How to Make Alcohol Wipes

Antibacterial wipes are convenient, but the cost of store-bought varieties really adds up! Luckily, you can make your own wipes at home with paper towels or cotton cloths. Choose a plastic or glass airtight container and place the towels inside. Mix warm water, dish soap, and alcohol together to create a simple cleaning solution and pour it over the wipes. The wipes will soak up the solution and be ready to use within a few minutes. Remember to keep the lid closed when you’re not using your wipes so they won’t dry out!
[Edit]Ingredients [Edit]Basic Multi-Purpose Cleaning Solution of warm water of dish soap of isopropyl alcohol (70% strength or higher) 10 drops of essential oil (optional) [Edit]Steps [Edit]Choosing a Cloth Material and Container Use a roll of paper towels if you want to make disposable wipes. Regular 2-ply paper towels with perforations are perfect for this project, since you can easily tear away 1 wipe at a time. If you plan on cleaning up tough messes, go with 3-ply paper towels.[1] Avoid 1-ply paper towels—they tend to disintegrate once they get wet.[2] Go with washable cotton cloths if you prefer a reusable option. If environmental and waste issues are a concern to you, use plain cotton wash clothes instead of single-use paper towels. You can still store cotton cloths in the cleaning solution—just be sure to wash the wipes after each use.[3] If you have large pieces of cotton or old T-shirts, cut them into squares for this project. They don’t have to be perfectly square, but try to make them uniform in size. Buy a tall, rectangular plastic container with a lid for an easy solution. You’ll need a 4-quart (3.8 liters) container to hold the full length of paper towel roll, but you don’t have to use this size. You can easily slice through a paper towel roll with a serrated knife to cut it down to size, if needed. A flip-top is the most convenient option, but it's not required—a regular airtight lid works just fine.[4] The container does not have to be a cylinder. A roll of paper towels will conform to a rectangular shape. For cotton cloths, get a container that holds at least (0.9 liters).[5] You can use square plastic containers for this! Just pull the individual paper towels off the roll before you store them. Try a large glass container with an airtight lid if you don’t use plastic. If you’re using cotton cloths to make your wipes, select a glass jar that can hold at least (0.9 liters). Go with a 2-quart (1.9 liters) minimum if you’re using paper towels so you can fit at least half of a paper towel roll in there. Keep in mind that the lid has to be airtight to preserve your wipes.[6] Go with zip-top baggie for a convenient and portable option. Freezer bags are the most durable option, but regular plastic baggies work just fine as long as they can be zipped closed completely. You can easily tuck these smaller packets into your bag or in the car when you’re on the go.[7] Separate the paper towels and take them off the roll if you go this route. [Edit]Infusing Cloths with the Cleaning Solution Mix the warm water, isopropyl alcohol, and dish soap in a bowl. Measure out of warm water, of isopropyl alcohol, and of dish soap and dump them all in a medium-sized bowl. Stir the ingredients with a spoon until they’re full incorporated.[8]

Use at least 70% isopropyl alcohol for the most effective disinfectant properties. Filtered tap water is fine for this. You might want to use distilled water if you don't think you’ll use up your wipes within a few months.[9] Add 10 drops of essential oil for scent and antibacterial properties, if desired. You can use any essential oil you like if scent is your only concern. If you want extra germ-busting power, go with lemon, orange, tea tree, lavender, or peppermint essential oil. You can use 1 essential oil or try a custom combination.[10]

Essential oil is really concentrated, so avoid using more than 10 drops. Place the wipes into your chosen storage container. If you need to trim down a roll of paper towels to fit into the container, turn the roll on its side and slice through it with a serrated knife. Then, slide the roll vertically into the tall plastic container. For cotton cloths or individual paper towels, simply stack them inside the container.

You can also roll up the cotton clothes before putting them in the container if you prefer.[11] Pour the cleaning solution over the wipes to saturate them. Lift the bowl and slowly dump the cleaning solution directly on top of the wipes. The absorbent cloths will start to soak up the solution immediately. Don't pour too fast or the container may overflow![12]

You can knead or press down on the wipes to help them soak up the solution faster, if you like. Pull out the cardboard roll if you’re using paper towels. The paper towels will soften and pull away from the cardboard roll in the center once they’re fully saturated. You can just reach in, pinch the roll, and pull it out of the container. The wipes will hold their shape without the support of the cardboard.[13] The cardboard will start to disintegrate over time, so don't forget this step. Close the container lid tightly when you’re done. [Edit]Storing and Using Your Wipes Keep the airtight lid closed so the wipes don’t dry out. Alcohol dries quickly when it’s exposed to oxygen, so make sure the airtight lid is secure before storing your wipes. Try to avoid leaving the lid off for extended periods when you’re using the wipes, as well. Quickly grab 1 or 2 wipes at a time and close the container immediately.[14]

Grab the innermost wipe and pull up to remove it from the container. If you used a paper towel roll, pull out individual wipes starting in the center of the roll and work your way out. The perforations make it easy to pluck out 1 paper towel at a time.[15]

If you used cotton cloths or individual paper towels, grab the wipe on top. Use your wipes on hard surfaces to clean and disinfect them. Alcohol kills germs, so you can use your wipes to clean up messes and disinfect hard surfaces, like countertops and tile. Avoid using your wipes on fabric or delicate materials, since alcohol can be very harsh and may cause damage.[16]

[Edit]Video [Edit]Things You’ll Need 1 roll of 2-ply or 3-ply paper towels or 8-inch cotton squares Plastic or glass airtight container Medium-sized bowl Spoon [Edit]References ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑