Monday, January 30, 2012

Antibacterial Wipes

I am all for convenience. I love convenience. Convenience loves me. We have a friendship, a bond. It's sort of inseparable. Well, it used to be. I am having issues with ingredients and prices of "convenience". Therefore, I have taken a pledge this year to do less convenience and more preparation. One of my first endeavors is homemade antibacterial wipes.

I love antibacterial wipes. I use them in the bathroom to wipe the toilet seat, handles, doorknobs, etc. Cool and I recently had the stomach flu and I credit my use of antibacterial wipes to the picklets not getting sick. And thank goodness they didn't. Oh yeah, thank goodness.

A big problem with antibacterial wipes is the added junk you just don't need. According to the ingredients in their wipes is: water, substrate, isopropyl alcohol, alkul dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, Alkyl polyglucoside, Fragrance, Preservative and Propylene glycol propyl ether. I had to look at the definitions for 5 of the 9 ingredients. And even though I know what fragrance and preservatives are, I don't know what are contained in those. I had to find an alternative.
I have done some research on how to make "natural", low cost, effective cleaners. This one is simple, low cost and effective. Win-win-win!
You need:
  • 1 roll of paper towels. Any brand of paper towel will do BUT the thicker, more quality, brands hold up better to rubbing the surfaces. I use the cheapest ones I can find because my children use wipes as their main cleaning supply.
  • rubbing alcohol. Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol is a natural disinfectant. . Hospitals and doctors offices use it. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me. Rubbing alcohol is also one of the main ingredients in Clorox wipes
Your method:
  • Cut the roll of paper towels in half. This is a messy job as pieces of paper towel lint fall from the roll, but a serrated knife does the job. I have heard using an electric knife works too, but I have no need to invest in something like that just to cut paper towels.
  • Put one half of the paper towels into an air tight container. I use the Cottonelle toilet paper holder they sent me free. It matches my bathroom, is decorative and was FREE after all. If the roll seems too big, I put the roll in Ziploc bag, pour the liquid over it and it and put it in the container. I have not had a problem getting it to fit after they are wet. Of course it depends on your brand.
  • Pour rubbing alcohol over paper towels until wet. The amount you need depends on the thickness of your paper towels. I usually put too much in but I can squeeze out the excess if I need to.
  • Take the paper tubing out of the center, discard and pull towels out from the center.
That's it! Easy peasy, right?

Now, the smell of straight rubbing alcohol can be is very strong and overwhelming. I did some looking around and found that you can mix rubbing alcohol with essential oils. So, I drip essential oil drops into my rubbing alcohol bottle, recap, gently tilt to each side and then pour over the towels. :) I picked orange and peppermint. It was a nice improvement.

My cost for homemade antibacterial wipes:

paper towel roll 33¢                1/2 roll 16.5¢
rubbing alcohol 55¢                1/3 bottle 18.3¢
essential oil $4.15                   15 drops 51¢
container free                          container free

**Grand total: It costs me less than a dollar to make a container of wipes (1/2 roll of towels, 65 wipes) for wiping down the bathroom. And that could be even less if I didn't put the essential oil in. For me, it is cost effective, easy to make and uses natural ingredients. I love being frugal. :)

I know this solution isn't for everyone but it is definitely one way for me to make a financial difference in our house!

**The costs in your area, the brand of towels you use and the kind of essential oils will vary the cost. And be sure to add in the container if you need to buy one.**


Anonymous said...

How did you keep them from drying out? Was it simply by placing them in the box you received?

Gerky said...

Yes, an airtight container works great. :)