You are through with conventional baby wipes, but carrying around wet washcloths is less than ideal! We get it. The next best option for your family may be biodegradable baby wipes!
Choosing natural products can be tough because of the terminology and false claims. We’ve done the dirty work for you and found the best biodegradable baby wipes, and we are giving you the details on why some aren’t technically biodegradable!
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Why You Should Use Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Biodegradable baby wipes are not only eco-friendly but are often formulated for the most sensitive skin. Most of these baby wipes use more natural materials, which means fewer toxins and irritating chemicals rubbing against your baby’s skin.
We mentioned biodegradable baby wipes being eco-friendly, but what does that really mean?
The fact that they are biodegradable means that they are made with natural materials that can decompose quicker without contaminating our environment. This not only helps our plant reduce toxins, but helps landfills control waste.
How Long Do Biodegradable Baby Wipes Take to Decompose?
The time for baby wipes to decompose varies. After all, almost anything can decompose if enough time passes by. So when can marketers actually use the terms “biodegradable”? Here’s what the FTC Green Guides have to say, “‘entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature, i.e., decompose into elements
found in nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal.’’ They go on to say that if the complete product is really biodegradable (even outside of industrial and landfill scenarios) that it will decompose in one year.
Some wipes that are labeled eco-friendly and biodegradable, still contain plastics on some level and those take about 50 years to decompose in a landfill or commercial setting. However, according to the Guides, these wipes are not truly biodegradable.
What To Look For in Biodegradable Baby Wipes
When shopping for biodegradable baby wipes, you’ll find that the most common material is bamboo. It’s a great option because it’s naturally soft and renewable. Bamboo can break down in a matter of weeks in the right conditions, even in home composting piles.
Wood pulp is another common material used in biodegradable products, although there are some concerns. Sometimes companies use a bleaching process that includes chlorine and other harsh chemicals.
Organic cotton is used in wipes that are more cloth-like. While these are biodegradable they do take longer to break down. Don’t confuse organic cotton with regular cotton wipes though! Conventional cotton wipes often contain a high content of pesticides from when the cotton plants are cultivated. You can learn more about the problems with conventional cotton in our posts about organic mattresses and organic cotton pajamas.
If you love more absorbent wipes, rayon is a good option. Technically the material itself is biodegradable, but you have to be careful about the process it goes through and what additives are being used. Also, according to the Green Guides standard, it is not technically biodegradable.
PEFC – This is an international certification that means the product comes from a sustained manageable forest and other recycled and controlled sources. You may also see FSC, which is another certification that means the products came from managed forests.
EWG – EWG Verified is an excellent seal to see on biodegradable baby wipes. This means that they have passed EWG’s strictest standards and are free of their concerned chemicals list.
Made Safe – Made Safe is a non-profit organization, and when you see their seal on a product, you know that it’s made with safe ingredients. For a detailed list of brands and their screening process, visit Made Safe.
You will also see some additives in baby wipes, but if they are natural they serve a purpose compared to conventional baby wipes.
Some you may notice are essential oils to provide fragrance, natural oils for nourishing, aloe, and other plant and vegetable-based ingredients or extracts.
If there isn’t a full list of ingredients, we recommend finding something else. Brands are not required to list the ingredients that they use in their baby wipes, but there is a lot of room for hidden chemicals if a company is not open and honest.
How Do You Dispose of Biodegradable Baby Wipes?
Rule number one is NEVER flush them. Even though they are biodegradable they are meant to go in the garbage, not in the sewer or septic tanks.
If they are soiled with solid waste, they should go inside the diaper to be thrown away. You never want to throw them directly in the trash, because human waste can pose other problems when it goes to the landfill.
As long as they are just wet, you can compost these at home for your flowers and trees, but never compost these for food gardens.
Are Honest Wipes Biodegradable?
If you have done any research about The Honest Company, chances are you’ve run across their lawsuit cases. Some of their products fall under the term Greenwashing. If you aren’t familiar, it’s basically stretching the truth when it comes to holding their end up of their “green” claims.
Their wipes are made with rayon, which earlier we said doesn’t technically fall under the legality of being biodegradable.
The Best Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Jackson Reece created this brand of biodegradable wipes with full transparency. This is one of the few diapering companies we have found to FULLY disclose all of their ingredients, which is amazing! They are free of chlorine, parabens, fragrances, and they never test on animals!
Say goodbye to nasty chemicals and plastics! Eco by Naty wipes is a Swedish company that formulated its wipes to be 100% compostable and hypoallergenic. They guarantee that after 12 weeks their wipes will be completely decomposed!
Another 100% biodegradable option is these bamboo wipes! They are thick, soft, and luxurious. Not to mention they are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Just to add their shipping process is carbon
These are EWG certified, so you know they are free from all of the nasty harsh chemicals we hate! Moms will love the extra-large size and nice thickness, but don’t worry they are bamboo soft!
Speaking of certifications, Caboo’s wipes are Made Safe certified and Oeko-Tex certified. Basically, there are made with all-natural ingredients from renewable sources and free from plastics and parabens. They also state that they are compostable in as fast as 28 days!
Once you choose your favorite biodegradable baby wipes, be sure to hunt for non toxic diapers too! We created a list of our favorites and are offering tons of helpful information when it comes to debunking those labels!