The short answer is that baby wipes are fine for adults to use. But, there is a lot more to the story, obviously.
Yes, they are more comfortable to use and it also feels like they get you cleaner. Yet, there are some downsides to using baby wipes, or even wet wipes to clean up after using the toilet.
To decide if it is ok for you to use baby wipes then you need to be armed with the right information and understand they are not all they’re cracked up to be.
In order for you to make an informed decision, I will go over several things that you should keep in mind before you start using them. Including the actual best way to clean up which doesn’t involve using wet wipes or TP. Spoiler: It’s a bidet!
Why adults are using wet wipes
One of the biggest reasons to use wet wipes as an adult is because it feels much better than toilet paper.
You also end up feeling much cleaner since they are damp and can actually clean rather than just smudge stuff around.
Another reason is that toilet paper gets hoarded during emergencies. During the quarantine from Covid-19, toilet paper shelves were empty for weeks at a time. The supply chain was disrupted so it took a while to restock which in turn made people hoard even more. There was a perpetual shortage.
Many people turned to baby wipes if they had small children since they were available and usually they had them in bulk.
There is no advantage to using baby wipes over flushable toilet wipes depending on the ingredients of both, however.
Can wet wipes cause irritation?
One problem with certain wet wipes is that they can cause some irritation. It does depend on the ingredients. If they have a high amount of alcohol then you will almost surely run into some trouble especially for women.
Using wet wipes once in a while may be fine, but if you use them for every time you go to the bathroom, you run the risk of irritating your genitals. It can cause dryness afterward since it robs you of your natural protection against infections. You may end up with rash, or even worse if you aren’t careful.
Wet wipes vs toilet paper
In one sense wet wipes can be much better than using toilet paper. Toilet paper is dry and can be very uncomfortable. Wet wipes are of course moist so they feel more refreshing and can clean up more in one wipe than most toilet paper.
There are multiple problems with toilet paper, with it not being very sanitary to begin with.
However, wet wipes are also not as sanitary as they seem. In fact, even the all-natural and antibacterial ones can cause lots of problems. If you over sanitize your lady bits, for example, you end up with a higher risk of a yeast infection.
The problem is that these antibacterial products kill beneficial bacteria as well.
The best thing to use to clean yourself after going to the bathroom is simply water. Water from a bidet is the most effective and sanitary way to clean yourself after going to the bathroom.
Are wet wipes flushable?
Besides the health risks from using wet wipes, they are also terrible on the environment and on your plumbing. Even the so-called flushable wipes.
The problem is that they are flushable only in the sense that they will go down through the toilet pipe. That doesn’t mean that they will make it through your plumbing or that they will dissolve.
Ask any plumber and they will tell you that they are making a fortune off of these flushable wipes as they clog the pipes leading to the sewer. And if you have septic it is even worse.
Even the biodegradable wet wipes don’t break down fast enough to prevent clogs.
If you do want to continue to use wet wipes or baby wipes, then throw them in a bin instead of in the toilet. Make sure it is a closable kind so that you don’t have a stinky bathroom as a result.
Wet wipes ingredients
Basically, wet wipes or baby wipes contain a mix of water, some kind of moisturizer like aloe, a surfactant, preservatives and sometimes a fragrance.
The raw material is something like water, aloe vera juice, sorbic acid derivatives, parabens, sodium benzoate and a host of other unpronounceable ingredients. (Source)
Then, there is the mysterious “fragrance” that is undefined. Usually, it is some kind of synthetic perfume that is proprietary and so it doesn’t need to be disclosed. And it is always something you don’t want on your sensitive bits.
All natural baby wipes or sanitary wipes contain things like water, aloe vera, witch hazel, natural extracts and sometimes even alcohol. Since alcohol is natural it can be included on all natural products. The issue with alcohol is that it dries out your genitals or anus and will cause irritation. If you do choose an all natural product, check for alcohol free.
What can I use instead of wet wipes?
The best alternative to wet wipes is to keep using toilet paper, but to use a spray to make it moist. These sprays are moisturizing and will turn your toilet paper into a wet wipe. But, with the added benefit that you won’t be clogging your drain. Many of them use all natural ingredients and they soothe as well as clean. Of course, if you really want to go natural, you can simply spray a mist of water onto the toilet paper and have much of the same effect.
However, if you want a foam or spray then take a look at the one below as it is the most popular toilet paper spray on Amazon.
- HEALTHY WIPES: Spray Pristine 3-5 times onto folded toilet paper to create...
- NON-CLOGGING & ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Traditional wet wipes (even those...
- NO HARSH INGREDIENTS: Made with a blend of 100% pure coconut oil and...
- LONG-LASTING: Each ounce of Pristine is equivalent to 50 wet wipes. Our...
- PORTABLE: Great for at home or on-the-go. Pristine fits easily into purses,...
Now, the best alternative to both toilet paper and wet wipes is, of course, to use a bidet. You save the environment and you never have to worry about what you’re flushing down the toilet. Bidets are sanitary and are easy to use. You can be totally hands free if you opt for one of the toilet seat attachment versions or one of the toilet bidet combos.
Check out some of your bidet options below and really think about it. It may seem strange to use one but there are so many benefits that it hardly makes sense to keep using TP or wet wipes.
There are also what are called family cloths that people looking to go toilet paper free will use. These are simply small towels that are used once to clean up after using the toilet and then thrown into a bag until laundry day. Unlike how the name suggests, they are not shared by the whole family.
While I understand the motivation to use baby wipes or sanitary wipes to replace toilet paper, the reality is that you are simply trading one problem for another. Your best bet is to use those wet wipes alternatives that I described earlier, or to simply switch to a bidet.
If you have any questions, let me know by leaving a comment in the box below and I will get back to you ASAP.