Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Cloth Wipes Review

*This entry mentions snot, poop, and other messes... you've been warned!*

When I started out with cloth diapering, I wasn't going to use cloth wipes. Sure, I was okay with cloth diapers and spraying the poop off of them... but wipes? That's just plain silly! Fast forward to a large order I placed for FuzziBunz from KellysCloset.com -- I got a cloth diaper package that included a sprayer and some cloth wipes. It was the one-size FuzziBunz, they didn't have the Elite then... but same package pretty much. I wasn't going to discard the wipes, so I figured I'd hold onto them for just wiping up whatever mess needed it. Essentially, I got "wash cloths".

Not long after we started using our cloth diapers, I realized how wasteful the disposable wipes were. (Especially when my husband would always leave the container OPEN!) I started looking into cloth wipes and quickly saw the reviews saying they only needed 2-3 at most for the messiest of diapers. What?! Here we are using like, TEN! That was that... the disposable wipes had to go. I decided that paper tissues were too wasteful, so I decided I was switching to cloth for that too.

Since that day, I've acquired many different brands of wipes looking for the 'perfect' wipe. Perfect for bottoms, perfect for noses, perfect for hands, and for those (upper!) cheeks. I wanted to compare them, but to do so for all aspects, I needed something my son (unfortunately) shared with me: a cold. What better way to test out all the wipes for noses than on my own? I would like to preface this by saying that my nose was already chapped from the disposable tissues that I had been using at work. On the bright side, this will let me know just how gentle the wipes can be when you're already sensitive like that!

I would like to offer the following information in regards to the reviews:

- All items were prepped/washed with GroVia™ Tiny Bubbles detergent and are dried with Wooly Rounds Wool Dryer Balls
- For cleaning hands/faces, only some water was used on the wipe(s)
- For cleaning Bums, only Baby Bum Drops Wipes Solution was used
- For cleaning up messes, evaluation was performed on my son's highchair tray. I purposefully let the foods dry on there (or partially dry to get a bit rubbery), as well as used on fresh foods for a full range of cleaning capabilities.
- Since my son is a toddler (and I didn't use cloth when he was a newborn), I can only compare to what I've experienced when referring to bum cleaning. For the most part, his poops are "moldable" solids that will leave discolouration or pieces stuck to his skin. He is still breastfed, however, and while he was sick, he did end up with very runny messes as he primarily nursed and wanted no food.
*We use a spray bottle and store the wipes dry*

I would also like to state that all of the wipes had pictures taken *AFTER* I did a complete stripping using chlorine bleach. No, they don't really look any different (nor do they feel different), so that might be a relief for some people to know. I was very concerned about them since my first time stripping anything I used colour-safe bleach and some of my wipes got really dry and stiff feeling. Very disappointing since they were normally so fluffy and soft! (They were Thirsties Fab wipes).

Along with the discovery of colour-safe bleach damaging my Thirsties Fab wipes, I also learned the hard way to not dry my FuzziBunz Wipes on high-heat. I didn't think anything of the fact that one side is cotton, the other fleece.... until the cotton side strunk causing them to curl a bit (as you can see in the pictures). All of the wipes shown below were dried on high heat after their initial prepping. I experienced this happening to a couple of my Thirsties Fab wipes, but nowhere near the degree of curling/shrinking that the FuzziBunz wipes had. In fact, it was only a slight curl if any at all with those.


Wipes being compared from Left to Right:


Left to Right: IttiBitti, Thirsties Fab, GroVia, FuzziBunz, PlanetWise, AppleCheeks, BabyKicks

Left to Right: IttiBitti, Thirsties Fab, Grovia, FuzziBunz, Planetwise, AppleCheeks, BabyKicks


Up against each other (thickness comparison/stitching comparison) from Bottom to Top:


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Bottom to top: IttiBitti, Thirsties Fab, GroVia, FuzziBunz, PlanetWise, AppleCheeks, BabyKicks
Bottom to top: IttiBitti, Thirsties Fab,  GroVia, FuzziBunz, Planetwise, AppleCheeks, BabyKicks

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itti*bitti Ultimate Wipes

Both sides of this 2-ply wipe are velour, making them the thickest (and softest!) that I've seen. The velour is held together with stitching around the edges. The wipes come in either packages of white velour on one side, colour on the other, or two different colours per wipe. They measure about 9.6"x9.6", also making them some of the largest I've seen.

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*Please note that I accidentally did not have my hand all the way down to the corner of the wipe like I did in all the following photos. This wipe is larger than it looks due to my hand placement.*

Noses: These are the thickest wipes I own, but also the softest! They were divine against my poor, chapped nose! They easily held up against my ever-draining nose and did a good job grabbing the snot. Like the other velour wipes, they did smear a bit when I tried to use them on my son. Again, this is likely due to the fact he doesn't understand how to 'blow' his nose yet.

Hands/Faces: Messy faces are a breeze with this wipe, and so are the hands (if you can hold them still!). They grabbed sticky and grimy things really well. Not only are they super soft against the skin, but they have a lot more surface area, allowing you to potentially use one for both hands and face. (No guarantees, I don't know how messy your kids get, and my little one has pretty much no hair!)

Bums: Being larger, you need less of these wipes when cleaning up messes. Both sides are super soft to be gentle where your little one needs it, but have enough texture (if going against the fabric grain) to grab poop particles. Like the other velour wipes, I have noticed a bit of a smearing or pushing-around of poop, but not as much as with the other velour wipes.

Household Messes: While handling food and sticky items fairly well (and being rather absorbent!), I feel like it's a waste of their softness using it on a counter or other surface! They are nice for wiping off a messy baby though, so if it's already messy, why not use it on a counter to finish cleaning up the mess?


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Thirsties Fab

These wipes are very soft and plush. They are made of two different materials. One side is a plush velour, and the other side is microfleece. They are stitched together around the edges, measuring 8"x8".


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Noses: These are pleasantly soft on your skin, so they were a no-brainer for me when I got a cold. I did enjoy how gentle they were against my skin, but occasionally had issues getting them to 'grab' all the gooeyness, sometimes resulting in me having to wipe multiple times (which can add to the dryness, regardless of how soft the tissue is!). I also experienced this when attempting to wipe my toddler's runny nose. At 14 months, he didn't know how to 'assist' with the nose blowing/wiping, so he'd have long, slimy strings dangling as I pulled the wipe away.

Hands/Faces: Decent job cleaning up, but not grubby fingers. For things still wet (perhaps fresh yogurt or puree), these are great. For slightly dried stuff or grubby fingers I found stuff left behind and had to re-wipe the areas.

Bums: Being super soft, these are easily a go-to wipe for the diaper area. I'm never worried about being too rough on any of the sensitive areas with these wipes. The velour side is supposed to help grab messes and the microfleece is supposed to be good for light cleanings or drying off. I do find that if the poop is really runny that it sometimes smears it or pushes it around instead of grabbing it. This isn't always the case, but is frustrating when it does happen.

Household Messes: All food (dried, wet, and rubbery) wiped up easily with just some hot water and a little pressure. These wipes are a bit thicker than most of the others, so it was able to hold more water to scrub/wipe with.


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GroVia™ Cloth Wipes

These wipes are made of a soft terry fabric. They are comprised of two layers sewn together around the edges. They only come in white, and measure 8"x8".They are not overly soft, but still gentle and with a bit of fluff to them.


First picture without flash, second with (It was hard to get a good shot of an all-white wipe!) Photobucket
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Noses: These were easily gentle enough while still having enough texture to grab any gooey stuff. They were ideal for re-use because anything on the wipe dried well enough to not clump the wipe together or remain sticky.

Hands/Faces: These do a good job getting that grubbiness off of little fingers and faces while not being overly rough on the skin.

Bums: It doesn't matter what kind of poop you're facing, these wipes do a good job and will help with even the messiest of poops. I wish they were a bit larger, as I seem to have trouble getting them to get everything with one wipe. (This may have something to do with how thick the layers are so when I fold them to use clean surface, they get so thick I can't fold much more.)

Household Messes: These wipes handled all types of food very well. They also held water well for cleaning those dried-on foods.


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FuzziBunz(R) DOUBLE Sided Wipes - Organic Cotton / Fleece


One side of these wipes are fleece, the other side of fleece (as the name might suggest). They are 9"x9" squares with stitching around the edges. The colour is mostly white, although there are sometimes hints of light shades of other natural tones (cream, brown).

First picture without flash, second with (It was hard to get a good shot of an all-white wipe!)
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Noses: It didn't matter what side was used, both sides equally wiped up snot very efficiently! Pleasantly soft, too! Successfully wiped snot (and grabbed it all) from my wiggly toddler. (...now if only he learned how to 'blow' when I ask!)

Hands/Faces: I was surprised how well these did with this, actually. I wet the wipe and tried both sides on my son's face after a particularly messy meal. Again, both sides performed equally well. They got the dried/caked foods with ease, the wet foods with ease, and I know they were soft on his face! I also used the same wipe to follow up on a hand after a different wipe I tried left stuff behind.

Bums: I was impressed with how well these cleaned up poop! I honestly expected them to smear a bit, or not grab very much, but my son put them to the test and we only needed a total of two (because I like using a clean wipe after he looks 'clean' to ensure that I got everything).

Household Messes: These wipes handled rubbery foods, caked on foods, and wet foods with ease. It was easy to contain the foods within the wipe too (if needed) when using the fleece side.


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Planet Wise Flannel Wipes


These wipes are thin, and take up very little space in a diaper bag, purse, wipe bag, etc. They are the a single piece of fabric with stitching around the edges, and are 8"x8". They are sold in colour sets of two. I went with the Lime/Chocolate. As far as softness goes, these are not as soft as I expected. Perhaps I was thinking of my son's super soft, thick, flannel pajamas when I ordered them. Due to this, I was a bit disappointed when I got them.


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Noses: These work well for cleaning up noses, but they weren't too gentle after the skin got dried or chapped. It was easy to wipe up runny snot with this material

Hands/Faces: These are good little wipes for hands and faces. They grab food residue decently, and due to the small size, you can always keep plenty on hand.

Bums: These wipes performed better than I thought they would for cleaning up poop, but they didn't grab tiny pieces very well. If you pinched with the wipes, obviously it would pick up whatever you were going for, but if you're just wiping (like I did), pieces will fall because there isn't enough texture on the wipe to snag anything.

Household Messes: These can't hold much water, so for something you need a good amount of wetness to wipe up/off these aren't the best. They did, however, do a great job scrubbing/wiping off any food stuck or splattered on the surface, but you might need multiple wipes due to how thin these are.


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AppleCheeks Plush Rayon from Bamboo Wipes


These wipes are very soft, and have larger loops for the material. They remind me of washcloths with the way the little loops stick out. They are 8"x8" squares, and all white.They may not be velour, but they are still super soft!


First picture without flash, second with Photobucket


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Noses: These did a great job with collecting and holding snot from both me and my toddler. They were also nice and soft against our skin, but the fabric was textured enough to where they grabbed what they needed with ease.

Hands/Faces: Essentially, these are like really soft wash cloths. They cleaned both hands and faces quickly and thoroughly.

Bums: Being so soft, these are one of my top wipes for bums. They are super gentle, but also super effective and snagging poo particles and cleaning up in general. The fabric has lots of little loops and that helps clean all the creases well, too.

Household Messes: Again, these are essentially super soft wash cloths. They took out any mess I put them up against with flying colours. I would easily use these for pretty much any task at hand (so long as it wouldn't ruin them).

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BabyKicks Hemp Washies/Wipes


These wipes are hemp fleece and, unlike the other wipes, are cut into 7.5" x 9.5" ovals instead of squares. The edges have coloured stitching.

I was very excited when I ordered these wipes because all the reviews said they were very soft and worked great for cleanups. Bonus? They are good for cleaning lenses on cameras, glasses, etc. Yes, very excited when I ordered these. I prepped them, dried them.... and thought I did something wrong. They are not soft. One side of them is smooth, the other textured (for grabbing messes), but it's always felt like a softer version of burlap material to me. I was hesitant to use this on my son's bottom due to the way it felt to me.


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Noses: These are too rough to use on noses. They do a good job of grabbing up any of the gooeyness as opposed to smearing it around, but it was painful on my chapped skin. I had used them to experiment with prior to having the cold, and they were uncomfortable to use as a tissue then, too.

Hands/Faces: Due to how uncomfortable they were for blowing noses, I really don't like using them on faces. I will keep them handy for when my son randomly wants to just let whatever is in his mouth pour out because they do a great job with that, and they are good for getting that grubbiness off of hands (like after my little one eats his 'doodles' which leave a film on the fingers much like cheetos or doritos would)

Bums: I think these are too rough for use on diaper regions -- ESPECIALLY if your little one has any sores. I have taken to reaching for these and sliding them under his bum to prevent poop from getting on our changing table (and to catch any extra he decides to release... because he sometimes has to show off his pooping skills to me I guess)

Household Messes: Being a bit rougher (at least to me!), these wipes do a great job with helping loosen any stuck-on items. They performed equally well with the rubbery (partially dried) foods. Since they are one-ply and a thinner material in general, they don't hold a lot of mess in them if you're collecting food as you're wiping. They wipe up wet foods well too, but again, they cannot hold much. This limits them in terms of cleaning up since they can't retain water in the amount you might need if there is a dried-on mess away from the sink. These would work great as a dish rag in the sink though.

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There is one area that is the same for *ALL* of the above wipes.... they all grab cat hair super easily! We are in a household that has 3 cats, and all of the wipes seem to end up with hair on them, and they all seem to be equally as difficult to pick the hair off of!

With all that said, I still have more wipes that I could compare, but those will come in either an addition to this post (much later!), or a separate post all together. Out of all the wipes above, I like many of them for different purposes. I also have a few I simply reserve for uses other than bottoms because they are either too rough (BabyKicks) or just don't grab well enough (Planetwise).

What are YOUR favorite wipes, what do YOU use them for, and why?

If you have any brand of wipes that you'd like me to review, please feel free to contact me at: Thoughtsoffluff@gmail.com
or find me on FaceBook!

*All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated in any way for the reviews of these products.

11 comments:

  1. Great comparison! Thanks for taking the time to put this together! I like how you broke each evaluation into different areas.

    As you know, I love my TwoSweetPotatoes wipes for bum changes. I have the Itti Bitti as well which I use for mealtimes, and I use my super-thick Lil Helper wipes for baths.

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  2. Thanks this is the first review of this kind I have found.

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    1. I'm glad it's of use! I plan on doing a "Part 2" for this with a bunch of other brands (Much later down the road), so if there are any brands in particular you want to see reviewed, let me know!

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  3. Great review! I tried a number of different wipes when I started cloth diapering, but ultimately decided that my favorite are . . . simple squares of fleece that I bought from the scrap pile at Joanns and cut to my preferred size (the size of a disposable wipe). I didn't do nearly as comprehensive an evaluation as you did, but I use a wipe warmer and simply found that most wipes were more expensive than I thought they should be and were way too thick to have enough of them in the warmer at the same time! My fleece wipes squish down really well, and I made about a bazillion of them for less than $5 ;) I think that, almost more than diapers, wipes are REALLY a matter of preference!

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    1. You brought up a point I wanted to mention in my review: how you are using the wipes. I have a spray bottle of wipe solution and store my wipes dry. I recently bought a wipes warmer and wanted to try that out too.... I might find I like some of the wipes wet that I didn't dry!

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  4. I actually made my own due to the fact I didn't like the crazy lint/hair grabbing and 'smearing' on the bum instead of getting it off. You can check out my tutorial here!===> http://lifeasmrsz.blogspot.com/2012/05/diy-cloth-wipes.html

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  5. Thanks for the reviews! I'm still unsure about cloth wipes though we've been cloth diapering for 9 months! I may try some soon... :)

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    1. We weren't going to use cloth wipes at first, but it really isn't as hard as you might think it would be! I never had an issue with my little guy peeing during diaper changes when I stopped using those cold disposable wipes!

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  6. Wow, awesome comparison! I was equally disappointed with Planetwise/Imagine wipes but I LOVE our Grovia wipes! I also have some simple WAHM wipes that are terry on one side and flannel on the other. They're not the softest around, but they work SOOO well for messy jobs.

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  7. My question is how would you rank them from best to worst?!

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    1. That would depend on what you're wanting to use them for. If it was just for bottoms, now (after 3 years+), I would say my favorites are GroVia. Thirsties Fab Wipes come in second.

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