It’s basically impossible to find disinfectant wipes right now. This can be a little scary, as they can really help combat the spread of coronavirus germs.
Even if you did get wipes before the pandemic, you’re probably running low if you’re using them to disinfect as often as we recommend. Click or tap here to learn how to use disinfectant wipes on your Amazon deliveries.
Thankfully, you can make your own disinfectant wipes right at home. Here’s a list of materials and cleaners you’ll need, and how to assemble the wipes so you can keep things clean and virus free.
What you can and can’t use for disinfectant wipes
To make anything, you’ll need the right ingredients. Homemade disinfectant wipes are no exception.
The basic parts of disinfectant wipes are a cleaning agent, water, and absorbent material that will make up the wipe. On top of that, you need an airtight container to put the wipes in.
For the absorbent material, your best choice is paper towels. They’ll soak up the cleaning agent, and they’re safe to dispose of.
If you want to use fewer paper products (they are precious these days), you can try using thin, clean pieces of fabric instead. You’ll need to dispose of them after each use though, or thoroughly wash them and make new wipes.
Ultimately, with all that cleaning, fabric will probably be less eco-friendly than just using paper towels. So paper towels are our main recommendation. Tap or click here to see a cool, environmentally friendly product you can try.
Most likely you have reliable water coming out of your taps, so you should focus on the cleaning agent. There are a few options that will make effective disinfectant wipes and a few that will not.
One of the most effective options, which you might already have around the house, is bleach. With the right ratio to water, you can easily make disinfectant wipes with this.
Other, similar options are Pine-Sol, Lysol, and any cleaning products you have that specifically say they’re disinfectants. A liquid disinfectant is what you want here, after all. You’ll just be diluting it with water before making the wipes.
Check out the below video for coronavirus prevention tips, and see why you want agents that specifically disinfect, and don’t just lightly clean.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide as the cleaning component in your wipes. Just make sure you keep the wipes in a dark-colored container then, or away from light, as light makes hydrogen peroxide unstable, which could ruin its efficacy.
Drinking alcohol and rubbing alcohol can also be used as a cleaning agent, but only if it’s 70% alcohol or more. That’s easy enough to know with rubbing alcohol, it’s on the bottle, but you may need to double-check with your drinking alcohol.
The alcohol percentage is different than drinking alcohol’s proof. You need at least 140-proof alcohol to use it as a cleaner, so your generic bottle of vodka probably won’t cut it. Have Everclear on hand? That could work.
What you cannot use as the cleaning agent in your disinfectant wipes is white vinegar, essential oils, or lemon juice. These things, along with regular vodka, might clean things, but they won’t disinfect them.
You can use oils and lemon juice for a nice scent in your homemade disinfectant wipes. But use the cleaners that advertise their disinfecting properties above for actual cleaning.
As a note, hand sanitizer can disinfect your hands, but it’s not the best for disinfecting wipes. Its goopy consistency makes it hard to dilute, and as you’ll see in the next section, that will make creating wipes with it difficult.
As another note, do not mix cleaning agents together to make your wipes. A single cleaning agent, in ratio with water, will be incredibly effective. Mixing cleaning products will only be dangerous.
In particular, be very careful you do not mix bleach and ammonia, or bleach with any other cleanser. The combination can be deadly, and you should make sure to only use bleach in an area with good ventilation as well.
In terms of your airtight container, Tupperware is your friend here. Just make sure it’s some you don’t plan to use with food again — you don’t want to eat disinfecting agents after all!
Making your own wipes
You’ve gathered your cleaner, paper towels, an airtight container, and water. Now how do you combine them to make disinfectant wipes?
Start by cutting or tearing your paper towels into the size you want your wipes to be. You can cut a whole roll in half with a kitchen knife, and give yourself some decent sized ones that will tear on the perforation line.
But if you have paper towels that tear at the half sizes, you can just rip enough of those off to fit into your airtight container. It’s ok if you have to fold them to make them fit, it shouldn’t affect the next steps.
With the towels ready to go, mix a ratio of your cleaning agent with your water. For most disinfecting products, that ratio will be on the bottle. Follow that ratio carefully!
If you’re using bleach, you want to use 5 tablespoons of bleach, or 1/3 cup, per gallon of water. For smaller batches, closer to what you’re probably making for this, that ratio is 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
Pour the cleaning agent and water mixture over your paper towels in the container. Make sure the mixture soaks through to the bottom-most towels, and that your towels get good and moist.
It’s ok to have the towels sit in a bit of the liquid, but don’t have half your container full of your cleaning agent and water mixture. That will dissolve and destroy your towels, and not give you any wipes to work with.
If you have extra of your liquid mixture, start another container of towels, or use the mixture to clean high-trafficked areas of your home right now. This mixture can be really great on hard, non-porous surfaces, like kitchen counters and toilets.
Watch the following video to see these homemade disinfectant wipes made. You don’t want to believe or follow everything you see on the internet, but this video matches up with CDC guidelines and should help you out.
Now, use one of your homemade wipes if you need to, or seal up your container so you can use them later! Tap or click here to learn about using disinfectant wipes with your food deliveries during this pandemic.
Remember to fully seal the container when you’re not using the wipes so they don’t dry out. If they do, you may need to start this process over again with a better container.
You can’t use disinfectant wipes for everything, but they can be used for a lot. Click or tap here to see how they can clean your smartphone, for example.
Don’t fret if you can’t find them in the store. If you have the right materials you can make some good, basic disinfectant wipes right at home.
During this pandemic, this is valuable information and important to do. Make some for yourself, your neighbors and loved ones, so everyone can better protect themselves from the coronavirus and come out of this pandemic happy and healthy.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.