Homemade Wipes

Homemade Cleaning Wipes title at

I’m a fan of homemade cleaning products.  I’m also a fan of cleaning wipes.

So, I combined the two and made homemade wipes!  Perfect for our Summer of Clean Bathroom Cleaning Days as my kids are the ones doing the bulk of the bathroom cleaning around here.

Any time I can minimize chemicals that come into contact with my children while maximizing convenience for all of us, I’m happy.

I based this homemade cleaner recipe on the same recipe I use for our general cleaning spray.  But, as my personality goes . . . I didn’t feel like actually measuring.

So . . . I did things the same way I do in the kitchen.  I guesstimated.


White Vinegar (some, probably 1/4 of a cup)

Dishwashing Soap (some)

(About that much!)

Rags made from cut-up not-so-white-anymore t-shirts

Sealable container (Clearly labeled with permanent marker, and one that will never EVER be used for food again.  Ever.)

I put the “ingredients” together in the container, and then filled it almost to the top with water. I swished it around and then left the rags soaking in the solution overnight.  In the morning, I drained the excess water so the rags were wet, but there was no concern about spilling the water.

While spray bottles and rags do pretty much the same thing, I liked these because a certain six-year-old who lives here loves to spray about 4 times more than she likes to wipe.  Using the wipes, she was much more thorough in her cleaning.

Hint:  To test the ingredient amounts, just test the rag.  If you need more dirt-removing-power, add more soap.

Disclaimer:  I like having the kids use these wipes because their ingredients are non-toxic.  Please note, though, that this cleans, but doesn’t necessarily disinfect.  I’m a germaphobe, but I’ve had to come to a point where I accept that killing germs might not be as wise as removing them by wiping with soap and water.  Make sense?

Here’s the thing.  I have a child with an immune disease.  An incurable one.  (Thankfully, it’s under control at this time.)  While the doctor assured me that this was not my fault, she also said that these kinds of diseases are on the rise.  Big time.  She (as a matter of educated-personal-opinion) blames our country’s extreme germ-killing measures.  Since that conversation in her office (where I was constantly blinking back mama-guilt tears), I’ve been working to change my thinking on this issue.  Cleaning is good.  Cleaning with soap is good.  Creating a sterile environment where unseen things (any and all of them) have no chance of survival, might not be good.

Obviously, if someone is sick . . . more extreme measures are needed.  But as long as we’re all healthy and cleaning consistently, these types of cleaning products work great.

(Cleaning consistently is key.  Sorry.)

OK.  Getting down off my soap-box now.

Get it?  “Soap” box.

After the wipes are used, I can launder them with bleach to make myself feel better.

Another disclaimer: I’m no expert on immune diseases or the scientific ramifications of using anti-bacterial cleaners.  I’m just a mom doing the best I can.

Homemade Cleaning Wipes at


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  1. 1

    love this! right up my alley to use what you have and be non-toxic. 🙂 Great idea!

  2. 2
    Sally H says:

    I used this same combination, as a spray, to clean my shower. I had not been able to get soap scum off the interior of my fiberglass shower until using this homemade cleaner. I was very generous with the spray, and yeah, the vinegar smell got strong, but it really worked, and without caustic chemicals.

  3. 3
    R.M. Koske says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this one – I was really interested to see how your germ-phobia was going to mix with re-usable bathroom wipes. I keep waffling about how clean I need the bathroom to be. I want to use non-toxic stuff for my loved ones and the environment, but toilet germs are the only kind that I’m phobic about.

    Best wishes for your son’s health.

    • 4

      I can usually easily create a load of towels, bath-mats, etc that can also be bleached. One thing that helps about a once-a-week Laundry Day is that it’s pretty easy to just run one load when necessary and not feel guilty about putting a load ahead of other stuff that’s been waiting a while. Hope that makes sense!

  4. 5
    R.M. Koske says:

    Oh – I shoulda thought of this sooner – I’d love to know how you collect the used wipes until you have enough to wash. I wouldn’t expect you to want them in the regular laundry. Or do you routinely bleach all your whites so it is okay?

  5. 6

    Very smart idea and convenient. Do you wash the used wipes in the laundry or do you wash them out by hand? Wondering about the foaming of the soap residue in an HE machine.

    • 7

      Great question, but I don’t know! I don’t have an HE machine so I never thought about that. I would think that you could rinse them well and then run them in the washer for disinfecting. Maybe have your child just put them in the sink when they’re used so they’re easy to rinse out right then?

  6. 8

    Excellent idea! We are still basking in the changes around here from you first e-book but the kids cleaning is coming up next. With the wipes, I agree with your germ approach but understand that there is a measure of disinfectant with using vinegar. Is there a counter theory on that? Thanks for all the great ideas and motivation!

  7. 9
    Valerie says:

    A few drops of tea tree oil works well with this ingredient combination – and improves the smell.
    Happy cleaning!

  8. 10
    Holly N. says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and great ideas & tips. I think this is just great as a safe way for kids to help and learn how to clean. I can’t wait to try this with my daughter as she is already working on being a great helper at 3 1/2. 🙂

  9. 11

    just to throw this out there cause i know you’re not trying to create sterile, but vinegar is a well known disinfectant. so you are killing some of them in the process too. but i agree with your doctor. we’ve done ourselves a disservice by trying to sterilize our world instead of strengthening our immunity as we can.

    • 12

      True. I’ve heard lots of discussion about how much it disinfects and that it can’t be compared to the levels of most commercial disinfectants. But I think that’s why I like it so much. A good solid cleaner, but not a lethal killer.

  10. 13
    Carol G. says:

    I have made cleaning wipes before. But using paper towel. So not quite as environmentally friendly. Used an old baby wipe box.
    I added tea tree oil and /or lavender oil as well. To help take away some of the vinegar odor as well as boost disinfectant abilities.

    I also, have a daughter with an auto immune issues. And another adult son with special needs. I so want less chemicals. Friends of my son came over to help clean before his open house and their buckets were FULL of cleaners…some that had bleach in them , and they were using ammonia on the floor. (honestly, the floor never looked cleaner. 🙂 ) but i was so afraid they were going to use that and then spray one of the other cleaners too.
    I didn’t want it in my house (the fumes) and was afraid for them.

    just would prefer tea tree oil and lavender (and other oils) in my cleaners.

    thanks for this recipe. 🙂

  11. 14

    Love this post!!!

  12. 15

    Love this idea! I will try this out with my homemade dish soap!

  13. 16

    This is an awesome tip! I love the ease of a wipe, and I am a big honking germaphobe. I’m coming around to the soap and water philosophy as I’m getting increasingly wary of chemicals.

  14. 17

    What a great idea — I’m going to try this too! The secondary benefit will be some clothes-decluttering, because I know I don’t have that many old-t-shirt rags right now … though I do have several t-shirts I never wear.

  15. 18

    Went to Amazon to download your e-book. It is not free.

  16. 20
    Jill Jollief says:

    Thanks. I have made my own body wash and liquid hand soap so will now try this. Trying to save money and the environment.

  17. 21
    Valrie Levy says:

    Great cleaning ingredients. I am suggesting another nontoxic ingredient, which is Hydrogen Peroxide. Please try it. Its good for oral hygiene as well.

  18. 22

    Hi, so do you rinse after using these? Does the dish soap make things all soapy/sudsy? thanks!

  19. 24

    My BIL & I had that conversation years ago, before I had kids. Some cleaning spray ad was on (kills 99.9% of germs!) & I muted the TV & turned to him, my supersmart BIL who works in a lab & has a PhD in this kind of thing, and asked, “It’s not good to kill all those germs, right?” And he went on to tell me that his sister(-in-law?) drove him nuts with all her Lysol wipes for that very reason, and even her dr told her she had to let her kids get sick sometime…

    Good luck working through your germophobia; I’m really glad neither hubby nor myself has that particular issue. (I can’t even stand being in the same room where Lysol was sprayed on something hours earlier). But for an extra-vigorous cleaning, did you know that you can get cleaning-strength white vinegar?

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