A while back a friend asked me why I had baby wipes (aka diaper wipes) on my grocery list since my youngest child is 14. The simple answer is that I have found them to be so useful that I never stopped buying them once the kids grew out of diapers. At first it was just for kid messes and sticky fingers, but now I use them for spills, wiping surfaces, dusting things off, and spot cleaning. Why use a paper towel AND cleaning spray? Just grab a wipe. Of course I use them for cleaning bodies, too, and my husband prides himself on his “two baby wipe” backpacking bath procedure. And then there’s pet messes. We also keep a box in the car for meals on the go, dirty hands, or even cleaning the dashboard when I’m stuck at a train crossing.
Wipes work great for cleaning my LCD monitor screen. And wiping up those assorted bits of dust and stuff that always seems to collect on my desk.
Baby wipes are indispensable when working with polymer clay. Not only do they clean your work surface and tools, but they easily remove the waxy, oily residue that gets on your hands from working with polymer clay.
But do you use baby wipes with polymer clay in the craft room? Oh yes!! They’re perfect for wiping paint off your hands. Wiping up glitter or mica powder from your work surface is so much more effective with a baby wipe than a dry paper towel. Actually, box of diaper wipes is essentially a box of wet paper towels, always at the ready. If your studio or craft room doesn’t have running water, like mine, it means you’ve always got a damp cloth on hand. They work great for scrubbing polymer clay residue off your hands, too.
I’ve used baby wipes to scrub paint off cured polymer clay pieces. And I’ve used them to delicately and skillfully pick up little overflow areas when my painting has been a bit too sloppy.
There are lots of brands of baby wipes on the market. I tend to use the Huggies Brand because they’re thicker and essentially made of cloth. I like to choose the unscented variety. I’ve tried using generic brands and have usually found them to be too thin for my purposes. There are brands of hand wipes on the market that serve the same purpose, but they’re much more expensive and tend to be smaller. And you don’t need to settle for boxes with cartoons on them, either. Many baby wipes brands are beginning to make decorative boxes that blend with your decor.
Next week my 14-year-old will be moving to a new bedroom and we’ll have to paint it for her. You can bet that a box of baby wipes will be part of the arsenal. I’m not kidding. They’re indispensable! Read about other Indispensable Tools in this series.
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NOTE: I wrote this article a few years ago and a few things have changed. My baby is no longer a teenager and we don’t have messy children at home anymore. And I rarely use baby wipes outside of my studio any longer. It just seems wasteful. But I DO use them in my studio for specific tasks. I’m more likely to use Kleenex for general wiping, but there’s nothing like a baby wipe for cleaning polymer residue off my hands, tools, and work surface.