Hi! Are you looking for DIY wet wipes? You’ve found them!
Stomach viruses are the worst. I’ve written about staying hydrated and the items I keep in my sick kid prep list but I’m expanding on this topic, because odds are, if you come down with even a mild stomach bug or food poisoning you’ll be revisiting the restroom…over and over again.
And it really starts to chafe.
When a bug hit several members of the family, I revised our old homemade baby wipes recipe into a personal hygiene wipes recipe out of necessity. While I first made them out of necessity, I’ve been making these natural flushable wipes for years!
I originally considered the homemade baby wipes one of my “Pinterest fails” because the wipes were too small and prone to tearing for infant blowouts. I put them in an old wipes container so they were difficult to use, unlike store-bought wipes. Homemade baby wipes also don’t travel well–especially in the Florida heat.
DIY Wet Wipes
However, I used homemade wipes when I was potty training. (Have you bought “potty training” wipes or the name brand toilet wipes? Highway robbery, I tell ya! Scandalous!!) The homemade version works well for toddlers, kids, and adults.
I also don’t mind using a bunch when needed because they’re inexpensive.
On the day that inspired this tutorial, I was trapped in the house with one miserable child. He moaned through vomiting episodes but cried every time he had to go to the restroom. The complaint? His butt hurt when I wiped it. It got to the point that I barely touched him with the toilet paper and he would bawl.
My husband was deployed at the time so there was no “running out to the store to grab wipes.” Not only would I have had to bring a violently–and contagiously– ill young child to the store, I had a toddler with me too. (This was well before grocery stores began to offer online ordering with same day pickup. I needed grocery delivery ten years before it became an option–that now earns cash back on Ibotta!)
So I did what anyone at the end of their rope would do. I made what I needed. (This tutorial became very popular during the early days of the pandemic.)
Materials List for Homemade Wet Wipes:
- 2 Cups of distilled water, lukewarm is best
- 1 TBL Baby Wash, or Dr. Bronners Baby Soap
- 1 TBL baby oil or 1 TBL Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 6-10 Drops ofTea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)
- 1 Airtight Glass or Plastic Container
I used a cheap plastic container that stands upright. Since I don’t regularly buy wipes (except for the travel packs I keep in the car), this turned out to be a blessing. Now I’ve upgraded to more stylish airtight containers.
Furthermore, this one change from using baby wipe containers to a tall plastic container made dispensing a great deal easier. Plus, the wipes don’t dry out as quickly.
I use a super sharp knife to cut a roll of paper towels in half. (Based on news reports regarding the havoc wipes are causing in city sewage systems, you can use biodegradable paper towels. I prefer to use Bounty Select a Size Paper Towels or Kirklands Paper Towels.
Keep in mind that commercially made wipes are more durable and take longer to break down than paper towels. That is why there is such an issue with the wipes in the country’s sewage systems. Never ever flush baby wipes down the toilet! They are not made to flush.
After cutting the roll in half (which is the hardest part of this process.) I stood the roll up in the canister.
Then I mixed 2 Cups hot water 1 Tbl Baby Wash (I don’t like it to be too soapy) 1 Tbl Baby Oil (update* I now use Fractionated Coconut Oil instead of Baby Oil). I then slowly pour in the distilled water and add 6-10 drops of Tea Tree Oil (a small bottle lasts forever and keeps the wipes from mildewing.)
Stir the mixture and pour it in my wipes container. Tip: pour it in a little at a time to make sure that you don’t over saturate the paper towels. If you have any of the solution left over, put it in a small spray bottle. You can use it to re-wet the wipes if they dry out.
How to make your own wet wipes for personal hygiene
Voila! You have a wet wipes tub for the bathroom! I first made these when my kids were early readers. For some reason, they learned the word “butt” fairly early. The label I put on my container makes them laugh and reminds them to use what their mama made them.
You can also purchase a customized decal and have the designer make it say “butt wipes.”
They are perfect. These wet wipes are so inexpensive to make that I use them for everything! I clean up after my son when he “forgets” to lift the toilet seat. I clean toothpaste off the sink. There are tons of uses for them in the bathroom.
Are paper towels more expensive than wet wipes?
Short answer: no. We buy our paper towels in bulk from Costco. And our main reason for buying them is to make our own wipes. We use reusable/washable cleaning wipes and kitchen towels for most of our kitchen tasks so we save money by not being wasteful. Plus, you get way more DIY wipes for your money than you get for more commercial wipes. If you have a roll of paper towels that come with 80 sheets, you can make 160 wipes.
The math changes based on the brands of the materials you use. If you look closely at our wipes pictures, you’ll see that I rarely craft with the “expensive essential oils.” I save the high quality oils for use on our bodies, in the diffuser, etc. This recipe only calls for a few drops of tea tree to prevent mildewing and mold growth. If you make small batches of wipes and use them within a couple of days, you can technically omit the tea tree oil.
Want to save even more money on homemade personal hygiene?
Skip the paper towels. Yep, you read it correctly. Skip the paper towels and turn your toilet paper into wet wipes with this DIY Toilet Paper Spray.
This is also how I make dried out wipes wet again! I mix up toilet paper spray and spray my dried out wipes.I also have after gym wet wipes and a great recipe for picnic wet wipes for your hands! During a 3 week tent camping trip, we used my DIY biodegradable shower wipes recipe (but packed out our trash following the leave no trace guidelines.)
For something a little stronger for surfaces try my DIY Santizing Wipes recipe.
You may also like:
Toilet Paper Spray for septic systems that can’t handle wipes.
Got any DIY Wipes ideas you’d like me to make? Let me know in the comments!