07 Feb DIY-Natural Hand Wipes
If you are running around all the time like my family, you’ll love this easy way to make some natural wipes to have with you for whatever your busy day throws your way. And with busy school/sports schedules and cold and flu season upon us, it’s a great way to keep clean on the go. I like to use pure castile soap and essential oils to get a “fresh from the sink” feeling. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll be reaching for these to clean something up: snacking in the car, port-o-potties at events, tailgating, traveling, post sweaty workout, it’s a LONG list. And since you can make these yourself you can pick the ingredients you like and avoid all those harsh chemical cleaners. My kids love to help me make these as well, I usually let them pick whatever scent they like so then they look forward to cleaning up. Here’s what to do:
MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED
- Dry Wipes- You can order dry wipes from Amazon. If you plan to do this a lot, you can get an even better deal by buying a larger quantity so shop around. I like to make sure they are biodegradable.
- Essential Oils-I usually use two: Tea Tree Oil as it is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and it’s great for skin; and Orange Oil mostly for the smell, this one seems to be liked by adults and kids and the citrus scent gives the wipes a fresh clean smell.
- Distilled water (or just boil some water)
- Castile Soap – This is a really important ingredient. I used to think that the soap was what killed the germs on my hands but it actually works in a different way. The soap helps break the surface tension of the water allowing it to get between your skin and the impurities to help remove them. That’s why many doctors don’t actually recommend antibacterial soaps, plain soap works just as well. I like to use Castile soap because it’s made with olive oil and is super gentle on the skin (and I have a kid prone to eczema) . Try to use an unscented castile soap so the scent won’t interfere with the essential oils you’ve picked.
- Airtight Container
- Measuring Cup and Spoon
WHAT YOU’LL DO
- I like to wash my hands first or put on gloves to help reduce the amount of contamination in the wipes.
- Place the dry wipes into the container. For this batch I’m using a bundle of 50 wipes (10×13). I like to use a tupperware type container with a tight lid to keep them as fresh as possible.
- Making the liquid formula to go on the wipes is where you can really customize these to your needs. I’ll share my basic formula but you can easily change this. In the measuring cup, add 10-12 oz water, 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, 3-4 drops Orange Oil, 1/4 teaspoon Castile Soap. Stir vigorously to mix.
- Pour a small amount of the liquid over the wipes. Then, start “cutting the deck” by picking up a section of your stack and turning it over and pouring some more liquid on. Once you’ve poured it all on, take both fists and press down on the top to help the liquid soak into your stack. You can also pick up sections and twist/wring them to help the liquid soak in. Keep rotating through the stack till you feel like the liquid is distributed throughout.
- They do not have preservative in them so depending on how they are stored they will last about 2-3 weeks. I keep the larger container in the refrigerator so they stay fresh then take out small amounts and put them in plastic baggies for my purse, backpack etc.
SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO CUSTOMIZE:
- Change up how much liquid you use to make them more/less wet. Some people like them super wet, some just barely moist so feel free to try out different amounts of liquid and see what works for you.
- Change the size of the wipes by cutting them in half or quarters.
- Change up the essential oils. This is the most fun to play around with but be careful what you mix together as the oils often have a strong scent on their own and mixed together they sometimes don’t work out. We once mixed up something my daughter said smelled like “wet dog”, not good! You can also use one of the blends offered by the popular essential oil providers for things like, germ fighting, calming, energizing, etc. Here are some of our favorite customizations:
- Lemon Oil- great to add a fresh scent
- Lavendar- great scent (a little more on the girl-y side) and germ fighting as well
- Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary, Thyme- these are more germ fighting but they often have a very strong smell so be careful what you mix them with
- Germ Fighter/Thieves Oil- this a popular blend offered by many essential oil providers. I like to use this one when I know there is something going around our school (like the stomach bug or strep). It usually has a pretty strong scent and my kids didn’t like it as much when they were younger, now they don’t seem to mind as much.