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Homemade Hand Sanitizer Wipes

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When I did the post about homemade baby wipes I got quite a few comments and emails from teachers about how you can add alcohol to make the wipes good for cleaning up germs. That got my wheels turning and I thought it would be a good idea to keep some homemade hand wipes in the car…….because the door handle of the bathroom I just visited was handled by the lady who just left the room without washing her hands. Ew. This is a public service announcement – please wash your hands after using the bathroom. Ew.

But, because of my frugal nature I really didn’t want to make the wipes using paper towels. I try not to buy many of those and instead prefer to use things that I can wash and use again. Since I had always used reusable wipes for Annie I thought “Well gosh! I can make my own reusable sanitizing wipes!” I mean, if I can conquer a whole chicken surely to goodness I can make my own sanitizer. And I did. The end. Here is how you do it. Gather up an old t-shirt, alcohol, lemon juice, and a canister for the wipes. I had saved this tub for just such an occasion…..or else I had just forgotten to throw it away. One of those.

Cut up the t-shirt into the size you desire….about the size of a baby wipe. This is a good occasion to rid your husband of that old nasty t-shirt he keeps wearing – the one that makes you want to gag and scream. Yeah, that one. And when he asks about where it went, just tell him you sacrificed it for a good cause – and remind him of the lady that leaves the restroom without washing her hands.

It might not take the whole shirt. I think I only used about ¾ of Barry’s old shirt. I put the rest of the pieces in a bag to use for my next batch. Stuff the box full of your wipes.

You’re going to make a liquid mixture consisting of about 1/3 cup of alcohol, 1/3 cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Alcohol is to kill the germs and lemon juice has a bit of that same power.

While I was making this, I had a genius thought! I’m always amazed at my genius thoughts…..Barry, not so much. I love adding tea tree oil to things because of its natural antiseptic power. So, I added about 5 drops of it to my mixture. Now my wipes can we used to clean up scratches or scrapes. If you don’t have tea tree oil, you can skip this part.

Pour the liquid over your cloth pieces. Depending on how many wipes you use or the size of your container, you might need to make extra liquid.

Toss the pieces of cloth to make sure they all get coated. Then sniff your hands. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I love tea tree oil.

Now, I knew I was going to store these in the car so I didn’t want them to dry out. I slipped the container down in a bread bag so they wouldn’t dry out as fast. You can also do this if you keep a container of baby wipes in the car. It really helps.

I also put a Ziploc baggie in the car with this container. When I use a wipe, I throw it in the bag so that I can bring it home and wash it to be ready for my next batch. Never close the Ziploc and leave in the hot car…..or you’ll get mildew. Or so I hear from OTHER PEOPLE. *Cough*

So, that’s my solution for taking care of germs on the go. If you prefer, you can use this same mixture with the technique for making baby wipes. You might have to adjust the amount of liquid.

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NOTE: For these wipes, I’m not looking to prepare for surgery. :-) Alcohol will kill more germs if used at full strength. I found it too strong without water (and not enough liquid for the wipes), so that’s why I added tea tree oil (as an antiseptic). You’ll kill most germs with plain soap and water, but sometimes when you’re out and about you don’t have that option. :-)

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About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Becky Webb says:

    Can’t wait to try this! I was just telling my mom the other day that I wish the baby wipe idea could be used as an antibacterial wipe! Thanks for the info!

  2. What a great idea!!!

  3. I’ve always wondered about doing this! Can it grow mildew if it’s “santized”?

    • Kim, that’s an excellent question… I had to go look. LOL :-) They’ve been in my car for well over a month (in the heat and in the cool) and there is no mildew. I wonder why they would mildew alone in a plastic bag but not in the container in the plastic bag? Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm.

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