DIY Cleaning Supplies
Amidst the craziness that has taken over our world, much of daily life has been halted to a stop. Even life’s most mundane tasks, like going to the grocery store, becomes a fierce competition of who can get their hands on the last bottle of hand sanitizer.
If you’re trying to keep your social distance from the supermarket but desperately need cleaning supplies, fear not; you can easily make your own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. These simple recipes can be created with household supplies, so you can continue to #stayathome. No need to run to the nearest store to grab materials for these easy recipes!
DIY Hand Sanitizer
The hand sanitizer recipe below kills 99.99% of germs after rubbing your hands for 60 seconds. According to the CDC, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that adheres to the alcohol volume requirement should greatly reduce the germs on your hands and destroy many disease-causing agents, such as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It is important to note, however, that using hand sanitizers does not eliminate all types of germs, and washing your hands with good old-fashioned soap and water is always more effective in destroying pathogens.
3/4 cup isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (91 to 99% alcohol volume)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
10 drops of an essential oil of your choice, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil. If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lemon juice instead.
plastic container for storage
- Start with a clean workspace. Before you begin, wipe down countertops with a diluted bleach solution and be sure to wash your hands.
- First pour aloe, then alcohol into a large bowl (ideally, one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container).
- Mix ingredients together with a spoon. Then, beat with a whisk to turn the mixture into a gelatinous consistency.
- Add essential oil(s) or lemon juice and whisk mixture again.
- Funnel ingredients into an empty container (or containers) for easy use. Be sure to label it “hand sanitizer.”
- Make sure that the alcohol you are using in your mixture is not diluted!
- If you plan on sharing your hand sanitizer (the homeless population is in great need of cleaning supplies!), make sure you identify the chemicals in your mixture before sharing it with others.
- Adding aloe first creates a more gelatinous consistency, while adding alcohol first creates a more liquidy substance that would work better in a spray container. Feel free to experiment with both methods and consistencies depending on the types of containers you have available.
DIY Disinfectant Wipes
Another commodity that has quickly disappeared from every grocery store shelf is disinfectant wipes. This household supply is an important weapon to use to stop the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from spreading to your home. The CDC recommends that you clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes: tables, countertops, doorknobs, lightswitches, phones, computer keyboards, shopping carts, desks, handles, toilets, faucets and sinks.
Here is a quick and easy recipe to create your own disinfectant wipes using common household supplies!
4 teaspoons bleach
1 quart water
glass, stainless, steel or plastic container with an airtight lid
30-40 paper towels/dinner napkins/disposable guest towels
5-10 drops essential oil(s) (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together in a large glass measuring bowl.
- Add your wipes to a container. Your container should be large enough to hold your disinfectant solution and 30-40 wipes.
- Pour solution into the container over the wipes.
- Close the lid and turn the container on its side to gently swirl the solution, allowing the wipes to fully absorb the solution. It’s okay if there’s extra solution at the bottom, as it will keep the wipes moist.
- Don’t forget to label your container!
- Feel free to add essential oils to your solution. The following list of 11 essential oils are antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, and deodorizing: tea tree, lavender, geranium, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, peppermint.
- Whatever material you choose to use as your disinfectant wipe should be strong enough to stand up to the disinfectant solution. If you choose to use paper towels, fold them in half and stack on top of each other.
- You can also use an empty spray bottle if you would prefer a spray solution.
If you do happen to find disinfectant wipes at the supermarket, check these guidelines to ensure that your cleaner is effective in killing coronavirus germs.
Making your own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes is a great, cheap way to help stop the spread of coronavirus in your home, while staying at home! If you know a medical worker or other essential worker, brighten their day by leaving some homemade hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes on their doorstep with a note of appreciation. A little gesture will go a long way!