Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homemade Kitchen Wipes

I admit that I have long used those disposable bleach wipes on my counters and tables, and for a while I was mandated to use them by my state because I operated a home daycare. Now however, I question the chemical residue left on my family's eating surfaces by these wipes, not to mention the unecessary landfill waste they produce and the huge carbon footprint they create. So, um, I needed to think up another option.

But what?

It's so darn handy to grab a wipe, clean of a counter and pitch it. I don't always have a lot of time *ahem* in my life, so my solution had to be quick and easy. Finally, and completely out of nowhere, it came to me: here's my solution.

You will need:

A container in which to keep wipes (must be leakproof and it's great if it has a flip top lid)
Rags (or old baby washcloths, in my case)
1/2 cup liquid castille soap (I like peppermint Dr. Bronner's)
2-3 cups water
Essential oils for fragrance, if preferred (hel-lo lemon!)
Tea tree oil for disinfecting properties, if preferred

The process: 

Combine all liquid ingredients in the container, starting with 2 cups of water. Mix well. (This is also when you should add several drops of essential oil, if you're using it. Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, so if that's important to you then use some, although it has a strong smell. Sniff first.)

Add your rags, or multitude of baby washcloths that you've inexplicably saved in the deep, dark depths of a bathroom closet since your oldest child's baby shower six years ago. You know, whichever you've got laying around. Give the whole thing a good shake to distribute soap mixture. You may need to pour another cup or so of water over the top cloths to get them wet.
 This is why the flip-top lid really helps. Just reach in...
 ..and pull out your wipe! Now clean up that mess!
 Depending upon the type of cloth rag you use, you may find you need to play with the ratios of castille soap to water. My baby washcloths produce suds easily, so I tend to use a bit less castille soap than if I were using, say, cotton or terrycloth. Play around with it a little to get your perfect recipe.

Because my bathroom is right next to my kitchen, I've been throwing the used rags into my laundry bin right there. If you don't have a bathroom handy you could always keep a small pail next to your waste basket to take to the laundry room when you get the chance.

May I just mention that I am in love, love, love with the scent combination of peppermint and lemon? My house smells so fresh and clean. I even use these in the bathroom when I'm doing my swish and swipes and I stick the dirty wipes in the diaper pail (I figure if they clean the toilet seat, they belong with the diaper laundry). Pepperminty, lemony clean just makes me so happy.

Doesn't it feel (and smell) good to clean green?


  1. Great idea! I am a new mom to a 9 month old and have lots of messes to clean up nowadays. lol I like this idea. Where do you store that at? Where do you put those rags when you are done using them? In a laundry hamper or what? Do you keep them or throw them out? Sorry I have so many questions. Just trying to get ideas for my place. Thanks for the tips!

  2. This is really great. Just a little tip I've found but if you also had in 1 cup of vinegar for every 2 cups of water that will also naturally help kill the germs! =)

    Happy Cleaning!

    1. Love the idea, Nikki. It's a "must do" for my next batch. Plus, diluted like that the vinegar won't even overpower the essential oil fragrance that I'm really loving.

  3. Josefa, I store the container in a cabinet in my kitchen, and I just throw used wipes into the laundry when I'm done with them. Good luck!

  4. Do they get stinky? Like the mildew smell of an old, wet, dish towel? BTW... Just found this blog tonight and I LOOOOOOVE it!!!!!

  5. Anya, thanks for the comment! :) The wipes will get stinky if you leave them, unopened, for a long time. I find that I use them so much that they all get laundered with regularity. I stack clean ones next to the container until I've used all the wet ones, then mix up a new batch of solution. That way, no wipes ever mildew.

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  8. Hi Emily,
    Can I use a disinfectant by name available in India(Dettol) in place of Tea Tree oil?

  9. Hi Emily,
    Instead of putting the cloth pieces, Can I make the above solution and put it in a spray bottle and can spray and wipe the kitchen counter with a regular cloth that i use for my kitchen.

  10. Josefa, I store the container in a cabinet in my kitchen, and I just throw used wipes into the laundry when I'm done with them. Good luck!Portugal Properties for sale

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  12. Josefa, I store the container in a cabinet in my kitchen, and I just throw used wipes into the laundry when I'm done with them. Good luck!Best Portable Induction Cooktop

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