Do Baby Wipes Clean Your Body: Learn the Dirty Truth

Your bug-out plans probably don’t include a portable shower, and they should, but that’s an issue for another time. Carrying baby wipes seems like a sensible solution. After all, if it cleans your babies’ backside, then it must be a great way to clean stinky pits too. Then again, maybe not. How much do you really know beyond what the commercials tell you? Is there enough cleaning power to handle adult B.O.? I’ll let you know the dirty secret about baby wipes and everything else you need to stay clean.

Do baby wipes clean your body? Baby wipes do clean your body. However, you need to have the right kind, or you’re just scrubbing yourself with a moist chemical film. Luckily there’s more than one type of wipes for an emergency.

How to Clean Your Body With Baby Wipes

Cleaning your body with baby wipes is a poor substitute for a shower. Still, it’s far superior to staying filthy. It might seem like grabbing a wipe and rubbing your skin is pretty intuitive, but there’s a right way to clean your body with wipes.

Whether you’re using disposable wipes or rinsing out a reusable option, the process is the same. Start at the top. First, you should wipe down your face, ears, and neck. Before you move on, stop.

Now you need to dispose of the wipe or rinse it again. Unfortunately, continuing to scrub with a dirty wipe will redistribute dirt. Even when you can’t see any dirt or germs, it’s vital to use a fresh baby wipe for every foot or two of your skin.

Here’s a simple breakdown. Shoulders and the top of your back is one wipe. Each armpit, along with the upper arm, is another. I recommend wiping your arm off before the ‘pit. Next, lower arms and hands each need a wipe, followed by your back and torso.

Continue this process for upper legs, groin, backside, lower legs, and then do the feet separately. Taking time to do the job right will help you get as clean as possible.

Good Disposable Wipes

Instead of grabbing the dollar-store knock-off-brand, you need decent baby wipes. Whether you also use them for a small child or not, the chemicals included in many brands are just bad news for the skin. There’s no point in removing dirt if you’re just trading it for a toxic film on your body.

I strongly suggest The Honest Company’s Hypoallergenic Baby Wipes from Amazon. Skip the potential trouble from unknown ‘cheapie’ brands and stick to a company that prides itself on the purity of the ingredients. You’ll be pleased with these dermatologist-tested wipes. Plus, they’re not processed with chlorine, which is hard to find. Click here to learn more about Honest Wipes. 

Does It Matter

Why wipe from top to bottom? As long as the baby wipes get you clean, surely it can’t be such a big deal, right? Regrettably, it does matter.

Working from the top down is like swapping out, or rinsing your wipes. It matters because it helps prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Unfortunately, when you scrub sections above areas you’ve already cleaned, dirt, skin flakes, and other contaminants fall downward. You end up less clean.

Instead of carrying disposable wipes, you should try grabbing a pack of Charlie Banana Reusable Double-Sided Wipes from Amazon. Less waste is always sound, but equally important is not leaving a trail. Just as you wouldn’t leave a marked map to your home base in a crisis, you should avoid leaving a visible trail of trash. You can clean your body and keep your supply route clear in one swipe. Click here to check availability on Amazon.

Worrisome Baby Wipe Ingredients

When you need to clean your body and all you have is baby wipes, you’re probably better off clean than dirty. However, nothing beats old-fashioned soap and water. Add an exfoliating scrubber, and you’re really in business.

You will not get as clean using wipes, but you will still be more sanitary than you were for the effort. However, not all baby wipes are the same. Especially when dealing with the pre-moistened wipes, there’s something vital you need to know.

Just because a product is approved doesn’t mean it’s good. Think of the difference between cheap hot dogs and sirloin steak. Both are acceptable, but one is clearly much better. You don’t want to get a rash or worse from trying to clean yourself.

What to Watch Out For

Reading the labels used to be something that so-called ‘crunchy moms’ got laughed at for. Fortunately, information has become more widely available. People have started realizing that ‘approved’ and ‘good for your body,’ are far from the same thing. Here is a quick list of some of the biggest culprits that could cause problems worse than dirt.

  1. Essential Oils- Generally, essential oils are a ‘good thing.’ However, some irritate your skin, and others can even cause chemical burns if left undiluted.
  2. Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde Releasing Agents- As a preservative, formaldehyde is excellent. Sadly, on living skin, it causes allergic reactions, irritation, and potentially cancer.
  3. Fragrance- This is not a single ingredient. “Fragrance,” or “Parfum,” is a hodgepodge of mystery ingredients you don’t want on your skin.
  4. Methylisothiazolinone- This is a long word that you can translate as ‘danger.’ Methylisothiazolinone is linked with lung toxicity, irritation, and possible neurotoxicity. In short, don’t put it on your skin.
  5. Parabens- cancer, hormonal disruption, infertility, and skin irritation are just part of the list of reasons to avoid anything ending in ‘paraben.’
  6. Petroleum-Based Products- Propylene Glycol isn’t the only culprit here, but it is among the most common. Skip the refined oil on your skin as it can have adverse health effects
  7. Phenoxyethanol- Although it’s considered safer than parabens, this alternative preservative is terrible news. In children, it can irritate skin and affect their nervous system function. Watch out for this ingredient in ‘natural’ and ‘gentile’ wipes.
  8. Polysorbate 20- Frequently associated with rashes and skin irritation, Polysorbate 20 is commonly treated with ethylene oxide.
  9. Sodium Benzoate- Three words are all I need for this: Organ system toxicity. Plus, when combined with citric acid, sodium benzoate can become carcinogenic.

Consider Dry Baby Wipes

Instead of bringing heavy wet wipes, you may want to consider carrying soap and dry wipes. Depending on your bug-in or bug-out location, these lighter wipes are a great alternative. When water access isn’t the issue, less weight is always a wise choice.

Check out Dainasong Baby Dry Wipes. You can bring a lot more with you. Hence, trading water weight for a little soap and some water purifiers you need anyway is smart. You’ll appreciate these larger wipes in a disaster situation. Chemical-free cotton is less irritating on the skin. Get your Dainasong Wipes from Amazon, click here. 

Clean These Three Areas Most With Your Baby Wipes

Human bodies have plenty of natural bacteria, so cleaning them with baby wipes can help you keep things from getting out of control. Three main areas need more attention than all the others. Not only should you scrub these parts more, but also let them dry thoroughly.


Sweat is healthy, and it may surprise you to learn that it has no smell. While most people are under the mistaken impression that sweat makes you stink, the real villain is something else entirely. Staphylococci and corynebacteria are the most commonly found bacteria in your armpits.

Interestingly the staphylococci don’t cause any significant odor as they chow down on the protein in your sweat. However, the corynebacteria are raising a stink. Either way, the worse you smell, the more bacteria in your ‘pits.

Groin: Front & Rear

There’s much more than bacteria going on here. Don’t mistake my meaning. There is plenty of bacteria in your pelvic region. More importantly, there’s also sweat, urine, poop, and more. Keeping your genital area clean and free from odor is vital to your health.


Taking care of your feet with baby wipes or soap and water is more important than you could imagine. You need to keep down bacteria and prevent damage or infection. Without your feet, you won’t be able to move around.

Make sure you let them dry thoroughly and carry extra clean socks. From fungus to foot rot, it’s a lot harder to survive if the ‘Nike express’ is broken down.

Final Thoughts

In an emergency, any cleaning is better than none. Unfortunately, you may not always have running water, or even cold rain available. Knowing how to stay sanitary, or at least less gross is essential. You are more likely to die from infections than starvation. Clean skin is a great way to help prevent those germs from getting into every little scratch.

Do you want to upgrade your emergency baby wipe game? Follow the tips in this video to make your own version of the extra-large body bathing wipe. I recommend using castile soap for your liquid.

Whether you make your own or buy convenient prepackaged wipes, make sure you read the label. No one wants to take a bath in chemicals that cause rashes, cancer, or lung toxicity.

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