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Wet Wipes Warning

You may notice that we’re not big on the ‘danger danger Will Robinson’ blog posts around here, but once in a while I’ll see something credible in main stream media that just has to be shared. In June 2015, on Channel 7 news there was an alarming story about the preservatives found in baby wipes and wet wipes being sold in chemists and supermarkets around Australia. A year earlier ABC News were running the same story after a study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia on the subject.

Doctors call for a ban on methylisothiazolinone in baby wipes

Doctors are seeing both adults and children with severe skin rashes and are calling for the preservative to be banned in Australia. One patient had troubles breathing, developed rashes and blisters and had difficulties breathing.

Doctors and emergency wards are seeing an increase in the number of patients being admitted after having a reaction to the preservative methylisothiazolinone. The reaction isn’t always immediate and can take around 2 days after contact before symptoms appear. The symptoms can vary in intensity and last up to 2 weeks, many people with red, itchy and weeping skin.

It can also be found in many other beauty products including shampoo, body wash and sunscreen. In our store, there are no products containing this synthetic preservative. At one stage, it was found in trace amounts in a laundry liquid from Seventh Generation. We no longer stock it.

There are natural wet wipes in our store from Wotnot, in the way of travel wipes and baby wipes (they are the same product packaged differently). There are eco aspects to disposable wet wipes though, so they are not as popular as they were a few years ago. It is simple enough to make your own.

DIY baby wipes

If you’re savvy, you can make your own wet wipes. There are videos and recipes online to make your own disposable wipes to simply save money and also details on making reusable wipes to save the planet.

For DIY Disposable Wipes - paper towel + coconut oil + a liquid body wash + boiling water + storage container
Whisk coconut oil, body wash and water. Remove cardboard core from roll of paper towel and stand it upright in a container (tight fit is best). Pour liquid in to soak towel. To use, remove wipe from the middle.

For DIY Reusable Wipes - Thin baby wash cloths + aloe vera + almond oil + witch hazel + baby friendly essential oils (a blend of lavender, tea tree & chamomile)

Visit for more details on the DIY reusables. For sensitive babies, just use the lavender and / or chamomile essential oil or omit the oils completely.


This blog post was originally posted June 2015 and has been updated in May 2019


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