Make it Yourself Monday: Disinfecting Wipes

Homemade Disinfecting WipesEven though I’ve been using homemade cleaners in our home for the past year, the one sticking point for me has been those awesome pop-up canisters of pre-moistened antibacterial cleaners. For the bathroom, kitchen counters, even dirty floors, those things are just so easy to use. The only problem is, of course, is the toxic chemicals they contain, namely Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides and  Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride.

Turns out, it is actually really easy to make your own disinfecting wipes. The formula I use is so safe even my 2 year old can help me wipe things down (and yes, my kids are learning early to clean up after themselves!)

Here’s what I did:

First, I gathered my wipes. You could use cheap washcloths like these from Amazon. I had an old baby swaddling cloth of thin cotton, so I just cut it up into rags and finished the edges to make my wipes.

Next, I folded up the wipes and placed them in an old wipes container. Then  I got my ingredients together. My recipe is:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (there’s a coupon for the kind I use here)


Finally, just pour the water/vinegar/essential oil mixture into the tub, completely saturating the wipes. It might help to flip the pile over one time so that the wipes on the bottom get completely soaked. 

That’s all there is to it. Store the container in the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere convenient to grab and clean!

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  1. Hi, This looks like a great idea! Does the essential oil do anything other than add scent? Could other essential oils be used? Thanks!

  2. Yeah, actually lots of essential oils have antibacterial properties. Other good ones for cleaning are Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil.

  3. What a great idea. I’ve been making natural antibacterial solution/sprays for years and never thought to make them into wipes this way! I usual use tea tree oil for antibacterial properties and lemongrass or sweet orange to give it a nicer aroma.

    • I learned recently that peppermint exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties!

  4. This is great… I’m pinning it. I’m wondering if they need to be used/refreshed within a certain period of time before mildew develops on the cloth or will the vinegar protect against that indefinitely?

    • You know, Karen, that is a great idea. I’m honestly not sure, because I use them so fast they don’t have a chance to get moldy. :) I can fit about 10 wipes in the container I use, but if you were afraid of them getting a little ripe, you could always just put in as many as you’d use in a week.

      • Something else, I failed to mention. A couple of tablespoons of colloidal-silver (usually measured 20ppm or its equiv. of 50mcg) would boost the anti-bacterial/antiviral properties.
        It is well-documented that the West-African ebola-virus outbreak was finally arrested and eradicated in the affected populations, through treatment with colloidal-silver (backed up with Ester-C in humans).
        I’ve also read that hospitals now impregnate surfaces and aerosolize it through HVAC systems to kill superbugs.

    • Karen,
      Since mildew is a type of mold, which are all fungi, and peppermint is anti-fungal, they would probably remain fungi-free as long as the peppermint oil remains.
      To determine that, I believe its scent and liquidity would be the prime de-Terminating factors.
      I hope that helps you.

  5. Brilliant. I use 7th Generation wipes in my kids bathroom every day…my son is new to the bathroom and he pees on everything! I was just wondering if there was a way to make these myself. Thanks so much!

    • Yes! I feel like I have to wipe down the bathroom every single time after my (almost 4) son uses the potty. lol

  6. Thanks for sharing this! I really need to do something like this!

  7. could I use Grapefruit seed extract in place of the essential oils?

  8. To make even more disposal, use a strong paper towel, instead of the cloth.

  9. I absolutely love these. I don’t use disinfecting wipes, because I always felt awful knowing they ended up in a landfill. Now I know I can reuse the cloths with this idea! Thanks!

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