Health & Safety Mom

Can Adults Use Baby Wipes? It Depends

Most parents with young children will tell you they get through a huge amount of baby wipes per year.

For those not in the know, this can range from 3 to 20+ packs per month, and while it’s hard to give an exact figure, parents can spend somewhere between $200 and $450 on wipes in a baby’s first year alone!

Baby wipes are designed for an infant’s sensitive skin, and if you have a young child you probably have several packs lying around your house at any one time, which may lead you to naturally ask if adults can also use baby wipes.

The answer really comes down to intended usage, because consistent misapplication could cause adverse health effects such as skin irritation or infections. 

Let’s look at the safety and potential issues around adults using baby wipes in more detail.

Is It Safe For Adults To Use Baby Wipes?

Yes, in general it is safe for an adult to use baby wipes because if they are gentle enough for your child’s skin, then they should be more than safe for yours too.

So if you want to use a wipe to clean your face after a messy meal, to wipe off sweat from your body or just to freshen up, you should be absolutely fine.

However, not all applications are as safe as others, because using baby wipes on certain parts of your body or too often could cause skin irritation, infections and can even lead to environmental issues.

Can I Use Baby Wipes On My Face?

If you are considering using baby wipes on your face, the good news is there should be no issues with doing so.

Doing things like cleaning some food from your face or using a wipe to help cool down on a hot day are all safe and practical ways adults can use baby wipes.

But what about removing make-up?

There appears to be mixed advice on whether you should use a baby wipe to remove your make-up from your face.

Some people believe that because they are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and have the right moistness, baby wipes make an excellent make up remover.

Others however are less convinced, warning that baby wipes are not able to effectively remove all the make-up from your skin, so there may still be traces in your pores even if your face feels clean.

Something to always keep in mind is the ingredients of the wipe, because some brands contain alcohol, which can dry your skin out and strip it of its natural oils.

If you suffer from skin conditions like eczema, using a baby wipe can actually make the problem worse if the wipes have fragrances or preservatives.

So if you do decide to use baby wipes on your own face, watch out for any dryness, itching, redness, burning, stinging and peeling, because any of these would indicate that the wipes may be causing skin irritation.Made of 99.9% water, WaterWipes claim their wipes are the world’s purest wipes, making them gentle enough for eczema-prone skin and allergy sufferers.

Are Baby Wipes Flushable?

Most of the time you’ll find that a pack of baby wipes will say words to the effect of “non-flushable”.

But experts claim even the ones advertised as flushable should still be thrown in the trash rather than flushed away.

Baby wipes are often made from plastic, which is a material that can clog your plumbing and drainage, causing expensive damage to your home if flushed down the toilet.

But even wipes that are made from other materials still should not be flushed, because they cannot break down or disintegrate fast enough in water.

So even if wipes successfully pass through your home plumbing, there’s a good chance they will clog and choke your local sewage system.

Can Adults Use Baby Wipes Instead Of Toilet Paper?

Baby wipes are typically more expensive than toilet paper, and there’s no medical reason to use the former over the latter.

But if your local store is out of toilet paper, or if you like the feeling of using wipes instead, you’re probably curious as to whether it’s safe for adults to use baby wipes.

If you have no other option, then it should be fine to use a baby wipe to clean up down there, although as we mentioned above you should not throw the wipes down the toilet.

Keep in mind however that certain wet wipes can cause skin irritation, especially if they contain alcohol.

Using a wet wipe can strip away the “good bacteria” in your bottom, which may result in rashes, irritation and even infections.

If you use wet wipes occasionally instead of toilet paper you should be fine, but it’s best not to make it a frequent habit because you could irritate your genitals.

As a side note, keep in mind that the same principle applies if you use wipes on your vagina.

Using wipes down there can eliminate healthy vaginal bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, without which you could be more prone to inflammation or infections like vaginitis.

8 Other Uses For Baby Wipes

Baby wipes aren’t just useful for cleaning your kid’s face or tush!

Some popular adult uses for baby wipes include:

  1. Clean Under Your Arms: Handy after a workout or sweating.
  2. Wipe Dining Table or Kitchen Surfaces: Because they are gently and don’t contain harmful chemicals, baby wipes are useful when wiping surfaces.
  3. Wipe food spills on carpets: Handy for when your little one spills any food or snacks.
  4. Mop Your Floor: While baby wipes aren’t a replacement for antibacterial wipes, they can be useful to remove spots and splashes of dirt on the floor.
  5. Clean Appliances: For example, the inside of a fridge or microwave.
  6. Clean Your Tech: For example your cell phone, tablet, keyboard or computer screen.
  7. Clean Your Shoes: Once you try this hack you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
  8. Wipe Off Marks On Your Clothes: Everything from milk stains from your child to other random spots of dirt.


Baby wipes can be very handy around the house and when out and about for both babies and adults alike.

It’s important however to think carefully about the exact application, because depending on your intended use there may be better ways to clean your skin or body.

Lastly, although baby wipes do not expire, they do dry out, but by adding some water (preferably distilled) or coconut oil you can usually revive them enough to make them useful again.

Nick is a passionate dad who co-founded Rockinbaby to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He has a BSc and MBA, and works as a senior marketing professional. In his spare time Nick loves watching sports, staying fit and traveling. Learn more about Nick here.

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