Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes and Others

posted in: Baby, Baby Wipes | 54

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KIRKLAND Signature Baby Wipes

The first time I wrote about Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes was in 2013.  They were toxic!  They even had formaldehyde in them.

Over 1,000 people would read this blog post a day!  And the post would come up on the first page of Google searches before even Costco itself.  It still does.  That’s probably how you found my blog.

I have a feeling that you want to make sure that the baby wipes you use on your baby are safe but do not have the time to research all these unpronounceable ingredients.  I get it.  I was in your shoes once.

When I was expecting my son, I wanted the best products for him.  And I started researching a baby shampoo.  It took me a month to decipher a maze of unpronounceable ingredients and I realized that a simple baby shampoo is not so simple.  I also realized that it is up to us consumers to understand how products are made so we can figure if marketing claims are truthful.

Since then, label reading became my full-time occupation and calling.  And manufacturers take notice of my blog. Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes were reformulated in 2014 so they aren’t so toxic anymore. But there is more to the story. Read this post to find out what actually happened and how it may affect you and your baby.

 

New Formula of Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes

 

Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes New Formula IngredientsWater, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylene Brassylate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate (Source)

 

What are the Improvements in Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes?

 

The great news that the super toxic preservatives, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, were replaced with less problematic ones, Phenoxyethanol and Sodium Benzoate. Sodium Benzoate is a food-grade preservative (I do not advocate eating food with preservatives though); Phenoxyethanol is not on my list of the safest preservatives (rated 4 out of 10 by the EWG) but it is a big improvement from formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.

As for the ingredients treated with ethylene oxide, one of them, PEG-75 Lanolin, is gone and the other, Polysorbate 20, remains. Let’s hope that there is no 1,4-dioxane contamination in the Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes. I personally do not like to take chances, especially when it comes to the health of my baby.

And lastly, the great news is that Propylene Glycol has been removed from the Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes.

 

 

Conclusion about the new Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes

 

There are big improvements in the new formula over the old one – no more carcinogenic formaldehyde, less potential exposure to carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane, and no more potentially skin irritating propylene glycol. While I am happy about these major improvements, Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes are not at the top of the list of baby wipes I recommend, just yet. I believe there are safer alternatives for polysorbate 20 and phenoxyethanol.

 

Costco also carries Moist Flushable Wipes

 

Kirkland Moist Flushable Wipes

They were reformulated in 2015. Here is a list of new ingredients:

Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate (Source)

 

2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, a formaldehyde-releasing preservatives was replaced (Yay!!!) with Phenoxyethanol and Sodium Benzoate. You can see these preservatives at the end of the list. Formaldehyde has been classified as a carcinogen and may irritate the skin so this is a big improvement! Maybe the people at Costco read this blog; after all, it does come up just after their page when you Google “Kirkland Baby Wipes” . . . . (And if they do, a note: please keep up the good work with all of the organic food you stock, and keep investing in organic farming!)

 

Is phenoxyethanol safe?

Before we talk about the safety of preservatives, keep in mind that preservatives are necessary in disposable baby wipes because they keep our babies safe from dangerous bacteria. In my Baby Wipes Rating List, I noted which disposable baby wipes that either do not have sufficient preservatives or which do not disclose the preservatives used.

The FDA has issued warnings revealing that the ingestion of phenoxyethanol can be toxic and harmful for infants. Accidental ingestion can produce depression of the central nervous system and lead to the occurrence of diarrhea and vomiting (source). So make sure that your baby does not put the baby wipes in her mouth, and that you don’t use them to wipe her hands if she is a finger-sucker.

Phenoxyethanol is rated 4 out of 10 in the Skin Deep database; it appears to cause contact allergy only in rare occasions; the data is limited on it, meaning there may be other issues associated with it that we simply don’t know about (or, it might otherwise be fine – that’s the problem with ingredients with limited data; we just don’t know)

Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes and Others

Is sodium benzoate safe?

It is rated 3 out of 10 in the Skin Deep database, and is a food-grade preservative (I do not advocate eating food with preservatives though); however, when reacted with ascorbic acid, it may produce carcinogenic benzene. Sodium benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. According to LotionCrafter, it is soluble in water where it converts to benzoic acid, which is listed in the Endocrine Disruption Exchange database. However, it appears there is only one study associated benzoic acid with endocrine disruption, so more needs to be known.

 

A big no-no

There is fragrance, which is a big no-no too. In the US, there is no regulation requiring that companies disclose the ingredients of the fragrance mixes they use. (Companies don’t disclose them, either, as being trade secrets.) Independent researchers have concluded that fragrance mixes, among other toxic chemicals, normally contain diethyl phthalate, a chemical that may disrupt the normal function of the hormone system. Again, tiny amounts here and there do add up. And babies are vulnerable. Their detox system is not fully developed.

Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential harms to the reproductive system. So please, Costco, if you’re reading this, please don’t use fragrance in your wipes (or anything else).

In conclusion, Costco continues to make improvements to its wipes, but there is still some ground work to be made up.

 

 

Final Words About Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes and Other Baby Wipes

 

A lot of baby wipes include chemicals to which you would not want to expose your baby on a daily basis multiple times. Tiny amounts accumulate. A lot of chemicals are not tested for safety and chemical interactions are not tested at all. I’ve read ingredients of almost all baby wipes on the market and concluded that there is not anything better than organic cotton cloth, water, and castile soap. That saves a lot of money too!

 

Here is a list of my other baby wipes posts

Hidden Ingredients in Baby Wipes

Huggies Baby Wipes – Safe or Toxic?

Joonya Eco Wipes

Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes: Safe or Toxic?

Products I Like – Biodegradable Baby Wipes

Products I Like – Toxin-Free Baby Wipes Not Made in China

Are WaterWipes Baby Wipes Natural and Safe?

Naty Baby Wipes – Organic or Toxic?

2017 Baby Wipes Rating List

54 Responses

  1. I think your blog is great. Very easy to read, understand, and grasp. However, reading this latest article, I haven’t seen anything about prices. Many families are on a tight budget and shy away from what might be a better choice organically because of price. I am interested to read how families can not only buy safe products but do so frugally.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Kristin, thank you for your compliment and feedback. As I am a stay-at-home mom, I totally understand what it means to be on a tight budget. I always keep a price at the back of my mind and stay away from unreasonably expensive things. Non-toxic products do not have come with hefty price tags. I will try to be more explicit about prices in my upcoming posts. Again, thank you for your feedback!

  2. Great research !! Thank you. I have been a BIG user of Kirkland’s baby wipes. They are the only wipes of their size. All the others are tiny squares and hard to use. However, I would have never known about the toxic chemicals without clicking on your article. I was in the process of ordering another supply when I saw your article. Again, thank you for all of your research.

    • Irina Webb

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad that you find my research helpful. I hope you will find my other posts as helpful as this one.

  3. Doris Towns

    Thank you for your research. I’m an old Gramma now, so I just have one pack of wipes that I keep around for the occasional need, but it’s interesting to know that the plain old facecloth and water that I usually reach for is still the best option.

  4. This was extremely helpful – thank you! What about Whole Foods “365 Everyday Value Chlorine Free” Baby Wipes? I’ve been buying these for quite a while now, but I just looked at the ingredients and saw sodium hydroxymethylglycinate listed. Should I be concerned about these wipes containing formaldehyde and therefore possibly making them carcinogenic?

    • Hi, Carrie! I am glad you found my Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes post helpful! Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate is one of the preservatives that is designed to release a small amount of formaldehyde into a product over time. Formaldehyde is a very potent toxin. Please see my post about it at http://www./formaldehyde-primer/ The amount of it is probably too small to adversely impact your baby’s health. However, small amounts here and there may accumulate in a human body over time. To be on a safe side, I would do everything possible to reduce our babies exposure to toxins. Among disposable wipes, I recommend Honest Baby Wipes or making your own cloth wipes.

  5. Hi, I had been using the Kirkland Baby Wipes for about a year for my own personal hygiene and to take off my make-up. I had previously used Walmart Teddy’s brand (btw had not reaction to at all) but switched to Kirkland because of the price. Three months ago I started getting very irritated on my tush and went to my doctor who prescribe me a cream (which didn’t help at all). I had upped the use of the wipes to keep extra clean which only made matters worse…still at this point no realising it was the wipes. Then about 2 weeks ago I go blisters on both eye lids and it was then that I put 2 and 2 together and realised it was the wipes. Stopped using them right away and about 5 -6 days later things started clearing up.

    • Thank you, Ashley, for sharing this helpful information about Kirkland signature baby wipes!

  6. I use the Huggies brand of wipes. I’m sure they’re just as bad as the Pampers and Kirkland but wondered if you knew for sure? It’s always so disappointing and discouraging to read about more baby products that have harmful chemicals in them. Convenience is cheap for the pocket book but potentially costly to our health. Thanks for doing the research and putting it out there so us other mommies can make better choices for our kids and the environment!

    • Thank you, Dana, for the nice words. I will do a post on Huggies baby wipes. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you do not miss the post. Thanks!

  7. Thank you, Irina, for your research and this valuable information. Would you recommend Aleva Naturals Bamboo Wipes or Attitude Eco-Baby Wipes?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Anh! Thank you for reading my post and asking the question. From the first look at these baby wipes, I can tell you that they are a step up from the Kirkland Signature baby wipes. However, a few concerns jumped at me. In Aleva Naturals baby wipes I am the most concerned about Cocamidopropyl Betaine that may be contaminated with carcinogenic Nitrosamines (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701520/COCAMIDOPROPYL_BETAINE/). And even if it is not contaminated, I am not in favor of this ingredient because it was nominated Allergen of the Year by the dermatitis society (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18627690). As for Attitude baby wipes, my biggest concerns are Benzyl Alcohol that has been associated with contact allergy (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700697/BENZYL_ALCOHOL/) and Sodium Benzoate that in combination with Citric Acid may form carcinogenic Benzene (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/726354/BENZENE/). I am not saying that the contaminants are present in these baby wipes. If you are still interested in them, you should contact the companies and ask them what they do to prevent the contamination from happening. By the way, I do personalized research for the subscribers to my blog. You are more than welcome to subscribe. No spam I promise. Only helpful free information once a week. Best, Irina

      • Thank you, Irina! With the information you have provided, I have decided to go with Honest wipes. I have also subscribed to your blog. Can’t wait for your weekly updates! Thank you again!

      • Hi,

        I contacted the ATTITUDE company and asked them what they do to prevent the contamination from happening between Sodium Benzoate that in combination with Citric Acid may form carcinogenic Benzene. Here is their reply for anyone interested in those baby wipes:

        Regarding concerns about benzene formation related to sodium or potassium benzoate, our supplier certifies that this ingredient does not contain any Benzene nor does it contain any Benzene during the production process. Any formation or splitting of Benzene during the use is unlikely. Moreover, a US consultant, David Steinberg, told: “the formation of benzene by a reaction between citric acid and sodium benzoate is an urban legend with no basis in reality. It is chemically impossible for a salt (sodium benzoate) to react with an acid (citric or any other) to form a hydrocarbon (benzene).”

        The only scientific articles found related benzene formation talk about ascorbic acid (vitamin C), not citric acid and sodium benzoate. In all of the comments, the formation is only possible under very specific conditions such as extreme pH and/or elevated temperature and/or UV light. ATTITUDE products do not have ascorbic acid, do not have extreme pH, are not stored/used under high temperatures and are not exposed to light.

        Hope this helps! I personnally decided to go with those wipes (when needed)

        Marie

        • Yes, that confirms my understanding that benzene may formed only when ascorbic acid, not citric acid, is reacted with sodium benzoate. Thank you, Marie, for your research!

  8. We’ve used Earth’s Best, as they were on sale. Those and Honest Co seem like the best, based on the ingredients. The only downside is that they can foam up a bit, a minor downside compared to what you find in conventional wipes.

  9. I have been using Pamper’s wipes for myself for years…..just so I can clean up after myself. Now what do I do?

    Great article…..thank you for your research

    • Ellie, thank you for your nice comment! I am glad that you found my post useful. I believe the old-fashioned way – washable rags and castile soap (I highly recommend Dr. Bronner’s soap “>) is the healthiest and greenest alternative. Thank you for asking!

  10. Thanks for the information and work that went into researching! I’m watching my baby niece next week and wanted to make sure that I’m using non-toxic products.

  11. […] reviews, after further research I discovered here are some nasty ingredients in the new formula. Formaldehyde being one of them. On our to do list tomorrow is a trip to pick up new wipes. I am thinking we will try a sensitive […]

  12. I mostly use Honest wipes but buy Earth’s Best also. Have you looked into the Earth’s Best wipes, are they OK?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Dawn,
      thank you for asking the question. I could not locate Earth Best baby wipes’ ingredients on their website. I called them and requested the ingredients. When I receive the email and I will let you know what I think about the wipes. Thanks!

  13. Hi Irina, this is a great article! I’ve been using Kirkland’s baby wipes for over 2mo now and I found it great. However the ingredient I found on the packet is different to what you stated here. The wipes is made in USA but imported by Costco Australia. Here is the ingredient:
    Aqua, propylene glycol, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, tocopheryl acetate, peg-75 lanolin, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, citric acid, disdium phospate, disodium edta, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, polysorbate 20, ethylene brassylate.
    As I know nothing about all those chemical, I would love to hear your opinion on those ingredients. Thanks!

    • Hi did you get a reply regarding this information. I have just stopped using my Kirkland wipes because of this article.

  14. Jessie Thomas

    Great article! Nice to see people asking questions before they make a purchase.
    I actually work with a company that makes a great Eco friendly, money saving, chemical free alternative. I’d love to share with you, and even mail you some samples.
    I don’t want to appear as if I’m spamming your page though by adding my website and product info. If it’s ok with you though I’ll post some info. If not I understand.
    I just want people to know that there is a green alternative that won’t break the bank.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Jessie, please email me privately with your company’s information. And I will take a look at the ingredients. It is always good to know of safe alternatives. Thanks!

  15. hi, just wondering…while i know it is not always possible, what about rinsing the wipes before using them? i do this often and figure i have “diluted” them significantly. (hopefully not more at the expense of the environment than their disposal!)

  16. hi, just wondering…while i know it is not always possible, what about rinsing the wipes before using them? i do this often and figure i have “diluted” them significantly. (hopefully not more at the expense of the environment than their disposal!)
    btw, thanks for your time!

  17. Thank-you so much for this info. My baby did develop a rash when she was around 3 months old. I had no idea what caused it and it took over a month to clear up. Kirkland and Pampers are the two wipe brands we use but I will now be looking into Honest Co.

  18. Amelia Przekora

    Great info! I just wanted to add that actually you can buy the honest company’s wipes at nordstrom!!

  19. Happy Sunday! I found this post while doing research for a post I’m writing on my blog about using baby wipes on dogs. Thank you for this great information. I pulled a quote from the blog and linked it back to this post. I anticipate the post to go live in the first couple weeks of May.

    Kimberly

  20. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reasearch I didn’t have to do because you did! I too wash my baby’s poopy bottom in the sink. For pee-pee bottoms, I use warm water and soap on old, softer, cut up cotton t- shirts. (Usually Johnson’s but I will be switching to castile soap now.) Mostly because I don’t like using all those chemicals on her but also because we’re tryiing to do zero waste and wipes are just one more thing to throw out. But when we go out or are traveling, I’m always trying to find compostable wipes or at least ones made of bamboo. As always Kirkland products are a good deal, a bit cheaper and I always kick myself for passing them up but they never use the word compostable. Not just biodegradable but ones that will compost. I’ll be headed over to the honest site. (They are outrageously expensive on Amazon.) Thanks for the save! Cheers!

  21. Maria Ragin

    I was at the store reading labels trying to find out what Propylene Glycol was. As it sounded like an alcohol to me. When I looked it up I happened upon ur article. Very informative. Ty.

  22. […] “Propylene Glycol is a skin conditioner.  Sounds great, right?  Not so fast.  It is a double alcohol that has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis.  The allergy can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%.  We do not know what concentration of propylene glycol is used in Kirkland Signature baby wipes.  But do we want to take our chances?” ~ Irena Webb of I Read Labels for You […]

  23. When a product contains methanol or ethanol, it is labelled as contains alcohol. Propylene glycol is not an alcohol. It contains OH groups which are also present in alcohols. But a product containing propylene glycol will still be alcohol free.

  24. This is great, love the article on baby wipes, please send me emails with more great info!!! Thank you.

  25. Hi, do you have any experience with Nature babycare Eco-Sensitive Fragrance-Free Wipes? Thanks!

  26. They changed formula again.After using them for years without any problem(kids,my personal hygiene, makup remover) I have got serious rush on my face and private parts.

  27. Which wipes do you recommend?

    • My top recommendation is to use cloth wipes. Among disposable wipes my top choices are wipes by Honest Co. and Jackson Reese wipes (see a short post about them here). If you’d like to have more options and know what wipes to buy when you are in a store, I put together a list of wipes rated in the order from least toxic to most toxic. This list comes in a wallet size. You can purchase and print it for $3.99 here. Thanks!

  28. Good Job! Now if you can convince Costco to get rid of that “new unscented smell” on their baby wipes, (new formulation smells like stale beer, and it lingers on and on), then I will start buying them again.

  29. NOVEMBER 2014 – KIRKLAND BABY WIPES – CAUSED SERIOUS SKIN REACTION TO MY DAUGHTER
    I am based in the UK.
    About a month ago, when we ran out of my 1 year old daughter’s Johnsons baby wipes , my husband bought the Kirkland brand.
    Soon after we started using the new wipes, my daughter had a really bad skin reaction (rashes, raw skin, etc.).
    Not realising it was caused by the Kirkland wipes and being very concerned, I took my daughter to the doctor several times. Various creams (Canesten, Sudocream, etc) were prescribed – needless to say none of them worked.
    We however noticed that when she went to nursery (where different wipes were used), her skin improved slightly during the week. However at the weekend when she was at home, it got worse!
    My husband decided to revert to the Johnson Baby wipes. Within the last 48 hours, the rashes, etc more or less disappeared! I then went on the internet and saw your blog.
    Looking at the Kirkland Baby wipes it has PEG-75 Lanolin, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol amongst other ingredients.)
    I notice you mentioned that Propylene Glycol has been removed. But it is still very much in the wipes sold here in the UK.
    I am returning the rest of the box to Costco today for a refund.
    As a warning to other parents, please stay clear of the Costco/ Kirkland brand of baby wipes until the offending ingredients have been removed.
    Bernadine

  30. AND The new wipes stink! They literally smell like poop and the smell does not dissipate.

  31. Hi Irina, I first wanted to thank you for all of your hard work and research on baby wipes. You’re a tremendous help! And I really appreciated you answering my questions a while back on Whole Foods 365 “chlorine free” Baby Wipes. (By the way, I’ve tried – and love! – the Honest baby wipes, but the price just isn’t working in our budget right now with our two youngest in diapers. So I’ve mostly gone back to the Whole Foods 365 wipes, which I always buy in bulk. I know they’re not the best option, especially as they pose the formaldehyde risk, but it’s the best we can do right now and we’ve been happy with them for the most part…until now.) I recently noticed that Whole Foods has changed both the packaging and the formula for their wipes — and even the actual wipe itself (it’s smaller! and maybe a tad thinner, too? or “dryer” feeling, at least…there seems to be less liquid in each wipe)…but the price is still the same. 🙁 So you’re paying the same price for a pack of wipes (or a box of refill packs), but getting less for your money. Also, with the new smaller (and less moist) wipes, I’m finding that I don’t get as much “mileage” out of each one so we’re going through each pack faster than the old ones.

    All of this is disappointing, of course, but what I’m most concerned about is the change in ingredients. The new list is as follows: “Aqua (purified water), aloe barbadensis (aloe vera leaf) extract, contains less than 1% of the following: sodium cocyl hydrolyzed soy protein (cleanser), oryza sativa (rice) extract, glycerin (moisturizing cleanser), tocopherol (vitamin E), dehydroacetic acid, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol (preservative), dimethicone copolyol (foam reducer), citric acid (pH balancer)” What do you think about the new Ingredients list? And “soy protein?” In a baby wipe??? (Soy’s in everything now…and my oldest has a soy food allergy. I can’t believe we’ve found a way to put soy in baby wipes!) Anyway, I’m hoping that the changes are positive since it’s such a different list/formula compared to the old wipes…but I’m a little nervous to ask!

    Thank you again so much for your help!

    • By the way, I looked up each of the ingredients on EWG’s Skin Deep website and most appear to be okay…although the soy protein one didn’t come up when I searched it. (I’m guessing that it’s a pretty benign ingredient in a baby wipe…) Benzyl alcohol might be irritating to the skin for some babies, possibly, but so far I don’t think it’s bothering my baby’s or my toddler’s skin. Time will tell, though…(We just started using the “new” 365 wipes a few days ago.) At least they got rid of the sodium hydroxymethylglycinate from the old formula — I’m hoping that this means the “new” version is formaldehyde free! (?)

      Thanks again for your passion and hard work on researching safe products for our babies!

      • Hi Carrie: I apologize for not being able to get back to you right away. I hate to say it but I think even after the reformulation 365 wipes are still worse than Kirkland. The main problem is benzoic acid that is an endocrine disruptor. With endocrine disruptors even tiny amounts potentially can be very harmful. I hope it helps.

  32. Tnis is sooo true i bought Kirkland wipes and when I used it on my son to wipe his mouth just seconds, rashes appeared on his face…. i thought its bec of the food he just ate… then tonight i used the wipes to wipe his face and arms, he got rashes on his entire face and arms where i used d wipes! thanks for this article!

  33. Ashley Selvig

    My review for the baby wipes
    I got these from my in law. My baby broke out from them burning her bottom. I used them on my bottom and they burned like h*** My sister even used them, she had the same experience. I only use them for my hands to clean.

  34. Hi Irina,
    I have a question about certain baby wipes I just recently came across. The name is WaterWipes. The ingredients read water and grapefruit extract. And nothing else at all!!! Created by a concerned father whose child was super sensitive to anything on the market. Have you heard of this brand and if yes – what are your thoughts and opinion? Thank you in advance.

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