The world has never been more focused on sanitization and cleanliness, and more people than ever are wanting to stay as sanitary as possible when they’re out of the house.
What better to help you achieve instant cleanliness wherever you are than with alcohol wipes?
Alcohol wipes are an easy way to wipe things down or clean yourself up when you don’ have access to water and soap, and for many people these days, they’re a staple for their handbag, or even packed carefully away in a bug out bag or survival kit.
After some time and regular use though, it can get expensive to constantly buy new packets of wipes, so you might even consider making your own.
Is it better to carry alcohol wipes or make your own on the go?
There are pros and cons for either choice, with store-bought alcohol wipes being faster and more convenient, but a DIY wipe saves money and provides a consistent quality disinfectant. Depending on what benefits appeal more to you, either of these would be a good option.
If you’re someone who always carries alcohol wipes with them, you might have considered making your own before but weren’t sure if it was even possible. We’ll show you how to make DIY alcohol wipes and the advantages and disadvantages they have, compared to buying them straight from the store.
The Benefits of Using Alcohol Wipes
Alcohol wipes have been around for years, but they’ve never been more popular than they are today, due to our post-Covid-19 world.
If you’re loyal to your wipes and would like to store some in a bug out bag or survival kit, you already know the benefits they offer. For those who don’t regularly carry them, here’s why you should start:
Quick and easy
An alcohol wipe stays put in your handbag, pocket, or backpack until you’re ready to use it. They’re small and discreet but take just seconds to use.
Even if you don’t need to disinfect something entirely but still want to clean it, an alcohol wipe does a great job. These wipes can cut through grease, dirt, oil, and other debris for an instant clean.
Sanitizes and disinfects
The biggest benefit of alcohol wipes is their disinfectant power which can remove bacteria and other harmful germs. They’re also great for cleaning surfaces on things like cell phones and benchtops, so you can constantly have the most pristine and hygienic surroundings at all times.
Promotes healthy living
You’re far less likely to become sick from an illness that you picked up from bacteria and germs somewhere if you wipe things down the correct way with an alcohol solution.
DIY Alcohol Wipes and Carrying Wipes: Which is Best?
Alcohol wipes are an essential part of many people’s bags, as you never know when they’re going to come in handy.
If you’re a regular user of wipes and have been considering making your own, we’ve got the good, the bad, and the ugly on both options so you can decide whether it’s the right move to make.
Pros of DIY Wipes
Making your own wipes costs just a few cents per wipe, versus buying them in the store which can cost more than double that. For people using them regularly, this will equate to huge savings within just the first month.
Better for the planet
The wipes used are similar to face wipes and baby wipes in that they’re not easily degradable and can be harmful to the planet. Using a tissue, toilet paper, or applying rubbing alcohol directly to your hands instead will cut down on these materials dramatically.
When you purchase the alcohol yourself you can guarantee it’s in the purest form possible. This ensures that it kills a higher percentage of bacteria, compared to store-bought wipes where you’re not always sure what level the alcohol is.
Cons of DIY Wipes
Making your own wipes takes time and energy, versus buying them at the store. If you’re using rubbing alcohol or dousing a paper towel with sanitizer every time you want to use them, you’ll be spending extra time at this step as well.
Harder to carry
If you’re someone who prefers to travel light, having a bottle of alcohol or disinfectant can add some bulk to your bag. You’ll also find that some places don’t allow you to bring these types of products in, like on an airplane or somewhere with a security check.
Pros of Store-Bought Wipes
They travel easily
Compared to carrying alcohol with you, there’ll be no issues traveling anywhere with a packet of store-bought wipes. Alcohol wipes can come with you on a plane, train, bus, and anywhere else you’re allowed but might need to have your belongings searched.
Having a packet of wipes ready to go in your bag is a lot easier than having to use rubbing alcohol or dose a tissue or paper towel with it. Most seal up with a plastic cover to keep them moist and they’re always ready within seconds.
Cons of Store-Bought Wipes
Bad for the environment
Alcohol wipes, makeup wipes, and baby wipes can take up to 100 years to disintegrate once they’ve been thrown into the trash. Worse still, many people throw theirs down the toilet which wreaks havoc with the sewerage system. By using alcohol wipes each day, you’re contributing to this environmental damage.
Not always as strong
When you purchase store-bought alcohol wipes, it’s hard to tell what their strength is, and over time they can become less powerful. Some might be labeled as effective at killing 99.9% of germs, but if they dry out or become diluted, they won’t be as powerful.
How to Make DIY Alcohol Wipes
If you’ve always wanted to make your own alcohol wipes but didn’t know how you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is.
With all of the benefits that this DIY version of wipes offers, there are so many good reasons to ditch the store-bought variety and opt for this more effective and economical version.
The most important ingredient when making alcohol wipes or hand sanitizers is alcohol.
There are two common varieties which are isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, and ethyl, the type used in the beer, wine, and spirits that we drink. The key is to find a solution with at least 60% alcohol, as this active ingredient will be doing all of the work.
DIY Alcohol Wipes
Making your own alcohol wipes can save a lot of money, and have a positive impact on your carbon footprint.
You can choose to use paper towel squares or pieces of soft cloth that can be stored in a zip-loc bag and then washed at home if you want to go for a green approach. These wipes can be used to clean your hands, cell phone, remotes, doorknobs, and any other surface that requires it.
- Minimum 60% alcohol solution (isopropyl or ethyl)
- Paper towels or cloth cut into squares 4 x 4 inches
- 2 x Ziploc bags
Step by Step
- Assemble a Ziploc bag with your clean cloths and paper towels, and a spare zip-loc for the used ones.
- Pour the alcohol solution in a travel-friendly container or squeeze top.
- When you need a wipe, simply pour some of the alcohol directly onto the cloth, and wipe down the surface.
- Place the used cloths into the spare Ziploc and store them in your bag.
- Wash the cloths at home and dry them before use.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
If you’d prefer not to carry around tissues and paper towels in a bug out bag just to make your own wipes, you can easily create a hand sanitizer that travels with you just as easily.
Hand sanitizer works the same, and kills the germs on the hands, but doesn’t remove them, so when you can use soap and water instead, it’s the best approach.
- Small plastic bottle with a squeeze top that can fit in your bag
- 2/3 cup 90% alcohol isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
- 1/3 cup of pure aloe vera
- 10 drops of chosen essential oil
Step by Step
- Make sure your plastic bottle has been cleaned out and is dry.
- Fill up the bottle with isopropyl alcohol.
- Pour in the aloe vera gel.
- Add 10 drops of your chosen essential oil to help with the scent.
- Close the lid of the bottle and shake vigorously so it’s mixed together.
- Test the product on your skin before taking it out to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
Making your own alcohol wipes is just one way you can save some money and ensure a greener and healthier way of living.
If you’re interested in ditching the store-bought variety and making sanitizers and wipes yourself, read on to see the answers to some commonly asked questions that might give you some inspiration.
Can I Add Alcohol to Baby Wipes?
If you have a spare store of baby wipes handy and want to turn them into sanitizing alcohol wipes, you’ll need isopropyl that’s at least 70% alcohol.
Using the sealed container of baby wipes that the product is housed in, you can pour a generous amount of the alcohol into it and on top of them to cover them, and then use one as a sanitizing wipe as needed.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide a Good Disinfectant?
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to treat skin wounds and is applied directly to cuts and scrapes to kill any germs, viruses, and bacteria.
It’s sometimes used as a household cleaner as well, due to its disinfectant properties, and can be used to wipe down benches and add to water for mopping. As a portable wipe solution though, it’s not as good, because it’s harsher on the skin than alcohol.
Will 50% Alcohol Kill Germs?
The concentration level of alcohol is very important in determining how well it kills germs, with between 70% and 90% seen as the optimal amount. Alcohol with only 50% concentration is not ideal as a sanitizing solution as it’s diluted to a point where it can’t kill germs as effectively.