DIY Homemade Hand Sanitizing Wipes

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*The sanitizing wipes listed below are not confirmed to work with Covid-19/Coronavirus. The CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If this cannot be done, then look for hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% ethanol or ethyl alcohol. The FDA advises against the use of hand sanitizers containing methanol.

Conventional hand wipes are typically full of a ton of nasty toxins, such as triclosan and phthtalates.  Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent that has been used for decades in soaps, sanitizers, deodorants and more.  It has been shown to cause skin and eye irritation and has been linked to more serious concerns such as endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity.  Phthalates are used to make plastics flexible and also as solvents.  They have been linked to disruptions of the endocrine system, low sperm count and liver cancer, among other things.  So, needless to say, it is best to avoid most major hand sanitizers.

There are natural alternatives to those nasty conventional hand sanitizing wipes.  I prefer to use Herban Essentials Towelettes.  They come in convenient, individually-wrapped packages, and they use essential oils such as lemon oil and eucalyptus oil, which are naturally antibacterial and antiseptic.  EO and Clean Well also make hand sanitizing wipes.

But store-bought towelettes can be expensive, and those individual wrappers can add up in the landfill.  So I found a couple of great recipes for homemade hand sanitizing wipes.  Some people prefer to avoid the use of alcohol so I have provided recipes for wipes with and without alcohol.  Alcohol, vinegar and certain essential oils have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties.  Witch hazel is an astringent.  And glycerin and aloe vera gel have skin softening properties.

Recipe #1 – The Alcohol-Free Version

Combine the following in a large bowl:

  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (as pure as you can find)
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable glycerin (this is optional but does soften skin)
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Take a stack of paper towels (maybe 20 or so) and cut them in half (or use the kind that comes in multiple sizes).  Roll them up and stick in the bowl until they have completely absorbed the mixture.  Once there is no liquid left in the bowl, take the whole stack and put in a ziploc bag or leftover baby wipe container.  Don’t worry if part of the paper towels is still dry.  They will become completely saturated after a few hours in the container.  And you are done!

If you don’t care for the scent of tea tree or peppermint oils, you can do any combination of essential oils that you prefer.  According to NIH, essential oils that have the strongest antimicrobial properties include: cinnamon, thyme, clove, mint, origanum and salvia.

Recipe #2 – The Alcohol Version

Combine the following in a large bowl:

  • 1/2 cup aloe vera gel (as pure as you can find)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol (at least 60% ethanol or ethyl alcohol)
  • 1 tbsp witch hazel
  • 20 drops of any essential oils you prefer (see recipe above for discussion about essential oils)

Take a stack of paper towels (maybe 20 or so) and cut them in half (or use the kind that comes in multiple sizes).  Roll them up and stick in the bowl until they have completely absorbed the mixture.  Once there is no liquid left in the bowl, take the whole stack and put in a ziploc bag or leftover baby wipe container.  Don’t worry if part of the paper towels is still dry.  They will become completely saturated after a few hours in the container.  And you are done!

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2 thoughts on “DIY Homemade Hand Sanitizing Wipes

  1. Could you use this alcohol version of the recipe and just put it in a bottle as a gel hand sanitizer?

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