Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homemade "Clorox" Wipes


Today, my journey to find cheaper, natural, and BETTERalternatives to the cleaning supplies I
use in my home presented me with a showdown with what has been, up until now, one of my best cleaning allies…Clorox Wipes.

There are a lot of reasons why I liked these little gems. The main reason being that I like being able to grab a cleaning wipe whenever I need one. I don’t want to have to fill a sink or a bucket with water and add cleaning solution to it, and I’m not crazy about spray cleaners.

I also have issues with rinsing, dipping and wringing out the same rag over and over (often in the same dirty water) until you are done. (I have the same issue with mopping the floor….but that’s a pet peeve for another day.) With the Clorox wipes you wipe up the offending mess, toss the wipe AND the mess away and grab another CLEAN wipe and repeat until you are done.

That’s what I LIKE about Clorox wipes. Now for what I DON’T like. I despise paying $3.00+ for a bottle of 35 wipes that I could easily go through in just a couple of bathroom cleanings…and I despise throwing away all that paper and plastic after I’m done. Ugh. It’s such a waste. A waste of my MONEYfirst and foremost (I’m selfish that way), and a waste of resources for another.
So today I’m breaking the Clorox wipes habit and embarking on a new cleaning experiment. I found the inspiration for my Homemade Disinfecting Wipeshere at  I read a LOT of different articles online about this kind of thing, but this one made the most sense to me.


First thing I did was gather up a few of my old t-shirts that were beyond help (bleach stains, tears, etc.) and cut them up into approximately the size of baby wipes. I ended up getting 8 out of each shirt…4 from the front and 4 from the back.

Next I got an empty baby wipes dispenser that I had been saving for just this project and threw them all inside. No need to get all fancy with folding and stuff…unless you really like that sorta thing. :-)

UPDATE: 3/28/2012

After reading THIS ARTICLE about mixing Vinegar and Castile Soap, I decided to change the recipe I was using for my homemade “Clorox” wipes.
Lately I have been using this formula from Living On A Dime and I’ve been very happy with it!

1 cup of water
1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol
2 Tbsp. Dawn dish soap (only use Dawn)
2 Tbsp. ammonia (optional)
Stir and pour over cotton cloths.

In the interest of home science…I am sharing these disgusting pictures of my bathroom BEFORE I cleaned it with my homemade cleaning cloths….and AFTER. The rags and the cleaning solution were the perfect combination! I had to enlist the “Miracle Cleaner” for a couple of spots (like underneath where the toilet brush holder had been sitting)…but the rest of the bathroom was squeaky clean.

As for my pile of DIRTY cleaning rags….I dumped them all into the washing machine and dried them and here are my little pile of lovelies all ready for my next cleaning attack.

And now that I have added this new weapon to my cleaning arsenal, I had to do a little rearranging of my laundry/cleaning supplies.

From left to right:



    container for used cleaning wipes (until washing time)

*reusable “dryer sheets” container


    basket to put fabric softener cloths in when they come out of the dryer

*spray bottle of homemade “Shout”


      3 jugs of a new batch of

homemade laundry soap. (Pay no attention to the reflection in the window.) :-)

And….the Clorox Wipes found a new home too.
Farewell old friend.



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77 thoughts on “Homemade "Clorox" Wipes

  1. Stephanie Wilson

    Hobby Lobby has Tea Tree Oil. Just ask someone where to find the "essential oils." Should be right by the candle-making supplies, I believe. I just bought some there. Michael's is a similar store and I would think they would also carry it. =) Hopefully you live near one of those!

  2. Anonymous

    This works great, but STINKs to high heaven. I even used the lavendar castile soap. I will continue to use, cuz it DOES work.
    In response to anonomys above, check out the natural foods aisle in your grocery store. That's where I found it.

  3. Kate

    This is probably a stupid question, but could i just grate some off a bar of soap or would that not work? I'm totally new at this make-your-own-stuff stuff.

  4. jaime

    :( i tried to make this over and over, the castile soap keeps lumping up, i tried both peppermint and almond dr. bronners, i made sure the water ws piping hot. :( so disappointed. oh well, water with a tiny castile soap has always worked pretty good for me, but i was hoping for amazing. bummer.

  5. Anonymous

    I've also seen Dr. Bronner's at Walgreens. It's the bigger bottle (costs about 15 dollars) but lasts forever. I have one that I got last year and I've only used half of it. I know that any health food store will carry it, the bars (which are great for showering) and the liquid in various sizes.

  6. Anonymous

    You can get tea tree oil in the pharmacy dept at Wal-Mart (at least around here in NC), and I get Dr. Bronner's soap at Trader Joe's.

    Harris Teeter also carries a line of similar soaps, in smaller bottles.

    You have an interesting blog, and I've enjoyed reading your posts. I'm working on eliminating as much unnatural stuff as I can from my life, in household/personal items, as well as in food products.

  7. MommaWifeyRe

    I read the update, and have a question…. I do not use Castile soap I use (Blue)Dawn, vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. Is that ok or does the saem thing happen as with the castile soap????

  8. Sheri

    About the clumping soap…I would grate it, then run it through an electric chopper (like my handy, dandy black & decker one from walmart for $15). When I make my homemade laundry detergent, that's what I do to the Fels-Naptha soap & I leave it in dry form, use 1 to 2 tblspoons per load. Works just as great & doesn't take up as much space as the liquid form!

  9. Anonymous

    LOVE this post, as I just ran out of disinfecting wipes and was looking for an idea just like this! Perfect timing! My question is, do you know if it's safe to use on granite counters?

  10. KAREN

    Was just preparing to make my 2nd batch of wipes when I found your revised recipe. Is the Dawn the concentrated or non-concentrated? Like this recipe better because I drove my sister crazy trying to help me find castile soap and tea tree oil. thanks

    1. Meredith

      Carolyn–do NOT mix Dawn with bleach! It actually warns against that on the bottle. If you’re going to use bleach, leave out the Dawn for sure. Don’t mix the bleach and ammonia either. Mixing those chemicals causes a toxic gas that can kill you.

      1. Lynn

        Actually you should not be using bleach OR ammonia in cleaning. Ammonia and bleach are both VERY toxic. I’m really surprised to find a recommendation on a “natural” blog for using ammonia. You could probably get by with mixing just vinegar and lemon juice, possibly throwing in baking soda (or even borax) for a mild abrasive.

  11. Julia

    You can find Castile soap at Target in the cosmetic area. You can also find it at health food stores or Co-ops if you’re lucky enough to have one. My co-op sells it in bulk, so it’s cheaper. I’m in MI and also found my Tea Tree Oil at Wal-mart in the Pharmacy area. I just made baby wipes today, will be making these bad boys next!

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  13. Lisa Wright

    I reuse the plastic containers for Clorox wipes for yarn or string dispenser, keeps the rope, string ect. from tangling. I only buy them occasionally, when I have coupons. I get old wash clothes and use for cleaning rags and soak orange peels in vinegar for a few weeks makes a decent smelling cleaner.

  14. Deebi27

    As soon as I run out of my Clorox Wipes…your “recipe” is on the line. I have so enjoyed saving you regular blog postings. Your energy for Make Your Own is awesome and sooo appreciated. Now to find out if hubby has already through away a bunch of wore too many times t’s, underwear & undershirts! I have my fingers crossed!

  15. Rita

    I made my first wipes yesterday and already love them. The alcohol I have on hand is 91%. I used a very old bath towel with very little nap left. Made 12 & they are just the right moisture level.

    As I was making my 1st batch of citrus cleaner today………I wondered………….how about that instead of the ammonia?

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  18. Emily

    Why “only dawn”? What specifically is the difference between Dawn and Method, which is a greener product. Thanks for the post, can’t wait to make these?

    1. alyssa

      dawn has certain ingredients that makes it “dawn” that other soaps don’t have and you just wont get the same results. it is also better to just follow the directions when you are mixing chemicals.

  19. Kim


    You crack me up! I did not even notice the reflection in the window, until I saw your comment about it! :)
    Thanks for all the info. you share!

  20. Amy

    I was super excited to make these wipes, but then when I used them, they left a soapy film that I had to rinse off, which kind of defeats the purpose of a wipe! I followed the directions exactly. what do you think I did wrong? What kind of Dawn did you use?

  21. Jen

    I also used Dawn and found that wipes leave suds everywhere. I tried again and decreased to two tsp. and still had the same results. Do they have to sit or something before you use them?

  22. Jen

    I cut way back on the Dawn soap …it says ultra concentrated on the bottle…so I’m thinking that might have been the problem. I used 1/8 of a tsp and now the cloths work fantastic. For some of my cloths I used washcloths that are “scrubby” on one side (and cut them in half) for areas that need a bit of scrubbing. Thanks for helping me save a bunch of money!

  23. Amy

    I found that after letting the wipes sit for a day or two, the suds weren’t as bad. After the replies, I checked my bottle of Dawn, and found that mine, too, is “ultra-concentrated”, so that was probably the problem. next time I will either use non-concentrated Dawn, or just a lot less. Suds or no suds, though, I have loved my homemade wipes! they do a great job and one wipe lasts a lot longer and cleans better than the disposable Clorox wipes! Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  24. Jourdan mclaws

    Millie I use Clorox wipes for the toilet. I read that you use a toilet bowl scrubber. These freak me out I’m afraid there are germs lurking on them. Is it okay that I keep my Clorox whipes just for the toilet pretty please. Gosh you have so much good stuff on this site.

  25. Jenn W

    I also followed the recipe and I have a layer of something all over my table and counters, even after I wiped it with a wet rag. I guess I should have read the comments before I made them and cut back on the Dawn to 1/8 tsp as someone suggested. I think I will also half (or even quarter) the ammonia next time and maybe add a few drops of essential oils to kill the stank that wafts out when that little baby wipe box is opened. I have plastered warnings (DO NOT USE THIS ON MY BABY!) all over the box so hopefully no one will get confused, even after they smell the wicked odor. For now, I’ll keep these to use for the bathroom sink and toilet and then just wipe it down with a damp sponge but I have faith in the recipes that I find on this site so I will give it another go with the suggestions that I found in the comments.

  26. Kelli

    I love these! The suds aren’t so bad a day or two after you first mix it all up. One of our fitted sheets tore, so I just cut it up into a gazillion wipes. My MIL just told me that she has a HUGE, unused roll of towels from her old restaurant restroom dispenser, so now I’m dying to cut that up to get some wipes with some texture. Even with just using the cut up sheet, they work well – instead of 3 real Clorox wipes, I can wipe down my counter after everyday use with just one wipe now (2 if it’s really messy). I didn’t have ammonia on hand, but these seem to work fine without. The smell of the rubbing alcohol dissipates pretty quickly. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

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  28. Autumn

    i absolutely LOVE these! i have 3 fur babies and oh my do they leave their fur everywhere and when they eat it’s a huge mess…these wipe the floor right up and it dries quickly. i wiped the top of my microwave (it was gross, i was ashamed) the other day and that greasy, dusty film came right off! i bought a big pkg of those cheapy white washclothes at the dollar store for this purpose and they work wonderful! thanks Jill!!!

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  30. Janette

    I love all your ideas but was suprised that ammonia is listed in your recipe since it is NOT a “friendly” product. Is it safe to even use the wipes with bare hands if they have ammonia on them? And are you kidding me? You just threw away your old clorox container? No recycleing? And it was right on top of a can of RAID in your trash!! Talk about toxic!!

  31. JenK

    I love it! I picked up some glass jars at the Dollar Tree today and used some old T-shirts that were just waiting to be repurposed to make some of these. I should have read about the ultra-concentrated Dawn, but I’ll get it right next time. I have a jar in each bathroom and one in the kitchen so that I can do a daily swipe instead of clearing out an afternoon to devote to cleaning countertops. Thanks!

  32. Cara-Lee

    Had a old flannel bed sheet ripe in half last night and so doing to try this. I run daycare out of my house and am always looking at saving money on cleaning supplies and using products that will not harm the kids but still clean. Thank you so much.

  33. Nancy

    I’ve been using the alcohol Dawn recipe (no ammonia) for a couple of months. Love it! Everything feels so clean! Some people say they won’t stop using Clorox because it disinfects…..does a doctor rub your skin with Clorox before an injection?? That tells me alcohol kills germs and oh so much better for you than breathing Clorox fumes!

  34. Karen

    Most of my shirts are in good repair, and I think my boyfriend would be upset if I took any of his old favorites to cut up. I am thinking about just cutting up some flour sack towels or ribbed bar mop towels (ribbed would help when a little more scrubbing was needed) to use for cleaning wipes. Then again I wouldn’t mind finishing the ones that sit out instead of papertowels, but I don’t want to sew that many for wipes too. Maybe a cheap package of washcloths or dishcloths.

    I wanted to add, I can’t believe how many seem to ‘attack’ because something isn’t all natural. As far as I can find, this blog doesn’t claim to be an all natural alternative.

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  38. Bec

    Have been gleaning information for home made, healthier cleaners from your blog for a few weeks now!! Am so very happy to find this one as Clorox gives me migraines, even the wipes!!! I will be making these SOON. Thank you so much for sharing all this great information in one spot!!!


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