I have not always had a love affair with cloth wipes, cloth diapers, or cloth anything for that matter. In fact, when my eldest daughter was a newborn, I researched and purchased the top of the line diapers and wipes. Not to mention, she had the best chemical-laden diaper cream money could buy.
Tell the truth…who’s with me!?!
Then, with my middle child, I became a bit more relaxed; everything was cheap, chemical-laden, and disposable. Presently, with my youngest 2 year-old I have found a hybrid balance that works for our family.
However, when convicted by the amount of waste that was pouring from our house, and in an effort to save a few bucks, I started making my own wipes from sewn together pieces of extra flannel swaddling blankets and old towels.
This is when I created my own homemade diaper area wash for use with the cloth wipes. It is made from a base liquid of chamomile tea and a few other common ingredients I regularly have in the kitchen. The recipe produces a very beneficial and frugal solution for my baby’s bottom care.
Chamomile is a very sustainable herb that grows well in most climates and can be dried for longer storage past its’ season. The benefits of chamomile are numerous, and when used externally it will alleviate skin problems associated with:
- Wounds, burns, and scrapes
- Psoriasis, eczema, and chickenpox
- Diaper Rash
Now, on with the recipe:
Homemade Diaper Area Wash Recipe
-1 cup prepared chamomile tea
-1 teaspoon castile soap
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-3 drops tea tree oil
-5 drops lavender oil
-½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
Directions: Boil water and prepare chamomile tea as you would normally. Allow tea to cool completely. Proceed by adding the remaining ingredients to the tea. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Keep at changing table along with your own homemade wipes.
To use: Spray on infant/child’s diaper area as needed and wipe off with wet cloth.
All of the ingredients in this wash work together to protect and heal your child’s most sensitive area. And leaves him/her clean and smelling fresh; and who doesn’t want that!
I love hearing your comments and recommendations! So please let our growing community of readers know how you are caring for the diaper area on your sweet little one.
All of the materials needed for this recipe I purchased online from Mountain Rose Herbs!
Oh how i wish I knew this recipe when my kiddos were in diapers! I did make my own wipes with bounty towels and babywash liquid soaking in an old tupperware pickle storage container. This is much nicer!
With my first child I was all about cloth diapers, I wasn’t going to pollute the earth with disposable diapers. That lasted three days. Cloth diapers made really good dusting cloths and burp cloths. By the fourth baby I was settled into Luvs diapers, home made wipes and A&D ointment.
I like your idea better. I have a niece who is pregnant. I wonder if I could talk her into trying it for hers. Better yet, now that I’m older maybe it would be nice for MY sensitive areas?!
I use lavender vinegar(which I make myself by steeping fresh homegrown lavender in plain white vinegar) and olive oil and distilled water to make after toileting wipes. Definitely do not over use the vinegar. I just use cheap paper towels (cut them in half or quarters) and it works great. I will try this recipe you’ve posted.
I agree with the lady above, Wish i knew of this when my babies were babies!
I was wondering what kind of shelf life this has. If I keep it in a spray bottle on the changing table, will it spoil?
I can’t give you a specific shelf life, however I can say that a spray bottle of this solution stays on my babies changing table and I use it daily. We’ve never had an issue with spoilage:)
I would really like to use this but I’m a little concerned with the tea tree and lavender essential oils on my boys. There are warnings about frequent skin contact and adverse effects for young boys. What is your experience and your thoughts?
I have used it on my son for two+ years without ill effect…however the results could be different for everyone.
Maria Daniels says
The only reason that you may have an issue is if you or your child is allergic to pine. Tea tree is derived from a tree that is a realitive of the pine tree and can cause allergic reactions to anyone allergic to pine. This is usually minor even with an allergy, however if sprayed on an open wound and allowed to get into the blood stream could be more dangerous.
That being said, I agree this is generally a VERY safe product. Especiay when you consider the toxic wipes people are using on their babies that include ingredients linked to organ failure. That makes a “potenial” minor reaction seem trivial.
I used Bag Balm for a diaper rash/preventative ointment and it works fine. It also heals cuts, abrasions, burns, cracked/rough skin, etc. much quicker than these things would heal on their own and works well as a chap stick, too.
My grandfather used Bag Balm on his cracked farm hands…. so years ago I ordered some… I was very disappointed to discover it is petroleum based so I never used it.
One Lucky Mama Cloth Diapers says
This is a great recipe. A nice simple way to add chamomile essence to wipes.
For those worried about tea tree oil and lavender and possible hormonal effects – this scare was started by one doctor who published a “case study” of two boys in his practice. It was mostly anecdotal. Basically, he said that these two boys had some hormonal effects, the family stopped using stuff with lavender, and they got better. From a scientific point of view this is ludicrous. They did not study what else was in the kids’ environment (what were they eating, were they exposed to other environmental contaminents, etc.), they did not track the progress of their improvement, they did not even evaluate the actual products in question to see if something else was in them. Basically, it amounts to one doctor saying, Hmm, I wonder if this is the problem?
Both tea tree oil and lavender do contain phytoestrogens – but most plants do. They have both been used safely for generations. It seems to me that if there were major risks involved, we’d see a lot more evidence.
That said, do be careful with tea tree oil. It is toxic if ingested – as are most other essential oils. Be sure to keep the essential oil bottles well out of reach of small hands.
DIY momma says
I may have to remember this next time I fill up the spray bottle. To date I have only used water with a little added olive oil and baby soap.
You may have mentioned this before, but where do you find your glass spray bottles?
Kate Smith says
I love our own wipe solution. It’s a mixture of castile, olive oil, tea tree oil, water, and lavender oil. I have heard negative things about tea tree oil for sensitive skin, so I just use if very sparingly and she’s done great. If anything it helps prevent diaper rash. It’s also great because when we travel I have a travel bottle that comes with my dry wipes. No worries that your wipes will mildew and no nasty preservatives either. We also make our own diaper cream. I consider it a maintenance cream to keep her nice and protected from any acidity (she has problems when she eats heavy citrus fruits), it’s made from coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil. Works great!!
I’d love to try chamomile though, great recipe!!
Can you give me the proportions of the diaper cream? I’ve just started using cammomile tea & has cleard up redness, but this combo sound interesting too! (I’ve got everything except the coconut oil) Thanks
Kate Smith says
No problem! I’ve got it in a blog post. A little goes a long way and it’s been working great. 🙂
Kali P. says
I’m making this for the spray bottle I have for my family cloth!
This is great, I have tried lots of different systems and the spray bottle is awesome, Hadn’t thought of adding chamomile this way though! Totally doing this!
Megan of RojerThat.com says
I just blogged about how we cured our ‘organic’ baby’s wicked diaper rash, wish I had read your post then! See link below. We use organic wipes and cloth diapers. When we try run out of cheap organic wipes, I may just try this whole cloth wipe thing.
Is the solution a creamy opaque color? I mixed up a batch and I want to make sure I did it right.
My two youngest and husband is allergic to diaper rash creams. I am going to try this with my baby, who is one now. I wish I new about this befor. I used cloth diapers and disposible ones. Disposible ones always give my kids rashes no matter what brand . Cloth they always seem to pee and #2 through. : ) Thanks for the information.
my boy has a very bad diaper rash, creams seem to work for a little while then they don’t. I do have a question though. What’s the difference between creams and the spray?