Homemade wipes, great for many uses!
February at the grocery store means germs everywhere! From shopping carts to canned goods, there’s no escaping the coughs and sniffles of cold and flu season.
Unfortunately, I always seem to be bringing my toddler with me to the grocery store, which means putting him in the shopping cart. It seems that I always end up with the cart that has something sticky or yucky right on the handles. Of course, my toddler is teething, which means grabbing those handles, then putting his little fingers back into his mouth.
That’s why I always bring my own DIY wipes with me to the grocery store. Before I put my toddler (or my hands!) on the shopping cart, I wipe down the handles and sides thoroughly. While I’m doing this, I get lots of looks from other shoppers, but I keep wiping anyway! Germs are the last thing we need right now.
I had been buying commercial disinfecting wipes to use on our shopping cart, but then I read the list of ingredients. Among them were: polysorbate 20, fragrance, parabens (4 different ones!), and the active ingredient: Benzalkonium Chloride.
Pretty much some of the worst ingredients that can come in contact with your skin. The specific “cart wipes” offered a the grocery store entrance were just as bad, if not worse, than the ones I had in my purse.
So naturally, I decided I could do better. I began searching for a more natural cart wipe that would have friendlier ingredients and a lower price tag.
Ingredients for Disinfecting Naturally
After making my own DIY Hand Sanitizer a few years ago, I learned that one of the few ingredients that really kills germs is alcohol. Specifically, the CDC states alcohol (both isopropyl and ethyl) are most effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi when alcohol makes up at least 60-90% of a solution.
My second favorite ingredient for disinfecting is tea tree essential oil. It is extremely effective against viruses, bacteria, and other nasty germs, plus it smells clean.
These easy, disinfecting, homemade wipes are perfect for on-the-go cleaning. With just three simple ingredients, you’ll save time and money while promoting a healthier environment.
DIY Natural Disinfecting Shopping Cart Wipes
- 1 paper towel roll
- 1 large glass or plastic jar with lid
- ¼ cup distilled or filtered water (DIY Natural recommends these water filtration systems)
- ¾ cup high-proof ethyl alcohol (a.k.a. grain alcohol), or rubbing alcohol
- 40 drops tea tree essential oil (find pure organic tea tree oil here)
- Cut paper towel roll with a sharp knife to fit the height of your container. (Note: If your container is thinner than the paper towel roll, you’ll want to make sure you cut your paper towel roll to ¾ of the size of the container.) At this point you should be able to easily slide the cardboard tube out of the paper towel roll.
- Push your cut paper towel roll into your jar, squeezing it to fit if necessary.
- In a separate bowl, mix alcohol, water, and tea tree essential oil. Stir well.
- Slowly pour the alcohol mixture into your jar containing the cut paper towel roll. You should be able to see the liquid soaking into the paper towels.
- When it looks like the alcohol mixture has come into contact with the entire roll of paper towels, stop pouring. If it looks like the bottom of the paper towel roll is still dry, mix a little more of the alcohol solution and continue to pour.
- Cap your container and let the mixture soak into the paper towels for 5-10 minutes.
- After 5-10 minutes, open the jar and gently pull the first paper towel from the middle of the roll (this will allow the wipes to come out of the container in an easily dispensable way).
- At the grocery store, rub down cart thoroughly with 1-2 wipes.
- Wait 30 seconds before grabbing handles or placing child in cart.
- Discard wipes in the trash after using.
These homemade wipes will work on a variety of surfaces, not just shopping carts! I use them in public restrooms, in the car, and on so many yucky messes. Just remember to keep the wipes out of reach of children and away from flames as they do contain a high percentage of alcohol.