Best alternatives to wet wipes: the eco-friendly options you need to know about

Wet wipes, paper towels and makeup removing cloths might be convenient cleaners in a pinch, but their daily impact on the environment is longstanding and far-reaching.

For years Londoners slept soundly, unaware of the beast lurking beneath them, until 2017 when it was revealed what was stalking our waterways.

Fatbergs- masses of discarded rubbish and pollution, some the size of football fields, have been found clogging up the sewage systems all over the city, growing in the years city dwellers have spent unwittingly pouring and flushing away rubbish with wet wipes being one of the biggest contributors.

This, amongst other environmental crises, has led to the government’s crack down on single use plastics, which are wreaking havoc on the environment. Thanks to their largely non-biodegradable composition and the 100 years it takes them to decompose, many of us are seeking eco-friendly alternatives to removing our makeup, wiping down our countertops and cleaning up little ones’ messes.

From reusable cloths to cleaning sprays and biodegradable wipes, there are a number of eco-friendly companies catering to these growing environmental needs. We’ve rounded up the best - and if you need a bit more convincing just watch the video below to see the shocking effect wet wipes can have on our environment.

CannyMum Bamboo Dry Wipes

These wipes are designed to be used alongside homemade solutions, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted chemicals finding their way onto your baby’s skin.

What’s more, they’re made from totally bio-degradable bamboo fibre. One of the key benefits of these (aside from their eco-friendly credentials) is their size, which is considerably bigger than normal wipes – great when you’re busy wrestling with a wriggling baby.

£18.98 for 400 wipes | Amazon

Cheeky Panda Bamboo Baby Wipes - 64 wipes

Suitable from birth, the Cheeky Panda bamboo fibre wipes are infused with 99 per cent purified water and one per cent aloe vera and fruit extract. Many standard wipes often contain polyester but the Cheeky Panda alternative is made from virgin pulp bamboo and are 100 per cent biodegradable. Win-win! Cruelty free, fragrance free and naturally anti bacterial.

£2.99 | Ethical Superstore

Ecoegg Bamboo Reusable Kitchen Towels

These wash, dry and reuse paper towels are perfect for kitchen spills and countertop cleaning. Each sheet can be washed and reused 85 times, at 20 sheets per roll you’ll get 1700 uses from each order. Made from organic, sustainably sourced Bamboo these kitchen towel alternatives are surprisingly sturdy. Pro tip: after you wash and dry each sheet, store the towels in a Tupperware box under the sink for easy reuse.

£9.99 |​ Big Green Smile or Ethical Superstore

Tutti Bimbi Bamboo Bath and Washcloths - six pack​

If you're looking for a hygienic and eco-friendly alternative to makeup removal or baby care, these extra thick and super soft bamboo cloths are perfect for every use. Available in two colour ranges, the hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal cloths are ideal for sensitive skin. You can machine wash on a gentle cycle but to prevent fraying, we recommend hand washing after each use. Measures 25cm x 25cm

£12.49 | Amazon

Eye Makeup Remover Pads - five pack

No makeup remover required with these velvety soft 100 per cent organic cotton pads. Trying to wash away mascara, glitter eye makeup and stubborn eyeliner can unfortunately confiscate a few lashes in the process, a more sensitive solution are these 9x7cm eye pads from Head to the Woods. Unlike other hand was only alternatives on this list, you can wash these eco-friendly eye cloths in the machine up to 60 degrees. The brand also recommends using a wash bag to help prevent damage or getting lost in the wash.

£4.95 | AndKeep

MakeUp Eraser

Though dermatologists generally advise against using wet wipes to remove makeup, many of us still turn to them to erase the daily grime. MakeUp Eraser does exactly what it says on the tin in the form of a microfiber cloth. Completely free of chemicals, it can remove even the toughest waterproof mascara without damaging delicate skin.

With a short haired side to remove dirt and a long haired side to exfoliate the skin, it’s effectively a reusable wipe. It’s been a big hit with beauty influencers and only needs to be thrown in the wash every week to keep it up to scratch. Now that’s our kind of low-maintenance beauty tool.

£14 | Amazon£17 | MakeUp Eraser

Cheeky Wipes Make Up Removal Kit

Here’s a handy little kit that’s a hybrid of a makeup wipe and a cotton pad. Including ten padded minky and bamboo reusable pads, a container for storing them in and a tube of organic coconut oil. Though you might be used to using this oil in a stir fry, it’s actually a bit of a hero product; suitable to use as a hair conditioner, moisturiser or even a makeup remover. The pads are highly absorbent and once they’ve all been used you can throw them in the washing machine.

£20.95 | Cheeky Wipes

​Jackson Reece Kinder By Nature Wipes - 640 wipes

Made from 99 per cent renewable plant extracts, these wipes are completely bio-degradable, compostable and chlorine free.. Soothing and gentle, they’re fragrance free and hypoallergenic, so will be kind to fragile skin too. What sets them apart, though, is that they’re made in the UK and free from animal testing, so you can support several good causes at once.

£19.50 for 10 x packs of 64 | Amazon


100 per cent biodegradable, fragrance-free, chlorine-free, chemical-free, our top pick goes to the CannyMum Bamboo wipes. Safe to use and easy to customise, these larger than average wipes will get the job done while ensuring you won't help feed the the city fatberg.