Worldwide cases of COVID-19 passed the 300 million mark in mid-September 2020. And the US is among the countries still struggling to contain the virus.
Official CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself from contracting this serious viral illness include wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands.
If you can’t get to a bathroom sink equipped with soap and a hand dryer, then homemade cleaning wipes are the next best thing.
Read on to learn more about the effectiveness of cleaning wipes and how to make them at home.
Why Homemade Cleaning Wipes Are Better
Wondering what is COVID appropriate disinfection for DIY cleaning wipes? And are they worth the time it takes to make them?
Cleaning wipes with the right active ingredients offer a proven solution for on-the-go and at-home disinfection and sanitization. But homemade cleaning wipes are also better for the environment, gentle on the skin, and look great.
You use homemade cleaning wipes once and then wash them. You spent money on the fabric and took time out of your busy schedule to make them. So they are valuable. Unlike commercial wipes, people don’t usually drop DIY wipes on the ground after they’ve used them. Or put into a trash can to be picked up later by an unlucky business or city government employee.
Less touching of contaminated wipes means a lower transmission of bacteria and viruses. Remember to keep a sealable pouch or plastic bag on hand to store used wipes in until you can get them to the washing machine.
Better for the Earth
Most DIY cleaning wipes use a limited number of natural ingredients, such as homemade cleaning wipes with vinegar. And you wash and reuse them many times over. When you flush a disposable wipe down the toilet or throw it away, harmful toxins can leach into the water system or landfill.
Commercial wet wipes do not degrade and can block city sewer systems or end up in the ocean where they’re eaten by sea animals. The production of disposable cleaning wipes is also a drain on precious energy and water resources, despite manufacturers trying to put in place new waste-reduction strategies.
Safe for Sensitive Bodies
Because you can choose what products you infuse your wipes with and what fabrics you make your wipes from, you can avoid allergy-triggering chemicals or materials.
Natural fabrics are also more friendly to sensitive skin. Choose fabrics crafted from gentle plant fibers like cotton. Homemade wipes that don’t contain detergent are also great for makeup removal or cleaning sticky hands without removing the oils naturally found on the skin.
Stylish face masks are all the rage in 2020. Why not coordinate your homemade cleaning wipes with your outfit as well? Instead of going with a simple white fabric for your wipes, get creative with bold colors and funky patterns. It will also help to hide the dirt and grime on the wipe before you can get it into the washing machine.
8 Easy DIY Cleaning Wipes Ideas
Maybe your local stores have sold out of commercial cleaning wipes. And the prices for wipes online are unsustainable. Whatever your reasons for wanting to make wipes at home, we have you covered. Use this handy guide to quickly, easily, and cheaply craft homemade cleaning wipes for every situation.
1. Basic Cleaning Wipes
The simplest and cheapest way to make homemade cleaning wipes uses just two ingredients.
Place your rags into a large plastic or glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. In another container, mix one-and-a-half cups of distilled water (home filtered water is also fine) a liquid soap like Castile or natural dish soap. If you only have bar soap, that’s fine. Grate it and mix the shavings with the water until they dissolve. Pour the homemade cleaning wipe solution over the wipes and leave them to soak.
It’s important to use distilled or filtered water because depending on where you live, tap water can contain bacteria or chemicals like chlorine.
2. Homemade Antibacterial Cleaning Wipes
To kill bacteria and viruses, the FDA advises US citizens to use a solution with an alcohol content of at least 60 percent. Stick with this rule of thumb if you’re looking to make a batch of antiseptic cleaning wipes.
For a cheap and guaranteed bacteria-blitzing option, stir four teaspoons of bleach into a quart of cooled boiled water. Bleach can be harmful to the skin, so always wear gloves and a mask when preparing this homemade cleaning wipe solution. And don’t mix bleach with ammonia. The combination is toxic.
3. Scrap-Fabric Cleaning Wipes
Old baby blankets and towels, cotton t-shirts, and flannel bed sheets all make excellent materials for homemade cleaning wipes. Cut them into 8-inch squares. Use pinking shears to create pretty edges or run the squares through an overlocker to stop them from fraying.
Be sure to use natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, hemp, or bamboo to make your wipes. Synthetic fabrics can leach microplastics into the water system when washed.
4. Hypoallergenic Cleaning Wipes
Do you have a child in your family who is prone to allergies? Perhaps you’re allergic to a specific fragrance or chemical? The beauty of homemade cleaning wipes is that you can control what goes into them. To make hypoallergenic cleaning wipes, stick with a DIY cleaning wipe recipe that has as few ingredients as possible, such as homemade cleaning wipes with vinegar.
If you’re hoping for fragranced wipes, use natural fragrances. Rosewater and chamomile number among the handful of scents with a low risk of reaction. Some essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, and tea tree even have allergy-relieving benefits. Add them to wipes if someone in your family has these allergies.
5. DIY Clorox Cleaning Wipes
Store-bought Clorox wipes are expensive and in short supply right now.
Making them DIY is not only possible, it’s backed by science. By combining ingredients like lemon juice and oil, dishwashing detergent, and alcohol with water, you can create a homemade cleaning wipe solution with all the disinfecting benefits of Clorox without the chemicals.
If you want to use these wipes in the kitchen, soak microfibre cloths in the mixture. For the best scrubbing power, soak cut-up old towels.
6. Homemade Baby Wipes
The fragrances in commercial baby wipes have been known to cause skin reactions. Don’t risk your wee one’s delicate skin. Make your own safe baby wipes.
Whisk together extra virgin coconut oil, some soap-free baby wash, and hot to boiling water in a bowl. While you’re waiting for the mixture to cool, add your soft fabric squares to a glass jar with a hole pierced in the lid. Or you could use an old store-bought baby wipe container. Then pour the cooled liquid over the wipes.
Homemade baby wipes will save you money, too. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a year on commercial wipes, you can make reusable versions for a fraction of that price.
7. Accessories for DIY Cleaning Wipes
Not only can you make cleaning wipes yourself, but you can also make the containers you keep them in, too!
Large glass pickle jars work well for storing your wipes at home. Just unscrew the lid to access the wipes when you need them. For a more portable homemade cleaning wipe solution, repurpose empty, washed milk cartons or disinfectant bottles. And of course, you can always reuse a store-bought wipes canister.
Whatever vessel you choose to use, make sure to label it. That way your family or work colleagues will always know what’s inside.
8. Alternatives to Cleaning Wipes
If you’re looking to up your zero-waste status, consider adding some other eco-friendly solutions to your homemade cleaning wipe arsenal.
To make un-paper, you roll sheets of fabric around a paper towel holder. You can wash and reuse each sheet.
Instead of toilet paper, some households choose to use rags (also known as family cloth). You need to install a bidet onto your toilet or use a portable one.
Start using a dishcloth in association with a homemade antibacterial cleaning solution to wash your dishes and wipe down your benches.
Getting the Most Out of Your Homemade Cleaning Wipes
Whether you’re using your wipes at home or when out grocery shopping, it’s important to use them correctly.
Some best practices for using DIY cleaning wipes include:
- Use one wipe for one surface.
- Let a wiped surface stay wet for up to ten minutes to give the disinfectant properties in the solution time to work.
- Carry a pouch or keep a bucket on hand to put used towels into.
- Wash used wipes every few days.
- Don’t touch used wipes when you put them into the washing machine.
Use your wipes at home to clean anything that gets touched frequently: doorknobs, drawer handles, bathroom taps, and TV remotes.
Looking for More Information on COVID-19 Safety?
Just as homemade cleaning wipes keep you safe while out and about, they can also help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Share this guide with your colleagues or offer them some wipes as a gift. For more advice on how to stay happy and healthy at home and work during the COVID-19 outbreak, browse the lifestyle articles on Mind MY Business.