Make these homemade disinfecting wipes with just peroxide and water. They’re completely safe, all natural, non-toxic, and very quick and easy to make.
Disinfecting wipes are so convenient, but the active ingredient in most mainstream brands ammonium chloride, part of a class of chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds, which have been linked to asthma.
Even if you’re fine with using these commercial wipes, they might be hard to find in stores right now during the coronavirus pandemic.
But the good news is homemade disinfecting wipes are pretty easy to make!
All you need is some hydrogen peroxide (3% brown bottle you can get from the pharmacy), some cotton rags or wash cloths (or paper towel roll), and a dark, opaque container to keep them in.
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent disinfectant
It’s the main active ingredient in many of the products on the approved disinfectants lists shared by the EPA and Health Canada specifically for tackling COVID-19.
So let’s get right to the recipe!
The solution for your homemade disinfecting wipes
The products on these lists have a hydrogen peroxide concentration as low as 0.5-1%. The brown bottle you can get from the pharmacy is 3%, so we’re going to dilute our peroxide to a 1.5% concentration, which is up to 3 times stronger.
You can also choose to just use the peroxide at full strength (undiluted), if you prefer.
I’ve seen recipes that also add isopropyl alcohol to the mix, but I don’t find that it’s necessary. Alcohol has to make up at least 60% of the final product for it to be strong enough to kill most viruses, so once you add it to a mixture it becomes way too diluted to be of any value. Plus, alcohol can be strong and irritating for the skin, and many people prefer not to use it.
The “wipes” for your homemade disinfecting wipes
In my homemade cleaning wipes post, I showed how I cut up some old receiving blankets cut into squares (about 6-8 inches), and also used some old cotton wash cloths. You can also repurpose an old t-shirt and cut it up into small squares for this.
Pinking shears help to stop the fabric from fraying or rolling up.
You can either loosely throw the wipes in to your container, or you can fold them onto each other to make it easier to pull out, just like regular wipes! Here’s a photo tutorial for how to do that:
Another option is to use a paper towel roll, but you’ll have to keep buying paper towels for this one, which may or may not work out for your situation. You can find the tutorial on cutting the paper towel roll and either using it in a cylindrical container or folding the wipes, accordion-style in my homemade baby wipes post.
The container for your homemade disinfecting wipes
Since hydrogen peroxide is extremely sensitive to light (it breaks down and becomes inactive if exposed to heat or light), your container must be dark and opaque! That’s why the original bottle it comes in is always dark brown and not see-through.
This can be tough to figure out so here are some ideas for new or repurposed containers:
- Buy a wet wipes case like this one
- Cover your old Clorox or Lysol canister with a dark sock (make sure to wash the canister thoroughly, beforehand)
- Use an old baby wipes container and paint it with black chalkboard paint.
- Use an old wide mouth mason or pickle jar and “dress” it with a couple of black socks. (see pic above)
- Protein powders containers are usually tall, cylindrical, dark and opaque, which would also work well.
- If you have any other ideas to share, please share them in the comments below!
Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
- 3/4 cup distilled water ( (or water that has been boiled and cooled))
- 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
- 15-20 square wipes (about 6-8 inches) ( (or a prepared/cut paper towel roll))
- 1 dark, opaque container ( (suggestions included in the post))
In a bowl, add the water and hydrogen peroxide.
Add wipes (or paper paper towel roll) to your container of choice.
Slowly pour the solution into the container, making sure to saturate the wipes completely. You may need to toss/flip the wipes over to saturate all sides equally.
Optionally, you can also add the wipes to the solution in the bowl first to saturate them, then wring them out slightly, and place them into your container.
To use the wipes:
Pull out a wipe, wring out excess liquid, then wipes surfaces.
Leave surfaces wet, and allow to air dry.
These measurements work for the cloths I use. Depending on the material and absorbency of your cloths, you may need more liquid in your solution. You can increase the amounts as you see fit by either adding more peroxide, or equal parts water and peroxide.
Making the homemade disinfecting wipes
After mixing the peroxide and water in a bowl, you have two options:
- Dip the cloths into the mixture, wring them out, then add them to your container, or
- Place the cloths into the container first, then pour your solution over the cloths to saturate.
I rolled up my cloths and placed in the container, then poured the solution over them. If you choose this method, you will also need to push down on the wipes to soak up the solution, and might have to flip the stack of wipes over (or flip the container over if it has a tight fitting lid) to evenly saturate both sides.
We old very large peanut cans (from Costco) They are metal with a plastic lid. Do you think those would work with wipes & hydrogen peroxide? We have 4 foster kittens, one with ringworm, so we are cleaning their areas (bathrooms, no carpet) a lot! Thank you for the recipe without alcohol, I find the smell strong & nauseating.
I would think the liquid solution sitting in a metal can for so long would not be good. It will most probably begin to rust. Glass (covered with something to keep away light) or opaque plastic would be best.