We are well and truly in festival season. This year marks our first festival camping since going low waste, and thoughts immediately went to washing, to wet wipes, and how to replace them!
There are loads of reusable alternatives available these days, from brands like Cheeky Wipes to individual Etsy sellers. But with a little effort and few items you probably already have at home, you can make a set yourself in an hour or so.
To start with, you will need a source of cloth. Rather than going out and buying new fabric, find something you already have at home. You can use anything you like, but textures that work especially well are flannel, towelling, and jersey; fabrics that are soft but will retain moisture well.
Cut your chosen cloth into a shape you feel happy with. We used a towel and cut a couple of wide strips into squares. Next you’ll want to hem the cut out pieces to prevent them from fraying and help them to last longer.
You can hand stitch them with blanket stitch, but if you have access to a sewing machine it will make the job much faster! Use a zigzag stitch right at or very close to the edge, going all the way around your squares. If you’re lucky enough to own or have access to an overlocker, this would be ideal.
The next part is for fans of George’s Marvellous Medicine: you will need to mix the wet part of your wet wipes.
The basic ingredients are:
Lavender essential oil
You can have a play around with different tea, and different essential oils too! Peppermint tea and eucalyptus oil would make a great combo, as would hibiscus tea and rose oil.
Brew your tea. A mug full should be roughly enough to do 10 squares, but you can adjust the quantities as you need. Once the tea has cooled, add a squirt or two of castille soap and up to 10 drops of essential oil (or a drop per square)
Soak the hemmed fabric squares in the liquid until they are completely saturated. Then wring then out so that they are damp but not dripping.
Fold the damp squares into a container of your choice (something leak proof is best) and pour any excess liquid into a jar so that you can ‘refresh’ the wipes should you need.
The reusable wipes certainly take up a bit more space than plastic disposables, but you’ll definitely save money using them! We found they stayed moist and cool all weekend in a tent, and it was possible to use a wipe more than once too.
We’d love to hear about your efforts in the comments!