Make Your Own Disinfectant Wipes

Bronze Tip Medal for All Time! 75 Tips
March 6, 2020

Hand holding a home name disinfectant wipeIt's easy to make your own disinfectant wipes at home. These are great when the stores are selling out because of the Coronavirus. It's also a convenient way to refill wipe containers so you can get more uses out of them.


For these wipes we used Bounty paper towels for the base since they are quite durable. They feel just about as strong as pre-packaged wipes. If you are refilling a wipes container try to find a shorter paper towel roll which fits or cut down a big roll with a bread knife.

We used Lysol for the cleaning agent. Any brand will work but we wanted to make sure we had good disinfectant power. You can swap in rubbing alcohol or use vinegar as a natural cleaner as well.

It's best to put these wipes in an airtight container unless you will be using them right away. We used a Sterilite tub for the photos. A Sterilite Gasket Box or an Iris Ziploc Box would be ideal.

Total Time: 5 Minutes

Yield: 110 Wipes


Supplies: paper towels, lysol, tub, measuring cup.

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  1. Remove the cardboard tube from the center of the paper towels. The Bounty paper towels aren't glued to the tube so this was quite easy. We just loosened it with our finger and then pulled it out. If there's glue holding the first sheet in you might need to work a chopstick or skewer around the tube to release it first.
  2. Loosening and pulling the cardboard tube out of the paper towel roll.

  3. Make sure the towels are going to fit into your container. Ideally use an airtight container. If the whole roll of towels won't fit you can create a tighter roll of the right size. You can also accordion fold the towels flat for more options.
  4. Make Your Own Disinfectant Wipes
  5. Pour the cleaning solution onto the paper towels. Try to get the cleaning solution all over including down the center of the roll. We poured on both ends of the towels so that it would soak as far down as possible. We recommend 4 full cups, 32 Fl Oz, for this size paper towel roll.
  6. Measuring Lysol into a cup.
    Pouring Lysol on the paper towel roll.
    Pouring Lysol on the paper towel roll.

  7. You can dispense the towels out of the center of the roll by finding the edge of the first towel and pulling it. Simply tear off leaving the next towel ready to go.
  8. Make Your Own Disinfectant Wipes
    Pulling a wipe from the center of the roll.
Read More Comments

10 More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

August 15, 2011

I learned to make my own disinfecting wipes when my kids where in diapers and the disinfecting wipes had just come out and were/are expensive.


July 31, 2006

Make Your Own Disinfectant Wipes. I love the disinfectant wipes you can buy (Clorox Wipes, Lysol Wipes), but they are expensive and not environmentally friendly! So, when I am making my own baby wipes and house cleaners, I take the time to make my own disinfectant wipes. . .


May 5, 2011

Never buy disposable cleaning wipes again. Layer inexpensive coffee filters in a resealable container and pour in just enough multi-surface cleaner to dampen each one.


April 14, 2020

I used old cloths materials for these to avoid wasting paper towels in this trying time. After use of cloths, wash and reuse cloths. I use them at home and at work and they work out wonderful!

A container of fabric rags in a sanitizing solution.


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 5, 2020

Can flushable wipes be use for hands? I have grandkids and that was all I could find at the store. I'm not sure if I can add alcohol to them.

Adding Alcohol to Flushable Wipes
Adding Alcohol to Flushable Wipes


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
April 5, 20201 found this helpful

For general hand cleaning (like if the kids are playing in dirt or outside), yes, but not for virus protection. These definitely do not have any protective ingredients.


Personally I am not wasting money on wipes and focus on good hand-washing with as hot a water as I can stand, soap and I sing two rounds of happy birthday to me (the song) to make sure I am washing long enough.

Here is what the CDC recommends for disinfecting:

April 5, 20201 found this helpful

If you're just using them for quick cleanups why not just add water?

I don't see why you couldn't add alcohol, but whatever you add, don't flush them. They stop up plumbing.


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
April 5, 20201 found this helpful

I do a lot of 'outside' work and I make my wipes from cut up rags that I can just wash and reuse.
These are not completely safe for controlling the virus but they work until I get inside and can wash properly.


You can use anything handy to 'store' these in - I like to use the large plastic coffee containers as they are easy to grip and hold several nice size rags but I have used a wide mouth container in a pinch. I place the container by my back door so it is always handy.

Damp Wet/Soak (not dripping wet) rags in alcohol (I use whatever strength I have on hand but 70-99% is best).
I add a little of anything available as I am not trying to make 'virus' protection wipes but the alcohol helps.
A few drops of Tea Tree Oil or liquid moisturizer or Aloe or Coconut Oil or Dawn. Then just reach inside container and squeeze the rags to help distribute alcohol and additives. Doesn't matter if it not mixed completely as the alcohol works great by itself.
I just add more alcohol if my wipes start to dry out. You can also add a little water if alcohol is limited.
These are just for initial cleaning until you can clean your hands properly - a good wash is always the best way to go.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
April 6, 20200 found this helpful

Alcohol can be used with a little water, its much better than nothing at all!


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
April 6, 20200 found this helpful

Personally I do not find this as a good alternative to protective wipes. The best thing you can do is wash the kids hands with some hand soap and hot water. Make sure they scrub there hands for a few minutes when washing their hands.


Plus if you add anything to the wipes you should not flush them down the toilet for sure.

April 6, 20201 found this helpful

I agree 100% about soap and water being the best, I never liked sanitizers, but now with this coronavirus, besides using soap and water I am willing to use anything I can get a hold on, so we dont get sick. Thank you so much for your help!

Answer this Question

March 23, 2020

How much 99% rubbing alcohol do I put into a container (72) baby wipes to make disinfectant wipes?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
March 25, 20201 found this helpful

To be honest with you, you should not do this. There are so many sites right now that tell you this is not safe to do and using hand soap and water is a lot safer than adding alcohol to wipes to make your own. If you can not buy the correct ones do not try tomake these to use. it is best to take a good bar of hand soap, some hot water, and scrub away. You will get off a lot more germs this way than with your wipes. I am so sorry but all the searches I have done say the same thing.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
April 1, 20201 found this helpful

Some people in the U.S. have been having quite a problem finding them in stock. Regular soap and water will clean surfaces and kill coronavirus, just like it will clean your hands.

I couldn't find any information about 70% being more effective than 99% in the link you provided. It basically said that the 99% and the 70% are the same, but the 70% is diluted with water. I did find this link that states that the addition of water helps kill the virus. Very interesting.

As most people are making their own cleaners or hand sanitizer, they are already mixing it to about the same percentage so it should work about as well. However, it's probably better to buy the commercial products directly if you can get them, as they will be formulated correctly.

May 8, 20200 found this helpful

You do need sanitize wipes in your car for when you come out of the store and anywhere else you wouldn't have water and soap

May 8, 20200 found this helpful

Right now there is nine to be found so the best thing to do is make our own

March 14, 20210 found this helpful

I don't think the thing about homemade sanitizing wipes is, replacing hand washing with these, but, having them when your out and can't get to where you can wash your hands, or for wiping off door handles, etc. you might need to touch.
I find it great for away from home!

Answer this Question

January 10, 2012

This is a page about homemade antibacterial wipes. Disposable wipes for cleaning hands and faces can prevent illness and allow quick clean up in the car or on the go but can be expensive.

Homemade Antibacterial Wipes, A man cleaning his hands with an antibacterial wipe.

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