How to make your own disinfectant wipes

How to make your own disinfectant wipes

Disinfectant wipes are an effective way to protect your home against viruses, including the COVID-19 coronavirus. Unfortunately, disinfectant wipes are in short supply right now, so we’re sharing a method to make your own disinfectant wipes with household items.

For both methods, you’ll first need to create a disinfectant solution from household bleach.

In order to make disinfectant wipes that resemble shop-bought wipes, you’ll then need a thick, high-quality paper towel, such as Blitz. Paper towels can be hard to purchase at the moment, so we’ve also included a method that uses old, unwanted clothing as a reusable alternative.

How to make a bleach-based disinfectant solution


You will need:


- An empty spray bottle
- Measuring jug
- Household bleach (containing sodium hypochlorite)
- Personal Protective Equipment


To make your disinfectant solution:
 

1. Open windows and turn on extractor fans

Bleach fumes can be harmful to your lungs, so open windows and turn on extractor fans to ensure that the room is well ventilated before you begin mixing your disinfectant.1

2. Wash your hands with soapy water for 20 seconds

Before completing any cleaning, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soapy water. You can view NHS guidance on hand-washing below:
 


3. Put on protective equipment

Household bleach is an irritant, so make sure that you are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before you handle bleach. You should wear a mask, goggles, an apron and rubber gloves while handling and using bleach. Always read the label on your product and follow all instructions to ensure safe use of bleach.

4. Mix your solution

Standard household bleach usually contains 5% sodium hypochlorite, which should be mixed at a dilution of 1:100 with cold tap water.2 If your bleach has a lower concentration, adjust accordingly (i.e. if your bleach contains 2.5% sodium hypochlorite, use twice as much bleach).

5% sodium hypochlorite bleach should be mixed at the following ratios, depending on the size of your bottle:

Screw your lid back on and shake to mix the solution. 

5. Handle carefully

Bleach is a powerful chemical, so the following precautions should be taken:

- You should label the bottle containing your bleach solution clearly
- Do not leave bleach in reach of children at any time
- Avoid mixing any bleach solution with other chemicals
- Do not store your bleach solution - mix fresh when required 3

How to make disinfectant wipes using paper towels


You will need:


- Bleach-based disinfectant solution
- Thick, high-quality paper towel
- A serrated bread knife
- An airtight container, such as a kilner jar or a deep tupperware box

To make your disinfectant wipes:


1. Use a bread knife to halve your paper towel

Place your roll of kitchen towel on a breadboard, and saw in half using a sharp, serrated bread knife. Exercise caution when using your knife to avoid injury.

2. Place your kitchen towel into an airtight container

Grab an airtight plastic container that is roughly the same size as one half of your kitchen towel. Place your kitchen towel upright in the container.

3. Saturate your kitchen towel with disinfectant solution

Gently pour your solution over your kitchen towel that is sitting in your container. You’ll need to apply 250-500ml to saturate your wipes, depending on the size of your kitchen towel. Each paper towel should be just about covered with the solution, but be careful not to overfill - there should be no standing water at the bottom of your container.

4. Remove the centre tube from your paper towel and pull out wipes

Carefully remove the centre tube from your paper towels. Pull out the central paper towel, and tear at the edge. Leave the next towel hanging out so it can easily be removed next time it’s required.

You can now remove your disinfectant towels, one by one, as you would from a pack of wipes.

5. Cover with an airtight lid, for future use

Once you’ve made your wipes, you can cover the container with an airtight lid, to be used as and when required.  

Making disinfectant wipes using old clothes


You will need:


- Bleach-based disinfectant solution
- An old T-shirt
- Scissors
- An airtight container, such as a kilner jar or a deep tupperware box

To make your disinfectant wipes:


1. Use scissors to cut your T-shirt into wipe-size pieces

Using scissors, carefully cut your unwanted T-shirt into squares of approximately 15cm x 15cm.

2. Place your T-shirt pieces into an airtight container 

Grab an airtight plastic container that will fit your T-shirt pieces and place these inside. You can fold your T-shirt pieces if needed.

3. Saturate your T-shirt pieces with disinfectant solution

Gently pour your solution over your T-shirt pieces that are in your container. Pour enough solution to just about cover, and saturate, each wipe. 

Your wipes are now ready to use, and you can now remove your disinfectant towels from your stack, one by one, as required.

4. Cover with an airtight lid, for future use

Once you’ve made your wipes, you can cover the container with an airtight lid, to be used as and when required. 

5. Once used, machine wash

After you’ve used each of your T-shirt wipes, these can be placed straight into the washing machine, and can be washed at a high temperature of 60C+.

Once washed and dried, you can reuse your T-shirt squares again and again.

References

1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000143.htm
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/table/annexg.t1/?report=objectonly
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/