How long do reusable baby wipes last?
This is a great question!
Generally we expect reusable baby wipes to last for 18 months to 2 years. But it really depends on:
- the type of material they are made from
- frequency of use
- washing & care
- wear and tear
As well as working for Cheeky Wipes as a Customer Service Advisor, I am also a part time Ofsted Registered Childminder and use our reusable cloth wipes for hands & faces.
Not only are reusable wipes a more environmentally friendly option than disposable baby wipes but they clean better and save money too. I love our wipes and so do the children!
"One of many purchases from Cheeky wipes over the years, replacement wipes. We’ve used the last lot for over 11 years and some are now rather threadbare so some new ones were required! Same boxes though from new. Incredible quality" Michaela, Trustpilot
The material of the reusable wipes plays a significant role in determining their lifespan. Wipes made from durable materials like cotton, bamboo / cotton mix, or microfibre tend to last longer.
What material your reusable baby wipes should be depends on the purpose. Different materials are better suited for different uses ie hands & faces and bums, hands & faces, as a toilet paper alternative, pet wipes and also multipurpose general uses including cleaning etc.
Here is a handy fabric comparison chart that gives more information on the material of our wipes, their uses, durability, softness and recommended washing temperatures.
If you use reusable wipes daily, they may wear out more quickly than if you use them less frequently. The more often you use and wash them, the shorter their lifespan is likely to be.
The lifespan of our wipes can vary between 2-3 years. However, I have some that are going strong after 5 years and they are used on a daily basis for hands & faces in my childcare setting.
Proper care and maintenance can extend the lifespan of reusable wipes. Here is our Washing and Care guide for our wipes.
Avoid bleach (chlorine) or detergents containing bleach as this will affect how long the wipes last. You can if you wish, use an oxygen based sanitising in-wash stain remover on your dirty wipes such as BioD which acts as a stain remover to your wash with your normal detergent.
If you use our mesh bag on wash day for your mucky wipes, we recommend loosening the drawstring so they come out sparkling clean.
With the exception of our microfibre wipes, all of our wipes can be tumbled dried. This also helps keep your wipes fresh and clean as you are essentially heating your wipes beyond the temperature that bacteria can endure.
They can of course be air-dried and there is nothing more I like to see hanging on my line than a socktopus full of my various colours and prints in my collection of cheeky wipes.
We recommend that you dry your wipes between washes as this protects the fibres of the material.
"We are a large nursery setting that use the microfiber wipes for hands and faces. They are used and washed daily but last incredibly well, so well we have just brought a new set after 4 years of use! Delivery and communication was excellent as well as the product." Emma, Trustpilot
Some factors can make you wipes wear out quicker such as:
- Using bleach (avoid if possible!)
- Washing your wipes with velcro (particularly if you are using cloth nappies with velcro tabs)
- Getting caught on or snagging on something in the washing machine or the washing machine door
- Rot caused from leaving them in the water too long which weakens the fibres of the fabric
- Not drying them after washing - your wipes will literally rot through!
Eventually, all textiles will show signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or thinning. When the wipes become too worn, it's time to replace them and they can be easily recycled at any local fabric recycling centre and will go on to live another life!
Consider the purpose of the wipes when choosing your fabric. If you're using them for cleaning tasks that involve harsh chemicals or abrasive surfaces, they may wear out more quickly compared to wipes used for gentler tasks like baby wipes.
Some of our wipes are best suited to bums, hands & faces and hands & faces - see our site for more information or complete one of our handy wipes questionnaires for specific recommendations.
Proper storage can also help prolong the life of reusable wipes. Pour away excess water when wet so your wipes aren't dripping. Dry between uses and store them in a clean and dry place when not in use to prevent mold or mildew growth.
Reusable wipes can last anywhere from several months to a few years, if you take care of them. Regularly inspect your wipes for signs of wear and tear, and replace them when they no longer perform their intended function effectively.
They can always be repurposed too - if you no longer need them for your baby or children you can use them as a toilet paper alternative.
"I have been using Cheeky Wipes for the last 12 years!!! Every order, no issues and a quality lasting product. My eldest has gone full circle with this company, from using wet wipes as a baby to period pants as a tween! 100% recommend to buy from this fab company!!! :-)" Haz, Trustpilot
We hope you found this article useful and it has encouraged you to make the switch to reusable wipes. You may also be interested in reading:
About the Author: Paula Woods is a Customer Service Expert at Cheeky Wipes. She answers our chat and is our expert on answering wipes questionnaires. Paula is also an Ofsted registered childminder and has been using Cheeky Wipes on her charges for many years now. Outside of work, Paula loves a boogie and is always first on the dancefloor at any party!
The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.