In a pop-up canister or pouch, disinfecting wipes like those from Lysol and Clorox are easy to use and can destroy most bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces if used correctly. Disinfecting wipes are easy to manufacture at home, even if you’re not a fan of DIY cleaning goods.
Before You Begin
While the EPA has certified several disinfectants, not all of them are safe for use in DIY projects by consumers. At least 70 percent alcohol is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for hand and surface disinfection.
70%, 91, and 99 percent solutions of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol can be purchased at drugstores and supermarkets. Ethanol (grain alcohol) is available in a variety of proof levels for ingestion. Grain alcohol and vodka bottles’ alcohol concentration can be determined by reading the labels. Everclear Grain Alcohol, for example, has a 190 proof rating and 92.4 percent ethanol content.
Making your own cleaning wipes with less than 70 percent alcohol will not provide the microbe-killing protection you seek.
Hydrogen peroxide is a good disinfectant, but its disinfecting qualities are only available when it is fresh and stored in an opaque container. hydrogen peroxide becomes water when it is exposed to light. When creating these wipes, do not substitute hydrogen peroxide for alcohol.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- A container that is completely airtight.
- Cup for measuring
- Cloths made of cotton or microfibre
- Paper towels, napkins, or guest towels that are made to last.
- Grain alcohol vs. isopropyl alcohol
- Aromatherapy oils (optional)
- Masking tape can be used as a label.
Select a Container
If you are manufacturing more wipes than you intend to use in the next hour or so, the container you use must be airtight. You’ll be left with dry wipes when the alcohol has evaporated, so you’ll need to be careful.
An old commercial disinfectant wipe bottle, a wide-mouthed jar, or a plastic container with a cover all work well for this. 40 folded paper towels and 3 cups of liquid should fit in the container.
Plastic containers labeled #1 HPDE or #2 PET are best if you wish to add essential oils. Essential oils can discolor or dissolve other forms of plastic.
Select the Towels
Paper materials used to produce the wipes should be able to handle cleaning even when wet. There is nothing better than using paper towels, guest hand towels, and paper napkins. Reel Recycled Paper Towels, a heavy-duty paper towel with less chemicals, provides a half-sheet option that reduces waste. Cutting them into tiny pieces is also an option if you like.
Washcloths made of 100 percent cotton, bamboo, or microfiber can also be used to make reusable wipes. After each usage, reusable wipes should be cleaned in a hot machine.
Layer the Towels
To accommodate the container, separate the towels into individual pieces and fold or roll them. Pop-up wipe containers can be reused if they are folded with one layer intertwined with the next towel so that they can be pulled together when they are pulled up.
Paper towel rolls can be sliced in half and the inner cardboard core removed to make a “pull-from-the-center” roll of wipes if you have a round container.
Measure the Disinfecting Solution
Towels should be saturated with alcohol. About 40 folded paper towels can be soaked in three cups of booze.
Add Essential Oils
Aromatic and even antimicrobial properties can be found in some essential oils. You can mix and match in any proportion to suit your tastes.
Tea tree, lavender, geranium, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, or peppermint are some of the best antibacterial essential oils.
Saturate and Cover the Wipes
Add essential oils if desired to the alcohol before pouring it over the towels. Take your time before adding the rest of the liquid. If the towels aren’t completely saturated, you may need to add a little extra alcohol. The container should have some liquid in it. The wipes are ready to use if the container is tightly closed.
Label the Container
Label the container with a paper label or masking tape. Do not store where children or dogs can get to it.
How to Use a DIY Disinfecting Wipe
You’ve just learned how to produce your own disinfectant wipes, so remember to use them correctly.
Remove Heavy Soil
As long as you remove grease and heavy soil from the surface before disinfecting, your disinfectant wipes will be more effective.
Check the Moisture Level
Although they don’t have to be dripping wet, moist wipes are preferred. In order to kill bacteria, there must be a sufficient amount of alcohol left on the kitchen counter, doorknob, or television remote to accomplish so.
Allow the Disinfectant Time to Work
Keeping the surface you are cleaning wet for at least four minutes is the best way to destroy most bacteria. Allow the alcohol to dry naturally rather than wiping it away.
Use More Than One Wipe
A single wipe isn’t enough to keep a bathroom or kitchen clean. A three-square-foot area may normally be disinfected with a single wipe.
Dispose of the Wipe Properly
Composting alcoholic-soaked paper is not recommended. Put the wipes in the garbage. To keep your cloth wipes clean, store them in a hamper until you have time to wash some clothes in the washing machine.
Wash Your Hands
Hands should be thoroughly washed after cleaning and sanitizing an area.
The Best Cleaning Wipes to Clean Every Surface in Your Home
Using cleaning wipes is a quick and easy way to keep your home spotless. As a result, not all wipes are the same. While some wipes can disinfect surfaces, others are only for cleaning. As a reminder, disinfecting surfaces should always be your final step in any cleaning routine,1 and it isn’t necessary in all cases.
Here are some of the greatest options for cleaning wipes on the market today to assist you in making an informed decision.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Clorox’s Disinfecting Wipes are a sure bet. Each wipe has three layers and is fully saturated, so it can cover a large surface area. If you’re looking for something that’ll dry rapidly and disinfect surfaces completely in less than four minutes, go no further than these products.
The scents aren’t too overpowering for the strength of the mixture, and the wipes will leave your granite, wood, or stainless steel smelling clean and fresh. Clorox wipes are also available in canisters, but we like the pouches since they’re more convenient and use 70% less plastic, according to the manufacturer.
Best Value: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
When left to stay on the surface for two minutes, Lysol Disinfectant Wipes may kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. 2 So as not to leave any pathogens like salmonella or E. coli behind, Lysol suggests leaving the solution on the surface for 10 minutes. 3
Micro-pockets on the wipe’s surface aid to remove and capture tenacious dirt. Although powerful, the aroma of Lemon & Lime Blossoms is lovely. Final point: these wipes are safe for most nonporous surfaces—including electronics!
Cleaning Wipes: The Right Way to Go!
Cleaning wipes should be disposed away properly. Even those marketed as “flushable” can clog toilets and create other problems for the environment. 4 A used cleaning wipe can easily be flushed into the toilet. As a result, your toilets and the sewer systems connected to them will not become clogged.
Best for Electronics: Weiman Electronic Wipes
Dust, stains, and filth make it difficult to see on screens, so cleaning electronic devices is a daunting but important task. In addition, you can’t avoid touching them. Choosing a product that is specifically designed for cleaning electronics is even more critical because you must be extremely careful not to let moisture into any of the device’s apertures.
You won’t have to worry about leaving lint or streaks behind after using Weiman Electronic Wipes. Your electronics will be protected from scratches and dust and grime by a coating that is created by the formula.
Weiman recommends using a soft, lint-free cloth (the little microfiber towels that come with glasses are ideal for this task) to buff away any lingering residue from these wipes, even though the solution air-dries fast. Doing so will give your gadgets a gleaming appearance. Use these wipes as a cleanser, not sanitizer or disinfectant; they’re not made for that purpose. 5 When it comes to cleaning, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are approved by Apple. Make sure to squeeze out any excess liquid from the wipes before using them on your gadgets!
Best Natural: Lemi-Shine Disinfecting Wipes
Lemi-Shine Disinfecting Wipes use citric acids to destroy bacteria, so you don’t have to resort to chemicals in order to clear your home of hazardous germs. 6 And don’t worry, it’s been approved by the EPA, so you know it works. Search for Lemi-EPA Shine’s registration number 34810-37 in the EPA’s List N Tool.
Those with sensitive noses won’t be bothered by the faint lemon scent in these wipes. They are robust and suitably wet so that your surfaces are not completely drenched. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for a few minutes until it is completely dry before attempting to touch it.
Best for Toys: Babyganics Fragrance-Free All-Purpose Wipes
Hygiene isn’t a priority for children. As a rule, they’ll place their tongues on anything they come into contact with, especially when it comes to playthings. Wipe down the toys with Babyganics Fragrance-Free All-Purpose Wipes between play sessions.
Sodium benzoate, a nontoxic preservative with a B grade from the Environmental Working Group, is the only chemical not produced from plants in this product’s cleaning solution (EWG). In addition, these wipes are appropriate for use on food-contact surfaces, including kitchen countertops.
Best for Kitchen: Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes
A component of thyme oil that has been EPA-approved is used to destroy germs in Seventh Generation’s Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes. 7 Because they clean and disinfect at the same time, these wipes are ideal for use in the kitchen. Even on food-contact surfaces, the solution does not need to be rinsed off. These wipes are scented with lemongrass, which may not be to everyone’s taste.
Best for Cars: Tub O’ Towels Heavy Duty Cleaning Wipes
Clean your automobile inside and out with Tub O’ Towels Heavy-Duty Cleaning Wipes. It doesn’t matter what kind of upholstery you have on your seats; these wipes are safe to use. With their strong fiber weave and industrial-strength composition, the wipes are well-equipped to deal with difficult messes like oil and grease.
Additionally, these towels can be used to clean anything like outdoor furniture, walls, and even carpet that regular wipes aren’t meant to reach. However, keep in mind that these are simply meant for cleaning and will not sanitize or disinfect.5
Best for Furniture: Weiman Wood Furniture Wipes
It’s not just dust and debris that Weiman’s Furniture Wipes remove from your wood surfaces; they also polish them. They restore finished wood’s natural luster and shield it from water and sun damage in the future by using four natural oils and UVX-sunscreen. Use of micro-filling technique removes and prevents scratching of surfaces.
If you have kids or pets in the house, these wipes are safe to use, but it’s better to keep them away from furniture until it’s completely dry. Wipe along the direction of the wood’s natural grain, and then buff with a soft cloth for optimal results. Using these wipes, you’ll be shocked at how bright and sparkling your furniture will appear.
What to Look for in Cleaning Wipes
Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting cleaning wipes all fall under the same category. 5 Remember that sanitizing or disinfecting is not the same as cleaning, and that you must first remove any dirt or residue from the surface before applying a wipe. 1 It’s a good idea to limit your disinfectant use to high-traffic locations like door knobs, trash can lids, and toilets, even if you don’t run the risk of creating superbugs. 8 Because they decrease rather than eliminate germs, sanitizers are an excellent choice for food-contact surfaces like kitchen worktops and sinks.
Both bacteria and viruses indicated on the label of the disinfectant product you are using are destroyed or inactivated by disinfecting.” Christine McNerney, Senior Director of Merchandising, Non-Food at Thrive Market, believes that sanitizing reduces the bacteria on the product label to an acceptable level. As a general rule, you’ll only want to disinfect anything or an area that you’re comfortable using harsher disinfectants on, such as a counter where raw meat was handled. Sanitizer can be used for daily cleaning, although it’s not necessary.”
Cleaning products that contain carcinogens like formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane and asthmagens like bleach and ammonia should be avoided. These include artificial perfumes, which can induce allergic reactions, and boric acid, which can cause reproductive difficulties. 9 McNerney warns that chlorine and hydrochloric acid can hurt the skin, so keep an eye out for them.
Household cleansers can contain a wide variety of safe and effective components, including both natural and synthetic ones. EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning is extensive, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a Safer Choice program that helps customers choose products that function and contain ingredients that are safer for both human health and the environment. Cleaning products that are safe and effective can be found at both of these places. The American Cleaning Institute is another excellent source for information about cleaning product ingredients.
Artificial scents, as previously mentioned, are often “trade secrets” and comprised of unidentified compounds; as a result, they should be avoided at all costs. 9 Those with allergies or sensitive skin may benefit more from using a fragrance-free wipe even if the smells are made from plants. Use the EPA’s Safer Choice-certified product tool and check the Fragrance-Free Products box to find fragrance-free cleaning products.
How do you use cleaning wipes?
Pull out a single wipe from the roll or packet that most cleaning wipes come in. Make sure the wipe has enough cleaning or disinfecting product by checking the wipe’s moisture level. Dispose of wipes correctly by wiping down the desired surface (most are not flushable). It’s recommended that you let a disinfectant wipe sit on a surface for four to ten minutes before applying it.
What do cleaning wipes do?
Grease and dirt from your home’s hard surfaces can be removed with cleaning wipes. Disinfecting surfaces with cleaning wipes is not possible since they dilute the quantity of bacteria on a surface. Cleans and kills microorganisms on hard surfaces with disinfecting wipes
How often should you use cleaning wipes?
This makes them ideal for cleaning up messes in the kitchen and bathroom because they are so easy to use. On shared surfaces frequently handled by hands, especially if someone in the house is sick, and after preparing raw meals, disinfecting wipes should be used.
How do you make sanitizing wipes with alcohol and paper towels?
In a separate container, combine the water, alcohol, and dawn. To absorb the alcohol, roll the paper towels up tightly and pour the mixture on top. Afterwards, pull out the tube from the centre of the roll and pull out the middle piece of paper towel. Cover the container with a lid before putting it away.
These DIY disinfection wipes can be made with common home ingredients, and they’re efficient at removing germs and other viruses. I recommend making a new batch every morning so that you can have a supply on hand at all times. In just a few minutes, you’ll be making your own bleach-based disinfection wipes at home. You’re done in a jiffy with a few common home supplies. You’ll know what to do if you run out of disinfection wipes in the future. Tips and information regarding disinfecting wipes can be found here.