Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh Yes You Can! - Homemade Sanitizing Wipes

I got an e-mail the other day asking about homemade sanitizing wipes. You know those great little pre-moistened, germ killing wonders.

I love, love, love them.

But they belong to the old budget.

It did get me thinking though. I refuse to have the mentality that in order to be thrifty I have to do without. I mean SOMEBODY thought these up before they were actually mass marketed. So there has to be a way to make them at home.

And, yep, there is.

I researched and researched. I wanted something with minimal and inexpensive ingredients but would kill those invisible germs all over my doorknobs and kitchen counters and toilets. There were several recipes out there but almost all of them required fancy and expensive ingredients like tea tree oil and lavender oil and aloe vera gel or pine sol.

Ack! It would be cheaper to just buy the Lysol brand.

But then, I came across something much simpler.

All you need is…

A roll of paper towels (dollar store)
A bottle of rubbing alcohol (dollar store)
An old baby wipe container (or a large sealable freezer bag)

Slip the core out of the roll of paper towels.

Use a serrated knife to cut the towels in half to fit in the baby wipe container or freezer bag.

Lay them in the container and soak them with the rubbing alcohol. (Make sure you properly label the container so you don’t wipe juniors tushy with them.)

It’s that simple.

But does rubbing alcohol kill germs?

You betcha.

It’s used in hospitals and doctors office to sterilize instruments, and wipe off exam beds. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

My roll of paper towels had 75 on them. When I cut them in half I had 150 wipes. If I’m spending $2 to make them that comes to a fraction over a penny per wipe. For a package of 40 Lysol wipes at $3.85 per package that figured out to be 10 cents per wipe.

I’m sold!

For more great ideas go see Rocks In My Dryer.


Andie said...

OH AWESOME!!! Gonna try this one!!!!
I remember finding the recipe for homemade detangling spray (the kind for little girls' hair) somewhere. Do you know what is in it? I can no longer find that link. Thanks for all your GREAT ideas!

Monds & Mayberry said...

I will be making these tomorrow. Thanks so much!!!

The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino said...

Great tip, Gayle! I was wanting to know how to make these, and I didn't realize it would be so simple with just the alcohol. I'm so excited!

I used to make homemade baby wipes a similar way. The only thing I did differently was place the half roll of paper towels on its end in a round 1/2 gallon ice cream container, then poured the stuff over it. Then, I just pulled from the middle - easy peasy! BTW, Viva paper towels don't work well; they stick together too much (and they're expensive anyway.) I use Bounty or Wal-Mart's generic equivalent.

Thanks again!

Heather said...

You can also use the lysol/clorox all-surface disinfectant spray, a dash of alcohol and some water. It cleans just as well, but without the strong smell and harshness of pure alcohol.

Youthleadergina said...

You rock! Thanks for looking into this!!! I love having these in each bathroom and will make some up.

Bryce said...

I would never have thought to do that. thanks so much!

World's Greatest Mommy said...

I do something similar with a lysol liquid, and I can't live without it.

Anonymous said...

I love this! I have a friend who used to make baby wipes in a similar fashion. I can't remember what it was she put on the paper towels instead of rubbing alcohol... but I love the idea of making sanitizing wipes for cleaning. Thanks!!!

Happy Mommy said...

What a great idea! Do you use it for your hands and for cleaning?

Danielle said...

What a great idea! I love your site and am so inspired!! I can't wait to implement some of your tips. We are also a family of six so saving is FINE WITH ME!!! =)

care-in said...

This is great! Someone gave me a recipe for homemade baby wipes...I'll need to pull that one out.

all in the family said...

Terrific Tip! Thanks

Traci Best said...

Perfect!!! Thank you!!!! :)

Duckygirl said...

Great tip, I do the baby wipes (2 cups water, 1 Tblsp baby oil, 1Tblsp baby soap per 1/2 roll paper towels) Now I need to try this...oh and if you have an electric serrated knife cutting the paper towels is much easier ;)


Liisa said...

Thanks for posting this! I love the wipes but they are not in our budget either!


Amy said...

Great idea! We'll be doing this!!!

Audra Krell said...

Very nice. Love that you refuse to go without. Denying ourselves is what usually gets us in trouble.

Unknown said...

Good idea!

Unknown said...

I love this idea! Thanks for posting it.

Kelly said...

Great tip!

Anonymous said...

I am so doing this. I love those wipes but don't like the price. I once upon a time made homemade baby wipes but thank goodness I only need sanitizing wipes now. :)

MaryLu said...

Oh, you little smarty!! I used to make my homemade baby wipes with baby shampoo and the same, cut-in-half roll of paper towels.
I'm so gonna try this!

EEEEMommy said...

I'm totally sold! I love those Lysol wipes, but even buying the big 3-pack at Sam's Club is still expensive. I've had many an ungodly attitude when I discovered that the kids had used up half a container just playing. Argh!

Thanks for figuring it out for us. :)

Amanda said...

Girl, you're awesome!

Michelle said...

This is similar to how I used to make my own baby wipes. Great idea.

Unknown said...

Hi Gail,
heres a recipe i tried a few days ago, it's alcohol free and great for little ones with sensitive skin:
-Carlton 'washable' kitchen towel roll. i pull of 30 at a time and cut them in half with scissors too.
-6 drops of either neroli (citrus smell) lavender (great to help fight viral/bacterial/fungal infection) or chamomile (great for sensitive skin)
- teaspoon of baby oil
-1.5 cups of cooled, preboiled water from the kettle

Place the wipes into a lock-tight container. mix the ingredients into the cup and pour around the sides and then the last bit over the top. leave for about 10 min to soak in and turn over for another 5 min. open up and test on baby's skin first. *becareful not to pour too much water, otherwise they are soggy and the bum cream wont stick nicely. rather pour less than you think will be enough and if you need more moisture, just add about 2 spoon fulls of cooled, preboiled water till you are happy. also, make up a few extra if you wish and place them in a ziplock back for your diaper bag.

Unknown said...

Gayle - sorry i forgat to add:
- 2 squirts of nice smelling baby bath gel/cream

Candle Guy said...

Thanks for publishing this. My wife had a GI bug and when I went out to do the shopping she put "Clorox
Wipes" on the list so we could try to keep said bug from spreading to everyone else in the home. Even with it written down, I forgot them (I did get her her ice pops though - the only thing she could keep down). To save a trip back to down I checked online and found your instructions. Thanks!

BTW - I also checked the Clorox site. Turns out, rubbing alcohol is the active ingredient in their wipes, not bleach. They add some surfactants (detergents), fragrance and a preservative. I'm just as happy to avoid spreading the extra chemicals around the house.

Beach Girl said...

A few months ago I did a search for home made antibacterial wipes and found your site. I was immediately hooked. Thank you so much. You have helped me in so many ways. I thought I was frugal already but I learned that there were still tons of ways I could save more money. The past few months, in my spare time, I have been reading through your archives back from the beginning and I finally finished yesterday. Whew! What a journey. I am a little sad that it is over.

I have to list just a few of the new things that I am doing because I found GCC. I am making my own bread (amazing). I am also making most things that I used to buy ready made at the grocery like salad dressings, soup mixes, etc, etc. I am using home made cleaners now that are far cheaper and chemical free. I still can't believe vinegar can clean mold and mildew but it does!! Also, my cookbooks over at "the zaar" are running over with new delicious recipes.

You can bet I will be checking back to find out more.

A million Thanks from me and my family.

Patti (from FL)