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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Make Your Own Cleaning Wipes

Let's face it - those ready-to-go disinfecting cleaning wipes can be so handy around the house, but so very expensive on the pocketbook! When you can't find them for cheap, or your stockpile is running low, consider making your own!

Here's what you'll need:

(1) roll Bounty paper towels (these seem to hold up the best; I've also heard that Viva towels do pretty well)
(1) Rubbermaid #6 square container & lid, or other similar size (10-cup) container with tight-fitting lid
(2) cups water
(1) ounce Lysol all-purpose cleaner (according to the bottle, this 1:16 dilution will give you hospital-grade disinfecting)

You'll also need a long serated knife (like a bread knife), an electric knife, or a small hacksaw. (I use a long serated bread knife.)

Begin by cutting the roll of paper towels in half, so that you end up with two shorter rolls. (It may help if you cut down through the paper all the way around until you hit the cardboard tube in the middle, and then cut through the cardboard tube.) Brush any loose "fuzzies" off the cut ends, and trim any large clumps with scissors if desired. You'll only need one half of the roll right now; save the other half.

Add the water and Lysol in your container, and swirl to mix (do not shake - you'll make suds).

Next, turn your half roll with the cut side down and gently fold in the sides of the cardboard tube in the middle of the paper towel roll until you can pull it out of the center. It will pull up the inside end of the towel roll with it, and that's just what you want.

Place your roll cut side down in the container with your cleaner and water mixture, and close the lid. Allow the paper towel roll to soak up all the liquid (about 30-60 minutes). Then turn your container upside down for 1-2 hours so that the cleaning mixture can saturate all of the roll. Once it's done, turn it right-side up and you're ready to go - just grab the towels from the inside of the roll, tear off as many as needed, and replace the lid.

Depending on how quickly you go through these, you may need to add just a little water periodically to keep the towels moist.

You can, of course, substitute other brands of cleaners if you'd like. Just be careful that you don't mix different cleaners together. Or if you would rather stay away from the chemicals in the Lysol, you can try this recipe for the cleaning mixture:

1 tsp baking soda
2-5 drops dish soap
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2-3 cups water

Be sure to label all containers and keep out of reach of small children.


Tightwad Mom said...

You can also make your own baby wipes following the same method but using 2 cup of water 2 tablespoons baby wash and 1 tablespoon baby oil.The best part is they are very gentle on sensitive bottoms.

Candi said...

Yes - I really like the homemade baby wipes! :) I have a post on those, too, just hadn't posted it yet...

Michelle said...

I tried this once, but after a week or so my wipes started to go moldy. Any idea why?

Jessica said...

Make sure you use boiling water in the wipes. Otherwise, they will mildew and stink after a few days. I make the baby wipes and they last for 2 weeks or more as long as I use boiling water. (Be SOOO careful pouring the water into the container. If you add the soap, or cleaner, too quickly, it will boil over and cause burns.)

Candi said...

Molds love cellulose pulp (wood fiber), which is what the paper towels are made of. I've never had mold with the Bounty towels, but I also use the Lysol, which may have anti-fungal properties in the chemicals. Did you try it with the Lysol? You could try a different brand of paper towel or a different cleaner maybe...

The White House said...

I think these would be a great idea since I already do the wipes. I thought I would share a trick I figured out that makes it easier. If you leave the cardboard in, then pour the water over all of it. Let this sit till everything has soaked up. Then remove the cardboard. This way the glue has come undone from the paper towel. I've done the other way they had in the instructions and find this way much easier.


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