Upconverting Baby Wipes

As other folks have discovered, it’s straightforward to convert soft, soothing baby wipes into toxic sanitizing wipes by pouring harsh chemicals down the hatch:

AmazonBasics Baby Wipes
AmazonBasics Baby Wipes

Ending up with the proper dilution, though, requires knowing how much liquid the wipes already have, so you can account for it in whatever recipe you’re following.

Stand back, I’m going to use arithmetic!

Gut a new package of wipes: 552 g total weight, with 80 wet wipes weighing 536 g, so the packaging amounts to 15.5 g and each wet wipe weighs 6.7 g.

Hang five wipes in the breeze for a few hours to find they weigh 9.2 g. They’re still slippery, because of all the aloe & Vitamin E & whatever else Amazon specifies for the mix, but they’re dry. One dry wipe weighs 1.8 g, so all 80 weigh 150 g.

The block o’ wet wipes holds 536 – 150 = 390 g = 390 ml of water.

Should you want a 70% (by volume) isopropyl alcohol solution, pour 0.7/0.3 × 390 ml = 910 ml of 99% alcohol into the package and let it settle for a while. Each wipe will emerge dripping wet, but that’s not entirely a Bad Thing. Perhaps it’d be a good idea to start by letting the block dry out for a while, re-weigh, then calculate the alcohol dose from the reduced amount of water.

Bleach dilutions for sanitation seem wildly varied, but the jug of 8.25% sodium hypochlorite on the shelf says 1/2 cup to a gallon, a 1:32 volume ratio. Starting with 390 ml of water-like substance in the package, pour 12 ml of bleach into the hatch, let things settle, then squish it around for good measure.

None of the dosages seem particularly critical, given the slapdash way everybody applies wipes.

You should, of course, conspicuously mark the packages, so as not to apply toxic wipes to sensitive parts of you or your baby …

9 thoughts on “Upconverting Baby Wipes

    1. When we can buy isopropyl alcohol again, we’ll definitely use it. Most likely, though, that’ll be about the time they ramp up sanitizing wipe production, too, so none of this DIY stuff will be necessary.

      For now, we have plenty of bleach on the shelf and there’s a definite seaside aroma around here …

  1. I make a mix in a squeezy bottle of 70-80% ethanol, 5% IPA and the balance deionised water. Squirt it onto tissue, cloth or hands as required

    1. The nice thing about wipes is not having to juggle two containers. As of now, though, you (well, I) can’t buy either isopropyl alcohol or baby wipes, let alone name-brand sanitizing solution or hand wipes.

  2. :( So this is why it’s been a pain in the rear to get baby wipes for my son. He’s particularly sensitive so I’ve had to specifically look for the one with less stuff in them. Looks like supply has stabilized a bit in the last month but in the middle of April I would have to tour the Walgreens around town to find a single packet of wipes.

    1. Sorry ’bout that! [grin]

      I use (well, used) them for shop wipes & suchlike, so upgrading what I had made more sense than trying to buy something unavailable. We definitely don’t get out much these days and my supply ought to last a long, long time.

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