FAQ's: How do I stop my reusable wipes from smelling musty?

2 Comments17 November 2009  |  Admin

To stop your reusable wipes from smelling musty or bad, you probably need to tweak your washing / soaking routine:

It's also possible that you've left your wipes somewhere and forgotten about them for a few days. I know that I have definitely done this and found some musty smelling wipes in the bottom of my nappy changing bag.

Fortunately they aren't beyond saving, we have some hints and tips for how to both prevent and get rid of that musty smell!  It's a good idea to read the Cheeky Wipes instructions on this page too!


Check your reusable wipes are wet enough

For every 25 Cheeky Cloth Baby Wipes, you'll need approx 400 - 500 ml of tap water. Your wipes should be properly wet through, not just damp when they are in the box.  We prefer to properly soak the wipes but it's also important to tip any excess water and soaking solution away.

Check you are adding enough soaking solution to your reusable wipes

You should aim to add around 4 - 5 drops of fresh wipes oil to your water to soak your wipes. Not adding enough oil is the most common cause of mustiness because the essential oils are mildly anti-bacterial and help preserve your wipes.

Check how often you wash your reusable wipes

When you have a newborn baby, you can use your washable wipes to clean your baby with just plain water, however only soak 10 at a time and change daily.

Once your little one is 6 weeks old, you can add the essential oil wipes solution to the water and that will keep your wipes fresh for a couple of days.

Although we've taken our Cheeky Wipes (soaked in the mucky wipes oil solution!) to Glastonbury where they were fine in the box for 4 days, this isn't really recommended.

You'll usually have a wash going on every couple of days at least, so just chuck your reusable wet wipes in every time you have a wash going on - every other day is ideal Even if you have some 'fresh' wipes unused you can still wash them to freshen them up before starting over.

Dry your reusable wipes on a sock dryer

Dry your cloth wipes thoroughly

Although you *can* resoak your wipes straight from the washing machine in an emergency, we don't recommend it as a matter of course.  It's always best to line dry or tumble dry your wipes to keep them smelling fresh and mustiness free!

Don't use warm water to soak your reusable cleaning wipes

Tap water is absolutely fine for soaking your cloth wipes. Alternatively, cooled boiled water is good (but a bit of an unnecessary faff!). Whatever you do, don't use warm water as it encourages mould growth.

Large Double Wet Bag

Make sure that your reusable baby wipes storing boxes and wetbags are clean

Often parents forget to wash out their wipes containers and wet bags. This doesn't have to be done all the time, but it's a good idea if your wipe are smelling to bleach your wipes containers thoroughly. Also, run the fresh wipes and mucky wipes bags through the washing machine.

Keep your reusable wipes away from direct sunlight / radiators

We often get this from puzzled customers in the summer, where their wipes have been quite merrily sitting on a nursery windowsill..until summer. When they get warm, this encourages mould and mildew growth.

This is one of the easiest things to solve as you just move your wipes somewhere cooler!

Large Mesh Wash Bag

Open the drawstring on your mesh wash bag

If you're using our laundry mesh bag, always ensure that the drawstring is left open. This allows the wipes to be sufficiently agitated in the washing machine.

Use decent laundry detergent on your washable wipes

This is super important. We've found that some more eco friendly detergents aren't as good at cleaning dirty nappies and wipes. If you're using reusable nappies, we really recommend that you avoid products such as the eco egg. The eco egg is great for freshening up lightly soiled items, but it's not as good on heavily soiled items such as wipes or cloth nappies.

White Vinegar to remove musty smells

How to get rid of musty smell on wipes?

If you've left your wipes in your fresh (or mucky wipes) bags and forgotten about them what then? According to Cleanipedia, try pre-soaking in diluted white vinegar. Alternatively, wash the wipes on their own in the washing machine with a cup of white vinegar. Then wash on a high temperature, 60c. You can also try adding Borax to the wash for additional mould killing power.

About the author: Cheeky Wipes were created in 2008 by Helen Rankin, who was on a mission to prove to parents that they could ditch disposable wipes and save money and the planet by switching to reusable wipes. Since then the company have introduced a range of 'Simple Reusables' including period pants and cloth sanitary pads which lead to them being awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in sustainable development in 2021. The Cheeky Customer Services Team have all used the products themselves and love nothing more than to chat pee, poo and periods!

Cheeky Wipes logo
Search icon Account icon Basket icon0