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. 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.

  2. 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?

      • 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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!

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. Ashlee says

    Has anyone tried this with cloths? I’m all for the homemade wipes recipe, but I haven’t purchased paper towels in over 6 months and really don’t want to. I’ve seen various recipes for cloth baby wipes that you keep moist in a container, but would these still be good? Any tips would be appreciated.

  11. Linda Szetiz says

    Parenting is pretty messy business. With all of the spills, dribbles, leaks and what not, it’s no wonder that parents spend a small fortune on baby wipes. Having a one and a half year old and a nearly seven month old I know all about this. I recently came across Tushies, I love them, they are amazing good for money. Nice and moist and does a fantastic job. Both Me and bubstas love them.

  12. Charlotte Benfield says

    I’ve been making my own baby wipes for a couple of years now…big cost cutter with two in diapers right now. Few pieces of advice. I could never find a round Rubbermaid container, but a clean round ice cream container works really well (and it’s free..if you have already bought the ice cream). Secondly, I usually buy a lot of the “big”, plain white Bounty paper towels and then use my electric bread knife to cut all of them in half at one time. I always boil the water that I am going to use. I started doing this because I use baby lotion and the hot water dissolves it better, but I also read that boiled water inhibits mold (or musty smells) better. I live in Louisiana (very humid) and I have never had smelly wipes since I started using boiling water. (I always let the wipes cool before using them obviously.) I use two cups boiling water, about 3 tbsp of baby lotion and 2 tbsp baby bath. I usually don’t measure the lotion or baby bath at this point…I simply squirt a bit of lotion and the baby bath into my measuring cups and fill it up with two cups of boiling water. I stir it up a bit and pour it over the paper towels in the container. Oh, I do leave the top off until its cooled down a bit.

  13. says

    Hi Jill!
    I just found your website resently through Pinterest and I have to say i really enjoy it! As I read the beginning of this post where you say you love to make things that usually cost tons of money at the store, I was reminded of a video I saw on youtube for homemade Biore Nose Strips. My daughter and I made them and they work fantastic!! They usually sell for $14 or more for just 8 strips but the homemade solution is made for pennies. Here is the link if you are interested in trying it for your blog in the future… :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bjOB4zS0uE&feature=plcp

  14. Anita says

    I made a batch of home made wipes about 3 months ago, with the intention of trying them out before the birth of my first baby. I love them! And so does anyone who tries them. I live in a cold, damp town…perfect place for mold if it was going to grow, however i haven’t had a problem with the recipe i used.
    2 cups warm water, 2 tbs organic baby cleanser, 2 tbs organic baby moisturiser, 2 tbs coconut oil (lovely), and 2 tbs of witchhale… Which helps to inhibit the mold. I also added a few drops of lavender oil, perhaps this helps with the mold too.
    No sign of mold yet. Im very impressed.

  15. Stacey says

    Boil the water first, let it cool. This helps with the mold problem! After the mixture has saturated the paper towels, get rid of any left over liquid in the bottom of the container (also helps the mold problem)

  16. brandi says

    I recycle by using the microfiber clothes from the Dollar Tree. I cut each one into 8 rectangles so they would fit inside an old diaper wipe container. I make a solution of water, alcohol (to inhibit mold & bacteria), baby lotion, and soap. To wash, I just put them in a lingerie bag I got from The Dollar Store.

  17. Jane Munsey says

    I use Purity Made Simple by Philosophy, rather pricey, I suppose, but worth every cent. It’s gentle , leaves skin soft and supple. Can go to bed without moisturizer or anything and gives your complexion a rest. Also easy on the eyes. I can’t imagine using paper towels, a lot of work and doesn’t seem to be very sanitary.

    • Jennifer says

      What on earth isn’t sanitary about it? Do you think she’s talking about using dirty paper towels?? lol As for a lot of work, I just made a batch of the make-up wipes and it took me literally about 45 seconds. This is my second batch and for probably about a dollar I have make-up wipes that do everything you say your pricey Philosophey wipes do.

      • josephine maze says

        I don’t understand why some of these folks get on the do it yourself web pages and comment that “this sounds unsanitary or my philosophy is quite pricey but is easy on the eyes and this seems like it takes to long” GOOD GRAVEY!!!!!!! you do realize that your on a do it yourself beauty and craft page…… ? Get a grip. People would like to know what they are applying to their skin and using in their homes and consuming. Don’t get me wrong.. Im looking at some BABY GRACE right now but let’s be real. In this economy, every one is trying to save a buck, live healthy, and be conscious about our environment. Do us all a favor and don’t knock it until you try it. Or you can post on the snooty web page http://WWW.burnyourcash.dingdong

  18. Delana Martinez says

    THESE ARE AMAZING!!! I love how soft it leaves your skin. I use distilled water and all organic ingredients. With 5 kiddoz (one in diapers), I doubt I will have a problem with mold. We go through wipes more than anything. One ingredient I added was Vitamin E…an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. One ingredient I may try out is an essential oil like lavendar oil for a more fragrant scent. Thank you for this blog! Very cost effective and better for the skin than store bought wipes!!!

  19. Sherry says

    Pretty much any kind of oil is a great makeup remover. I typically use grapeseed oil but that’s only because I had a bottle left over from another diy project. I was visiting my son and had forgotten my little bottle of grapeseed oil and just used olive oil instead. If you try it, go ahead and use a little extra and rub it all over your face. Then wash it all off with a washcloth and hot water. Your skin will be so soft the next day! Love it!

  20. Monique says

    from the research I have done on coconut oil you really shouldn’t need to add anything to soften or smooth your skin. Coconut oil is so good and so good for you it makes EVOO look like corn oil. I will have to try this and pass it along to my sister in law as she has one training on the potty and a new born. I’m so glad I have found your blog.

  21. Olivia says

    I made the makeup remover cloths and LOVE them! I used Bounty towels, organic coconut oil, distilled water, and a squirt of face wash. The only difference is that I substituted a 1/2 cup of the water with witch hazel because it is an astringent and toner–wee! I keep them in the fridge like the one reviewer suggested, and they are just so refreshing. I use them ‘just because’ sometimes! Thanks to you and all the reviewers for the info (:

  22. Maggie says

    Just made these and i am in love!! My mom works at a machine factory that makes machines that package products so we have probably 100 rolls or toweling we got for free plus 50 we gave to my boyfriend, any who seeing as I make soap, I had avocado oil on hand and made a batch with that plus two pumps of a foaming face wash and then 3 drops of lavender essential oil which I already had as well, lavender EO is antiviral so I added that just in case of any ickies. I love this so much. Since the only thing that really cost me was the avocado oil i did the math and it was 1.99!!! to make this batch. After calculating I figured for me its about $8 a year!!! no more buying clean and clear wipes which are about $4.99 for only 25!!!

  23. Barb Schmidt says

    Slippery elm powder has been shown to inhibit mold growth in infused oils, so I’m thinking it may work form this if dissolved in the warm water first. GSE is not truly natural — it is chemically extracted, the same as Splenda is a chemical extractive of sugar.

  24. Liz says

    This is awesome! I’m so excited to do it! Also, those of you that have/ are considering to use olive oil be careful of it clogging your pores. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that keeps pores from clogging! Just a tip :)

  25. Sherri says

    how long does these wipes last for? im tired of spending so much money on wipes, i dont make alot in the military and i have my second baby on the way along with a hubby whos in school, so money is really really tight

  26. Sarah says

    I am absolutely obsessed with coconut oil….. i just went and tried to make these after 3 batches i finally got it right. the first time i did the 4 cups of distilled water and 2 table spoons plus a little because of my obsession. i thought they turned out OK but then i looked in the bottom of the container it was 1/2 filled with the mixture….so i found another container and tried again but this time i put 2 cups of water but i for got to cut the oil part in half…. they came out with a good moisture but then i puled 1 up and it was too oily an d the last 1in as not wet so i put 1 more cup of water in and they came out perfectly!!!! but then i had the great idea the y not put all of my face creams and acne medicine in? so i got another container an another half a role of paper towels and i got my mixing bowl back out and tried again 3 cups of water- 1 1/2 tbs of coconut oil- 1 tbs of my acne medicine, a little but of face wash, a ;little but of cream exfolient, and PRESTO!!!! PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i ran up stair and just had to try them out, they ere perfect…. i get my shower in the morning so these are perfect to keep by my bed side to use right before i go to sleep:D these just saved me about 10 min. in the bathroom before bed:D thanks soo much i just love these right now

  27. Jill says

    I made baby wipes with all 4 of my boys! No diaper rash!! I used only bounty, cut roll in half. I boiled 2 cups water, 2 Tbs baby bath or shampoo, 2 Tbs baby oil. As soon as starts to boil, remove & pour over bounty. SAVES lots of $$!

  28. Jessica says

    For the face wipes if you use distilled water and keep them in the fridge they should last longer. Also, the cold will not only be refreshing but shrink pores. Also if we could figure out some antimicrobial product to add periodically it would help the mold. I paint and use a wet pallette with distilled water and paper towels I spray my pallette with lysol spray to keep it from molding, but not sure I want that on my face!!!

  29. Jamie says

    Hey, this is a pretty awesome idea. I don’t know if anyone mentioned this exactly, but… Tap water will usually be better for mold growth than distilled, because the chlorine and such work as disinfectants. And after all, we already wash our bodies with regular water in the shower.

    Also, I don’t see a problem with folding squares of t-shirt material to use as cloths.

    Keep it up!

  30. Amelia says

    Hello, I haven’t read all the comments but I will add that tea tree oil, along with lavender is a good cleansing agent but it does dry out the skin. I am in nursing school and it is one thing they tell us to avoid using on our patients. Best wishes!

  31. Lindsey says

    I made these about a week ago. Used them for the first time tonight and they were mostly a success, but I think I need to add/change things up a bit next time. I heard some people had problems with mold, and when I opened my container tonight I saw tiny, tiny little spots of mold. Next time, I may add some tea tree oil as suggested. As for taking my make-up off, they took most of it off. My foundation, blush, and concealer were easily removed (and even most of my mascara, which is impressive!!), but it didn’t 100% remove my eyeshadow. I used 4 wipes, and could still see tiny specks of glitter around my eyes. I might also add a bit of face wash or baby wash as well to help remove all my sparkly eyeshadow. I think I will decrease the size of my batch next time too, I used the whole roll of paper towels in my excitement to make these. Another thing, I cut my paper towel roll in half as Jillee did, but then ripped them off like you normally would, and folded them like makeup wipes (about 13 or so per stack) and stored them in a large plastic container with a lid. Tonight I put my folded stacks of makeup wipes into sandwich size ziploc baggies, and then put them back into the large container with the lid. Overall, I think these worked okay, but they could/will be better when I make my revisions. And if it saves me some money, I’m happy! Sorry this is so long, just hoped my experience would help someone else.

    • Lindsey says

      Believe it or not, I forgot to add something haha. I was disappointed that my coconut oil didn’t smell like coconut at all, it was more like shortening. I was worried maybe it would make my face oily (since my face is naturally oily anyway), but so far it hasn’t. My face feels soft and smooth and not oily at all!

  32. h d says

    has anyone used vaseline as an eye make up remover. I have been using that for some time now. I have very sensitive oily skin. so far this has worked fine. But not sure if iam doing the right thing. any inputs???

    • Lori says

      It’s petroleum based. Until I started reading labels and thinking about what I put on my skin and ingest I didn’t think twice about Vaseline…but now…I use coconut oil. I am thinking about making wipes and using coffee filters instead of paper towels. They are really cheap and fairly soft.

  33. Evelyne says

    I used to make baby wipes like this for my daughters sensitive skin. I only had a mould issue if I put it in an airtight container. I used a cheaper baby wipe container for them. It didn’t seal as well and did the trick.

  34. says

    Everything I’ve read about DIY lotions and stuff says it’s the water that causes the mold problem. If you want to avoid the mold you need to use a preservative (there’s no way around it). Personally, I’d be nervous about putting something near my eyes when it could be full of bacteria that I can’t see. I use baby oil gel on a small piece of T.P. to remove eye make up.

  35. Jessica says

    I’ve been making my own baby wipes for the last 2 years. I live in Minnesota, so hot, humid summers & cold, windy winters & I have not run into mold problems. I use the Bounty Select-a-Size paper towels, I find that these are both soft & durable. My recipe differs just slightly from the one that you have posted. 4 cups warm water, 4T of baby oil, 4T of baby wash. Cut the paper towels in half & pour mixture over. I store mine in a gallon ice cream bucket. These homemade wipes work way better than any store bought ones & leave baby’s fanny nice & soft. I also never ran into any diaper rash problems with these. Great for even the most sensitive baby.

  36. Dacia says

    I too have been making my own baby wipes for awhile; about 10 months, I guess. I live in Louisiana where it it is humid and I did experience the mold issue (gross!) I remedied it by adding 2T of white vinegar to my recipe. However, after reading several of these comments, I will definitely be boiling the water from now on! My tried and true recipe is as follows: Bounty Select-A-Size Jumbo Roll cut in half, 2C Water, 2T of your favorite baby wash, 2T J&J baby oil with aloe and vit e, 2T of white vinegar. Love them! Have tried other brands of paper towels but always go back to name brand Bounty. They hold up longer. I recently made a gift basket for a baby shower complete with a prepared batch of baby wipes and the ingredients needed to make more. Included the recipe which I printed on a pink index card. Mom-to-be loved it!


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