When I first cooked up the idea for the Cloth Wipe Challenge back in June, I did a lot of researching online into what constituted the best wipes, what were people's favorites, etc.
There are a lot of vendors and stay at home moms out there sewing up some really nice cloth wipes (usually referred to as "family cloth" to differentiate it from baby cloth wipes). I didn't want to throw down $50 - $100 on butt wipes, particularly since I wasn't sure I was even going to go through with it. Nor did I want to only buy a couple and run out and turn my business into a big laundry ordeal.
So, what did I do? Well you have a couple options for cheapo cloth wipes. Some people take old t-shirts and rip them into strips. The claim is that they don't fray and you are reusing something. I guess there can be joy in wiping with an old concert, marathon or convention t-shirt. "Hey, I remember cramping up on mile 18!" The concern I had with the t-shirts (besides that I already had donated all the ones I didn't want anymore), was the thinness factor. Generally, old t-shirts tend to be threadbare and I really didn't want to have my fingers poking through, if you know what I mean.
So, I went to Joann's Fabrics. There I found some really inexpensive fabric remnants. They are 100% cotton flannel of suitable thickness and are ohhhhhhh so comfy. I spent, maybe, $6. I marked the squares into 8" x 8" squares using my kid's sidewalk chalk, but you can use whatever you want. I then cut the squares using pinking shears to prevent fraying. I managed to get about 50 cloth wipes out of the deal.
What would I do differently next time? Well, the cloth wipes do fray a little bit, but I don't care and I really don't think they fray enough to warrant sewing or surging the edges. I would also make them a little smaller. If I were using them for #2, the 8" x 8" would be perfect, but it's just too much cloth for a little dab o' pee. Maybe 6" x 6" would be great.
The other thing I would recommend is that if you are planning on using cloth wipes for multiple family members, is to get everyone their own fabric print. So, if you feel squeamish out wiping your butt with something your husband went to town with after that trip to the Mexican restaurant you can rest assured that you have nothing to even consider. Or, if you want to use a color system for #1 versus #2, that would be fun. If you are lucky you might just find remnants in the appropriate colors: yellow for pee and brown for poop. No, I'm just kidding, that's too boring!
As for using baby washcloths - that probably would work if you had some lying about and didn't want to spend any extra money. But others have found them to be too small, too thin and (actually) too scratchy.
Next up on the cloth wipe challenge posts: putting the whole system together (for you detail oriented people)!