Homemade Baby / Makeup Remover / Cleaning Wipes!

homemade wipes

If you’ve read my blog lately…you’ll know I’m kind of on a “homemade” kick. Not necessarily homemade cookies, cakes and buns….but more along the lines of cleaning supplies, beauty products, etc.

I haven’t gone off the deep end and started making my own dishes or shoes or anything like that (of course, never say never!) but more and more I find myself looking for alternatives to the high-priced, over-packaged, chemical-filled stuff. Sure it’s economical, sure it’s the “green” thing to do…but quite frankly…I like the feeling of accomplishment, and sticking it to the big corporations that market this stuff, more. :-)

One thing I still buy and use are those disposable make-up remover cleansing cloths. I really dislike washing my eye makeup off in the sink with soap and water.  It’s just a messy proposition and I usually end up getting soap in my eyes and melted make up all over the sink, the counter and my white towels!


Problem is…those makeup remover cloths are EXPEN$IVE! Especially the big brand name ones. So for quite awhile now I’ve been buying the cheapest, store brand ones. But ANOTHER problem is…the cheap ones are CHEAP for a reason.  They aren’t as soft and/or moist as their more expensive rivals. The last couple of months I have started adding my own lotion to them before I use them and it’s been a HUGE improvement! Makeup comes off much easier without unnecessary rubbing and pulling on your delicate eye skin…and it leaves your skin moisturized!

Tonight I saw an idea at WhiteHouseBlackShutters.com for making your own baby/makeup remover wipes with all-natural ingredients you probably already have around the house.

Makeup Remover Cloths

Spent some time with my friend Google tonight and found out that coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which has natural antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc properties.

The process is so simple I’m not sure you even need a “tutorial”.  (But if you’re a VISUAL person and need pictures…you can find my update HERE.)

homemade wipes

It basically involves cutting a roll of paper towels in half, placing in container and soaking with 4 cups warm water and desired mixture (including coconut oil). The ingredients differ only slightly depending on what kind of wipes you’re making.

  • For baby wipes: 4 cups warm water (one reader recommends DISTILLED water to inhibit the growth of mold), 1-2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, and 1-2 squirts of baby wash.
  • For make up remover wipes: 4 cups warm water, 1-2 tablespoons Coconut Oil. (1-2 squirts of baby wash or your your favorite face wash if you want, but it’s not necessary)

UPDATE: 11/29/11: A couple of people who have tried this have said their wipes started developing mold within a couple of weeks. A couple of things to try are: Making smaller batches so you are using them up faster….OR….adding some Tea Tree Oil, which is supposed to inhibit the growth of mold. Hope this helps someone out! I really love my homemade makeup remover wipes! I haven’t had the mold issue…but I live in SUCH a dry state! Don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not.

Makeup Remover Cloths

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  1. Lona Bremer says

    Oh Jillee, my truckdriver husband loves these! I used olive oil instead of the coconut cause that’s what I had. He uses them in the truck. You know those guys can’t find a sink easily. He is halfway thru the batch I made for him now and has had no problem with it molding. I thought he would maybe but I did boil the water first. He keeps the bowl closed and lifts the lid when he wants to use them. He washes his face then hands then the steering wheel in that order, lol, then the wipe is used up. I’m gonna make this up for the granddaughters too . They already are using the detangler that I made with french vanilla fragrance oil. All from your recipes. Thankyou again and again!

  2. IzzyCal says

    Put 10-12 drops GSE (grapefruit seed extract) in the mix. Will inhibit mold growth, also GSE kills bacteria and is one of the best facial cleansers, they use it in spas. It’s cheap, a bottle will cost you about 12 bucks, but will last over a year. I also put 12 drops in a 1 cup spray bottle for mold killer, keep using it and eventually the mold will not come back. You can find NutriBiotic GSE in almost any health food store, or online. The spray mix is also a great all-purpose cleaner, killing germs without using toxic chemicals and it also gets rid of odors (I had a very old dog who was incontinent, so the spray was wonderful, instantly removed the urine scent). GSE is so safe, you can take it internally (for upset stomach, yeast eradication) – just don’t use it full strength on skin, it can burn mucus membranes, so always dilute.

  3. Anonymous says

    Prior to my LASIK eye surgery, my ophthalmologist said I should get Clinique's Gentle Eye Makeup Remover to use when she allowed me to wear mascara again. I used it for years, applying with a Q-tip and wiping with 1 square of toilet tissue folded twice. Just use on lashes and only have to use one swab and one sheet of TP. Then I use a cleansing cloth for the rest of my face. Recently discovered an eye makeup remover at Wal-Mart that is nearly as gentle and cheaper, so I switched. Looking forward to the homemade wipes, but I came to this blog looking for an idea for travel wipes.

  4. Cassandra S says

    instead of coconut oil you can use baby lotion. I made baby wipes basically the same way the whole time my daughter was in diapers. Then i started using them as face cleaners or hand wipes. Viva paper towels make cut in half remove cardboard take one cup +/- for your likeness warm in pan add 2 tablespoons each of baby soap and baby lotion. I loved the lavender ones. put in warm water melt lotion pour over papertowels. Wont burn your eyes and moisturizes.

    • corinne says

      the “baby lotion” you’re referring to, if commercial, is full of the very ingredients that this article is trying to avoid. commercial baby lotions are a farce, full of perfumes, phtalates, parabels, propylene glycol. don’t put that on anyone’s skin, especially not a baby’s. I’ve been using my own baby wipes for my daughter for years; she uses them after the bathroom and I use them as a makeup remover. Distilled water, PURE aloe juice, witch hazel, Bonner’s soap, almond oil, and grapefruit seed oil to stop from molding (the tea tree oil suggested in this recipe is simply too strong), and the grapefruit seed oil and/or vitamin e is a natural preservative. we love them

  5. Anonymous says

    I've made baby wipes for years &love the recipe I use. It is 2 tablespoon of each of these: baby shampoo,baby oil, & baby lotions. Add to 2cups water & microwave 1-2 minutes then whisk together! Add 1/2 rollpaper towels (I always use bounty). Ive never had problems with mold. I do leave lid loose if they are too wet.

    • anonymous says

      Store bought products already come with preservatives, so I’m sure you wouldn’t have mold as a result. I used the coconut oil and added tea tree+ lavender. When I kept it in the frig, no mold. I moved it to my bathroom for convenience…the mold grew in 2 days.

  6. Anonymous says

    Paper towel is too harsh on my skin
    I use baby wipes $2 for a pack of 80
    It's soft & cheap(I wear a lot of makeup)
    When I need to remove mascara I pour 1 teaspoon of makeup remover or baby oil
    Really any kind of oil, olive oil is great!
    When you think of it that's all makeup remover is, oil
    I've had the same bottle of makeup remover since 8th grade.. I been out of high school for a year!

    • Rosario says

      You could probably use Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use it all the time to take off my eye makeup.

      • Roberta Maag says

        I use the Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( 2 T.) with Johnson Baby Shampoo (can use a off brand also) 4 T. and mix with 8oz. of bottled water. You may have to adjust measurements to your liking. This works great on waterproof mascare and liner also.

      • Sharon Hader says

        I love this thanks. I think I will put this in a bottle and put it on cotton, cloth, tissue for my own personal make up remover.

      • Marcy Frank says

        If you’re trying to avoid chemicals, stay clear of Johnson’s Baby Products till at least 2015. They use Formaldehyde in their products…. :/

    • jessica says

      Any kind of oil works; grape seed, almond, vitamin e… most organic groceries have a few selections in large bottles in their health care section. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good, but if the scent is too strong try a lighter version (not extra virgin), the paler the color the lighter the scent.

      • Monica says

        Julie, thank you so much for the time you have spent on these wonderful DIY products. I have been using coconut oil for some time now and the secret to a good fragrance is to buy the virgin organic “unrefined”. It smells glorious. I use it on wet skin right after a shower and resent ly started using it as a nighttime face cream—- GREAT! I made the facial wipes and love them. Again, thank you.

    • says

      I keep a tiny recycled plastic makeup bottle (2 oz) of regular ole’ canola oil in my makeup bag and use that for tough mascara. Works like a charm.

    • VICKI L. NOAKES says

      I was wondering the very same thing which is why I was going through all the comments. I use olive oil for hot oil treatments in my hair and as one of the ingredients in my natural body scrub. Now I have another use for it. Thanks.

  7. cary_innabubble says

    i made the baby wipes for my grand daughter because she is allergic to the stuff they put commercial ones, while at the store buying the paper towels, i was looking at prices. i found the walmart brand, which is identical to Bounty, of the 3-1 towel in the double pack for $2.50 & i made twice as much as the recipe called for & the size of the towels are perfect for whatever your wiping or cleaning….i got 400+ baby wipes for only $3.10!

  8. Sophie Elizabeth says

    Found this via Pinterest and tried the makeup wipes in a small batch just in case I ran into the mold problem, though I also live in a pretty dry climate so I'm not terribly worried (I'm going to try the cleaning wipes soon!) and I LOVE them! What a great idea, thank you for sharing.

    Just my two cents… Viva paper towels work quite well and are softer, but they aren't very durable so next batch I may try just our regular bounty paper towels. I used distilled water from the grocery store that you can get in gallon jugs to minimize any bacteria contamination. Also, instead of using facial soap, I used a cheese grater (that I made sure to clean really well before hand just in case the silly dishwasher didn't do the job) to add just a few flakes of castile soap and that seems to be working quite nicely. :) And lastly, I've been keeping mine in the fridge, having them cool from being in there feels really nice. :) Might help with any potential mold growth as well? Not sure, but does feel good!

    • Jeanette Brunet says

      I really like this idea. I had been wanting to make some, but here in humid southeast Louisiana, I haven’t yet after reading about mold. Now, this makes sense! I will make it and put it in the fridge! I like the idea of the castile soap also. And I already have Coconut Oil!! I use this in different things mostly cooking. I wonder if I could put a couple drops of Lavender oil in there?

      • Kryzdy says

        When I made mine, I put a bit of both tea tree and Young Living Lavender oil. It helps sooth, and re-heal skin. I use it on stubborn acne spots (ok.. ALL acne spots), and they are nearly gone is only 2 days.. where they normally would last for 2 months!

      • DoNique says

        Some coconut oil is multipurpose.. You can use for both skin and cooking..but there is also some that is JUST FOR cooking that you wouldn’t use on your person. It should be labeled as such, ie..food grade or not

    • says

      Also thinking about using new cut up t shirts from the dollar store. That way I am not throwing away paper towels as much. Just throwing this out there ;)

      • Anonymous says

        Would you wash and reuse the t shirts to make more wipes after? Because if not, throwing away new cotton t shirts would be worse than throwing away paper towels. They’re incredibly energy and water intensive to make, not to mention the insane amount of pesticides and insecticides (known carcinogenics) used on cotton crops.

    • JB says

      I’m surprised you said the viva towels fell apart on you, I’ve been using them to make baby wipes for months and find them durable. I only use 2 cups of water instead of 4, so maybe that’s why? I know you said you made a smaller batch, but if you’re keeping the ratio the same, that could be why they’re falling apart.

  9. Anonymous says

    Didn't read every comment, so not sure if this was said or not, but you can buy coconut oil, tea tree oil, vitamin e oil, and jojoba oil at Trader Joes. I use jojoba oil a lot – it's supposed to be very close to your body's natural oils.

      • Barbara Brown says

        Shell is my maiden name, but I’ve never seen anyone else with that last name. Interesting!

      • says

        I found organic coconut oil at Winco, also use it for eye cream, and to prep skin before I put on my make up. Coconut oil can also be used for hair and the rest of your body. I am a hairstylist and make up artist who uses organic as much as possible since I deal with chemicals so much.

    • Jacky Rosenthal says

      All this is great but why not just invest the time in buying a product that you can trust instead? This would save the work of making them yourself. I personally really like Bum Boosa’s baby wipes – their products are all made of bamboo and use its natural ingredients to sooth baby irritation and smell amazingly nice! Check them out at http://www.bumboosa.com!

    • says

      I use Huggies baby wipes for removal of makeup! Then i put on the Coconut oil. Works very well and it’s not expensive and the wipes don’t get mold on them.