CORONAVIRUS DISCLAIMER: While these disinfecting wipes have commonly accepted antimicrobial ingredients, they have not been lab-tested against viruses such as the virus that causes COVID-19. This cleaning wipes recipe was created before the novel coronavirus outbreak and was intended for use on “run of the mill” germs—which this obviously isn’t. As always, check with your health care professional before using any home remedy on you or your family.
Back in the early years of our marriage, my husband and I used to spend a lot of money on those Clorox disposable cleaning wipes. You just can’t beat the convenience of them when you need to clean up a yucky spill!
But as we educated ourselves more on the need to be careful with what products we brought into our home, we made the switch from the conventional brand to an all-natural brand of cleaning wipes. While we were happy with the non-toxic ingredients, we were definitely not as happy with the premium price. Eventually, the price, combined with our desire to live a more waste-free lifestyle, stopped us from buying disposable cleaning wipes all together.
We used rags and spray for a while, but we eventually landed on an even better replacement totally by happenstance—flannel baby wipes! We used flannel baby wipes while cloth diapering our daughter, and pretty quickly we realized that those reusable wipes were good for more than just cleaning our kid.
Soon enough, we had a baby wipe container in the nursery AND in the kitchen. The only difference was the solution that was on the wipes. The solution we used for cloth diapering was incredibly moisturizing—great for skin, but not so great when you have a greasy countertop—so I went to work developing a cleaning-only wipe solution.
I did a lot of research on the solution to find a combination that would (1) clean, (2) disinfect, and (3) not damage any of our surfaces, and we’ve been very happy with the final result. It probably goes without saying, but this solution should NOT be used on any skin—and definitely not your baby’s skin.
Cleaning Wipes that are Safe for Marble or Granite Countertops
We use these wipes on glass, stainless steel, sealed wood, and solid surface countertops without any issue. I have not tested these wipes on any sort of natural stone countertops. However, my research indicates that all ingredients should be safe for marble, granite, or other natural stone. I do recommend testing an inconspicuous spot whenever using any new product (even a homemade one) on natural stone countertops.
What You’ll Need to Make All-Natural Disinfecting Cleaning Wipes
There is a full printable recipe at the bottom of this article that I recommend you keep with your cleaning supplies, but let’s break down the materials first. Here’s what you’ll need:
1- or 2-ply flannel baby wipes (8” x 8” wide) :: These are a breeze to make if you own a sewing machine or a serger, or they are also widely available on Amazon. We used single-ply wipes for diapering with good luck, but prefer two-ply wipes for cleaning.
Liquid Castile soap (i.e. Dr. Bronner’s) :: The actual “cleaning” part of these cleaning wipes!
Rubbing alcohol :: This disinfects your surfaces. Yes, it does have a strong smell, but it dissipates very quickly.
Tea tree essential oil, optional :: This also helps with disinfecting, and especially helps to hamper mold growth. We use this in the mixture when it’s very humid in our house to keep the wipes smelling fresh in the container.
Lavender essential oil, optional :: This leaves a calming, floral scent behind after cleanup, but lavender is also a great natural antimicrobial.
A baby wipe container :: You can reuse one that had disposable wipes in it before, or purchase one of the reusable ones. This is the one we have and use.
All-Natural Disinfecting Cleaning Wipes Tutorial
Now that you know what you need, let’s dig into the super simple tutorial for making these all-natural cleaning wipes.
Step 1: Combine 1 cup warm filtered or distilled water with 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap and 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol.
Step 2 : Add in tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil, if using.
Step 3: Fold wipes into container, and then pour solution over to saturate.
And that’s it! You’re ready to clean. If it takes you awhile to get through your wipes, you might have to reactivate them by pouring in a touch of warm water to replace what has evaporated.
These go through our regular wash with our other towels, napkins, and rags. We easily fit 20 two-ply wipes in the container we use, and obviously, if you go with single-ply you can fit double that (or even more). A set of 20 seems to get us through about a week’s worth of regular kitchen cleaning. Happy cleaning!