DIY Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes

How to make your own Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes | SustainableSuburbia.net

My three year old, Eliane, is currently going through toilet training fun.

That means that for the moment, we have a potty getting dragged around the house to convenient positions to jog her memory. I’m hoping this stage will only last another week or so, and then we’ll have her completely transitioned to using the toilet, which she’s already doing some of the time.

But in the mean time – do you know what toddlers like to do with potties when they’re not sitting on them? That’s right, they like to use them as hats. Obvious isn’t it?

I’m not generally a fan of using a lot of disinfectant and anti-bacterial products. If hospitals can switch back to using plain old soap, to stop the rise of super bugs, then I think I can be safe sticking with mostly soap and vinegar in my house. In this case though, I was prepared to make an exception.

So here are instructions on making your own disinfectant wipes.

But first some link love: I adapted my wipes “recipe” from these instructions on Live Renewed, taking into account both what I have in my cupboard, and what I know from my research into effective essential oils (see for instance this and this), plus, okay I admit I wanted it to smell good too.

Also, taking into account this post from Crunchy Betty on why you should use distilled water in your homemade products, I’m using boiled water and only making up enough to last a week or less. Though given the disinfectant qualities of both the oils I’m using and vinegar, I don’t know if this is really important. Better safe then sorry though. 🙂

How to make your own disinfectant cloth wipes

Homemade disinfectant wipes in a bucketYou’ll need 10-20 cloths. These can be cut up old t-shirts or thin baby blankets, or whatever you have around.

I’m using a combination of the cloth wipes I was previously using on Elli’s bottom, which are like face washer fabric, and a bunch of old nappy liners made from very thin fleece fabric. I figure I’m not going to need them for nappy liners any more!

The old nappy liners have turned out to be a better choice, because they don’t absorb as much, so I can make more from the same amount of disinfectant cleaning mix.

In a medium bowl, mix together:

1 cup distilled or boiled water
1/4 cup (about 65 ml) white vinegar
2 tsp natural/green dishwashing liquid (optional)
6-7 drops each of essential lime & tea tree oils (note: if you are going to drop one of these, keep the lime – it’s been found to be  more effective in studies. Lime and lemon or lemon grass would also be a good mix. Use a total of about 12-13 drops.)

Add your cloths and soak up all the mix, to turn them into wipes!

Note: the dishwashing liquid adds extra cleaning power, but is definitely optional.

I store mine in an old honey bucket, but you could use an old wipes container too, if you have one. I keep them on hand to wipe out that potty or deal with any little ‘accidents’ that may occur!

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  5 comments for “DIY Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes

  1. Marianne
    June 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for this. I just made them and I love the smell!
    It’s great to know there’s some research into the efficacy of essential oils too. Anecdotal evidence only goes so far, especially when the anecdotes don’t always agree!

    • Kirsten
      June 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

      You’re welcome Marianne. And yes, I agree, it’s nice to see the actual research, although of course they test them in very specific ways, so we are still having to make some assumptions from there about how they work (eg in oil burner vs topically applied or used in a cleaning recipe like this) – not to mention how they work together. Lots more research would be good!

  2. Sarah
    October 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I love the way these smell! I used lime and lemon grass oil. Delicious (I know, not actually intended for eating!)

    • Kirsten
      October 6, 2013 at 7:38 am

      Mm, they do smell good don’t they? But yeah, not for human consumption!

  3. November 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Many people prefer to use homemade remedies to make a disinfectant solution like using vinegar and oils, but I really appreciate the research you have done on improving the disinfectant because as you said, it should smell good too. Also I like the idea of making disinfectant cloth wipes from old nappy liners.

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