· Homekeeping Tips · Homemade Wipes – 3 Different Ways

Homemade Wipes – 3 Different Ways

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. 

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

Makeup Remover Cloths

The process is so simple I’m not sure you even need a “tutorial,” but here is a photo tutorial in case you’re a visual person, like me. :-)

homemade wipes

Start with one roll of paper towels (I highly recommend Viva paper towels for this, but you can use your favorite brand,) and a container with a tight-fitting lid that 1/2 the roll will fit in.

homemade wipes

Using one of your sharper knives, cut/saw the roll of paper towels in half.

homemade wipes

Place 1/2 of the roll in the container.

homemade wipes

Depending on what type of wipes you are making, add your ingredients. (See below.)

Makeup Remover Cloths

Put the lid on your container, turn it over for about 5 minutes, then turn it right side up and pull the cardboard roll out of the center. (It will be well saturated at this point and should slide right out.)

Your wipes are ready to use!

Here are the ingredients you’ll add to the paper towels, depending on what kind of wipes you’re making.

  • For baby wipes: 4 cups warm distilled water, 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1-2 squirts of baby wash. Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which has natural antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc properties.
  • 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)
  • For cleaning wipes: 4 cups warm water, a few drops of your favorite concentrated cleaner. Also, check out these reusable DIY cleaning wipes.

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 essential oil, which will inhibit the growth of mold. I haven’t had the mold issue…but I live in a very dry climate! 

Makeup Remover Cloths

I love that I can customize these wipes to my personal preference…but even better…the $$ savings are phenomenal! (I’d figure it out…..but I have an aversion to calculators!) :-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I have made these for years and at first I did have an issue with mold but two things that I do that has completely eliminated the problem. First I boil my water for 3 minutes before adding it to the container and I usually add it to the paper towels while it is still pretty warm. Second I add 1 teaspoon of witch hazel to the water right before putting it in with the towels.

    • hi, jillie I just love your website and all your hints,tips,and recipes. I have made wipes for the bottom end and have for years, I use gentle baby shampoo and baby oil in my recipe and yes if you boil the water and then pour over the towels and let them sit for 10-15 minutes or so the core comes right out and there is absolutely NO mold. I use scott brand paper towels(with the ridges) and it is NOT rough at all. I found some rubbermaid bread containers and just put them in there. thank you so very much for this website awesome info.

  • I use the multi purpose / multi use “Handi Wipes” they are soft, but re-useable and I cut them into any size I need before putting them in my cleaning liquid… Although I do not make them for facial cleansing. I just wash them in the washer ( sanitize cycle) and put back into my cleaning mixture and viola done. I use Tea tree EO and castile soap in my cleaning mixture and have not had a problem with mold… I keep mine under the kitchen sink, I re- use an old clorox wipe container.

  • I’m thinking either the cheep washcloths, or cut up cotton t-shirts instead of paper towels. If I don’t have enough I know a thrift store that bags them, and washing them in a mesh bag. That should help keep things clean and may help by letting the cloth stay dry until used-make the mix, store in frig, take fresh cloth and wipe the solid mix with a dry cloth that was stored in an air tight container till used.

    I know my mother used to use wash cloths with lotion on her babes-back before disposable diapers. I had access to some of the early disposables with my oldest and was so glad to have the later ones. And I just used warm water on wash cloths, cleaned with chlorine bleach in first wash and washed again to remove the chlorine. Now my “baby” is 12, so don’t use chlorine much.

  • The problem is not only the mold. No matter what brand of paper towels I’ve tried, they start falling apart after one swipe on your face. You have to use so many that even if you could care less about the environment, it will make you feel wasteful. I started using cheap washcloths instead and keeping the jar in the fridge. Problems solved

  • I’m happy to get these wipe ideas! I thought that coconut oil would get “hard” again. So it doesn’t? Any advice for adult flush-able wipes?

  • I have commented before about possible mold/bacteria growth in these types of products on Jillee’s blog and this one just reinforces what I already thought: these types of products need preservatives to keep them free of bacteria, fungus, mold and spores. I have read a lot from this topic (preserving cosmetic formulations) and I’m convinced that distilled water will delay the growth of icky stuff, but it won’t stop it from growing in your product. Every time you open the container and stick your hands inside you are just introducing more bacteria in!. I would make a small batch, use distilled water, sterilize container and tools beforehand, and keep the finished product in the refrigerator. (And yes, I would use frationated coconut oil that will stay liquid in lower temperatures )

  • Awesome. I already use homemade lotion made with esst. oils, coconut oil and vitamin e ( capsules pour into it.) I’m going to make this . Soap tends to dry my face out and I hate getting it around my eyes. Ty Jillee!! :) You are my favorite blogger!

  • Once upon a time I MYO cleaning wipes to clean up after the 8 wk puppy (she is 15 now). This is what I did way back then. I started with a roll of disposable shop towels. They are blue and hold up a lot better for scrubbing the dog crate, but are still disposable. I designated a knife just for craft projects so that my kitchen knives do not go dull or AWOL. Eons ago I bought the famous GIngsu knife that was a BOGO offer; the extra immediately went into the garage as a tool–we use it for all kinds of things.
    Well, the puppy is 15 now and I wonder if I will be making these again to clean up after her now that her life is winding down. She is so worth it.

  • Hi Jillee and everyone reading the blog, this is not a sales pitch, I am posting for educational purposes. The reason I am posting here is ENJO eyepads. Reusable, over and over, they remove makeup with just warm water, no chemicals. The eyepads are guaranteed for 2 years and are absolutely amazing. No makeup removers to buy, no cotton balls to buy, reduce and re-use. Google ENJO and you will be pleasantly surprised. I joined ENJO a year ago, originally from Austria, in Canada now 10 years, cleaning with fibres and water, no chemicals necessary. It is my understanding that ENJO is moving in to the USA market this year.

    • wouldn’t it be a bit harsh on the eyelid and the thinner skin around the eyes just using the pad and water only? I know I can use eye cream afterwards, but you don’t scratch the skin?

  • Always love your posts. I’m loving making my own natural body and face products. I’m going try your whips. Such a great idea! When I do wear a lot of eye make-up I use EVOO and a cotton ball. It cleans it right off. :)

  • I used these wipes on my own rear-end, and they were very scratchy and harsh feeling (yes, I used Viva brand paper towels). I would not use these on a baby’s bum!

    • That surprises me because I started using Viva when my twins were babies because they were so soft. I do it now just because I like them so much and you can rinse them out and use them some more.

    • I use baby wash cloths. Find them on sale, fold them into fourths. Use a square container. They are soft, absorbent and reusable! I use them for both ends!!!

  • These are great to make for in the car and camping too! Thanks for the repost Jillee! You gain new followers all the time and I’m sure they will appreciate these as much as I have. I also add essential oils to mine. I still buy the flushable ones for my friend who visits often, and they invariably dry up in the container. I just mix the baby one and add Lavender essential oil to “refurbish them”!

  • I love these makeup remover wipes. You can also use Castile soap instead of a squirt of face wash. To make makeup remover wipes I found that about 2 1/2 c is plenty of water. And I use grapefruit seed extract to inhibit mold.

  • I used to make baby wipes many many years ago with aveda products and they would mold if I didn’t use distilled water. MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING DISTILLED WATER!!!!

  • I wonder if you could put them in the fridge to inhibit mold growths for the face wipes, it would make a nice cooling sensation on your face. I don’t know if the coconut oils would harden though, since it’s a solid once it gets below a certain temp. I may have to try it and find out,

    • I think if you want to try to have some cool ones for facial that you keep in the refridgerator, try using fractionated coconut oil which is liquid and stays liquid. I buy fractionated coconut oil for some of my other homemade recipes and am paying about $14 for a 16 oz bottle. Yesterday I found liquid coconut cooking oil at my grocer at under $6 for 16 oz. I am looking forward today to see how they compare to each other! One of the benefits of liquid coconut oil is it has no taste, making it wonderful for cooking and many other homemade products, especially those you want to stay liquid!

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