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Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

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Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by sarahw on Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:46 pm

Hey everyone,

I've seen Forest Fairy's blog post about why she doesn't use wet wipes, and I agree, particularly in regards to their wastefulness and the fact that they're not great for your skin.

Otherwise I haven't found much else in the way of info online about this in regards to face painting. I've done research into alternatives to baby wipes, and also discovered the method of a DIY solution and disposable paper towel, however another solution I'm considering is reusable wipes.

The idea came from my sister, who used reusable wipes with cloth nappies on my nephew.

I made some wipes to try it out, but wanted to see what you experienced people on the forum thought before I go any further.

When I made them, I used a solution of witch hazel, essential oil (tea tree as a disinfectant) and water, but there are many, many recipes online that could be experimented with. I had thick, black felt cloth at home which I cut into flats about 10x20cm (to fit into an old wipes box) and soaked them with the solution. The wipes were very effective, working at least as well as standard wipes. The felt left fluff on the skin, but I think a thin cotton instead of felt would solve that. I also think that they could be smaller, because you don't need a whole wipe to clean just a small bit of food, or goop off a kids face or to fix a mistake.

Here's my thoughts:

Cons:

Concerned parents won't believe in their disinfecting power because the solution is homemade
Take up a little more space in the container
Potential time eater, making the solution and stacking the wipes for each gig
Have an expiry date (couldn't make really far ahead of time)

Pros:

They feel super nice on your skin
They smell really good, but don't have added scents
Cost effective – cheap to make, and they can be washed with the sponges after use and re-soaked with solution
Reusable, creating no waste (super pro!!!)
They look good, with a fun print or finished flat black
No chemicals!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one!
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sarahw

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Re: Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by Forest-Fairy on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:27 pm

Thank you for referencing my blog ^.^

This is an interesting idea, and it was actually one I was playing around with in my head before coming up with my paper towel square/spray bottle solution.

First I'll tackle the homemade wipes:

Once a found a blog from a mom who made her own wipes using soaked paper towel, baby oil and other things in them. Made me cringe because with out the preservative chemicals you have just created a ticking time bomb. Don't kid yourself, this WILL mold, you can't keep something like that wet and not have bacteria or mold start to build and form at some point.
All your 'cons' also apply here.

So it's just safer to keep your wet solution in it's own dispenser until you need it.

But what about using reusable cloth squares with the atomizer? 

Using Cloths:

Thought about this too, I could wash them at home and it would be great, less waste, and I could even dye them black to avoid visible stains!

But after some thought, there are just some things the public just doesn't want you to reuse, or be the 2nd hand recipient from (even if it's clean!!). This is one of them. The public understands you can't throw out your brushes, or your sponges etc but with something as simple as a cloth wipe it feels 'dirtier', even though honestly it's probably cleaner then the brush! Nope, doesn't matter. The public doesn't see it that way. They want you do use a wipe just for them, and them alone. Doesn't matter if you take it home and wash them in the washing machine or whatever. It's the same reason there's not really any 2nd hand underwear for sale at Value Village. It doesn't matter how clean it actually might be, because the very thought of it makes us cringe.

10 Grossest Items To Buy Second-Hand

Sadly you can't do much to change the public's impression on this. :/ And to me at least a clean image is just as important as an actual clean setup.

All things considered, I went with the small paper towel squares and to keep them dry until I spray them with my atomizer soap/water solution.

While grabbing the square, the atomizer and giving it a quick spritz might take more time then grabbing a pre-wetted wipe, it still only takes like 2 seconds to do. :/

Hope this helped!!
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Re: Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by sarahw on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:51 pm

With pleasure, I've found your posts very thoughtful, and so useful Smile

Your point about the perceptions of parents has hit the nail on the head, as this was my main concern, and I was afraid that might be the way it went. It's a real pity that this is how people see it, and I may do a little market research around my area as I get more work to see if that's truly how they would react, as our inner city suburbs are a nice green bunch and it's possible they'll be more on side.

But I'll try out the paper towel option, although I did wonder, do they tend to come apart at all, or do they hold together pretty well?

It's also a good point about keeping it in a separate container. I've got a hand sanitiser spray bottle with the same solution, so I can use that. I do like the idea of a natural ingredients, rather than commercial soap, and it's cheaper and already in liquid form.

Thanks for your response, it was really helpful!
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sarahw

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Re: Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by jlirie on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:58 pm

don't know if australia has US brands, or similar, but bounty paper towels are the strongest, in my experience.

viva are strong and soft but very lint-y.

brawny are strong but scratchier.

most generic brands fall apart when wet.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:30 am

Most welcome *tips hat*

As for the public perception, I had the same thought. I live in Vancouver which (claims to be) one of the Greenest cities in all of Canada, and the people here can be pretty smug about it too lol. I thought i might try it, but again, some times you have to cater the the lowest common denominator. Also I know that in Vancouver Canada at least, not many people would actually 'voice' their concern if they had one. They would be more likely to just keep it to themselves, as to do otherwise might be considered 'rude'.

So, I chose not to risk it and went with the option I knew had a definite success, rather then a 'maybe'.

I use Bounty Select-a-Size paper towel and then cut them into smaller squares. I never have an issue with them coming apart as I store them dry, and only add the soap/water just before use. They hold up great.

I do advise not using hand sanitizer on the face though. Again it's pretty much 90% alcohol, and you run into the same problems with wet wipes with it being bad for the skin. Hand are much less sensitive, but even too much hand sani on them can dry them out over time.

Nope, highly recommend just regular old hand soap and water. The plainer the better. Non scented too. I use Dove, or Ivory and put some shavings into my atomizer with added water. It dissolves fast after you shake it up. 

I asked my mother in law (retired nurse of 25 years) what would be best, and she said regular soap, as it's the most gentle for the face. My friends father (a retired dermatologist) also backed this up when I asked him. So that's what i went for.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by sarahw on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:42 pm

I hadn't considered people potentially not saying anything, that's a very good point, probably because I usually speak up pretty quickly if I have a problem! Will have a bit more of a think over it.

But it's good to hear I'll probably be fine with just any old brand of paper towel then. Sweet.

Sorry, I should have said, my 'hand sanitiser' is just a mild water/soap solution that I made myself. I've never tried using just a block though, so might check that out instead. It's cool that it dissolves.

I'll never to put alcohol on anyone's face – that much I have learned from the forum!

bounce
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sarahw

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Re: Has anyone ever tried re-usable wipes?

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:08 pm

Awesome. Yeah I didn't know your hand sani wasn't real hand sani lol.

Long ago I did the soap thing for my hands when I was face painting because hand sani was starting to dry out my hands. But my mother in law set me straight on that one! See the problem comes when it comes time to rinse off the soap. Which is a step which is missing when we simply have a soap water mix in replacement of hand sani.

Soap contains

surfactants (surface active agents) and one end of their molecule is attracted to water, while the other end is attracted to dirt and grease. So the surfactant molecules help water to get a hold of grease, break it up, and wash it away. BUT the problem is if you aren't rinsing your hands the dirt and grease filled surfactants just stay and hang out on your hands (this is why there is a "20 second rule" when it comes to washing your hands).

So the dirt and grime is still there, and isn't really sanitized. My MIL told me to simply get a hand sani with added moisturizer, and recommended one with added aloe. That way if the dirt is still there at least it's now more or less inert for cross contamination. 

I asked about the soap/water mix for cleaning a kids face and we came up with just using my regular water atomizer to wipe away any soap left over on the area. While I surmise I could do the same thing for my hands, it would require large pieces of paper towel and more water, AND I would have to do it between each kid. :/ so hand sani made more sense. Oh! and since using the stuff with added moisturizer I haven't had a problem with dry hands!
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