she had a sleep trainer at her house when I stopped by) that she threw in a bunch of extra baby stuff, cloth wipes being one of them. Then another friend saw we were cloth wiping early on and passed along some she didn’t plan on using. We invested $0 into cloth wipes so it was a no-brainer to try them out.

Eventually we ended up doing some traveling and had to buy disposable diapers and wipes and all I can say is OUCH!!! It was really pricey compared to the virtual nothing we were used to spending on cloth. That got me thinking…I should sit down and figure out in a concrete way just HOW much we’re saving with cloth diapers and wipes.

So today I bring you our cloth wipe geeky cost-savings calculations.

Let’s start with what I use to make wipes: Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap from Costco, Kirkland brand coconut oil, Bumkins flannel cloth wipes, and boiling water.


Now lets take a peek at the cost breakdown is per batch of wipes.

Dr. Bronner’s  Peppermint Soap

This costs $9.79 at Costco. It’s a 40 ounce bottle, which converted is 1183 ml per bottle. We use approximately 1 tbsp (15 ml) of soap per batch. Doing the math, we can get about 79 batches of wipes per bottle. Taking the total cost of $9.79 divided by 79 batches leave us with a grand total of 12.4 cents per batch.

Kirkland Coconut Oil

The oil costs $25.99 for two tubs. Each tub is 1200 grams. We use approximately 1 tbsp (14 grams) per batch. Doing the math, we can get about 85 batches per tub, multiplied by two comes to 170 batches for the set. Taking the total cost of $25.99 divided by 170 batches comes to 15.3 cents per batch.

Bumkins Flannel Cloth Wipes.

These were given to me FREE so really, I don’t need to calculate this in but for the sake of other’s we will pretend we purchased them. The wipes cost $9.79 per pack of twelve. I feel that four packs, or 48 wipes, would be what is needed. The cost of four packs of wipes comes to $37.72, or 78.6 cents per wipe. That seems high per wipe but we will demonstrate the amount of mileage you can get from this inital invesment later.

Boiling Water

The amount of money used on this a few times a month is negligible and not even worth doing math over. This won’t be what makes or breaks cloth wipes for you.

Total Cost

When you add together the cost of the above items, your first batch of 48 wipes will cost you 79.2 cents per wipe. That’s really expensive compared to store bought, but again, we see the savings over the long haul as the wipe cost disappears and cost gets spread out over time.

Subsequent batches (now that the hard cost of wipes is out of the equation) cost 27.7 cents to create a batch, or .58 cents per wipe from that point forward.

Assuming you make two batches of wipes per week, in two years’ time you spend $95.62 total.

Getting a Comparison.

Just for fun, let’s compare this cloth wipe system to Costco’s Kirkland brand pack of 900 baby wipes, which sell for $19.99 or 2.2 cents per wipe…which is a great deal in the ‘sposie wipe world unless you strictly coupon or use some form of reward points.

Let’s also assume, that you use 96 wipes a week to keep the numbers the same. (Which is VERY CONSERVATIVE since disposable wipes tend to disappear MUCH quicker than cloth!) That means the box would last you 2.3 months before you would have to purchase more.

The 11 packs of  9,900 Costco wipes costs $219.89 over the course of 2 years.

The difference saves $124.27 over a two year period…which only increases the longer your kiddo is in diapers. At three years, the difference would be $215.25! Then if you happen to have more than one kiddo the cost savings continue to grow!


No, that amount of money isn’t anywhere close to what you save on cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers…but it’s something! Again, our estimations were very conservative since in our experience cloth wipes are not used anywhere near as fast as disposable wipes…so in reality the savings are likely larger.

A final note: Cloth wipes also just make life easier when you’re already cloth diapering because you can just toss them all in the wet bag together opposed to throwing just the diaper in the wet bag AND then taking the dirty gross wipes to a trash can where they stink things up since they aren’t wrapped up in a disposable diaper. The reverse would be true if you use disposable diapers…what a pain then to have to wash cloth wipes without having to wash the diapers!

A final final note: This post above made me realize we may or may not have a Costco addiction. EEP!

Money, Parenting

3 Reasons We Cloth Diaper

December 12, 2014

I just want to get it out on the table from the get go:

Diapering is NOT a moral issue. I am not participating in any mommy wars and if you are a reader who has chosen disposables, I am still your friend and ally 🙂

Now that the white elephant if out of the room, let’s dive into the world of cloth diapering…

When we found out we would be adopting a baby this summer, that is when the research began. I started reading blogs and articles about cloth diapers. I asked friends about them. I joined Facebook chat groups about cloth diapering and stalked the posts for all the good, bad, and ugly. I even went to a few stores to try play with some in real life.

At the end of the day, I decided that cloth diapering was worth a try for our family. Below are the 3 reasons we pursued the cloth route:

1. Show Me the Money!

money pic

Let’s be honest – this was my number one reason by FAR for choosing to cloth diaper. I didn’t want to budget for diapers and wipes on a monthly basis. I wanted an up front cost for a product that would pay for itself over and over again.

You can Google “cost savings of cloth diapering” and find dozens and dozens of bloggers who have broken down and analyzed cloth vs disposable diapers. The savings are very real and very significant.

Like thousands of dollars.

Especially if you buy your cloth diaper stash gently used (like I did), don’t have to pay water laundry bills (because our HOA pays for water), and even make your own cloth wipes and diaper liners (that cost less than $5 at Joanne Fabrics).

Lots of savings bundled into these little fluffy dipes.

2. That Cute Factor Tho…


Cloth diapers are just DANG CUTE!

I admit they are somewhat addicting because they are so cute. I love seeing Josie’s little fluffy bum with it’s adorable prints that change throughout the day. I am genuinely excited for the next diaper change (sort of, lol) due to how jazzed I am to use the next cloth diaper color or pattern.

3. Keeping Things Natural & Sustainable


I am growing in my desire and to be a good steward of the earth and it’s natural resources. I recycle about half the things I should…which is not great but way better than it used to be.

I see cloth diapers as a way for our family to make an effort to keep trash and waste down and to take care of our earth in a small way. We literally have no cloth diaper trash. I wash everything. It’s 100% recyclable and I really enjoy that.

I also like how my daughter is not exposed to chemicals in her cloth diapers. Sure, I have put disposables on her in the early days and I am not opposed to them. But long term I like that we don’t have to worry about chemical burns from disposable diapers.

And those are my main reasons for choosing cloth. Once we settled on that decision, it was on to research which kind of cloth diaper system we would choose, which is an entirely different post. I will share those details later! 🙂

Thus far we are really happy with our cloth diapers and the potential drawbacks like laundry and poop honestly haven’t been bad. The laundry is manageable and I only have to wash dipes every 48-72 hours. And the poop? I touch as much of it as I would if she was in disposables so to me there is no difference.

As we continue the cloth diapering journey, I am sure I will hit different phases but for now we are really content with our choice. If anyone has questions, hit me up in the comments below!