Homemade Natural Series: Homemade Cleaning Wipes

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I'll be implementing a weekly series starting today.  Each week, I will either come up with a homemade natural alternative to household products, or I will feature something that I've found on another blog. 


This week, I made some homemade all natural cleaning wipes as an alternative to disinfecting wipes. 

I love using Clorox wipes to clean off the bathroom sink and counter, but I go through a box fast and I know there are potentially harmful or toxic ingredients that I'd rather not use especially with little kiddos around that get into everything.  


I decided to come up with a frugal and natural alternative. 

Here's what you need:



Not much explanation required, but this is what I did:

1. Cut up some old T-shirts.  Use something knit because it won't fray when you wash it.

2. Put the cut up shirt rectangles into an old wipes container (or any container that works for you).

3. Add about 2 Tbs of Dr. Bronner's soap
(I love the peppermint scent) and about 1 cup of water (just until shirts are moistened).

4. Pull one out and clean away!

5. Wash the dirty wipes and reuse! (I was mine along with our dishtowels about once a week and they have held up great so far)


*Also, if you have another natural (or non-natural-whatever floats your boat) soap that you like, I'm sure you could just dilute it with water and do the same thing.  I'm just sharing what works for me and what I have come up with. Feel free to make your own solution!*

*So far, I haven't made huge batches of wipes.  I have just put enough wipes in that I will use in about a week and then just refill as needed.  This has prevented mildew and mold for me. 


It may be way easier for a lot of you just to clean the sink with a sponge and spray cleaner rather than going to this trouble.  For me, I know that I will clean the sink more often if it's in this easy container on the counter. Sad, but true.  Do what works for you.




Another idea I have is to make another one for the kitchen and use the wipes to wash off the kids faces and hands after dinner.  I am always running out of wash cloths and end up wetting down a paper towel to wash them off, which is such a waste. 


* A word about Dr. Bronner's soap if you aren't familiar with it.  This product is amazing, you need to try it! You can use it as a body wash, shampoo, floor cleaner, dish soap, all purpose spray and the list goes on and on.  You can buy a 32oz. bottle on Amazon for about $15.  This might sound expensive, but I've had my 32 oz. bottle for over a year and still have about 1/3 of it left!

Stay tuned next week for another homemade natural idea!

37 comments :

  1. thanks for this tip! I just bought some Dr. Bronner's in lavender and also in peppermint... how does do you use it?

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  2. What an awesome idea! I'll have to try this. I don't like using Clorox wipes much either since my son is getting into everything now!

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  3. If some folks think this is EWWW I would add that cut up t-shirts from the thrift stores even if you end up throwing them away can be cheaper than toliet paper. If you family is in a crunch to pay off the last of debt it works. Just keep one old container for the new wipes and one for the ones that are being throw away (old coffee containers work for this / with lots of those grocery bags inside you can tie each visit to the bathroom up in a knot and dispose of them at the end of the day.) Do whatever works for your family. I got three large bags of t-shirts for .25 at the thrift store sale.

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    1. I cut up a bunch of receiving blankets (I got tons of them when my son was born and knew I would never use them all) to use for cloth wipes since we were already cloth diapering...and since it saved so much money over buying disposable wipes I decided to go ahead and use them for myself, too! When clothes get too worn out to donate (and if they still fit, I will wear them to that point) I cut them up and use them as wipes also, and when they are worn out as wipes, you can cut them into even smaller pieces and they will compost.

      Some people (my husband, for example) think it's gross, but I use a wipe solution of olive oil, Dr. Bronner's, a couple drops of tea tree oil, and water and I bet I get my bottom cleaner now in comparison to just using dry paper.

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    2. I went to the thrift store and bought about 10 baby wash cloths and use them for wiping when I use the toilet (I only use them for urine, I haven't made the leap to the bottom just yet). I think it's so wasteful to use toilet paper as much as I go pee during the day.
      I also make my own cloth menstrual pads from thrift store t-shirts and fleece. I have used the same pads for about a year and they are just as clean and fresh as the first time I used them. At the end of the use, I put it in a pottery pot with a lid with a solution of Dr. Bronners and water and let them soak until the end of my cycle. Then I wash them.

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    3. expanding my thought. hadn't thought about using cloth wipes to cut toilet paper cost/use !! i use cloth wipes on my cloth diapered baby already !! duh !!! might stick with just pee too... don't know about adult poo wipes yet :-) ... not that far along :-P

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  4. You can also get the soap at Target in a small bottle in the beauty section. Great stuff and even greater idea...will be making mine.

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  5. If I don't want to buy the expensive soap what do I need to look for? Great way to use up my old t-shirts though - I hate throwing them away to just sit in a landfill!

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  6. And then what? You wash the tshirts and put them back in the container? Do you add more solution? I need the entire life cycle here. Thanks!!!!

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  7. Agreed! What do you do with them after you use them? Wash and reuse?

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  8. yes, wash and reuse! Sorry, I should have included this important step-it's now added.

    Feel free to use whatever soap or solution you want. This is what I've used and what has worked for me, but I'm sure you could come up with something else and try it.

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  9. what about mildew? I use cloth baby wipes and if I pre-wet them and put them in the wipes box, they are stinky and black in about three days.

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  10. I can't wait to make these. I love that soap--the Almond and use it in my homemade "soft scrub" type cleanser.

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  11. KarenAZ, that is a great question. I haven't had a problem with mildew. I'm not sure what I'm doing differently. Maybe make a small batch so that they are only sitting in there for a week or so? Maybe if you use a different type of soap or more water it will eliminate mildew? But, I agree no one wants black stinky wipes, yuck!

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  12. KarenAZ, I add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in my wipes recipe... it's antifungal/antibacterial, keeps mine fresh for a long time- a batch that I make (I use Viva paper towels in an old wipes container) lasts several weeks at the rate I use them.

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  13. oh, thanks for that tip sa4grace!! I do add tea tree oil to my cloth wipes solution which must be why it doesn't mildew. I will have to add a drop or two to these wipes as well. Thanks!!

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  14. For me, instead of keeping the wipes in a wet solution, I keep a spray bottle of soap/cleaner and use as many dry wipes as I need to get the job done. If I'm just using a few, I end up taking them down stairs to air dry until I get enough together to wash.

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  15. Do you mix the water with the soap (and if you add the tea tree oil also) before pouring it over the shirts so it gets an even amount over everything?

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  16. Sarah, I poured it all in at the same time and then just shook it up. I'm sure you could mix it separately and pour it in, or mix it directly in the container and then add the wipes. Whatever you find easiest!

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  17. I am knew to this and trying it out, but I LOVE the idea! One question...I've used the Clorox wipes b/c they are antibacterial or disinfecting. Do I have to add the tea tree oil to make it disinfecting? If so, where do you find tea tree oil?

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  18. Love it!! Do you have to rinse or wipe behind these with a dry cloth?

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  19. Love it!! I think I'll try this when my clorox wipes container is empty. Julie - I really think the tea tree oil is essential for making them anti-bacterial, but using peppermint bronners soap probably helps a bit too. I got my tea tree oil at Target in the pharmacy section, but I had to look around a bit and finally asked the pharmacist. If you have a large Target they probably have it. Check your grocery store first though!

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  20. LOVE THIS STUFF! I made the wipes and liquid laundry detergent today. Katie, thank you for the info on the tea tree oil. I will definitely get some and add it to the solution.

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  21. You can also try using distilled water (from the pharmacy) instead of tap water to eliminate the mildew situation. I use distilled water in baby wipes if they dry out and I don't get a mildew problem :)

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  22. Great idea to use t-shirts and an old container. Here's my favorite all purpose cleaner recipe that uses Dr.Bronner's, http://www.olymomma.com/2011/05/spring-cleaning.html. Check it out if you're interested in another smell good all purpose cleaner. I think that I'll use this with my new bathroom wipes :) Thanks! - Jess at OlyMomma

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  23. I love this idea! We go through wipes at my house like you wouldn't believe! Thank you for the inspiration!

    It'd be great if you shared this at my link party--

    http://southernlovely.blogspot.com/2011/08/show-share-2.html

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  24. What a great idea! I would rather have an all natural cleaning option with little kids around. Thanks for linking up with us at Show and Share!

    Marie
    mylilpinkpocket.blogspot.com

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  25. I whipped up a couple batches, and used the cloth wipes I no longer need for my kids. Works wonderfully! And, using the tea tree Dr. Bronner's soap, smells great and adds some antiseptic qualities as well! Thanks for the great idea!

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  26. Wondering if this recipe (or a variation) can be used to disinfect the little kids grubby hands that like to run around my house. I just purchased dr. bronners eucalyptus castile soap ... after reading these comments I'm wondering if I would need to add tea tree oil to make it antibacterial or is it antibacterial enough w/ the eucalyptus that is in the castile soap? Hope I'm making sense ;)

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  27. Can someone tell me if his has aloe in it. I am allergic to aloe and I can't read the ingredients from the list.
    Donna

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  28. In case anyone is interested..Dr Bronner's Peppermint 32 oz is on sale at WholeFoods for 9.99 until the end of the month.

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  29. This soap goes a very long way, so it's not as expensive as it seems. I got the multi-purpose solution Dr. Bronner's sells called "Sal Suds". You might only be able to find that online, I don't know. You don't even need 2 T for 1 C water. It's only 1 1/2 t. per gallon of water!! I bought my bottle over 3 yrs ago. I dilute it with water and put in a spray bottle. Then, I clean it up with a cleaning rag. Anyway, it's still 80% full. I do also use diluted vinegar for cleaning, so it's not the only solution I clean with, still 80% still left after 3 years is pretty good!

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  30. Just tried this and LOVE it! Thx!!!

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  31. I did something like this but I used a baby wipe container instead and I diluted this amazing (and child friendly) "toy cleaner" that i found at a local store a while ago, I also added some peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil because of the disinfecting properties they have, and the nice smell.

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  32. Going to make these today! Thanks! I'm not much of a resolution maker, but this year I want our family to strive to go as green as possible. Pinning for later. :)

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  33. Walgreen's carries the peppermint and lavender varieties of liquid bronners and I think I've seen the bar type as well. Dr. Bronner's is a brand of Castille soap. If you can't find that particular brand or any other brand of Castille soap in your grocery store, you might find some in a health food store or a medical supply store (think chucks, adult diapers, catheters, and other disposable or single/limited use items, not durable medical equipment, like hospital beds, wheelchairs, and oxygen tanks) as it is often used to clean bed bound people (think sensitive areas and adult diaper rash and skin breakdown and pressure ulcers/bed sores) because it is so very gentle and it is sometimes difficult to remove all the residue from traditional soap during a bed bath.

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  34. I also use body wipes when shower is not available and my one of the favorite body wipes is antiseptic wipes. This is all-natural and made from natural ingredients and that’s why I liked to use it because it haven’t any side effect. But I thoroughly enjoyed your post and these homemade cleaning wipes sound effective for body. Thank you so much for the great post.

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