Ditch the landfill-destined antibacterial wipes, and instead make your own reusable cleaning wipes at home! Here’s how to make disinfectant wipes that can be washed and reused, they even smell lemony-fresh!
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never been one to use antibacterial wipes. In our family, we see having a little bacteria around as a good thing. It’s important for immunity, and creating an over-sterile environment for ourselves – particularly young children whose immune systems are still developing – has its own problems.
The chemicals used in conventionally-made antibacterial wipes can, over time, cause bacterial resistance; where germs develop a resistance to antibacterial chemicals. That’s one of the main reasons why I made the switch from antibacterial soaps to plain soap and water a long time ago. One of the “side effects” of continually using antibacterial products is that it may encourage the growth of “superbugs” – antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Chemical products such as antibacterial soaps can also interfere with our gut microbiome. Killing “99.9% of germs” may sound good, but do all of those germs need to be killed?
Chemicals found in Conventional Disinfectant Wipes
Researchers looking at the gut microbiome of children with allergy versus without, noted that the intestinal flora of allergic children showed the presence of aerobic bacteria, coliforms and Staphylococcus, while children without showed the presence of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria spp. It is believed that these latter bacteria species prime our immune system, and protect our gut mucosal integrity, which in turn help prevent atopic diseases and other immune-related conditions.
This sterilisation of gut flora could be why we’re seeing a correlation between children with higher levels of triclosan or similar chemicals having a higher risk of peanut allergies, hay fever or other life-threatening allergies.
A study that was conducted on zebrafish found that their communities of gut microbes changed as a result of being fed triclosan-laden food.
In our haste to use anything and everything antibacterial to help prevent getting sick, we’ve also minimised the natural contact our immune systems would have had with these microbes – contact necessary for our bodies to develop natural immunities and antibodies.
Making our own antibacterial, antiseptic, disinfecting wipes can be so much more beneficial on our own, and our family’s, health. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper over the long run as you can whip up a big batch of it, and as it’s reusable, you don’t have to keep replenishing your stock of wipes. Simply clean them once used, soak them in the disinfecting solution, and they’re Good. To. Go!
Now, this all-natural cleaning solution I share is just for cleaning counter-tops and surfaces, NOT for skin.
Before we get started in learning how to make these all-natural reusable disinfecting wipes – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
Homemade Cleaning Wipes that are safe for Marble or Granite Counter-tops
All the ingredients used in this solution should be safe for marble, granite, or other natural stone surface. I do recommend testing an tiny amount whenever you start out using any new product on natural stone counter-tops.
What you’ll need to make all-natural Disinfecting Wipes
The following materials and ingredients are needed to make these reusable antibacterial wipes:
- 2-ply unbleached flannel reusable wipes: These can be hand-made using some old fabric and a sewing machine or they can be purchased online. Two-ply wipes are preferable for cleaning.
- Liquid castile soap: This soap is the cleaning agent in the solution.
- Rubbing alcohol: This disinfects your surfaces.
- Vinegar: A mild disinfectant; cuts through grease, de-scaler, glass cleaner.
- Tea tree essential oil: A natural disinfectant, especially helpful for cleaning preventing mould growth.
- Lavender essential oil: A natural antimicrobial, and leaves behind a calming, floral scent after cleaning.
- Peppermint essential oil: Has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Orange or lemon essential oil: Contains antimicrobial properties.
- A baby wipe container or glass jar: You can reuse one that had disposable wipes in it before, or purchase one of the reusable ones. Otherwise, simply use a glass jar to soak and store them in.
- 2-ply flannel wipes
- 1 reusable wipe container or glass jar
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 2 tbsp liquid castile soap
- 1 cup 91-99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or 2 cups vinegar (if using 70% isopropyl alcohol, leave out the water)
- 15 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops orange or lemon essential oil
- 30-40 drops other antibacterial essential oils: tea tree, clove, thyme, cinnamon, orange, lemon, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, etc. Mix and match.
- Place reusable wipes in container or glass, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the water, liquid castile soap, rubbing alcohol and essential oils until well combined. Pour over the baby wipes to coat in disinfecting solution. Use as needed.
- Once used, clean, soak in solution, then it’s ready to use again!
These wipes go through our regular wash with other towels, napkins, and rags.
*These disinfectant wipes have not been lab-tested. Use good judgement and always practice good hygiene and cleaning.
DIY natural reusable disinfecting wipes tutorial
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
What antibacterial wipes do you use? Do you make your own? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
Johnston, Cassie. Reusable DIY Disinfecting Wipes. Wholefully. Retrieved from https://wholefully.com/diy-disinfecting-wipes-reusable/
Don’t wipe out: The hidden hazards of antibacterial wipes. (September 21, 2011). EWG. Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2011/09/dont-wipe-out-hidden-hazards-antibacterial-wipes
Do Cleaning Products Alter the Gut Microbiome?. (September 26, 2018). Bio-K Plus. Retrieved from https://www.biokplus.com/blog/en_CA/gut-health/do-cleaning-products-alter-the-gut-microbiome
Acheson, Shannon. (Updated: August 19, 2021). How to Make Disinfectant Wipes / Reusable DIY “Clorox” Wipes. Home Made Lovely. Retrieved from https://homemadelovely.com/how-to-make-disinfectant-wipes-reusable-diy-clorox-wipes/
Reusable Homemade Antibacterial Wipes. (September 17, 2014). The Organised Housewife. Retrieved from https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/recipes/reusable-homemade-antibacterial-wipes-diy-natural-disinfecting/
How to Make Reusable Disinfecting Wipes. (March 3, 2019). Earth Friendly Tips. Retrieved from https://earthfriendlytips.com/how-to-make-reusable-disinfecting-wipes/
Johnson, Lindsey. (May 17, 2020). DIY Reusable Disinfectant Homemade Wipes. Hello Glow. Retrieved from https://helloglow.co/diy-natural-reusable-disinfectant-wipes/
Rochester, Alexis. (July 7, 2018). DIY Reusable Clorox Wipes (That Really match the Original Ingredients!). Chemistry Cachet. Retrieved from https://chemistrycachet.com/diy-reusable-clorox-wipes/
McFall, Sara. DIY Natural Reusable Disinfecting Wipes. My Merry Messy Life. Retrieved from https://mymerrymessylife.com/natural-reusable-disinfecting-wipes/