Thursday, 16 July 2009

Homemade Cloth Facial Wipes

By Julie
Towards Sustainability

Around 18 months ago, I was working steadily on getting rid of all the disposable, one-use products in my home. I was still using cotton wool balls in the bathroom to apply (homemade) facial toner, so I decided to make my own cloth wipes to replace them.

It was very simple! I raided my stash of old flannel nappies (diapers) and cut one of the plain white ones into small rectangles, folded them in half to make a square - and add some bulk to the wipes - and sewed up the three remaining sides on my sewing machine. Voila! Homemade facial wipes.

The beauty of these is because they are so small, any small fabric scraps or remnants in a suitably absorbent fabric could be used, as can old or thrifted flanelette sheets or pillowcases, for example.

If you have one, using an overlocker/serger to whip around the edges would make them twice as quick to make, but if you don't have a machine, hand sewing them wouldn't take very long either.

I made them squares merely because it was the most efficient use of the fabric, but I know some of my blogger friends made round ones.

When I have used one I pop it into a mesh washing bag (the kind you use for lingerie) I keep in the bathroom drawer. When it's full, I pop it all into a hot wash with the tea towels and dishcloths and dry them in the sun.

Simple, green and frugal!



Wouldn't a washcloth do the trick?

Hassled House Wife said...

A washcloth would work - but you wouldn't want to be getting a whole washcloth out every time you removed make up or applied toner. With this idea you have a stack of them handy.

Great idea - I also cut up old towels for general cleaning cloths. They do a much better job than disposable cloths. When my children were in diapers, I also used them for washable...hmm not sure what you call them in America...bottom wipes ;)

Hana said...

Simple and nice... I ought to make some of them. I do not use them often and therefore do not buy the disposable ones, so when I am in need of one, searching desperately for something to replace it, I'd surely appreciate having these at hand. :-) Funny that I haven't thought of this yet...

Annette said...

What did you stuff them with?

frugalurban said...

Excellent! I've been doing the same thing, reducing my disposable paper products one at a time. So far I've replaced our diapers, "feminine" products, paper napkins, toilet paper (pee only) and facial tissue with cloth. I think this project is next on my agenda!

Annodear said...

I've never used one of those mesh 'lingerie' bags.. Do they dry 'in' the bag?

Annette said...

When I used a mesh lingere bag, after washing those item came out and were laid out to dry (depending on what it was).

Toria said...

I made up a batch of these last summer, out of flannelette scraps I had leftover from making nappies. Similar to you, I toss the used ones in a delicates bag, but my bag is pinned inside the top of laundry bag hanging behind the bathroom door.

I made a few where I was very careful - stitch together on wrong side, turn the right side out & top stitch around. But that was taking so much time that most of them are just stitched on the outside & trimmed with pinking scissors. They've been washed a few times now & no problems.

I did find one problem with some of mine - since I was using a variety of flannel scraps, I've found that some flannels repel the toner initially instead of absorbing it. They got better after a few washes, so there was obviously something in the fabric that needed lots of washing to remove.

Julie said...

Hi Maybelline,
Yes, but as Hassled said, that would make for much more washing :-)

Hi Hassled,
I don't know what I'd do without the stack of flannels and terry squares left over from when the kids were babies! I never used the terry squares as diapers, but my goodness I used them for everything else LOL.

Hi Hana,
Yes, they are very handy :-)

Hi Annette,
I didn't stuff them, I just used a double thickness of flanelette, but you could stuff them with fabric scraps if you wanted to?

Hi frugalurban,
Have fun, they are very quick.

Hi Annodear,
Yes, because they are so small, I usually just shake the bag until they are distributed evenly and lie it flat across a clothes horse/rack outside to dry.


Julie said...

Hi Toria,
I found that too with some of my scraps - what I did was to dampen the square with a little water first and then apply the toner. As you found, after a few washes they were fine.


Jenn said...

I love this idea, and I've been making some of these, too. I find that folding in the edges means they won't fray, they're thicker, and I can more easily hand or machine stitch them, since I don't have a serger.

Mistress B said...

my favourite wash cloth is towelling on one side and flannel on the other - and I reckon that would work a treat for these too!

Dia said...

Great idea! I recently began using a flannel scrap (not even hemmed!) for the same purpose, & wondered why I hadn't before?? I use plain coconut oil, or a blend of coconut & shea butter on my face, & find it's also good for removing the OCCASIONAL mascera :)

I also hemmed some flannel (I used an old worn massage sheet :) in little rectangles ~ 4" x 15" to drape across my female clients' hair & neck, which helps keep the oil out - have 1/6 dozen in my massage room.

allthingsmade2287 said...

I have plenty of left over terry cloth towel scraps from a previous project. I thought these wipes would be a good idea to help use up some of the left-overs. I do not have a serge/overlock on my machine. What should I do to prevent the fraying on the edges if I were to sew them? Whats the best practice and the fastest, etc?? Thanks for the advice.