Making DIY disinfecting wipes can be great for a lot of reasons. If you can’t find store brand wipes or you hate the thought of all those wipes that don’t break down well, these DIY sanitizing wipes might be the solution!
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
I’m going to to be sharing some general information with you today but also some recipes for making your won DIY disinfecting wipes. I have three different varieties that you can make depending on what you have on hand. These wipe recipes are going to more closely resemble the Lysol brand wipes. If you are looking for DIY bleach wipes you can check out that recipe post as well.
What ingredients work to kill nasty bugs on surfaces around the house?
Making DIY disinfecting wipes is probably a good idea if you have hard surfaces in your home that need cleaning! The EPA has issues a full list of ingredients and products that can be used to kill viruses and other nasty bugs.
We’re going to focus on a few of those ingredients that you probably already have on hand at home. Part of the idea of making these DIY wipes is that you don’t have to go searching all over the place for ingredients. You can use what you have to make your own version of popular cleaning products.
Alcohol is a big one right now because it works to kill viruses and bacteria by destroying the outer layer or “envelope” that surrounds them. This renders them infective in just a few minutes.
For alcohol to be effective it needs to be at least 70% of your mixture. So keep that in mind when creating your own DIY hand sanitizers and other cleaning products.
If you are trying to raid the liquor cabinet to make recipes like this you’ll need to find booze that is at least 140 proof. It’s not a great solution since most alcohol is not nearly that high and when it is, it’s quite expensive and more difficult to come by!
Hydrogen Peroxide needs to be at least 3% (they sell it in different strengths so be sure to check the label) and keep in mind that those brown bottles are not just for looks.
You need to keep any mixture that uses hydrogen peroxide for cleaning in an opaque and dark container. Light makes the Hydrogen Peroxide unstable and renders it useless for cleaning purposes.
There are disinfectant cleaners out there that you can use to sanitize your surfaces. We’re going to be using some concentrated Lysol cleaner for one of our batches of wipes today. Other brands are Clorox, Mr. Clean, and Pine Sol.
Make sure that you grab bottles that say they kill 99% of bacteria. Some of these brands also sell products that are not designed to kill bacteria and viruses.
The most important thing to remember when using store bought disinfectant is to read the label. Heck, read it twice. It will say on there what it kills, how to dilute it for different purposes, and how much you need to use for the solution to be effective.
A great example, you can use Lysol concentrated cleaner for general cleaning, deodorizing, disinfecting, and for mold and mildew. Each instance requires a different solution of the product!
What should I definitely not use to make DIY cleaning wipes?
Do not rely on essential oils, vinegar, regular vodka, or lemon juice. While these things can work well for cleaning and deodorizing surfaces they’re not actually proven to kill all the germs and bacteria that we’re looking to destroy with DIY disinfecting wipes.
If you want to add essential oils to your mixtures in order to give them scent or to give them a natural boost that’s fine, but don’t rely on them as your own disinfecting agent in the mixture, that’s asking for trouble. It can give you a false sense of security as well which might end up meaning sickness!
How do I use bleach effectively for homemade wipes?
I did an entire post on the subject of DIY bleach wipes, you can check that out for more details. The important thing is to remember that you need to make sure the bleach mixture is strong enough to last, after it is diluted at a 1:10 ratio is only good for about 24 hours. The CDC guidelines on the subject can be found here. They recommend:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Tips for using homemade cleaning wipes:
You can use homemade cleaning wipes on a lot of surfaces. Spot test any surfaces that you are unsure of before using them on huge areas. I use these wipes to clean the following areas of my home:
- Kitchen counters
- Trash Cans and Lids
- Doors: Edges and Knobs
- Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets and Door Handles/Drawer Pulls
- Toilet Seats, Handles, and Lids
- Light Switches and Covers
- Remote Controls, Phones, and Other Electronics
- Car Interiors like Steering Wheels, Gear Shifts, and Handles
- Refrigerator Doors, Interiors, and Handles
- Oven Insides and Exteriors
- Microwave Inside and Out
Keep in mind that you should NEVER mix chemicals or disinfectants. One is plenty, you won’t get better results (you’ll like get dangerous ones) if you mix different disinfectants together. Choose one, use what you have on hand, and stick with it. Clean the containers before making a new batch with something different!!
How to make DIY disinfecting wipes with alcohol:
Let’s get started with some recipes. If you have alcohol on hand, 70% or 91% or even 99% rubbing alcohol will work best. You’ll also need some dish soap and some water.
If you are using 70% alcohol you can skip the water. We want the alcohol to be at least 70% of our mixture so that it’s effective for disinfecting.
Mix together 1 1/2 cups of alcohol and 1/2 cup water, add in 3 tablespoons of dish soap and give it a stir. I put mine in a mason jar to get it mixed together and then add it to a large container for my wipes.
Cut a roll of paper towels in half. Use a regular kitchen knife for this…a serrated one will make a bit of a mess but will still work!
Put the roll of paper towels into a container with an airtight lid. Pour the solution over the top and allow it to soak into the paper towels. I recommend using a quality paper towel for this recipe so that they stand up to scrubbing and wiping your surfaces.
Once the paper towels have absorbed the liquid you can remove the tube and start pulling the wipes out of the middle. Keep them sealed when not in use!
Alcohol is effective at disinfecting as long as it’s wet so you don’t have to worry about these wipes losing their cleaning properties.
How to make DIY disinfecting wipes without alcohol:
As I mentioned above you can make this recipe without alcohol if you can’t find any or don’t have any on hand! We are going to make this same recipe with hydrogen peroxide.
The 3%. variety will work great. You’ll need 2 cups of the peroxide and 3 tablespoons of dish soap per half roll of paper towels.
Follow the same steps as I listed above. Just put your half roll of paper towels into your container, pour the pre-mixed solution over the top, and seal them up. Let the towels soak before trying to remove the center!
Now you are ready to clean. Make sure when you wipe surfaces you are letting the liquid air dry. It should remain wet for several minutes in order to be effective so when your wipe gets dry, get a new one!
Can I make DIY Lysol Wipes with Lysol concentrated cleaner?
Yes! You can make your own wipes with the concentrated cleaner. I use the Lysol concentrate to clean my hard floors so I always have a bottle of this cleaner on hand. I’m going to show you how to dilute it (according to the package) to use for wipes!
We’re going to prepare our wipes and container the same way we do for the other recipes. Cut a roll of paper towels in half, stand it up in a container with a sealing lid, and pour the solution over the top. We’ll be using 5 parts warm water to 1 part Lysol cleaner.
For this recipe that works out to 1/4 cup of Lysol concentrate and 1 1/4 cups of warm water. The great thing about using the Lysol concentrate or a similar concentrated cleaner is that it goes farther.
You can use it full strength but it’s not required for sanitizing so I’m diluting it! I like that this cleaner is inexpensive and can be used to make many batches of wipes.
If you have extra consider sharing them in your neighborhood, remember, keeping others clean and safe is as important as keeping yourself safe. If everyone in your neighborhood is able to better protect themselves you’ll be safer too!
If you have concentrated cleaner on hand and a spray bottle you can also use this cleaner (same dilution) to spray surfaces. Allow them to remain wet for a few minutes and then wipe with a cloth.
You can use reusable cloths for an even more environmentally friendly approach to cleaning and sanitizing your home.
Paper Towels Versus Shop Towels:
If paper towels are hard to come by or the ones you have don’t seem to be holding up to a good amount of wiping and scrubbing you might be able to get shop towels that will work just as well.