Saving the Earth, One Wipe at a Time: Our Favorite Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Updated: Aug 17
I have said it before and I will mention it again. I love cloth diapering (and I am very grateful I get to do it again) and if you are curious, you can find lots of info here. However, I know for some new moms clothing diapering gives them anxiety but most still want to give their baby an eco-friendly toxic-free start. Biodegradable baby wipes will help you with this start. I have listed the 15 best biodegradable baby wipe brands for you so you can select the one you love the most.
Why Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Let's start with why. The use of disposable baby wipes has become so common that we forget to realize that lots of brands don’t have our baby's skin as their main priority.
What are Disposable Baby Wipes made off?
A disposable baby wipe consists of 2 parts, the wipe, and a liquid. The wipes are made from wood pulp, polypropylene, polyester, or a combination of these 3. The exact amount of each of these 3 materials allows the different brands to create wipes that vary in softness, absorbency, and thickness. These last 2 materials (polypropylene and polyester) are types of plastic that ensure that the wipes don’t tear during use. This also makes the wipes are not compostable and should not be flushed down the toilet. Regular toilet paper falls apart when it comes into contact with water (as it doesn’t contain plastic). Disposable wipes do not disintegrate in water which can cause these wipes to clog drains. So, if you still want to use disposable wipes, at least throw them in the trash after use and don't flush them down the toilet.
In addition to the wipes containing plastic, the packaging of the wipes also is made of plastic as the wipes contain a liquid, therefore waterproof packaging is necessary. As you will probably need two to three packs of wipes per week, this adds up to an incredible amount of plastic waste.
What's in the wipes
The liquid recipe used for disposable wipes differs per brand. Nowadays, the big brands start to realize that we as consumers prefer to use as few chemicals as possible from our baby's skin. Therefore lots of new disposable wipes are developed that are increasingly better for baby's skin.
In general, the fewer ingredients there are present in the wipes, the smaller the chance that your baby's skin will react to them. Often, it is the preservatives in the wipes that cause a skin reaction. Preservatives are necessary for products containing water to prevent bacteria growth. Only a very small amount is needed and this is often mentioned at the very end of the ingredients list.
Ingredients to avoid when choosing the most suitable wipe: alcohol, perfume, phenoxyethanol (preservative), and parabens. These are just some of the substances and it is also possible that you (your hands and or fingers) or your baby's skin may react to a substance considered safe under cosmetic law.
The substances that should be avoided are unfortunately but are often present in wipes. It could even be possible that they are not mentioned on the package, while it is still present in the wipes. A while back, the French Consumers' Association did research on baby wipes. This found that 32 of the 34 wipes they studied contained harmful substances. The wipes contain perfume, parabens, and phenoxyethanol. Substances already mentioned above are better to avoid.
In another French study that followed, they discovered that several substances (phenoxyethanol, ethylparaben, methylparaben, phthalates dibutyl phthalate, and di(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate) that are banned under EU law in cosmetic products for children under the age of 3. What is most remarkable is that some of these substances were not listed on the packaging. This is of course not allowed, but this shows that we must be careful when using baby wipes and keep a close eye on the skin of our precious baby.
What makes these wipes biodegradable?
The simplest definition of biodegradable is: Given the right conditions and presence of bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms an item will eventually break down into its basic organic compounds and blend back with nature.
In a perfect world, these substances left behind should degrade without leaving any toxins behind.
For example, when a plant-derived product breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, and other natural minerals. This substance easily mixes back into the earth, leaving no toxins behind. Unfortunately, lots of materials, even ones with a biodegradable label, break down in a more harmful manner, leaving chemicals or other damaging substances in the soil. So when looking for biodegradable wipes we need to pay attention to the materials the wipes are made from and the liquid used in the wipes.
12+ Biodegradable Baby Wipes Brands
Natracare Organic Cotton Baby Wipes
Natracare biodegradable wet wipes are made with 100% organic cotton. They use organic essential oils extract in their wipes and vitamin E is added to the wipes to give your baby's skin some extra protection. They are free from parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), methylisothiazolinone (MIT), alcohol, and other synthetic fragrances or preservatives that might affect your baby's skin.
Mum & You 100% Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Mum & You Biodegradable baby wipes are completely plant-based and plastic-free. They are made from sustainably sourced, naturally derived viscose which is a special material made from renewable wood fibers. The wipes contain 99.4% water for ultimate gentleness to babies’ skin. These vegan wipes are 100% cruelty-free as they are not tested on animals. Suitable for newborns as well as for those with sensitive and or eczema-prone skin.
Jackson Reece - Kinder by Nature Water-Based Baby Wipes
For those among us who just want simple baby wipes that are both biodegradable and compostable, there are the baby wipes by Kinder by Nature. They are both 100% plastic-free and chlorine-free making them safe for our planet. The wipes contain 99% water while the remaining 1% are plant-derived extracts. Everything to be as gentle for your baby's skin as possible.
Are you looking for a wipe that hardly contains anything else than just good ‘ol plain water? Water wipes might be just for you. They contain 99,9% of the purest water while the remaining 0,1% is a fruit extract. The latter serves as a preservative to keep your wipes free from contaminates. They claim to be the purest wipe out there at the moment. They are plastic-free and biodegradable so perfect for our planet and your baby.
Happy Planet wipes
The winner of the natural & organic award in Europe is the Happy Planet wipes. Their multi-award-winning wipes are 100% biodegradable, 100% home compostable, and 100% plastic-free. They are made from FSC certified wood pulp and cellulose plant fibers. These wipes are suitable from birth as they contain 99.9% purified water, Apple Fruit Extract (skin conditioner), and just 3 food grade / mild preservatives to ensure that the wipes remain free from bacteria growth. The wipes are alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free. These completely eco-friendly wipes are said to be one of the purest sustainable wipes on the market today.
Earth Friendly Baby Gentle Aloe Vera Wet Wipes
These award-winning biodegradable baby wipes are formulated with calming organic chamomile and calendula for extra gentleness on your baby's delicate skin. Another amazing ingredient that is pretty high up this list is organic Aloe vera juice. This is another great ingredient to soothe sensitive skin. These wipes will make your baby's skin feeling silky soft and squeaky clean.
Bambo Nature Tidy Bottoms Eco-Friendly Baby Wipes
Bambo Nature's biodegradable baby wipes are moisturizing and gentle for the skin due to the use of glycerin and allantoin. They are made from 100% viscose that is both soft sustainable and soft on the skin. They are cruelty-free and vegan making them great for everyone who avoids animal-derived products.
Eco by Naty flushable Baby Wipes
Eco by Navy wipes have won many eco and biodegradability awards. They are natural, compostable, and derived renewable resources. They contain 98,5% water. They are certified biodegradable but also certified flushable meaning that they have proven to be compostable in freshwater. These biodegradable wipes contain both aloe vera and chamomile to be extra gentle for your baby's skin.
Cheeky panda chooses bamboo as the renewable source for their wipes instead of the often chosen viscose from wood. This makes them ultra sustainable and helps them contribute to fighting deforestation. The biodegradable wipes from Cheeky panda contain 99% water with some conditioning apple extra and soothing aloe vera juice. They are vegan too!
The Honest Company Baby Wipes
The honest baby wipes are 100% plant-based biodegradable baby wipes. These ultra-durable, extra thick wipes can get everything done from diaper changes to messy fingers and runny noses. As they contain 99% water and zero aggressive chemicals, they are great for even your baby's sensitive skin. They are even approved by the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance™ making them safe for even eczema-prone skin.
Rawganic biodegradable organic cotton wipes are a quick, gentle, and effective way to cleanse your baby's skin. Whether it is the bottom or the face, rawgenics biodegradable wipes will take care of it. The added aloe vera extract soothes and moisturizes the baby's delicate skin while their hypoallergenic, fragrance-free formula is both safe for your baby's skin as well as the environment. The wipes are certified organic by the Soil Association to Cosmos Standards, a global standard that ensures safe and truly organic products.
Eco beginnings wipe
The developer of these wipes, a mum of two daughters with sensitive skin, wanted baby wipes that are clean, safe, waste limiting, and cruelty-free. All things that are important to us. A few years ago, this was quite a challenge so this mom decided to make what she was looking for. The result is these Disposable Bamboo Dry Baby Wipes. They're made from 100% bamboo, so they're incredibly soft, free of harsh chemicals, and plastic-free (even the box!). As these are not wet wipes, there is no need for preservatives as there is no water for bacteria to grow in. Everything is recyclable & biodegradable.
Water Cotton Baby Wipes
These biodegradable baby wipes are not derived from wood pulp but instead are 100% cotton-based. This means they are completely plastic-free while containing 99% natural ingredients. Two of these ingredients are Sweet Almond Oil and Cotton Seed Oil both gently moisture baby's skin. While Panthenol and allantoin are amazing to soothe sensitive skin. They are also cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
There is no need to go for cheap disposable baby wipes anymore that not only harm your baby but also the environment when you have so many awesome biodegradable baby wipes to choose from. Which one are you using?