Keeping our homesteaders as germ-free as possible helps prevent illness from emerging and spreading. When there is a mess or raw meat and eggs residue in the kitchen, we sometimes feel that plain old soap and hot water just will not get the area disinfected enough.
These DIY natural disinfectant wipes will not only remove and cleanse these areas for you, but will do so without exposing your home and loved ones to potentially harmful chemicals. For about the cost of one tub of commercially produced disinfectant wipes you can make five equivalent batches out of natural ingredients in your own kitchen – in less than 15 minutes.
What’s In Store-Bought Disinfectant Wipes?
Nearly all commercially produced disinfectant wipes contain “quats. These quaternary ammonium compounds can irritate the skin, and may cause reproductive harm and asthma problems. Overexposure might prompt the development of antibacterial resistant bacteria or “superbugs” that are resistant to common antibiotics.
Quats Commonly Found In Disinfectant Wipes:
- Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides – C12-16
- Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chlorides – C12-18
- Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride – C14 60%, C16 30%, C12 5%, C18 5%
- Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride – C12-14
- Benzalkonium chloride
- Didecyldimethylammonium chloride
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ of a cup of liquid dish soap
- ¼ of a cup of rubbing alcohol
- ½ of a cup of distilled white vinegar
- 1 roll of paper towels
- up to 10 drops of essential oils – optional, but tea tree oil is recommended
- container with firm fitting lid for storage
- scissors - optional
- Use the entire paper towel to make large natural disinfecting wipes or cut them in half. Cutting the paper towels in half is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. Do not skimp on this step and use napkins. Even coarse commercial napkins will not hold up like paper towels when soaking in the cleaning solution. You could could also cut scraps from old towels, clothing, etc, and wash and re-use the wipes.
- Combine the rubbing alcohol, liquid dish soap, and the distilled white vinegar in a bowl.
- Add in the drops of essential oil (if using them to boost the antibacterial properties) in your homemade disinfectant wipes.
- Place the entire roll of paper towels into your chosen storage container – #10 cans or half gallon Mason jar work extremely well.
- Pour the wipes solution evenly and slowly over the roll of paper towels.
- Pull the cardboard roll tube out of the not saturated paper towels – carefully, of course, so you don’t rip the towels.
- Cut a slit in the lid you are using on the container so it is large enough to pull the paper towels through.
- Feed one of the disinfectant wipes through the slip in the lid, so a small part is showing and can be tugged upon when needed.
You can also opt to place the homemade natural disinfectant wipes in a plastic bag and seal them shut until ready to use or into a flat container (baby wipes style) and just tear them out individually, as needed.
Ditch the liquid antibacterial pump bottle and purse bottles, and fill them with this solution instead, so you can clean your hands, door handles, etc. on the go without exposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals.
- 3 tablespoons of castile soap
- ½ cup of vodka
- 1 ½ cups of water – distilled water is recommended
- up to 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
- up to 15 drops of lemon essential oil
- 8 fabric square of old washcloths
- storage container or bag for the wipes
- Mix together the vodka, water, and soap in a bowl.
- Add in the drops of essential oil.
- Place two of the fabric squares or wash cloths in the bowl.
- Pour around ⅓ of the DIY natural disinfectant wipe mixture over the cloth material after placing them in your chosen container.Repeat this step until all of your natural homemade disinfectant solution is gone.
- Seal the container.
You can also use paper towels to make this natural cleaning wipes recipe.
How To Use Natural Disinfecting Wipes
Simply remove a natural disinfectant wipe from the container, wring out excess liquid, allowing it to flow back into the container, and clean the desired surface.
I have found homemade natural disinfectant wipes to be at least as good at cleaning up messes and cleansing surfaces as store-bought wipes. The paper towels are quite durable, even after soaking in the DIY cleaning solution for an extended period of time.
Unless the wipes are not sealed properly in a container with a firm fitting lid, their shelf-life should be at a minimum, 12 months long.
I have used both of these DIY natural disinfectant wipe recipes to clean out poultry egg incubators, the steering wheel of our side-by-side, the kitchen counter, exterior of the commode, and even dirty little hands.
I keep a bag of the wipes at the barn, and in the first aid kit on our ATVs at all times. The only downside to using the wipes or just the mixture on hands is the dryness it can create – and stinging from the vinegar if you have cuts or chapped skin.
If the natural disinfectant wipes will be used on or around either young children or small animals, be mindful of how much tea tree oil you use. Overexposure of tea tree oil could cause an allergic reaction or nervous system problem.
I have used tea tree oil in copious amounts in home remedies, and have never experienced even the slightest problem, but I always cut the recommended amount in half when young children, young livestock, or small animals could come into contact with it.