Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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Toxins in Baby Wipes March 24, 2008

Filed under: Baby & Toddler — Rachel @ 2:52 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve seen moms receive more packets of wipes than you could ever imagine needing at baby showers.  Some moms use wipes like they’re going out of style: two or more with every diaper change and out they come again to clean up messy faces and dirty toys.  Hey, wipes are handy! 

Here’s the thing: mainstream disposable wipes aren’t very environmentally friendly and are packed with fragrances and wetting chemicals that you really don’t want around your baby, really.  On Skin Deep’s Cosmetic Database, wipes by Huggies and Pampers contain DMDM Hydantoin.  This chemical is rated a seven on a toxicity scale of one to ten.  DMDM Hydantoin is a known human immune system toxicant and is restricted in cosmetics since it can cause skin irritation and can have broad systemic organ effects.  Pampers and Huggies wipes also contain Methylparaben.  Even the media has been on board with the concern for parabens.  Methylparaben rates a four by Skin Deep for “Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Biochemical or cellular level changes.”

All Pampers and Huggies wipes contain these concerning ingredients (so far as I can tell), even those touted as “Natural” and “Fragrance Free”.  And the off brands like CVS, Target, and Rite-Aid are no better.  If you use disposable wipes, buy eco-conscious brands such as 7th Generation, Tushies, and Avalon Organics.  Their wipes are low on chemicals, don’t contain the worse offenders, and rate 1-2 on the Skin Deep toxicity scale. 

Of course, if you really want to go all natural, nothing is more pure than cloth wipes moistened with water.  I use BumGenius Bamboo Baby Wipes (available at in an old disposable wipes container.  I place about 9 wipes in the container at a time and simply run them under the bathroom sink to moisten.  They wash up well, never seem to stain, and seem to work better on messy bums than disposable wipes.  Still, when I’m out and about, I use disposable wipes.  I like to be able to simply throw them away and never have to worry about them getting dried out or moldy from infrequent use.  I suspect that when I run out of disposables, I won’t buy anymore.  We’ll see. 

What do you use?


2 Responses to “Toxins in Baby Wipes”

  1. lizibear Says:

    I used to make my own wipe mix and use cut up pieces of old soft teeshirts and too small or stained receiving blankets (These are really really soft and do the best job). My wipe mix had grapefruit seed extract (which kills tons of germs and keeps the water from getting moldy and nasty), aloe vera juice (soothing), and a tiny bit of orange essential oil (you can customize that to whatever suits you…I just like the smell) and then mixed that with some water and put it in a pump thermos and filled the rest of the thermos with boiling water (it stays warm for a few days which I figure is nice during the winter). Then dispense onto the wipe as needed.
    I wish I could find not moistened disposable wipes…and just add my own liquid….I would totally buy those for outings and at home. My daughter never had a rash when I was using this concoction, but as soon as I switched to disposable she got a rash.

  2. Rachel Says:


    I love the idea of using old teeshirts. You’re right, those would be so soft!

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