Have you noticed products missing from grocery store shelves? Sani-hands and Wet ones! The disinfecting wet wipes were wiped out. (Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself.) The following is a tutorial for our DIY Sanitizing hand wipes.
Some people wake up and immediately check their email. Others engage in some mindless social media scrolling.
Then there are people like me who roll out of bed and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee while diving into my site’s analytics.
This may not seem weird to some, especially those who know I have a background in analysis, reporting, and love metrics.
What my analytics are telling me is that readers are searching for “disinfecting wipes,” “sanitizing wipes,” and “DIY disinfecting wet wipes.” Those searches are bringing readers to my DIY wet wipes recipes.
This is a problem because most, if not all, of my older wipes tutorials do not meet the CDC guidelines for killing viruses.
This homemade hand sanitizing wipes tutorial is a direct result of the searches bringing readers to this site. It would be irresponsible of me to ignore the data in this case.
How are these DIY Sanitizing hand wipes different from our disinfectant wipes or other wet wipes recipes?
Our original “disinfectant wipes” recipe was made to wipe down and clean public gym equipment. Lying down on a bench coated with some big guy’s back sweat to do my set of bench presses (or rather my set of one feeble bench press lol) grossed me out. It’s a strong wipe that is meant for surfaces, not people. Wipes meant for use on your skin need to have skin protectants added to it.
My butt wipes, natural personal hygiene wipes, biodegradable shower wipes, and camping hand wipes are made for use by people but focus on “cleansing” and not sanitizing. There is a difference. Nobody bathes in 60% alcohol…at least I hope not.
Seriously, do not wipe your butt with alcohol wipes.
I am not a fan of alcohol wipes. I use them when needed but they are too drying. Your skin is your body’s first defense against pathogens and germs. Dry, cracked hands are counterintuitive to your skin’s purpose.
As the CDC, every news agency and publication, and all the government administrators have repeatedly said, your best defense is washing your hands, fingers, fingertips, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds.
Read: How to make hand sanitizing gel
How I use sanitizing wipes while shopping.
That being said, I grab a sanitizing wipe as I walk into Publix for groceries (which is pretty much the only place I’ve been going into these days) and wipe the cart down. I also use the provided wipes in the meat department before and after I choose and bag meat.
Publix has Sani-hands wipes for customers at both the entrance and exit, as well as in the meat department.
So I grab one on my way in the store and out. I use them on my hands, my phone case (my grocery list and coupon apps are on my phone cart), and then my cart again.
I bring wipes with me in my purse. If Publix runs out of the wipes they provide to their customers, I can still protect myself and my family. The grocery sold out of wipes, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and clorox and lysol wipes about two weeks ago.
Our new after school sanitizing routine.
To protect medically vulnerable family members, I have stringent disinfection rules.
When I pick up the kids, I immediately distribute hand sanitizer or sanitizing hand wipes to each as they enter the car.
We also all wash our hands as soon as we walk inside the house. It’s become a new routine that we should have been doing all along. Kids are a common virus vector. In other words, they are little germ magnets that readily share their cooties with everyone they see.
What you need to make sanitizing hand wipes:
- 1 cup 91-99% isopropyl alcohol or 1 cup 70% isopropyl / 70% ethyl alcohol along with 1/4 14% alcohol witch hazel – It’s increasingly harder to find 91% alcohol so I am including substitutes.
- 1/4 cup Aloe vera gel or you can scrape the gel from the leaf of an aloe plant
- 1 T Fractionated Coconut Oil (optional)
- 1 T Vitamin E Oil I buy it from the dollar store but it can be found online
- 1 T Vegetable Glycerin or First Aid Glycerin (you can find it near the band aids at the store)
- Approximately 1/2 cup of distilled water or boiled then cooled purified water
- 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil (This is optional but will lengthen the shelf life of your wipes by inhibiting mildewing. If you use wipes up quickly then there is no need for this ingredient.)
- 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil (This is optional but is a nice calming scent.)
- Select a Size paper towels ( I use Bounty or Kirkland brand for these. Viva paper towels are soft but did not seem to hold up well with the alcohol wipes.)
- plastic container with a lid
- A flip top from an old wipes packet (optional)
- Spray bottle (optional)
- Mixing Bowl/ Large Measuring Cup
- Measuring spoon and mixing spoon
How to make your own copycat Sani-Hands wipes
In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, mix all of the liquid ingredients. Then set aside.
Next, tear and stack together about a half of a roll of select a size paper towels. You will tear them at each perforation and neatly stack on top of each other.
Use the scissors to cut them all in half. You will end up with a stack of squares.
Folding your DIY wipes for easier dispensing
* Note – You can skip this part if you want and simply buy some dry wipes! They are already folded and all you have to do is pour the solution on them.
Place a square on the table in front of you.
Line up the top of a second paper towel square with the middle of the first square.
Fold the top of the first piece over the top half of the second square.
Place a new square on top of the folded over first square. Fold the second square up . Place another new square on top of the fold then keep repeating.
While I do this I chant “fold over the old, on top of the fold, fold over the old, on top of the fold.” It works.
When you have enough folded to fill your plastic container, place the stack inside.
Next pour a little bit of the alcohol mixture into the container. Allow the wipes to soak up some of the mixture. Then slowly add some more of the solution. You don’t want your diy sanitizing hand wipes to be sopping wet. You want them slightly more wet than “damp.”
If you have extra solution, use a funnel to pour it into a spray bottle. If you wipes dry out, you can squirt more solution into the container. And when you make another batch, you have a little bit of solution ready to go.
If you have a flip top lid from an old wipes package, cut a hole in the top of your plastic container’s lid. Then hot glue the top to the lid. This will make your DIY sanitizing hand wipes much easier to use. Plus, you won’t need to fumble with the lid and touch more than one wipe at a time. You don’t want to contaminate your wipes container with germs because once you are done, you’ll be touching the lid to reseal it.
Related: All purpose kitchen cleaner
This is not a replacement for hand washing!
To use the wipes, wipe your hands, fingers, and fingertips. Do not wipe them dry. Let the alcohol dry naturally on your hands. This will kill the germs.
Do not use near fire. It’s mostly alcohol which is highly flammable.
Alcohol wipes and sanitizers dry out your hands
The Vitamin E Oil, Aloe Vera gel, fractionated coconut oil and the glycerine were added to the solution to offset the drying effects of the alcohol but with the frequency of hand washing and hand sanitizing needed to fight the spread of the novel virus, your hands will quickly dry out.
A unisex unscented hand cream is highly recommended. I like this one.
Also, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep will go a long way towards to keeping your immune system at tip top shape.
Related: How to prepare your family for a quarantine.
We love this elderberry supplement and have been purchasing it for years.
For more germ busting DIY tutorials:
Easy to make hand sanitizer gel
DIY Hand sanitizer with Tea Tree Oil
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