· Homekeeping Tips · Make These To Keep Your Hands Germ-Free On The Go

Make These To Keep Your Hands Germ-Free On The Go

sanitizing wipes for hands

In a recent post where I explained the difference between cleaning and sanitizing, I mentioned that if something is noticeably dirty, it’s better to clean it and remove the grime before attempting to sanitize it. That’s why it’s ultimately preferable to wash your hands instead of using hand sanitizer, because washing your hands cleans your skin and eliminates germs, while hand sanitizer only kills germs.

But when you’re out of the house, you don’t always have the option to wash your hands with soap and water. When you need to clean and sanitize your hands on the go, having a pack of sanitizing wipes with you can really come in handy! And in today’s post, I’ll show you exactly how easy it is to make your own homemade sanitizing wipes for just such occasions.


What’s In Them?

Rubbing alcohol makes up the bulk of the sanitizing solution in these wipes, while a bit of coconut oil helps clean and moisturize your skin. The addition of lavender and lemon essential oils not only makes them wonderfully fragrant, but provides additional antibacterial properties too.

Ready to give them a try for yourself? Here’s everything you need to know to make your very own sanitizing wipes at home!

How To Make Your Own “Swipes,” AKA Sanitizing Wipes For Hands



~50 napkins (or paper towels)
1 1/2 cups rubbing alcohol, 70% or higher
1 Tbsp coconut oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops lemon essential oil



Stack your napkins or paper towels into whatever container you want to store your finished wipes in. (An empty baby wipe container works perfectly here, but you could even use a ziplock bag if you’re short on sturdier options.)


Microwave the rubbing alcohol just until warm, then add the coconut oil and stir to incorporate the melting oil.


Add the essential oils, stir again, then pour the mixture all over your stack of wipes. Allow the liquid to fully saturate the wipes, and that’s all there is to it!


Use your sanitizing wipes as needed to clean and sanitize your hands while on the go.

I may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website. I always offer my own genuine recommendation. Learn more.

Read This Next

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


Homekeeping Tips

  • How does heating g effect the alcohols effectiveness? Wouldn’t defractionated (always liquid) coconut oil work as well without need to melt traditional CO? Love the user’s ideas to wash and reuse wipes!

    • Loma, you are just warming the alcohol, so it doesn’t have any effect on it. Yes, you can use fractionated coconut and then you don’t have to heat the alcohol. :-)

  • I see this post dates but is obviously gaining new popularity. I managed to find 3 20pack of antibacterial wipes at the beginning but no more and I am on my 3rd pack. I think your recipe works by law but it will be still dry the hands too much with only 1 tbsp of coconut oil. On the other you are are barely diluting it so that is good. Keep in mind the 60 to 70% alcohol is by the final volume of the finished product. Not of the amount in the rubbing alcohol you start with. Also, your solution and soaked wipes sould not bu used for 3 days as the pruduct is not made in a sanitized environment like a factory, so things could cross contaminate while you make it. Stay safe everyone!

  • Now if only there was a bottle of alcohol to be found…. maybe vodka would work? I don’t drink, but I do have a cheap bottle on hand for making air freshener.

  • Great DIY idea, as usual. To make this zero waste, I cut rectangular pieces from the still good part of my husband’s old white t-shirts. Use, wash, repeat

  • I don’t know if this would be useful for anyone, but if you wanted to make a large amount of these wipes, you could cut a roll of paper towels in half with a bread knife (to make a shorter roll), remove the cardboard tube, place that into a Tupperware canister and pour the ingredients on it. You can pull the wipes from the middle like Clorox wipes. I’ve found that a better quality paper towel works the best as they don’t rip as easily. I did this for baby wipes when my kids were little.

  • I take the saline baby wipes and pour alcohol on them making sure they are well saturated . They are easy to take with you in your purse or even stick them in your pocket as the packs are so small. You could add the coconut oil, etc. too to them.

  • I actually tried this at the beginning of the pandemic., I used the regular store brand napkins. Anyway the store brand has been hard to find. This why I only have made one batch.

    • I’ve actually used the baby wipes with lemon and lavender for work. I used a little travel size first aid kit and blinged it up .This was when I couldn’t find any wet ones wipes for work. I found one pack – I may need to do this again if I can’t find anymore. It’s just crazy how certain things have been hard to find lately.

      • Even the alcohol! I’m having a horrible time trying to find it, and I use it to clean granite/quartz countertops-Jillee’s recipe (one of my all-time favorites). I know every hospital and doctor’s office in the world needs it, but I’m hoping it comes back to store shelves soon.

      • I agree. At work with the Peroxide the Pharmacy ordered some and are keeping it behind the counter for now.

      • Same here – this stuff is so hard to come by, even though the stores are limiting purchases. I haven’t been able to find rubbing alcohol in over 3 months.

  • I was just making a batch of these to take on vacation with us tomorrow and my daughter walked in and asked what that wonderful smell was! I’m glad i made a big batch in a ziplock container and kept all the extra liquid in case we need it. Spending the next week in the car means we will need them all of course.

    During the school year I practically live in my car as well. These would be nice to keep on hand then too. I’ll need a small case like yours then though.

  • I just made a batch of these (with reusable flannel wipes) to take on vacation with us. I can already tell I am going to love them! Thank you for the idea!

  • I think these sound amazing!! To save money and make them a bit safer, I would probably make a few small adjustments. First, I would purchase a cheap pack of wipes. As you mentioned Jillee buying a bulk pack of wipes is probably cheaper (and less time consuming) than buying paper towels and having to fold them all. However, using wipes concerns me on what ingredients are used on them. I would probably boil the wipes, (keeping them in a stack) changing the water once or twice to get as much of the chemicals out as possible. After letting them cool I would press as much of the liquid out of them as possible while they are still stacked. I think that would allow them to receive more of your mixture. I might also change the rubbing alcohol to witch hazel. On a final note, you could make them reusable and use baby wash cloths instead of baby wipes or paper towels. Thank you for another great idea, Jillee!

  • How do you keep germs. mold and bacteria at bay with that much water? There is not enough essential oil in this (and there shouldn’t be due to baby’s sensitive skin) to help preserve this. You have alcohol in this, but you would need it at least at a 20% of the total recipe to preserve this. Couldn’t you buy a more natural version of this in a health food store? Isn’t your baby worth it?

  • I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and love just about everything I read! I really love the home made “Clorox” wipes, so I’m eager to give these ‘Swipes’ a try! :)

  • Jill, you can cover the wipes box. My DIL covered a small one to keep her little girl’s smaller toys in and one has her son’s hot wheel cars in it. Also good for other things, too.

    I do use baby wipes, and/or the flushable wipes here at home. I have even bought the travel size wipes to keep in the car. They now have them with the pop up lids and they stay moist for a long time. I just bought a package of 3 like that for around $5. They are also good for sticky hands in the car, as well as taking make-up off when traveling and even at home. I really need to get out my hot glue gun, some batting and fabric and cover a couple of boxes.

  • Definetly going to make this, since I will be driving with daughter to San Francisco next week and I am sure we will encounter suspect public facilities

    • Tina….I’ve gone “reusable” with paper towels….but haven’t tried it with wipes….yet. Adding it to the list. ;-)
      And I LOVE lavender and lemon as well! One of my favs!!!

  • >