Easy Eco: Homemade Disinfectant Wipes
Easy Eco is back! This time we’re focusing on how to keep your home clean the healthy way with a tutorial for how to make your own reusable disinfectant wipes. If you’ve ever gone shopping for cleaning products, you know how expensive they can be! But what you might not know is that pretty much any of these products can be made at home for a lot less money. Added bonus? Making these items at home lowers your carbon footprint, gives you control on the ingredients, and may give you superhero-type feels.
Disposable wipes are a sustainability nightmare
Disinfectant wipes first appear as a great item for the home. You use it, then you toss it. So easy you barely have to think about it. Ah! Such wonderful convenience! But your convenience comes at a cost. Because disinfectant wipes are full of harmful chemicals. Have you ever read the print on the back of the container? Not only are you supposed to wash your hands after each use, but you’re supposed to wipe down the surface you disinfected, especially if you prepare food on it. That doesn’t sound too convenient to me. How many people actually follow these instructions? I know I didn’t for the longest time; I just assumed whatever was in the container was safe. My logic dictates that if the wipes are meant to be used in the kitchen, then they must be safe around food. I was wrong. Second, these innocent-looking squares are wreaking havoc on our environment. We use disposable wipes for almost everything these days. We clean our homes with them, sanitize our hands, remove our makeup, wipe down our dry erase boards. The list is never-ending. All of these wipes end up in our landfills, or worse, our oceans. We’ve been conditioned not to think about these consequences. Let’s end that cycle. It’s time we took a stand against needless waste in our environment and harmful chemicals in our homes. Ditching disposable disinfectant wipes for a reusable, homemade version is a great place to start.
How to make your own disinfectant wipes
It’s incredibly easy! Here’s a supply list and how to do it:
- 1 32-ounce mason jar, or other glass container of similar size
- At least 10 cotton-cloth wipes
- 1/2 cup White Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Distilled Water
- Essential Oil(s) of choice – just make sure the one(s) you choose have antibacterial properties.
For the wipes I cut up an old flannel shirt made from 100% cotton. I was able to get 9 square cloths of varying sizes from the one shirt, though the first few I made were a little large. Whatever you use, try and make sure it’s made of all-natural materials and not petroleum-based. No plastics! The whole idea is to help reduce your carbon footprint, right? Plus essential oils can break down certain plastics, so it’s best to steer clear. You’ll wash the wipes in with your regular laundry after each use. Pretty simple!
Once you have your cloth wipes ready to go, add the water and vinegar to your glass jar. Then add in your essential oils. My favorite right now is a blend of lavender and tea tree, around 10 drops each, but there are so many oils you can choose from. Go ahead and get creative with it! Once you’re done, screw the lid on the jar and flip it upside down a few times to mix. Add your wipes to the jar and reseal, flipping it upside down to make sure the liquid reaches all of the wipes. And that’s it! You’ve got yourself a batch of homemade disinfectant wipes you can feel good about.