Having a hard time finding disinfectant wipes right now? Join the club! This recipe for DIY disinfectant wipes is easy to make and great for all purpose cleaning.
These easy to make cleaning wipes are so much cheaper than store bought ones and can be made at home in about 10 minutes with just a few supplies.
They offer great convenience as well as having both disinfectant properties and the ability to clean well. These wipes are a small step that we can take to protect the environment at home.
Since I am having such a hard time finding wipes right now, I decided to make some inexpensive ones myself!
If you are having trouble getting liquid soap, you also can make it yourself with a bar of soap.Having a hard time finding cleaning wipes? Make your own with this DIY antiseptic cleaning wipe recipe. #cleaningwipes #kitchenhacks #diy #recycle Click To Tweet
Making these DIY Disinfectant Wipes
DISCLAIMER: Information on these wipes is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of the advice of your health care professional. These wipes are intended for general cleaning, and not for the prevention of any illness or disease.
There are lots of posts out there for homemade cleaning wipes, but many of them contain vinegar, tea tree oil or castile soap. While these are good for all around cleaning, they are not meant for disinfecting surfaces.
According to the CDC, to disinfect, alcohol solutions have to be at least 60-95% alcohol. To ensure this, you need isopropyl alcohol or grain alcohol that is at least 140 proof.
I used 70% rubbing alcohol for my recipe, since this is what I had on hand. Stronger solutions (like 99% rubbing alcohol) would be more even more antiseptic.
Gather your ingredients together
These wipes use just 8 ingredients
- Roll of Paper Towels
- Clean air tight Container (see suggestions below)
- Hot water
- 70% rubbing alcohol
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dawn dish washing detergent (I also included Dawn in my list of ways for removing cooking oil stains from clothing. Be sure to check it out!
- Aloe Vera gel (optional – used as a skin protectant)
- Lemon essential oil
Start by marking the center of a roll of paper towels with a ruler and pen. You can eyeball it, but getting the cut even will make sure it fits the container.
Ideas for containers
I used a Chobani Greek Yogurt 40 ounce container and used enough of the paper towel roll to still leave about 7/8 of it for these wipes. (a full roll was too wide for my container so I just waited until it was smaller.)
Baby wipes containers will work well, and old Clorox wipes canisters do a great job and have the advantage of a small hole to pull the wipe through as well as a sealed top.
A large instant coffee container would probably take the width of a whole roll but be sure it is plastic, not metal which would rust.
Large glass toiletry jars with lids would work and would be more decorative, as well. The main thing is that the top needs to be air tight so that the solution doesn’t evaporate.
Once you have the paper towel roll marked, use a sharp knife and cut right through the entire roll, leaving you with two smaller rolls about the size of toilet paper. (and don’t get any ideas here…it will plug the system!)
Insert the rough cut end into your container and push it so that it is as far down as possible.
Mine went almost to the top, but with a bit of prodding and pushing, I got it in.
Note: The recipe below is for the solution for ONE container. I made two and just repeated the recipe for the solution after the first one was done.
Making the solution for the disinfectant wipes
If you plan on using the aloe vera, you will need to start by cutting a leaf from the plant and slicing off the outer top layer. This reveals a gel in the inside of the leaf.
If you don’t have a plant, you can purchase aloe vera gel online.
This gel hydrates the skin and speeds up skin repair on dry skin. It is also useful for insect bites and sunburn as well as having many other properties.
Aloe vera is VERY sticky and slimy. (that’s why it works well on dry skin.) Just use your thumb to strip along the leaf to remove the gel. I got about a tablespoonful from one leaf.
I will also be using a tablespoonful of Dawn, as well.
Now is the time for the disinfectant power!
Add two cups of warm water to the bowl and add the aloe vera gel, hydrogen peroxide, lemon essential oil, and rubbing alcohol. Whisk well.
Place a funnel into the top of the container in the cardboard center tube and gradually pour in the solution. You will see it go in slowly, as the layers of paper towels soak it up.
Leave the container with the solution to wet the paper towels. Allow it to sit for a few minutes until the funnel is empty.
The paper towel cardboard tube will now come out easily!
You can just reach into the center and pull out the paper towels and tear them off to use one by one for your cleaning and disinfecting tasks.
Note: When done using the wipes, throw them into the trash, not the toilet. Paper towels can easily plug up a toilet system.
If you want to “pretty up” your container, you can print out these labels. I used one page of half sheet labels, giving me labels for both of my jars.
Just click on the image below, or click here to print them out.
Tip: Set your printer settings to “fit to page” to ensure the labels are centered on each label evenly. Once printed, just use scissors to cut them out.
Trimming the label works better than just using the whole label with the white sides attached, especially if your container is tapered.
That is all there is to making these labels. The whole project is done in just 10 minutes and these DIY disinfectant wipes are so much cheaper than the store bought ones that are in such demand right now.
Questions about the formula for these disinfectant wipes
While home made replacements for commonly used items can be cost effective and more natural that some retail products, we still want to ensure that they are safe to use.&
These are some common questions about the ingredients and use for these wipes.
What if I don’t have paper towels?
If you don’t have, or can’t find paper towels, you can do even more for the environment by making the cloths reusable. Just use clean old rags or small cleaning cloths!
Once you have used the cloths, just wash them and make a new batch of solution and start again. This makes for less waste and recycles old T shirts and other cloths.
What is isopropyl alcohol?
Isopropyl alcohol is a colorless, flammable chemical compound with a strong odor. The solution is used in a wide range of industrial and household chemicals, such as antiseptics, disinfectants, and detergents.
Rubbing alcohol is an example of isopropyl alcohol. You will find it in the pharmaceutical section of your local Walmart, Target, or drug store.
Look for bottles that are labeled isopropyl alcohol. They come in these formulas:
- 70% rubbing alcohol
- 91% rubbing alcohol
- 99% rubbing alcohol
What can I use if I don’t have Isopropyl Alcohol?
If you can’t find rubbing alcohol or don’t have it on hand, 70% ethanol products (also known as ethyl alcohol) can also be used. Examples are:
- Golden Grain alcohol (190 proof with 95% alcohol)
- Everclear Grain Alcohol (190 proof with 92.4% ethanol)
- Spirytus vodka (192 proof with 96% alcohol – is the strongest commercially available spirit in the world)
Note: Regular vodka won’t work. Most common vodkas are only 80 proof, and contain just 40% alcohol. The vodka for these wipes needs to be at least 140 proof.
What is Hydrogen peroxide used for?
Hydrogen peroxide is used to disinfect tools, to bleach hair, and to clean surfaces. It is also a mild antiseptic used in minor wounds to prevent infection.
Why use Essential Oils?
Many essential oils have disinfecting properties that make them ideal for home made solutions to clean and deodorize. Some common disinfectant essential oils are:
- Tea Tree essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Cinnamon essential oil
- Thyme essential oil
- Clove essential oil
- Oregano essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Lemon essential oil
I used lemon essential oil since I had it on hand and used it in a previous post for a DIY mosquito repellent.
Any of those on the list could be substituted for the lemon essential oils.
What does Dawn do in the solution?
Dawn is not added for any extra disinfectant properties. Unless your dish washing soap has antibacterial ingredients, it won’t work as a disinfectant.
My bottle of Dawn was labeled as antibacterial, so that was a plus for me!
However, Dawn dish washing solution is great for cutting grime and grease, and since I plan to use these wipes in the kitchen, this gives the solution some of that fighting power. Any good dish washing solution could be substituted for Dawn.
Why did you Add Aloe Vera Gel?
I love using the gel from aloe vera plants to protect my skin. The addition of it to the wipes formula doesn’t add any disinfecting ability, but it helps to protect the skin if the wipes are used a lot.
Find out more about the medical benefits of aloe vera here.
What are these DIY disinfecting wipes used for?
I use these wipes as an easy to use cloth to wipe down counters and other surfaces around the house that may contain germs. Use them to clean up spills, easily clean your baseboards, and so much more.
Wipe down cell phone cases and computer keyboards as well as door handles and other often-used areas of your home.
Keep a jar of homemade wipes in the kitchen for disinfecting counter tops and wiping up spills. Use them to clean the top of the stove, around the sink, microwave, floors, and faucets.
A jar of these DIY homemade disinfectant wipes has lots of uses in the bathroom. They do a great job of wiping down sinks, around your mirrors, toilets, floors, faucets and shower doors.
Pin this project for DIY Disinfectant wipes for later
Would you like a reminder of those post that shows how to make disinfecting cleaning wipes from paper towels? Just pin this image to one of your DIY boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
- 1 Roll of Paper Towels
- Clean Container (I used a 40 ounce Chobani yogurt tub)
- 2 cups Hot water
- 1 cup 70% rubbing alcohol
- 1 teaspoon Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1 tablespoon Dawn dish washing detergent
- 1 leaf of Aloe Vera gel (optional - used as a skin protectant)
- 15-20 drops Lemon essential oil
- Measure the paper towels and cut them in half with a sharp knife.
- Insert one half roll into your container (save the other for a refill later.)
- Use a sharp knife and trim off the top of an aloe vera leaf. Use your thumb to strip out the gel. (Optional but useful as a skin protectant.)
- Combine the hot water, aloe vera and Dawn detergent in a large bowl. Whisk to combine well.
- Stir in the rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.
- Drop in 15-20 drops of the lemon essential oil.
- Stir well again.
- Insert a funnel into the center of the paper towel roll.
- Pour in the disinfectant solution and allow it to permeate through the paper towels.
- Remove the funnel and pull out the paper towel cardboard tube.
- Pull up a paper towel and use to wipe down counters and other surface.
- Make sure the container is well sealed after use to make sure the liquid doesn't evaporate. Discard in the trash, not the toilet bowl.
- Optional: Print out the label and attach to your container.
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PURA D’OR Lemon Essential Oil (4oz / 118mL) USDA Organic 100% Pure Natural Therapeutic Grade Diffuser Oil Citrus Scented For Aromatherapy, Mood Uplift, Energy, Focus, Respiratory & Digestive Health
12Roll Exiao Recycled Fiber Paper Towels, White, 12 Multifold Family Towels Per Rolls, 12 Packs Per Case