With the current outbreak of coronavirus, disinfectant wipes have become essential in every household. But since so many people are buying them, sometimes there are shortages in stores. Fortunately, these wipes are easy to make at home.
There are even a few options to make disinfectant wipes at home. Feel free to choose either bleach or alcohol as the main ingredient. You can also make either disposable or reusable wipes.
- Choose only ONE of these options:
- Isopropyl Alcohol 91%
- Ethanol 95%
- Bleach with at least 1000 ppm sodium hypochlorite
- Paper towels (disposable) or cloths (reusable)
- Airtight container
- Waterproof gloves
- Wear a pair of waterproof gloves. Direct exposure to these chemicals may cause skin irritation.
- For isopropyl alcohol, mix 7 cups of it with 3 cups of water.
- For ethanol, mix 6 cups of it with 4 cups of water.
- For bleach, mix half a cup of it with 1 gallon of water.
- Pour the mixture into an airtight container. Be careful not to fill it up completely. There should be some space for air in the container.
- Put the paper towels or cloths inside. Make sure they are completely submerged in the liquid.
- Leave it for five minutes to let the wipes soak up the solution thoroughly.
- Close the lid properly. Any air gap will affect the quality of the solution.
- Store the container in a dark and cold place.
Making disinfectant wipes at home seems pretty easy. However, some precautions are necessary to make ensure that they are effective and safe to use. Here are some things to be aware of in this process:
- Both bleach and alcohol may irritate the skin and eyes. Wearing gloves when handling them is essential.
- Wash your hands after handling these wipes, and avoid touching your face before using them.
- Never use bleach products that contain ammonia because they can be dangerous.
- Be precise with the proportions. Too much water in the solution will make it unable to kill viruses.
- Alcohol evaporates easily. It is vital to keep the container properly sealed.
- Bleach may cause metals to rust early. Use alcohol-based wipes to sanitize metal surfaces.
How to Use
No matter how good your wipes are, they won’t kill any viruses if you don’t use them properly. Here is how to do it right:
- These DIY disinfectant wipes are effective for no more than 24 hours after production. They may lose their effectiveness earlier if exposed to warm temperatures or light.
- These wipes can only work on hard surfaces. Use regular washing techniques with soap and water for soft surfaces like curtains and carpets to kill the germs on them.
- Wipe in one direction instead of back and forth to avoid reinfecting the surface.
- For bleach-based wipes, let the surface remain wet for no less than one minute after wiping. For alcohol-based ones, wait for the surface to dry naturally. Drying up the surface too early might leave the viruses still alive.
Both bleach and high-concentration alcohol are proven effective to kill many types of viruses, including coronavirus. Hence, there is no need to hesitate to use your homemade disinfectant wipes if you fail to find any in stores.