DIY disinfectant wipes to keep your surfaces germ-free in the midst of coronavirus

Ama Nunoo Ama Nunoo | Editor March 20, 2020

Photo: Botswana Youth Magazine

The novel coronavirus news is rolling on our newsreels and social media feeds. More people are getting the virus across the world and people have been advised to stay at home and step out only when they really need to.

Health experts say washing of hands and avoiding facial contact whiles continually using hand sanitizers are some of the ways to prevent oneself from catching the virus. Unfortunately, the virus lurks on surfaces and disinfectant wipes are almost out of stock; what better time than now to learn to make your own.

It is important to know that not all cleaning wipes double as disinfectant wipes. Make sure you are learning to make disinfectant wipes and not just ordinary cleaning wipes, especially now that we need to rid all our surfaces from viruses such as coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says to make effective disinfectant wipes, they must contain at least 70% alcohol. Make sure to buy either isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol) or grain alcohol that is at least 140 proof.

pouring remainder of homemade disinfecting wipes solution over paper towels making homemade disinfecting wipes with essential oils



It is a natural antibacterial and antiviral. It damages the cell walls of organisms and eventually destroys them.

Hydrogen peroxide

This, when added to the alcohol effectively, inactivates viruses. According to the Journal of Hospital Infection, just about .5% of hydrogen peroxide does the trick.

Essential oil

Some essential oils like tea tree lavender, geranium, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, thyme and orange have antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties. They also have a nice smell as they have deodorizing properties.

stacking paper towels to add to homemade disinfecting wipes cleaning solution DIY lysol wipes DIY clorox wipes


Step 1: Mix the following in a large measuring cup or pitcher

  • 3 cups alcohol (see note below about which alcohol to use)
  • 3/4 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops clove essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil

Step 2: Pour about 2 cups of the alcohol/hydrogen peroxide/essential oil mixture into your wipes container

Tip: Choose a container with an airtight lid

Tip: Choose a container that’s made from materials safe to use with diluted essential oils.  Glass, stainless steel, and certain types of plastic (plastic #1 HDPE or plastic #2 PET) work well.

Tip:  Choose a container that’s large enough to hold 30-40 paper towels plus the 3 cups of disinfecting solution.

Step 3:  Prepare the paper for your wipes

  • You can use paper towels, dinner napkins, or disposable guest towels.  Make sure that whatever you choose to use is thick, high-quality paper so that it will stand up to the disinfectant and use.
  • Use about 30-40 Select-a-Size paper towels, dinner napkins, or guest towels.
  • If using paper towels, fold each in half like I did in the photo below.
  • Then stack the 30-40 wipes on top of each other.

Step 4:  Fold the stack of wipes and add them to your wipes container

Step 5:  Turn the wipes container on its side and swirl the disinfectant liquid around the wipes so that they all get wet.

Step 6:  Pour the remaining cup of disinfectant over the wipes trying to get all the wipes wet.

Tip:  You should have some liquid at the bottom of your wipes container. This liquid will help make sure that your wipes stay properly moistened as you use them in the future.