Imagine me putting on my Master Of The Obvious Hat here, okay?
This post will contain copious amounts of TMI coupled with Overshare. All ye who are squeamish - ye best click away now, me hearties. (Evidently my Master Of The Obvious Hat triggers Pirate Speak. Interesting.)
Seriously. This is the time to click away if you are going to do it.
So, here we go.
1. MemeGRL asks: "What kind of cloth do you use? And what do you do with it when it's used, especially post-#2? And how do you wash them? We had a service for the cloth diapers we used."
I will tackle all laundry questions in Part Two of the Q&A.
What cloth to use? Well, I use a combination of things. We have a handful of cloth wipes left from cloth diapering days, and those are my favorites because they are the softest. Most are flannel on one side and either organic cotton velour or sherpa on the other side. The rest of our current wipe stash is just cut up flannel that I repurposed from old 100% cotton flannel receiving blankets.
If you are only using wipes for #1, you could easily cut-up old t-shirts or an old flannel sheet for wipes. If you are handy with the sewing machine, pick up some flannel and cut it into 8 x8 squares then sew together for a nice sturdy wipe. If you want something a little more fancy, do a search at Etsy or Hyena Cart for "cloth wipes" and you'll find an assortment.
(May I introduce you to MooCowMomma at Etsy? She is one of my Ditch the Dispsoables Challenge sponsors, and I'll be sharing more with you about her shop later. She does carry a nice little assortment of wipes if you would rather buy pre-made.)
So as you can imagine, there is lots and lots of PINK involved in the cloth wipe usage in our bathroom.
2. And that leads me to the second part of that question - what to do when they are used?
Here is our set-up:
I keep clean wipes in a little basket on the back of the toilet. The pink bag next to the basket is what is known as a wet bag. It has a cute little print outer and the inner is a fabric called PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric - read more here). It is a zippered bag, and when we have either #1 or #2 dirtied wipes, I just toss them in there and zip it up. Normally, I actually keep the bag on the floor beside or behind the toilet, but for picture purposes, I pulled it up next to the basket.
This is where recent cloth diapering makes cloth wipes usage extremely easy because of course I have a wet bag laying around the house. You mean you don't? Unless you cloth diaper, probably not.
So what else can be used to store dirty wipes? Well, Crunchy Chicken suggests (amongst other things) a mesh laundry bag, and really any sort of container could work. Be creative! Look around your house to see what could be reworked into a wipes container. Take a peek into this bathroom. See the white container on top of the shelf? Guess what's inside. Yep! Dirty cloth wipes!
If you are only using wipes for #1, you really can make just about anything work. You could line a small trashcan with an old pillowcase. You could line a wide-mouthed kitchen utensil jar with a small canvas bag. You will find that #1 wipes are not stinky. When you start working with #2, clearly, you need some kind of lid or zipper.
3. I'm sure someone asked about this, but I can't remember who. Next obvious question - what about the stink?
Again, I'll reference Crunchy Chicken's stinky post, and she points out that some people prefer to soak their dirty wipes in some kind of solution (tea tree oil is a popular choice for being an antiseptic stink controller). When I was cloth diapering, I dabbed tea tree oil on a wipe and threw that in the wet bag and then also sprinkled generously with baking soda.
My current stink control method is something that won't work for everyone. AJ prefers to use the Little Potty and that has to be wiped out every time she goes. I was using disposable disinfectant wipes, but those are expensive (and incongruent with the Ditch the Disposables Challenge!), so I put some vinegar soaked rags in a little lidded container. I wipe out the potty each time she goes and then throw the vinegar rag in the wet bag, too. I assure you, when I unzip that wet bag, vinegar is the only thing I smell.
4. Charity asked about what to do with wipes during that time of the month.
(aren't you glad I didn't say menses? I wanted to say menses, but saying menses really bothers and freaks people out. So I won't say menses. You're welcome.)