Are Wet Wipes Safe For Babies? (Baby Face, Newborn)

Are Wet Wipes Safe For Babies

Do you know if wet wipes are safe for babies? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

Enter any supermarket or pharmacy and you’ll likely be amazed at the volume and variety of wet wipe products stocked on the shelves.

Wet wipes have become a staple of everyday life, purses, handbags, and car glove boxes stocked with these handy cleaning towelettes. 

Many are unaware that not all wet wipes are created with the same cleaning purpose in mind, and some can be very damaging to sensitive skin, especially if used on babies. 

So, are wet wipes safe for babies? Yes, most wet wipes are safe for babies. However, some wet wipes are intended for cleaning surfaces and contain chemicals and alcohol that when used on the skin will tend to dry it out and other ingredients may cause irritation. So, not all wet wipes are intended for use on babies’ skin and are not considered safe for babies.

Let’s take a look at the various uses of wet wipes, and how to choose the safest wet wipes for your baby. 

Types of wet wipes

There is a multitude of wet wipe products and brands on the market these days and all vary for their intended use. Some are merely an alcohol-soaked towelette and are solely intended to clean hard surfaces.

There are wet wipes that are used to disinfect surfaces and others that have powerful cleaning chemicals and should never be applied to your skin. 

On the other hand, some include ingredients such as moisturizers and are intended for cleaning the face, hands, or skin of adults.

There are also brands of wet wipes available that are not only intended for use on skin but even offer wet wipes for sensitive skin. 

Here’s an overview of the different wet wipes available:

  • Alcohol-based wet wipes – Used for removing stains and cleaning hard surfaces. Usually contains isopropyl alcohol.
  • Chemical wet wipes – Used for cleaning a variety of surfaces. Often contain isopropyl alcohol or another type of disinfectant. 
  • Wet wipes with moisturiser – Intended to clean the skin and body
  • Wet wipes for sensitive skin – Intended for cleaning the face and for cleaning specific areas with sensitive skin. 
  • Baby wipes – Used for cleaning babies’ skin in all areas.
  • Adult wipes – Formulated for adult skin and often contain moisturisers or added scents.

Read also: Are Clorox Wipes Safe on Skin (Disinfecting Wipes)

Baby wipes ‘vs adult wipes ‘vs’ wet wipes

While they all look the same and are usually dispensed and packaged in the same way, there are some subtle differences in each type of wipe. 

Baby Wipes 

Sold in a resealable package, baby wipes are specifically formulated for infant skin or skin that is sensitive and prone to irritation from chemicals.

Baby wipes are not anti-bacterial and usually do not contain any alcohol or soap chemicals and are intended for cleaning the skin of babies, for bathing, or preventing skin irritation after diaper changing. 

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Adult wipes

Adult wipes are sold in the same style of packaging and also offer a resealable lid for convenient use.

 Adult wipes will be formulated for adult skin and will often contain added scents, perfumes, or moisturizers.

They are intended for cleaning and refreshing the skin, and sometimes for removing makeup.

Wet wipes

Wet wipes are usually made with active cleaning ingredients or alcohol (isopropyl alcohol is the most common).

Wet wipes are intended for cleaning and are anti-bacterial, with some wet wipes containing CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate) which reduces the spread of germs and infections in hospital settings. 

Most wet wipes are not intended for cleaning the skin on the body or face, and even wet wipes containing moisturizer may still contain alcohol or chemicals that will essentially damage or dry out the skin. 

What are wet wipes made of?

Wet wipes are essentially moist and durable cloths that are convenient and disposable. They come in a pack (typically around 25-40) depending on the brand and intended use.

With so many different types and brands of wet wipes available, the ingredients vary considerably.

Here is a general snapshot of the most common ingredients found in baby wipes, adult wipes, and wet wipes

Baby wipe ingredients

  • Fabrics typically made of polyester or polypropylene
  • Sorbic Acid – Sorbates is a natural compound that’s soluble in water
  • Sodium Benzoate – Natural compound that is a preservative that dissolves in water
  • Parabens – A type of preservative with antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Glycerin – A sugar compound that is used to soften the ingredients and make them comfortable on a baby’s bottom

Adult wipe ingredients

  • Fabrics typically made of polyester or polypropylene
  • D-Panthenol – Moisturizers used to keep the skin moist and soft
  • RO pure water 
  • Sodium citrate
  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Propylene glycol
  • EDTA di-nano
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride
  • Polyaminopropyl biguanide
  • Chlorophenyl glycol ether

Wet wipe ingredients 

  • Fabrics typically made of polyester or polypropylene
  • Surfactants – Reduce surface tension and make surfaces easier to clean
  • Preservatives – Protect packaged wet wipes from bacterial or fungal contamination
  • Emollients – Used to keep the skin dry 
  • Citric Acid or Sodium Citrate – pH adjusters to keep pH levels between 4.5 -5.0 (same pH level as healthy skin)
  • Antioxidants – Used to prevent oxidation and also prevent odors
  • Scent- A fragrance or perfume for a more pleasant smell

Read also: Who Makes Kirkland Wipes (Baby, Makeup, Flushable, Cleaning)

Are wet wipes safe for cleaning baby furniture and high chairs?

Yes, although caution should be taken. After cleaning a high chair or item of baby furniture with a wet wipe, make sure the surface is completely dry and free of any moisture that may transfer from the wet wipe.

With high chairs, it’s also worth cleaning surfaces that come in contact with a baby’s skin or food with some clean fresh water after using a wet wipe. 


Wet wipes are great for cleaning surfaces and removing dirt and grime.

They also disinfect the surface at the same time and usually contain alcohol or cleaning chemicals that are considered harmful to the skin as a result. 

Never use a wet wipe to clean a baby’s skin and use caution when cleaning baby furniture or high chairs with wet wipes, allowing plenty of time for the surfaces to dry.

This is because most wet wipes contain isopropyl alcohol or cleaning chemicals that will dry the skin or cause skin irritation. 

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Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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