Monday, July 22, 2013

Make Your Own Reusable Peppermint Kitchen Wipes

peppermint kitchen wipes

In case you haven’t noticed, I really LOVE making my own homemade cleaning products. ;-) It’s just so comforting to know EXACTLY what is in the products I’m spreading around my home, and I get a thrill knowing how much time and money I’m saving as well!

The Environmental Protection Agency cites artificial fragrances in cleaning products as an indoor irritant and pollutant. A single fragrance can include as many as 600 petrochemicals—all within the word “fragrance” on the label.

The more I learn about, and experiment with, natural cleaning products (such as baking soda, castile soap, vinegar, etc.) the more I am convinced there really is no need to buy any of the expensive brand names that line the shelves of the cleaning aisle at your grocery store. The good old fashioned stuff our grandmothers and great grandmothers used is EFFECTIVE! Period.

Pairing these natural cleaners with essential oils only enhances their cleaning value and leaves behind a pleasant, natural scent. It’s not just an advertising gimmick that many commercial products contain citrus oils such as lemon or lime—they are natural degreasers and have antimicrobial properties.

These simple-to-make kitchen wipes are the perfect example of a great all-natural alternative cleaning product!  #1) They are REUSABLE, #2) they’re RECYCLED, and #3) they’re completely CHEMICAL-FREE.

peppermint kitchen wipes

Take an old t-shirt (or PJ’s, or whatever) that is bound for the donation bin, and cut it up into “rag-size” cloths.

 

peppermint kitchen wipes

Pour 1 cup warm water, 1/8 cup (or 1 ounce) liquid castile soap, and 5 – 10 drops of your favorite essential oil into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

 

peppermint kitchen wipes

With its refreshing minty scent and powerful antibacterial properties, peppermint essential oil is a perfect complement to many homemade cleaning products.

peppermint kitchen wipes 6

Place the rags into the jar with the liquid. (I think I ended up with about 8 or 10 rags.)

peppermint kitchen wipes

Put the top on the jar (or whatever lidded container you prefer) and turn upside down a few times until all the rags are soaked.

After being used, the cloths can be washed and returned to the jar for REuse over and over again.

peppermint kitchen wipes

Now whenever you have a messy spill or just want to freshen up the countertops after you’ve finished kitchen clean-up for the day…pull one out and enjoy knowing you’re saving time and money because you now have one less cleaning product on your shopping list.

 

peppermint kitchen wipes

 

You can always get 10% off your essential oils at Spark Naturals by using the coupon code JILLEE.

 


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102 thoughts on “Make Your Own Reusable Peppermint Kitchen Wipes

  1. Leslie

    Another good one, Jillee. Once again, the timing is perfect, as I’m trying to reduce the use of paper products, plus I love peppermint anything. Hmm, may even throw in a little eucalyptus or tea tree EO for even more bacteria/mildew killing. I will try this today. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. kbellatti

      One word of caution if you will use tea tree oil: it’s toxic to cats.

      Be sure to know which essential oil is toxic to any pets before use. :)

      Reply
      1. stephanie

        I have used tea tree oil for years, and not had a problem with my pets. infact I have made salves with tea tree oil in it with both cats and dogs. a long with using peppermint as a cleaning-I also mix in vinegar, I love it. I have experimented with all kinds of stuff to make. one of my favorite is the body butter I make. its so great! I have used it now for many years and now I cannot stand store bought lotions. it makes my skin feel well like it cannot breath. using chemicals now bother’s me to breath. my husband hates the smell of vinegar, and I think it smells great.

        Reply
        1. zensibilia

          Tea tree oil is not recommended for any pet, but especially not for cats. Spend a few moments researching it. Your pets may not be exhibiting any symptoms yet, but it doesn’t mean you’re not causing harm.

          Reply
  2. Jennifer A.

    You don’t have to wash off the Castile soap from these wipes? It seems like these wipes would leave a trail of soapiness behind that would need to be water rinsed. Can anyone address this?

    Reply
    1. Katy

      I’m wondering the same thing. I hate sticky and streaky countertops. I usually use straight rubbing alcohol for this reason but would love to change to something better smelling. So, what about it? Does it leave a residue?

      Reply
    2. Francesca

      I followed the directions to a T and the lather they produce is UNBELIEVABLE! I mind as well have wiped the counter with dish soap and a bucket of water! I think the idea is great but maybe 1 DROP or two of castille soap! It only takes a small squeeze filled with water to make a bid dispenser of hand soap, so I really should have thought this one through first! Great idea but quantity is off!

      Reply
    1. Stacy

      In the photo she is using unscented soap vs peppermint. If you use the peppermint soap version, you wouldn’t need the essential oil unless you want a super strong benefit of peppermint.

      Reply
      1. DeMama

        I always try to determine whether the product is using perfume grade essential oils or therapeutic grade. Only one of them has all the health benefits; guess which one :)

        Reply
    2. Trish F

      If you just want the scent of peppermint, then no you would not need to add the EO’s. However, since most EO’s are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial I would add them for that purpose. Also by using unscented Castile soap, you can use what ever EO you like i.e. lemon, orange, grapefruit and get the same cleaning properties.

      Reply
  3. Jennifer

    Would it work to put this in a spray bottle and just use rags to dry it off? I have eczema and it flares up on my hands when they get too wet (or wet too often) and so I try to avoid handling wet rags.

    Reply
    1. Sara

      I use 2 cups white vinegar, 10-20 drops each or some of peppermint, tea tree, orange, lavender, eucalyptus EOs (changing scent for the season) in a glass gallon jug then fill with water. I just pour it into a spray bottle and use a rag to wipe up. I can even let it soak for a minuet or two on the kid messes.

      Reply
  4. Hollie

    I am definitely going to try this. I will add some tea tree oil to hopefully prevent my rags from getting mildew. How long do you think these will keep in a jar like this?

    Reply
    1. Jackie

      I wondered about this as well. Then came the lightbulb, just store them in the fridg. they shoul last all week that way. And I find that things like ice cold cleaners etc energize me to get othjer chores done.

      Reply
  5. Tara

    I’ve been wanting to make something like this. I almost cringe every time I get out a Household Surface Wipe with all those chemicals on it. I can tell my body doesn’t like the chemicals because my eyes start to get irritated and watery and my nose doesn’t like the potency of the smell. Thank you!
    Where do you buy your castile soap? The cheapset I’ve seen it is for about $.50/oz! Crazy! Is there an easy way I can make it myself to save some money?

    Reply
    1. Lynne

      You can buy castile bar soap and grate it up. Add some water and you have liquid castile soap! Do a Google search for the amounts of each. I use Kirks castile soap.

      Reply
  6. Dawn

    I’m with Tara. Where can you buy liquid Castile Soap? Never heard of it. My home is 100% Melaleuca products and I now have no problems with my asthma when I clean. Tire of buying paper towels so often.want to try this ASAP but need to know where to get the soap.

    Reply
    1. Kelly

      I am also a huge fan of Melaleuca products (especially Solumel!!). I think you could do their tea tree oil with the castille soap. If you have a health food store around, they’ll definitely have it, but I’ve also seen Dr. Bronner’s soaps (another favorite in my household!!) at Kroger, Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, etc… in the natural foods section. Do some research on Dr. Bronner’s soaps – there’s a TON of uses for it and all the scents are awesome. It’s what I use when I run out of Solumel. Best of luck!!

      Reply
      1. Terry

        I, too, absolutely LOVE Melaleuca (most know it as Tea Tree). I’m not affiliated with the following company, anymore, but they’re products are top-notch and all include melaleuca in one way or another…www.melaleuca.com. (I list this only because it might give some ideas as to what you can do with melaleuca oil.)
        I use melaleuca oil in so many of my products. Not only is it one of the best E.O.s to use, but I love the smell of it. I even use it in my tooth powders.
        YES, you can add melaleuca (tea tree oil) to unscented castile soap. (Another thing I use it for, LOL.)

        Reply
  7. CTY

    Oye ve! Am I the only one on the planet that doesn’t use these Cholorox type wipes?
    Looks like the public has swallowed this hook, line and sinker. No matter how much we wish it true, we cannot clean, disinfect and shine in one step. It is a 3 step process 1. clean the visible debris 2. Spray or wipe on a layer of disinfectant and allow to air dry (air drying is a must because microbes/bacteria do not die instantly). 3. Rinse away disinfectant residue & dry the area just cleaned.

    Sorry -Jillee but this is one of those rare occasions where the parts are greater than the sum [of all parts]. The ingredients are fine, combining them is a mistake. The soap should be used in step 1, the disinfectant (peppermint EO in this case) should be step 2 and the water should be step 3.

    Still doubt?
    These are the directions for disinfecting with Chlorox wipes as per their website.
    To Disinfect and Deodorize: Remove excess dirt. Wipe surface, using enough wipes for the treated surface to remain visibly wet for 4 minutes. Rinse with water.
    http://www.clorox.com/products/clorox-disinfecting-wipes/?gclid=CIeZpb7Bw7gCFShxQgodrjIAFg#cloroxdisinfectingwipescleaningdisinfectingkitchencountertops

    Reply
    1. CTY

      So sorry if I am a little tense. I am a firm believer that some things are efficient and other things a side step. To me these “wipes” are a side step. Also, I have automatically assumed that folks are using these wipes as a “one step” deal. I apologize for that and my lack of etiquette.

      Reply
  8. Annie

    Getting on my soapbox:
    I have no objection to making your own cleaning products so that you can control what is in them. I’m a regular reader of blogs like this one. I personally use vinegar in my washing machine instead of a commercial fabric softener and I spritz flannel sheets with a bit of fabric softener instead of using dryer sheets.
    However – please, please, please – use the word “chemicals” correctly. The only place that chemicals don’t exist is in an absolute vacuum; otherwise, chemicals are everywhere. Plain old water, the air we breath, the food we eat, essential oils, etc. are all “chemicals.” Also remember that no “chemical” is harmless in all situations. For example, water is harmful if you try to breath it!
    Getting off my soapbox, now. Thanks for listening!

    Reply
    1. Ronda

      I think the term “Chemicals” that we want to stay away from is really Petro-Chemicals. My motto is if I have to get a guide to pronounce something it isn’t natural enough for me to use or eat.

      Reply
  9. Anna

    I think this is a handy idea. No essential oil or castile soap, besides it’s not cheap. So I used Ecover (eco friendly no nasties range) scent free etc washing up liquid and water, the Ecover when discounted costs less than £1. Works perfectly fine no streaks or loads of suds and used the same ratio as above and 12 small cut ups of microfibre cloth.

    Only slight problem is we are having a heat wave in the UK so leaving wet cloths in a sealed container won’t last long before going mouldy perhaps the trick is to keep it in the fridge to slow down any growth if is it’s hot or you need it to last for a few days.

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    I’ve made baby wipes like this before (without peppermint) and within three days they were moldy. I’d love to hear how these hold up–I’d think you would have the same problem. They do see like a good idea.

    Reply
    1. Debbie

      I would probably add a little vinegar, grain alcohol, or even citric acid dissolved in water to this mixture to maybe prevent that. Not even sure that would work.

      Any time you are working with water, mold will be eventually be an issue unless there is some sort of preservative, most of which are nasty chemicals that some of us don’t want to use.

      Also, in my area, hard water is a big issue, and castile soap + hard water leaves a soap scum so this would not be practical to use. The only soap we use in our home is castile soap, however, I have to use vinegar or grain alcohol to remove the spots left behind on surface that get drops of castile + water on them.

      Reply
    2. Patti

      I make the make-up removal face wipes and simply add a few drops of tea tree oil to keep any mold away. On my second batch and haven’t had a problem. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  11. Marilope

    It’s very easy to turn Castile bar soap into liquid. I found the bars in my local grocery. To avoid any mildew that might happen, I’m going to dip my rags in the prepared mixture when I’m ready to use them.

    Reply
  12. Debbie Woolcock

    Jillie,

    I am sure that most people know to glean from this what they want and discard what they don’t. I personally do not own a soap box…and am delighted every time I look in my email and see your ‘one good thing” emails. Some I use, some I don’t and some I even experiment with and change up a bit, but thank you so much for coming up with these suggestions that most of us don’t even think of.

    If folks are worried about mold, one person suggested putting it in a spray bottle and grabbing a rag and using it that way……thus the “experiment and change up” thing.

    Looking forward to so many more suggestions and ideas from you!

    Reply
  13. Amanda

    If you’re worried about mold 1. use distilled (or boiled) water and 2. make fewer of them at one time until you know how often/how many you will actually use

    Reply
  14. Rita

    I have been making these rags from info on an older post. I use water,Alcohol, ammonia, less Dawn than in the in recipe as it streaks. I use Fabuloso & also add a little citrus enzyme cleaner. Both the ammonia and alcohol have antiseptic properties (so I have read). I keep the rags in a zip lock bag to save space in our RV.

    Reply
  15. Sandra

    I have a fine mist spray bottle with peppermint oil, vinegar and water. The rags will be a wonderful addition, but I will keep mine dry to wipe up afterwards. Not one ant or other bug seen since i started sing this!

    Reply
    1. Ray

      Sandra, yours is the best solution. No mold issue, I’ll use dry washrags, one to clean with, another to dry. No fridge storage need, no soap scum to rinse. Other EOs can be used too.
      Know of a great way to wash dishes without Dawn? Wish I knew.

      Reply
  16. Rosemarie

    If you do not want frayed edges if you put them in the washer/dryer, either zig zag stitch around the edge or cut the squares on the bias and they will not fray.

    Reply
  17. Chris

    I’ve been using similar homemade wipes for some time. I recommend putting the used wipes in a lingerie bag. When you are ready to do your wash, just zip up the bag and throw it in the wash. It keeps the wipes together and you never have to touch the dirty ones. I find that this process is very little extra work for the benefits of controlling ingredients and saving money.

    Reply
  18. lynn

    i would like to especially thank jillee for her awesome ways to save money and sharing with all of us. i was going to ask about how to keep my rags from fraying (flannel baby blankets) and lo and behold, rosemarie gave me the answer!!! thank you rosemarie (: as i read thru the comments i usually find the answer to my questions. and i admire jillee for keeping her cool when some just have to blow off their steam for whatever reason, lol. so everyone keep up the good advice. and jillee, keep smiling (:

    Reply
  19. Twinmamateb

    I use a spray bottle filled w/water & a few dashes of tea tree oil Castille Soap on my stainless steel kitchen counters for years. Its my all purpose kitchen cleaner. No residue. I just use rags/washcloths, kept in a basket under the sink. No one gets food poisoning, and it gets everything clean. Smells nice too!

    Reply
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  22. Kimberlee

    This is such a great idea – can’t believe I have never thought of this. I have been making my own cleaning products for the last 10 years or more. I am going to try this out today – have all the ingredients needed. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  23. Deb

    Where do I find castille soap? I live in lakewood,washington area … I know you said you can get it by going to the web site but I would like to know if I can find it localy? does craft shops have it? or Health stores ? thanks! Deb

    Reply
  24. Cindy

    I am very interested in trying this.. however, How often should one change the jar of liquid that these cloths are sitting in? I would think that it should be changed every so often for heath reasons? Any ideas? thanks.

    Reply
  25. Deborah Carr

    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts! About 900 years ago I made my own “baby wipes” using witch hazel, E O’s, and distilled water. I stored the cut flannel in a recycled “baby wipes” box (rectangular, with a hinged lid). These were very effective and though I live in the deep south, I never had a problem with souring or mold. The antiseptic properties of witch hazel together with anti microbial properties of E O’s did a great job on little bottoms, why not hands, face, and countertops too? This would greatly reduce the cost of castile soaps and eliminate streaks.

    Reply
  26. Hollie

    What is the difference between Castile Soap and Murphy’s Oil Soap? I did a cost comparison between namebrand cleaning products and homemade and everytime Castile soap is called for, it drives up the price. However, Murphy’s can keep the price low. So… does anyone know the difference? Thank you!

    Reply
  27. Lynne Hurd Bryant

    I’ll have to make these. I use the bathroom wipes everywhere for a quick clean. The size I cut my T shirt squares fits on my Swiffer so I even slick up the floor with them. I found wintergreen scented alcohol for them, but I digress…

    Around my house, there are no baby wipe containers and canning jars are used to well, can food. They are both a premium these days. I have two friends who go through vast amounts of Folger’s coffee in the plastic cans. I ask them to save their cans for me. I keep my wipes in an old coffee can…the Big Coffee Cans of Clean. Because the cans live under the sinks in this house, appearance is not important. The big cans have fairly airtight lids and are large enough to reach into easily.

    Now I just need more T shirts, I cut up all the old ones we had!

    Reply
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  30. marie thomas

    A question–after using and washing the rag, do you put it back with the unused rags or do you put them aside until all the remaining rags are used and then start the process again?. I thinks this is great as find so many of the commercial products have irritants that usage requires rubber gloves which are a handicap.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      I just put the washed rags back into the jar. If the rags in there are still wet enough the washed rag can just soak up some of that liquid. But if there isn’t enough liquid left in the jar you will need to add more.

      Reply
  31. Katrina

    I use on a spray bottle Castile soap ( 15 drops or so ), w lavender, eucalyptus , and peppermint, 5-6 drops each or so) it’s n all purpose cleaner I also love it on my wood floors.with that I also have another spray bottle w all 3 oils, mommy’s stress away spray for my entire house.

    Reply
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  33. Sara

    I put mine in a spray bottle and use microfiber cloths to wipe up messes and just wipe down surfaces. I have a very old kitchen floor what I would normally have to use bleach on the tiles to get them white again – Not anymore. I spray a little on the tiles and wipe them with paper towel – they are so white now and the grout that is in between them comes up clean. I usually will spray the grout line and then use an old toothbrush. I have made several batches for friends and family – everybody is hooked on this cleaner. It is not caustic and smells great. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  34. Carolyn

    I just realized I must be a true Jillee junkie…I missed the peppermint kitchen wipes blog when it came through. Today I stumbled across it on Pinterst. I said to myself “That must be Jillee, I think I recognize the hands.” Sure enough. Oh, my!!!

    Reply
  35. Katherine

    Castile Soap is inexpensive depending on the brand you buy. I’ve found the Dr. Woods brand to be the cheapest at around $8 for a 32oz bottle. I buy mine on swansonvitamins.com, and use retailmenot.com for coupon codes to get free shipping!!

    Reply
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