I was approached by Jo from a new eco living website called Boobalou. She had a bit of a challenge for me. And it’s a tricky one, mainly because it involves poo. POO. Actual poo. *shudder*
She asked me to test and review a set of washable toilet wipes from Molly Felicity Designs that will be available to buy from Boobalou. Yes. You read that right. Cloth bum wipes. They are known by all sorts of names: family cloth, unpaper loo roll, reusable wipes. But whatever you choose to call them, there’s no getting away from the fact that you wipe your bum on them.
And actually I’m a total wuss when it comes to cack. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much. I think because there are a lot more germs involved in dealing with poo, compared with wee or blood. And it’s whiffy. While my youngest was still in cloth nappies full-time, I still used disposable liners and wipes. I once threw away an entire nappy, including inserts, and a vest after one particularly explosive event because I just couldn’t face dealing with the poo.
Now, regular readers will know that I’m pretty open to most eco alternatives – reusable kitchen roll, washable wet wipes, cloth nappies, and cloth sanitary pads are firm fixtures in my house (and Boobalou will be selling most of these). I even crocheted some make-up remover pads! But … you know … POO! This is definitely the final hurdle in reducing our household waste.
Soooo it arrived, with full instructions for use. And I was really surprised. IT’S PRETTY!
I’m not sure how our dear sovereign Queen would feel about me wiping my butt on our nation’s flag but, still, it’s a cute little set. A lovely selection of ten wipes in a matching, reversible basket. It’d be fun to choose a fabric or colour to match your bathroom decor. The wipes are bigger than I expected at a little over seven inches in width and length.
Similar in size to a sheet of kitchen roll, rather than a sheet of bog roll. I assume you’re meant to wipe and fold, which is fine I guess. I’ve never been a scruncher anyway so folding suits me fine. Some of the cloths were entirely white cotton flannel and some had patterned cotton on one side. Very soft. Very pretty. And the little basket is the perfect size to fit on the toilet cistern.
Jo was kind enough to also send a cute My Little Patch wetbag, which is the perfect size to hang from the conventional loo roll holder:
It’s a really handy set-up. Everything within reach, where I need it to be.
Sooo, down to the … err … nitty gritty. The … umm … opportunity presented itself for me to use them. And use them I did. Now, I have to be honest. My first go was a bit … slippery. Gosh, this is awkward. How do I explain? I think I’m so used to the roughness of toilet paper that I was a bit overenthusiastic with my technique! It whooshed a bit faster than I expected. And, ridiculous as it sounds, I felt kinda terrible messing up the pristine material.
BUT. Honestly? It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I only needed one cloth because it’s large enough to fold over and wipe again without worrying about the dreaded poo under your fingernails. *vom*
The used wipes go straight into the zip-up wetbag. So there’s no smell. I didn’t have to look at them or touch them at all once they were dirty. Come wash day, I just unzipped the bag and put it on a 40-degree cycle with normal detergent and a tablespoon of soda crystals (but no fabric softener), along with my cloth nappies and other reusable bits and bobs. I set the machine to include a pre-wash, main wash, and extra rinse.
In my head, I envisaged awful stains that would never wash out. But the reality? One wipe was very slightly stained after the first wash. I hung it out on the line all day to allow the sun to bleach it out and afterwards it was barely noticeable. I could’ve treated it with some Ecover stain stick and re-washed it but it was such a light stain, it’s since faded out on its own after a few uses.
For me, the main highlight of these was using them with my toddler. We’re trying to move away from the potty and more towards the toilet. She was quite happy sitting on the loo and pointing out all the different coloured cats on the little wetbag. She picked out which wipe she wanted me to use on her bum and zipped the wetbag closed all by herself when we’d finished. I also used one, wetted under the tap, to clean out her potty later the same day. They’re a really good tool to encourage young ones to be more independent in their toilet habits. Much softer and more fun. They are also better for young skin, better for the environment, and cheaper than those supposedly “flushable” toddler toilet wipes.
And did I mention, they look pretty?
The new Boobalou website launches this weekend so head over there for family cloth, reusable menstrual products and lots more. There will be all sorts of eco-friendly products available. I’ve already made myself a shopping list!
I was not paid for this post. I was sent a set of cloth wipes and wetbag free of charge in exchange for an honest review.