With three young kids we’ve used our share of wet wipes over recent years, and we’re not alone. In the UK, we use over 11 billion disposable wipes each year for cleaning up babies, removing makeup and wiping down surfaces. We’re addicted to how convenient they are to use.
But wet wipes are single-use and 90% of the time they’re made from plastic. Millions end up blocking sewers, clogging up landfill or being incinerated and releasing carbon emissions back into the atmosphere. Not a good outcome at all.
So we created Mushi cloths to change that wasteful cycle in our corner of the world – cleaning up babies and toddlers. We had previously used wet wipes after meal-times to clean up our kids’ hands and faces and while it didn’t do a great job, we didn’t know what else to do. We wanted something that would clean up better, ideally introduce our toddler into the idea of wiping their own hands and face and ultimately cutting down the amount of waste we were creating.
Standard fibres in wet wipes are not effective at cleaning by themselves. They essentially would just be pushing dirt around if it wasn’t for the skincare they are designed to carry.
If you’ve ever tried cleaning a surface with water and some kitchen towel, you’ll know that it’s fine up until something is slightly dried, crusty or sticky. At that point, you’ll be reaching for the detergent because the fibres themselves wont clean it up. You need something to break down the grease and dirt or you won’t get it clean.
That’s essentially how wet wipes work. Wipes carry skincare so that they can break down muck and dirt on the skin to help remove it. The fibres in the wipe itself don’t usually work at effectively sweeping up the muck into the cloth either – that’s why you find yourself pinching and scooping the cloth to remove muck or poop.
Recently wipes brands have realised that adding skincare to baby skin frequently is not helpful
In Mushi cloths however, the power is in the cloth itself. Using microfibre strands that swell when wet, you can clean up with just water. You don’t need to scoop and pinch and you don’t need skincare to effectively remove dirt. Microfibres lift and trap as you sweep them across a surface.
So while traditional wipes work like mini portable skincare sheets that you need to throw away, Mushi cloths fibres do the heavy lifting so you can get infinitely more use out of them again and again.
Mushi cloths can be rinsed at the tap for easy daily use
Our Mushi microfibre cloths trap muck and food in the fibres themselves when you clean up after a meal time. So what do you do then?
If you’re looking to use Mushi cloths regularly to clean up after mealtimes with your baby or toddler, here’s the routine to use.
- First, rinse your new Mushi cloth under the tap to aide the microfibres in cleaning – they swell when wet to lift and trap food
- Second, get cleaning or give the cloth to your toddler to clean with. The fibres will make light work of mess and muck.
- Third, rinse again under the tap to remove surface muck – you can even add a little dish detergent before rinsing
- Fourth, squeeze out any excess water and leave the cloth to dry
- Fifth, re-use this way for a few mealtimes until the cloth is stained or dirty and then pop into the washing machine with a regular load and start all over again.
You can get multiple mealtime clean ups out of the double-sided Mushi cloths and 100s of washes out of each cloth so that they’ll save you from the cost and waste of packs and packs of disposable wipes.
Mushi cloths are machine washable as part of a regular laundry load
The biggest barrier to reducing waste and re-using more of the limited resources our planet has is often convenience.
Disposable wipes always seem to be so convenient and that’s why we like to use them. We used them because we didn’t really want to do the thinking about what happened after we threw them away. We just wanted clean kids and that’s it.
So the trick to reducing and re-using is to make things that work well and are as convenient as possible. Our Mushi cloths are easy to rinse at the sink, dry quickly so you can use them for your next meal, and you can put them in any standard washing load at 30 or 40 degrees to get them fresh and new for re-use.
It means there is no extra step to using them and you can be sure you’ll have soft cloths back available to keep cleaning up your kids in no time.
In recent years more brand have focused on reducing the amount of chemicals in their wipes (to help protect babies’ skin) and changing the contents of wipes to move away from plastic fibres.
They’re both positive moves. Wipes made from bamboo for example are definitely more sustainable with bamboo plants easy to grow and the resultant wipes compostable. The challenge remains however that those wipes still work the same way, they need to stay moist and are usually packed in plastic. They also rely on people using the right bin – food compost to make sure they really do get composted. Often, they’re just put in regular bins that end up in landfill or incinerators.
Re-usability is always better than recycling and if there are ways to reduce the amount of resources we use by simply using something again and again, it will be far better for the planet. Mushi cloths are designed to last for a life time of messy family meal clean-ups so you can be confident you’re minimising your environmental footprint.