My Cloth Reusable Baby Wipes Feel Rough: What Can I Do?
Updated 19th December 2023
You've made the switch to ditch disposable baby wipes, congratulations! But a couple of months in and your wipes are starting to feel rough and crusty. Nooooooo!
I feel your pain! We also live in a hard water area in the South of England, and limescale build up can cause your towels to feel rough very quickly. The same goes for washable wipes.
And whilst you need a bit of grip for poo, rough wipes isn't fun for baby bums or hands & faces. Cotton or organic cotton wipes are just the best washable baby wipes for poo, so if you've found your wipes are starting to feel rough, what can you do?
Don't give up and switch back to disposable wet wipes. Here's our top tips to soften reusable wipes and nappies:
- Use a magnoball in your washing machine
- Use fabric softener to soften washable wipes
- Use white vinegar
- Use a tumble dryer
- Leave your wipes or nappies out in the rain
- Other top tips for washing reusable wipes or nappies
Because I have eczema, I don't use fabric conditioner in my washing and try to avoid chemicals that could irritate my skin. For a long time I avoided washing powder too, thinking ecoeggs or similar were a more eco friendly option too.
That's until I realised that eco products just weren't getting my kids stained school polo shirts clean. I swapped to Aldi Bio Powder and have never looked back!
Instead of fabric conditioner, I use an ecozone magnoball which uses magnets to prevent and remove limescale build up. It goes straight into the washing machine along with the clothing, dirty wipes or cloth nappies.
I find that my clothes come out of the washing machine feeling much softer. Jeans don't have that 'crunchiness' that you get if you don't use fabric conditioner.
Some people miss the fragrance of fabric conditioner but I always find them too fragranced - each to their own I guess.
"The wipes surpassed expectations. We've used bamboo cheeky wipes for our daughter's nappy changes and separate ones for her face and hands. They're soft, durable and have saved us a fortune." Nikki, Trustpilot
If you're washing Cheeky Wipes with your clothes or bedding, just use fabric softener. Our wipes are soaked before use so it won't make any difference to their absorbency. Obviously, we don't recommend this with reusable nappies.
One of the MANY uses of white vinegar is as a descaler, the acid of the vinegar counteracts the alkali of the limescale. Just wash reusable baby wipes and anything else feeling crusty with a capful of white vinegar in the final rinse and that should leave your clothes soft without stinking like a fish and chip shop!
If you've got a tumble dryer, this will fluff up the fibres of your wipes, leaving them feeling softer, but won't remove the limescale obviously. A quick tumble dry is a good option in combination with any of the above ideas though.
Great excuse if like me you're a bit lazy and when it rains you tend to leave the clothes out there until they dry again! Our rain is mildly acidic here, so acts in the same way as vinegar in softening your clothes.
Open the mesh bag, nappy bag or wet bag when you place it in the washing machine. This is so that the wipes come out of the bag and can be properly agitated.
Sometimes it's necessary to do a strip wash on reusable wipes or nappies. We've got a really worthwhile blogpost which explains how to strip wash nappies (without damaging them). It's well worth a read as there's so much crack pot advice out there advising to bleach nappies!
"Quick delivery and advice on washing on the website has worked perfectly. No bright yellow baby poo stains at all!" Jake via Trustpilot
As always, if you've got any ideas to share we'd love to hear them? If you found this article interesting, you may also enjoy:
About the author: Helen Rankin is a Mum of 4, who founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up.
The Cheeky customer services team love helping educate customers to make the switch to reusables. They just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.