• Darby Cummings

DIY Sanitizing Wipes

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

There’s a struggle in my heart. The struggle is real. I’m a tree hugger. I am a woman of efficiency & convenience, in that order, to the point where I have been deemed an expert in these areas by multi-billion dollar companies. I take pride in it. It’s this lovely sense of calm, preparedness that flutters around me like an assortment of vibrant butterflies guiding the way to a bright future of success on a path of rainbows & victory, leaving me with the corners of my mouth upturned slightly in acceptance of a smile executed with dignity, joy & honor. Although my man friend would say there is nothing efficient about my abilities to get ready to leave the house... I digress.

This is especially satisfaction inducing when I clean. I geek out. When I can maximize space planning while stocking a dishwasher to the capital use of space available to me in the given dimensions, I like that a lot. The ability to pile an arms load of things in &/or out of the fridge with just one opening of the door, delights me. Mopping the floor with my homemade mopping slippers & the right music to dance to, so I get a work out in, lifts my spirits. My ridiculously organized & pretentiously folded linen closet, allows my heart the relaxation & ease of a hammock with a quaint wind & the sip of homemade lemonade on a warm summer evening. And of course, the disinfecting wipes that are so efficient & convenient for wiping just about anything up. Yet, this is where the struggle resides in my heart.

I’m a tree hugger. A huge one. It was part of my culture when growing up in the northwest. When I was a kid in this culture many, many years ago, if you didn’t recycle what could be recycled, you were fined. We would reuse just about everything we could to optimize the amount of uses we got out of one thing. We had a garden & apple orchard that we would pull dirty carrots from the ground & apples from the trees to put in our growing bodies & on our welcoming dinner table, big enough for whoever stopped by. Invitations weren’t necessary, just a knock on the door. We plucked the goodness the earth had to offer & got outside to do it. We were rained on often, but that never kept us indoors. To this day, every time I go for a hike, I make sure to hug a tree. Everytime I see a sunset, I take a deep breath, as I am reminded that this day is a gift. When I see my garden grow, the joy that is planted inside my soul is like the gathering of all things good & it emanates from me like a harvest moon with a hazy cloud covered glow. I take great pleasure in having the mother earth loving childhood that I had & making that culture part of my daily practice till the end of time, hoping to inspire & teach others along the way.

So, the idea of a single use disinfecting wipe that I have to throw away, quickly became a love-hate relationship. I loved the efficiency & convenience, yet hated the waste. Loathed. Resented... to the point of self-loathing slash resentment. My self-care practice doesn’t involve these bullshit things, so I needed to start playing around with recipes for homemade disinfecting wipes. Sure enough, I loved me a bit easier, as did mother earth. Whew, much better! Not to mention, so much easier on the pocket book than the store bought ones.

There was a large array of recipe ideas & not all were great. Some were just vinegar, water & essential oils. Some just rubbing alcohol, water & essential oil. I’m not one who wants to use fragrance or bleach given the growing allergies to them. Fragrance especially, I try to avoid at all costs. Essential oils on the other hand, I adore & feel better with them in my life & my products I make. This is the recipe I decided on for the best combination of what we use in our home. My man friend even loves them, even with his sensitive, eczema prone skin on his hands. Might be different for you if you suffer with this as well.


Tree hugger version


1 Cup distilled water

1/2 Cup white distilled vinegar

1/4 Cup rubbing alcohol

1 TBL natural dish soap (I use fragrance free, dye free Seventh Generation soap)

20 drops essential oil of your choice (I tend to use part theives oil with a citrus like

lemon, grapefruit or orange)

1 large wide-mouth container with a lid (I upcycled a sanitizer wipe container)

Cloth scraps (old tshirts, pillowcases, towels, cloth napkins, etc) cut in 10”x10” squares

Gather all cloth scraps you’re going to be using & cut into 10” squares. Once they’re all cut into squares, start rolling a slightly loose wand-like roll of scrap number one, not on a diagonal. When you’re almost to the end of this scrap, about one inch left, put one more cloth scrap so that it’s on the under side of the rolling up & continue rolling almost to the end of scrap number two. Once this first scrap is rolled with a second one on the outside, take a small pinch of the most inner part & pull up so that there’s about three inches exposed (this will be helpful in the convenience & efficiency when you’re needing to remove one at a time).

At this point, from scrap three & on, make sure to tighten your roll & make sure to leave about one inch, to put the next cloth scrap on the under side of the rolling up & continue rolling until all cloth scraps are used.

You could forget about rolling & just throw them in your container with a lid, all willie nillie like. You do you & what works best for you.

I put the rolled up scraps into my container, making sure my three inch exposure is poking out the top.

In an extra large liquid measuring cup, I mix in the distilled water, the vinegar, the rubbing alcohol, the essential oils & lastly, the soap, making sure to wisk vigorously until well combined. Pour over the roll up of cloth scraps, making sure every one of them is well saturated with the disinfecting liquid. Once it’s all in there, make sure the lid is securely on & give it a good rotation or two, making sure one more time, that it is well saturated. Then you’re all done & ready to clean, so go get ‘em!!!

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