How to Make Disinfectant Wipes

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Disinfectant wipes are very convenient and easy to prepare. They’re also simple to use. If used correctly, they can kill up to 99.99% of germs and bacteria, allowing you to clean without worrying that the disinfectant isn’t strong enough. However, if not used properly, disinfecting wipes can damage wood surfaces like tables and kitchen cabinets.

Here, make your disinfecting wipes using ingredients found in most kitchens or bathrooms products at home. This method is completely safe for cleaning wood surfaces and other materials such as plastic, metal, or porcelain, so no more worries. 

This article will give you a simple guide on making disinfecting wipes. You’ll be able to keep your house germ-free with these homemade cleaning cloths that are chemical-free and environmentally friendly. Let’s get started!

What You Should Know Before Making Disinfectant Wipes

Before preparing your homemade DIY disinfectant wipes, remember that not all the disinfectants registered with the EPA are safe for food contact surfaces. So, take a few seconds to read the instructions and recommendations on your disinfectant before using it. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you should use a product that contains at least 70 alcohol percentage

For example, rubbing alcohol is sold in drug and grocery stores in concentrations of 70%, 80%, and 90%. If you use the drug store variety, make sure it does not contain any additional ingredients. 

If you are looking for a good alternative, consider vodka, which contains ethyl alcohol, because the higher percentage levels mean it works better. It can kill most viruses but cannot be used on food surfaces or cutting boards. Use a 40% alcohol concentration alcohol wipes specifications for food contact surfaces. When making your own disinfectant wipes, less than 70% alcohol percentage won’t kill your desired micro-organisms.

Health authorities warn against using bleach in-home disinfectant wipes because they can damage surfaces and create dangerous gases that may affect health. For example, a combination of bleach and ammonia produces chloramine gas which can cause respiratory problems.

What You’ll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Airtight container
  • Cotton or microfiber cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Grain alcohol
  • Essential oils
  • Label or masking tape
  • Heavy-duty paper towels, napkins, and guest towels

How to Make Homemade Disinfectant Wipes

Select Your Container

There are several options for airtight containers; opt for something food-grade or has recently been used to store food. Glass, metal, and a strong plastic container with closed lids work well. Wash the container before using it with your disinfectant wipes. 

The container should be wide enough to fit your paper towels in easily. If you’ll add essential oils, select a plastic container labeled as safe for use with essential oils.

Choose the Towels

Select paper towels that are tough enough to stand up to the ingredients in your disinfectant wipes. Look for towels with a stronghold when wet or ones that contain more recycled material. You’ll need 4-5 towels to start, which you will cut into smaller pieces before pouring the solution onto them.

Paper guest hand towels, heavy-duty paper towels, and paper napkins can be used in this case. If you want to be eco-friendly and create reusable wipes, then cloth towels, baby wipes, or feminine hygiene pads can also be used. Make sure your reusable wipes go through the washing machine after every use.

Prepare Your Wipes

  • Fill your container half-full with rubbing alcohol or ethanol; fill it two-thirds full of filtered water
  • Add a few drops of essential oil like lavender, rosemary, thyme, or tea tree oil for optimum disinfecting power. 
  • To make your cleansing wipes, mix two cups of water with dawn soap and add in your drops of essential oils. 
  • Mix it all in a large bowl until the soap is dissolved. Cut the towels or wipes to fit into your container, and pre-wet them with water.
  • Then, soak the wipes in the disinfecting solution. If you don’t want to add essential oils to the DIY disinfectant wipes and imitate something like Clorox wipes, then lemon essential oil is the way to go.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Bleach

Bleach is another powerful disinfectant recommended by CDC, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. However, it requires special care because it can discolor your clothing \or damage your lungs when mixed with ammonia). It can also irritate your nose, eyes, and skin.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Bleach
Image caption: cloudfront-us-east-1

For making disinfectant wipes, you need to mix equal parts of liquid chlorine bleach and water in a plastic or glass container. Add the essential oil into it if you want; keep in mind that this will be too strong to wipe down household surfaces. Make sure there’s proper ventilation when mixing your bleach disinfectant solution.

Check the expiration date on the bottle to ensure the bleach is still effective. After that, put on rubber gloves and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on making disinfectant wipes with bleach. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for one minute before wiping away with a clean, dry cloth.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Baby Wipes

If you’re looking for affordable and reusable wipes for cleaning, check out this tutorial on making disinfectant wipes with baby wipes. Find a box of baby wipe containers in your local grocery store and take them apart carefully so you can reassemble them in the future.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Baby Wipes
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This is not recommended if you have any cuts or open wounds because it can lead to contamination. Slowly add two cups of water, a tablespoon of bleach, and one teaspoon of vinegar into the baby wipe container. 

Mix the solution with your hands or stir it gently with a spoon before placing the lid on top of the canister. Now you have disinfectant wipes that are ready to use when you’re cleaning for health care purposes.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes for Hard and Non Porous Surfaces

  • Fill up one container with two cups of water, a tablespoon of bleach, and five drops of tea tree oil. 
  • Mix the solution thoroughly before pouring it into another container that’s larger or easier to handle for you. 
  • You can use any container as long as the lid fits tightly on top to prevent evaporation.
  • Dip your cloth into the solution and wring out the excess. Wipe the surfaces you need to disinfect thoroughly to kill germs.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Hydrogen Peroxide

  •  Pour one cup of hydrogen peroxide into another container with a tight-fitting lid. 
  • Drop in 10 to 15 drops of your choice of essential oils, such as thyme oil or lavender oil.
  • Add 1/4 cup (50 ml) of vodka and shake the solution well. 
  • Pour this mixture into an empty spray bottle for storage until you are ready to use it.

Hydrogen is a great disinfectant, but it must be fresh and concentrated. So if you’re not planning to use the hydrogen peroxide within a few minutes or hours, keep it in the fridge or freezer, then shake well before using.

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Essential Oils

Essential oils are good for adding a pleasant scent to surfaces. Some oils even have antibacterial qualities. All you need to do is to mix and match to reach your desired quantity. Some of the recommended essential oils with antibacterial qualities include:

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes with Essential Oils
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Lavender oil: Lavender oil is one of the most effective and safest antibacterial essential oils around. One study found that lavender oil has a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity, especially against gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin infections and food poisoning.

Tea tree essential oil: Tea tree oil has the same antibacterial properties as lavender oil and can be as effective.

Lemon oil: Lemon oil is another essential oil rich in antimicrobial and antibiotic qualities, and it does not irritate your skin as bleach would. It also adds a nice citrus scent to your disinfectant wipes.

Saturate and Cover Your Wipes

 Take out your roll of paper towels and remove one sheet. You want to saturate the wipe with the essential oils until it is completely wet but not dripping. Be sure that you use enough oil to effectively wipe away any germs or dirt from your surfaces. Cover the whole sheet with the oil so that every inch of it is soaked.

After saturating your wipe, you will want to fold it in half and press down on it before removing another sheet. This allows the wet wipes to absorb more essential oils for an even stronger disinfectant smell. It also ensures that there will be enough oil on the wipe to disinfect the surface you are cleaning.

Label Your Disinfectant Container

Last but certainly not least, label the container. If you’re using homemade disinfectant in the kitchen, then place it on kitchen countertops where they’re out of reach for kids. Use paper labels and masking tape to label the container so that it doesn’t pose a problem if the disinfectant wipes are used in more than one house area.

FAQs on How to Make Disinfectant Wipes

How do I make my disinfectant wipes to use around the house?

There are several ways that you can make your disinfectant wipes. The easiest way is to buy a container of dry, plain paper towels and spritz them with disinfecting cleaner (you’ll need about 1/4 cup).

Can you add alcohol to baby wipes to make disinfectant wipes?

You can add alcohol to baby wipes to make disinfectant wipes. Most disinfecting sprays contain at least 60 percent alcohol. If you add a few drops of the spray to your baby wipes, they will disinfect surfaces and destroy germs.

Final Thought on How to Make Disinfectant Wipes

Once you have made your disinfectant wipes, you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to use them. Because they’re homemade, they are completely safe for people and pets alike. If you still feel like you want to explore more, you can take this time to learn how to make DIY laundry detergents and be your own home products expert.



Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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