Reusable Disinfecting Wipes

05 May 2021 by Natanja

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    Kick germs to the curb with these reusable disinfecting wipes, that are easy to make and environmentally friendly.

    A glass jar filled with reusable disinfecting wipes on the kitchen counter

    These disinfecting wipes are a practical way to disinfect doorknobs, handles, tabletops and generally most surfaces in your home. Since these are alcohol based, which has a relatively neutral ph, the wipes are also safe to use for natural stone countertops. Furthermore, you can also keep some in your car (in a smaller container) when you want to disinfect something on the go.

    Pouring the alcohol solution into the glass jar

    What type of alcohol to use for reusable disinfectant wipes

    While some use isopropyl alcohol in their DIY cleaning solutions, I went for ethanol. Isopropanol is toxic for human consumption and should only be used in well-ventilated areas. Ethanol on the other hand, while quite dehydrating for your skin, is not toxic for human consumption.

    Pouring a tablespoon of dish soap into the glass jar

    Alcohol concentration

    To be able to call this ‘disinfecting’, the alcohol content must be above 70%, so it is concentrated enough to reliably kill off most bacteria and viruses. Since we are using ethanol with a 96% alcohol content, we are going to add a bit of water to bring down the concentration.

    But why not use undiluted alcohol to kill off even more germs? This is because diluting alcohol actually makes it more effective. By adding a small amount of water, which evaporates more slowly than alcohol, the alcohol has a longer period of time to do its work on the bacteria. In addition, diluted alcohol is less harsh on your skin.

    Adding essential oils to the glass jar

    How do you correctly dilute alcohol?

    This is where it gets a bit tricky. Alcohol and water do not have the same density, which means that if you were to mix 50 ml of water with 50 ml of alcohol, you wouldn’t end up with 100 ml, but instead less. Fortunately, there are some handy online calculators that do the math for you.

    I used this online calculator. You input the percentage of your alcohol, the amount of liquid you want to end up with, as well as your desired concentration. Phew, fortunately we can skip the math session on this!

    Adding the clothes to the glass jar

    Where can I buy ethanol

    Ethanol 96% can be bought at pharmacies or liquor stores. For a zero-waste option at the pharmacy, ask if they have it in glass bottles as opposed to plastic.

    Instead of diluting high-proof alcohol, you can also buy ethanol 70% (such as Rasputin Vodka 70%) and skip the dilution process.

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    A glass jar filled with reusable disinfecting wipes on the kitchen counter

    Reusable Disinfecting Wipes

    • Total Time: 5 minutes




    1. Add the ethanol and water to the jar and stir to combine.
    2. Then add the dish soap and gently stir but avoid foaming up the mixture. Add the essentials and stir once more.
    3. Place your cloths into the mixture, making sure they are evenly saturated. Allow to soak in the liquid for at least 5 minutes, after which the wipes are ready for use.


    *The amount is dependant on the thickness of the cloths and the size of your jar. I used 6 thin cotton cloths.

    The essential oils can be swapped for ones of your choice.

    Use within 4 weeks.

    Keywords: disinfecting wipes, reusable disinfecting wipes, DIY reusable disinfecting wipes, homemade reusable disinfecting wipes


    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.

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