How to Make Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

5 min read
Disinfectant Wipes

Homemade disinfecting wipes are easy to make with common household products. Not only that but they’re cheaper than what you would find in stores. Keep reading to learn how you can make your own homemade disinfecting wipes today.

Gathering Your Materials

Cleaning Materials
Source: Pixabay

Before you begin making your own homemade disinfecting wipes, you will need to gather the appropriate materials. Keep in mind that the materials you’ll need will depend on the type of wipes you want to make. For example, if you want to make alcohol-based wipes, you will need distilled water, alcohol — isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol (at least 70 percent to effectively kill microbes), or ethanol, also known as grain alcohol (at least 140 proof), dish soap, paper towels, and an airtight storage container. If you want to make bleach-based disinfecting wipes, you will need water, bleach (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite), paper towels or cloths (cotton or microfiber), and an airtight storage container. Other products you could use as the cleaning component in your wipes include Lysol, Pine-Sol, or hydrogen peroxide. If you’re going to use hydrogen peroxide, make sure you keep the wipes in a dark-colored container away from light. According to, light makes hydrogen peroxide unstable and could ruin its efficacy. In fact, when exposed to light, it could end up reverting to plain water.

The following cannot be used as the cleaning agent in your disinfectant wipes:
White vinegar. You can clean with this, but it doesn’t disinfect.
Lemon juice. While you can clean with lemon juice, you won’t be able to disinfect with it. You can, however, add it to your wipes to give it a nice scent.
Hand sanitizer. Although hand sanitizer can disinfect your hands, it’s not the best cleaning agent to use for disinfecting wipes due to the fact that its goopy consistency makes it hard to dilute and, therefore, difficult to make wipes with.
Essential oils. Yes, there are some essential oils that have antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, but as I’m sure you know, oil and water don’t mix.

Note: DO NOT mix cleaning agents. Some combinations of cleaning agents (e.g. ammonia and bleach) can be deadly! Also, make sure if you’re going to use strong substances like ammonia or bleach, that you do so in a well-ventilated area.

Making Your Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

Making Disinfectant
Source: Pixabay

Now that you’ve gathered your water, cleaning agent, paper towels, and airtight container, it’s time to get busy making those wipes! Start by tearing off the number of paper towels you wish to use. Fold them and then set them aside in the airtight container. Mix your water and cleaning agent, following the appropriate ratio. For example, if you’re using bleach, you will need to use 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of it per gallon of water, or, for smaller batches, 4 teaspoons per quart of water (as per the CDC’s instructions). Then, pour the mixture on top of the paper towels in the container, making sure that the mixture soaks through the entire pile, getting each and every towel moist. Just be sure not to add too much mixture or you’ll end up dissolving your paper towels. Let the wipes soak for at least five minutes before use. Any extra mixture can be used to start another container of wipes.

Using Your Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

Using Wipe
Source: Pixabay

Now that you’ve made your wipes, you will want to start using them. But, what are the best surfaces for them? According to the CDC, you should use your disinfecting wipes on the most high-touch surfaces in your home. These include doorknobs, light switches, tables, countertops, desks, phones, toilets, sinks, faucets, handles, remote controls, keyboards, and touch screens.

Now that we’ve told you where to use your wipes, we’ll now tell you how you should use them. According to an article published by USA Today, you should “wipe in one direction to avoid reinfecting areas and leave the surface wet for the appropriate amount of time to properly disinfect.” If you’re using alcohol-based wipes, you need to wet the surface completely. The surface is disinfected once it completely dries. For bleach-based wipes, you need to let the surface remain wet for at least one minute.

Here are some other things that you need to keep in mind:
Wear rubber gloves when cleaning to prevent skin irritation.
Don’t wear your “good” clothing in case you accidentally spill some of the cleaning agents on yourself.
-Avoid using wipes on treated wood or painted surfaces.
Avoid cleaning anything metal with bleach because it can cause it to rust prematurely.
Bleach is only effective for about 24 hours, therefore you will need to make a fresh batch of bleach-based wipes for every use.
Wipes are intended for use on hard surfaces. Use soap and water to disinfect soft surfaces like rugs and drapes.
Remove grease and heavy soil from surfaces prior to disinfecting.
Use more than one wipe if you plan to disinfect an entire room. One wipe will only disinfect an area of about three-square-feet.
-If you’re using paper towels for wipes, dispose of them in a trash can. If you’re using cloth wipes, place them in the hamper until you’re ready to wash them.
Wash your hands after disinfecting to remove any cleaning products or bacteria you may have on them.
-Once you’ve finished cleaning, seal up your container to keep the other wipes from drying out. Store the container in a safe place. And, remember, if you’re using hydrogen peroxide wipes, keep them in a dark-colored container out of the light.

Using Baby Wipes

Baby Wipes
Source: Wikimedia Commons 

If you prefer to use an actual wipe instead of a paper towel, you can turn baby wipes into homemade disinfecting wipes. Here’s how to do it:

Open a package of baby wipes. Keep them in their original packaging or transfer them to an airtight container. Then, measure out 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol and pour it over the baby wipes. Give the alcohol time to seep through and coat each wipe. Start using the wipes when ready.

NOTE: If you have little ones at home, please keep these wipes out of their reach. Ingesting or inhaling small amounts of isopropyl alcohol can result in difficulty breathing, vomiting, slurred speech, sedation, respiratory failure, and in severe cases, alcohol poisoning. In the event that alcohol poisoning occurs, seek medical attention right away!


Have you ever made your own homemade disinfecting wipes? Tell us about it the comments below!