The Good Nursery is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

What Are Baby Wipes Made Of? Are They Safe? — What to Know

What Are Baby Wipes Made Of

Don’t know which baby wipes to use? Are you torn between Huggies or Pampers?

Fear not, for we will dive into deep details to help you know a lot more about baby wipes, including how they’re made and their ingredients!

We also know that ALL babies are different, so we’ll focus on various baby wipes that are all free from alcohol, soap, and parabens!

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

What Are Baby Wipes?

These are pre-moistened towelettes made to efficiently clean and soothe the baby’s skin during tidy changes.

These are dispensed in thin rectangle sheets made from cotton, bamboo, polyester, and other non-woven blends.

Baby wipes are designed to be durable enough for heavy-duty cleaning tasks, yet still, well with absorbency, and be disposable.

Baby wipes aren’t supposed to irritate baby skin, so if it does, you’re definitely using a harmful one!

A baby wipe is perfect for cleaning the following:

  • 1: Urine
  • 2: Poop off your baby’s private parts. We all know how messy this gets!

What Are Baby Wipes Made Of? — Breakdown of Materials of Wet Wipes

This is where you need to get your eyes on more focus! Make sure you read everything from this part on. We’re breaking down each material of wet wipes for you to help you choose the best baby wipe for your baby.

Materials Used in Wet Wipes

Non-Woven Fabric

The fabric used in baby wipes is the same type used in diapers and dryer sheets.

The cloth can be made of bamboo fiber, cotton wool (aka non-woven fiber).

Fibers such as cotton and rayon and plastic resins like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene are used in this process.

Non-woven is BY FAR the most popular because Huggies Baby Wipes use this material. It’s generally made from polyester and even wood pulp.

The most eco-friendly cloth is bamboo because it’s a sustainable resource that doesn’t need fertilizers or pesticides like cotton. Although bamboo fiber still breaks down like wood pulp and cotton.

Huggies Baby Wipes are made from Coform that provide gentle care to the skin.

Packaging Components

The packaging used for baby wipes must keep the cloths free from contamination for easy dispensing.

They must also prevent the towelettes from drying. Most manufacturers use thermo-molded plastic tubs.

A common design would feature a hinged lid for easy access to the towelettes.

What’s Inside the Cleansing Solution?

The most vital part of the baby wipes is the cleansing solution. Read each ingredient listed from the one you have now and check all of these out.

A LOT of them are important, so keep your eyes open!

Water

Water is the main ingredient that acts as a carrier and a diluting agent for the other ingredients. Some baby wipes will have aloe vera instead of water.

They also have lenient detergents mixed with moisturizing agents, fragrances, and preservatives.

Water keeps the baby wipes moist and helps you wipe your baby’s bottoms easier. Just make sure they’re calm.

Surfactants

Sodium diampho acetate and coco phosphatidyl PG-dimonium chloride are the two main surfactants for baby wipes.

These are cleaning agents that remove the muck. These do not strip the skin of natural oils and decrease irritation potential.

Mildness should be a huge consideration because the wipe solution will contact the delicate skin around the baby’s private parts.

Humectants

Propylene glycol and glycerine are humectants that prevent premature drying of the solution and contribute to skin moisturization. Some natural baby wipes use oils like jojoba oil or coconut oil instead.

Although, some formulas include mineral oil, lanolin, or silicones that help to soften skin.

Preservatives

Other ingredients have preservatives like methyl and propylparaben to ensure the solution does not allow microbial growth.

Because when you’ve got water in a product, you need to make sure that it doesn’t grow mold and bacteria.

Fragrance Ingredients

These specific ingredients are added to increase consumer appeal and help overcome body odors, but fragrance-free products are also offered.

Marketers tend to add various natural ingredients, such as aloe vera and oatmeal, to increase consumer appeal.

Huggies Wipes also have Fragrance Free Wipes that are safe and gentle for newborn and sensitive skin!

We understand that you want your baby to smell good, but choosing a fragrance-free baby wipe product will be better for their sensitive skin.

Emulsifiers

These help the water-based ingredients incorporate well with the oil-based type of ingredients.

Stabilizers

It puts the pH balance right and prevents the formula from being too acidic for the baby’s skin.

Each ingredient that is mentioned plays an important role in a baby wipe.

How Are Baby Wipes Made?

If you have no idea how these products are made, we’re here to fill you in! The whole manufacturing process will be detailed for you!

Non-Woven Preparation

There are two key methods of putting together a non-woven cloth.

Dry Laid Process

This is also known as the melt-blown method.

This method is used to make non-woven cloth from plastic resins. Plastic pellets are melted and then extruded by air pressure.

As the stream of fibers cools, it forms a sheet. Hot metal rollers are used to flatten the fibers and bond them together.

Wet Laid Process

This method is used for softer materials like pamper wipes that use cotton blends. During this step, manufacturers make fibers into liquid slurries with water and other chemicals.

The paste is pressed into flat sheets by rollers and then dried to form long rolls of fabrics. These rolls are then further processed into narrow widths then cut into individual sheets.

Formula Preparation

The ingredients used for the baby wipes solution are prepared in enormous batch tanks. Depending on the formula, the tank gets charged with the primary ingredients along with water.

The tank is heated during manufacturing to facilitate the blending of powders that must be melted.

Non-Woven Treatment

The non-woven cloths are fed from storage rolls to coating machinery, where the manufacturers incorporate the cleansing solution.

You can add the cleansing solution by running the cloth through a trough of the solution, or you may spray sheets of cloth with the formula from a series of nozzles.

Then, another heater seals the pouch tightly.

Packaging

The finished products are immediately folded, stacked to be removed one at a time easily, and transferred to their final package.

The Toxic Ingredients to AVOID in Baby Wipes

People tend to overlook this step. Babies react in different ways to all types of baby care products from different brands. Even if they indicate safe ingredients, it’s best to double-check!

Baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive, and they can’t tell us if their skin hurts from baby wipes. Baby wipes contain a combination of water, oil, cleanser, and preservatives.

Some formulas have simpler ingredients, and some have relatively complex formulas with multiple oils, cleansing agents, and preservatives.

Unfortunately, some companies do not disclose many hidden harmful ingredients like impurities, contaminants, byproducts, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate.

Some toxic components found in baby wipes are:

  • Polysorbate
  • Castor oil
  • Parabens
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Citric acid
  • Fragrance
  • Essential oils
  • Aloe leaf extract
  • Formaldehyde-releasing agents

Sadly, the FDA DOES NOT require these hidden ingredients to be disclosed on the product’s label. Thus, market consumers do not know if their product is contaminated. 

One of the many ways to be certain that you are not buying a contaminated product from the market is to avoid products with those ingredients, chemicals, or preservatives mentioned.

We have an even more detailed list of baby wipes ingredients if you’re interested to learn more.

With Huggies, you won’t have to worry too much because they are safe to use on all of your baby’s body parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of questions come along with parenthood and when it comes to ensuring the best baby care products for our babies’ skin.

It’s our job to help you secure that experience and become better parents!

How Many Baby Wipes Do I Need?

You will definitely need lots of Huggies or Pampers baby wipes until your baby becomes a toddler.

You will use them every day because something messy is bound to happen to your baby outside and inside their diapers.

We have a full guide on how many baby wipes you’ll be needing, so be sure to read up before buying!

How Do You Store Baby Wipes Properly?

There are several ways to store your baby wipes properly. You can put them in ethically made baskets or recycle your disposable wipe box.

Another way could be placing the product inside closet drawers or even anywhere near the sink so that when the time comes that you need them, they can be easily pulled out for use.

With Huggies Wipes, they have a shelf life of two years. All Huggies Baby Wipes are best stored at room temperature.

Can You Flush Baby Wipes Down the Toilet?

Even if manufacturing companies indicate that their product is flushable, plumbing experts say that there’s no such thing as a flushable wipe or baby wipe.

Think of them as the same as pampers whenever you make the impulsive decision to flush them.

Are Baby Wipes Compostable?

By how these are manufactured, most wet wipes are non-biodegradable. It could take 100 years for them to disappear from landfills in waste treatment facilities.

Although, there are biodegradable wet wipes that are naturally made and could be way BETTER for the baby’s skin.

As for Huggies Wipes, they should be disposed of in a waste container.

Are There Organic and Non-Toxic Baby Wipes?

Absolutely! One way to check if the product is non-toxic would be to look for the “Made Safe” label.

You can also check the EWG Database site for each ingredient and make sure it scores a 1 (lowest risk).

To make things easier for you, we made a review of the best non-toxic baby wipes on the market.

Are Baby Wipes Safe for Sensitive Skin?

Yes, the goal of baby wipes is to clean and soothe a baby’s sensitive skin without irritating.

Although some baby wipes still cause mild irritation based on their formula, which is why our job as parents is to check the ingredients.

Huggies Baby Wipes offer Sensitive Skin Wipes designed to be gentle like water but ultra-thick for sensitive skin.

Huggies wipes are very soft and contain natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to calm, moisturize and protect.

If your baby has other skin conditions, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional and take their recommendation for which baby wipes.

Is There Alcohol In Baby Wipes?

The lotion used in baby wipes is free from alcohol. It is designed to moisturize and to be gentle on all babies’ skin. Alcohol can surely harm the baby, so it’s never included.

Is It Safe for a Baby to Put a Baby Wipe in Their Mouth?

Baby wipes are a staple in the homes of parents with young children. These are only minimally toxic, but they can be a choking hazard if swallowed.

Luckily for Huggies, it’s non-toxic, so no injury should occur if a baby puts Huggies Wipes in their mouth.

Another bonus is that Huggies are tested extensively for safety.

Is There Soap in Baby Wipes?

Baby wipes have no anti-germ-killing ingredients. It’s best to keep germ-free is to wash your hands and your child’s hands after changing their diaper.

Huggies wipes have no soap, contain mild cleansers, and are perfectly safe for wiping little hands and faces. 

Alternatives to Baby Wipes

You can switch to alternatives to baby wipes. Some parents resort to this for financial and economic reasons. Some use existing household supplies and DIY their own!

You can use paper towels, distilled water, oils, and a mild cleanser or shampoo. You can add more ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E!

Water Wipes and Seed Extract

Are you familiar with the water wipes brand? They claim to be the purest made baby wipes.

This could also be a great alternative.

Why? Its ingredients consist of nothing else but water and seed extract.

Sounds great? Not that quick! There might be other baby wipes that contain citrus Grandis (grapefruit) seed extract as a preservative.

Closure

Now that you’re all set with this information and guide, be sure to choose wisely! Not only does having a baby come with great responsibility, but also great baby wipes and great parenthood!

No need to look far and wide because Huggies Baby Wipes has everything you need and more!

Huggies will take care of your babies with you!

About the author

angelica-graham

A few years ago, Angelica found out about all the plastic and toxic ingredients that got into most children’s products. And this worried her to no end. Because of this, she began to research what the best ingredients and materials were for children and made it her mission to share this information with other mothers.