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Are Reusable wipes worth it?

In a society increasingly conscious of its environmental impact, the debate over reusable wipes vs disposable wipes is gathering pace. With sustainability at the forefront of many consumer decisions, a question arises: are reusable wipes worth it?

This debate delves into the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions, examining their environmental impact, cost-effectiveness, and practicality to help you make an informed decision in your pursuit of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Cotton balls – the predecessor

Can I ask what you use currently to clean your face or little one’s face? Paper towels, wet wipes, cotton rounds or cotton balls?

Cotton balls have been used since the 19th century. Some records say it has been around even longer. It was originally used for medical purposes and artistic purposes. According to Wikipedia, it was even used to stuff a woman’s cheeks to make them look attractive. Who would have thought?

But with growing industrialisation, these humble cotton balls turned into a mass produced consumer item. The most common use for it these days is as a makeup remover or wiping your child’s bottom 💩

reusable cotton pads makeup table with lights | are reusable wipes worth it

What’s the impact of the cotton ball?

  • Your cotton ball might not be made from 100% cotton. The cheaper alternatives are made plastic/polyester fibres.
  • Composting your cotton balls after use means the chemicals from your makeup or cleansing lotion gets into the compost.
  • Wet wipes are made from plastic & the wipes contains harsh chemicals.
  • Wet wipes end up in landfill. The plastic degrade and break into microplastics. This pollutes the soil, water table below and the air around it.

Disposable wipes – the process

Cotton balls or rounds or wet wipes are all disposable. They turn from a product to trash within minutes. Each of these wipes have a long history. They go from seed (cotton seed or an plastic bead) to a finished product. There are numerous steps to get you the finished product and many low paid human beings are involved in this manufacturing process

Here’s a super simplified version of how this process looks like. It’s a lot of energy, man power, resources and chemicals used for something as simple as cotton balls

wastefulness of a single use cotton pads vs reusable cotton pads | reusable wipes

Alternative to disposable wipes

There are several alternatives to disposable wipes that cater to a wide range of preferences and needs. Like anything else, the environmental impact varies depending on what you choose. Biodegradable wet wipes provide the convenience of single-use wipes while having a lower environmental effect. But these are still wasteful as you throw them after use. Here are some reusable alternatives to disposable wipes:

Microfiber cloths: Microfiber cloths are incredibly absorbent and good at removing dirt and bacteria without the use of harsh chemicals. They may be washed and reused again, making them a long-lasting and environmentally responsible solution for cleaning surfaces. Muslin cloths: Muslin cloths are soft and gentle on the skin, making them great for washing and exfoliating. They can be used in conjunction with cleansers or by themselves to remove makeup and pollutants.

Handkerchiefs: A traditional handkerchief is a reusable alternative to disposable tissues for wiping hands, faces, and noses. They’re available in a variety of sizes and materials, including cotton, linen, and bamboo, and may be washed and reused endlessly.

Bidets: Bidets are a water-based alternative to toilet paper for personal hygiene after using the restroom. They are widely used in many countries and are gaining appeal as environmentally friendly alternatives to disposable wipes.

Natural sponges: Natural sponges, such as those produced from sea wool or konjac root, are a biodegradable and environmentally friendly solution for skincare and cleaning. They are soft and delicate, and can be composted at the end of their lives.

Silicone scrubbers: Silicone scrubbers are long-lasting, hygienic, and reusable equipment for cleaning dishes, surfaces, and even the body. They may be washed in the dishwasher or by hand, making them a convenient and long-lasting substitute for disposable wipes and sponges.

Reusable wipes: Reusable wipes are long lasting soft wipes made from bamboo or cotton. They are a cost effective solution

Let’s dive a bit into reusable wipes.

What are reusable wipes?

Reusable wipes are made from fabric and should last you a while. Generally, it’s made with cotton or bamboo or fleece fabrics. Some wipes are double sided with a cloth side and a plush towelling side.

These wipes are gentle on your skin and can be used on adults or children. They are usually used to remove makeup or face masks, but they can be used in a variety of ways.

You can wash them with your regular laundry and usually need no special care.

Hens on blue cloth wipes - eco friendly products
Are Reusable wipes worth it? Try our reusable wipes

How many reusable wipes would you need?

If it’s for an adult, I would suggest about 6-7 wipes should be sufficient. Just drop it into to your laundry basket when you have used them.

If you want to use it for your child, I would suggest about 15-20 wipes as you will be wiping their face few times a day and reuse might be limited. If you have a child, your laundry cycle will also be more frequent.

So are reusable wipes worth it?

I would say yes. If we can reduce our carbon footprint, reduce the amount of trash we throw out and make this planet little bit more beautiful, then it’s definitely worth it. So no more questions of are reusable wipes worth it, its more of where can I get it please?

Some further reading

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