DIY Cleaning Wipes (Reusable & Disinfecting)

DIY Reusable cleaning wipes

“I love to clean. I love to clean. I really love to clean.” 

Maybe I should try clicking my heels together, while holding the dog? “Toto…”

“I love to clean. I love to clean.” 


Despite my best effort, cleaning is simply not my “thing.” I realize it’s probably not many people’s “thing.” Very few people walk around dreaming about going home and breaking out the wipes, broom, and duster to spend hours cleaning every square inch of the house. Or is that just me?  Maybe cleaning really is some people’s “thing.”  If so, I have a room for you, and warm bread. Please say you’ll stay!

My “thing”? Well, I love my bed, fluffy pillows, and nap time. Ahh, the things that become your “thing” after embracing motherhood.

Anyway, we were talking about cleaning, not napping. Right? Let’s get back to the whole cleaning thing, because we have established it’s a “thing.”

DIY Reusable and Disinfecting Cleaning Cloths

Whether this whole cleaning love (AKA “thing”) is an inherited gene or inspired from browsing way too many Martha Stewart magazines, is still a great mystery to me. I love the benefits of a clean home; and I promise my family enjoys the benefits of a regularly (a word with many meanings) cleaned home. Nightly dishes are always tended to, clothes are folded when I’m not sidetracked by popsicle-making, and toilets are cleaned daily (four year-old boy, enough said). I diligently keep my house as clean as possible with an active family, eight chickens (they live outside) and two dogs.

Since the act of cleaning simply doesn’t fill me with warm little flurries of happiness, I’ve been trying to make chores much more of an enjoyable process. Something I look forward to, not just the end result, but the actual process of scrubbing around the potty (I mean, toilet) and wiping the counter for the umpteenth time. That’s a lot, incase you’re math challenged like myself; also not my “thing.”

DIY Reusable and Disinfecting Cleaning Cloths

Creating the Natural Kids’ Cleaning Kit convinced my kids cleaning was their “thing.” In fact, Londyn (2) can be found at random times during the day washing walls and spraying spots on the floor. True story. So, why can’t mommy fall in love with the cleaning process?

After much thought (time I probably should have spent cleaning) revelation came: I need to make the process appealing. “Appealing” was just the word I needed, the wheels turned and soon pretty pink washcloths were pulled from the back of the linen closet and vinegar was poured into a glass jar. This mom simply needed a change from the mundane white cloth and spray bottle (filled with natural homemade cleaner).

Enter the simplest DIY cleaning wipes EVER.

DIY cleaning wipes have turned cleaning chores into my “thing.” Pretty magical, right? While these wipes aren’t really magical, they pack a powerful natural cleaning punch via pretty little towels that can be reused over and over again. When the toilet needs some TLC, simply grab a wet wipe and dance your way into that bathroom. Magical!

DIY Reusable and Disinfecting Cleaning Cloths

Whether cleaning is your “thing” or your wanna-be “thing,” DIY cleaning wipes will make your house sparkle and keep your budget low with only a few simple, natural ingredients.

DIY Cleaning Wipes
  • 2 cups water (distilled for long term use, tap water is fine if using within a week)
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil (where to buy)
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil (where to buy)
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil (where to buy)
  • 6 washcloths
  1. Roll the washcloths and place in a jar.
  2. In a small bowl combine the water, vinegar, and essential oils.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the washcloths, pressing the washcloths down into the liquid. The washcloths should be wet. Depending on the size of your washcloths, you may need to add more vinegar/water as needed.
  4. Close the lid on the jar.
  5. Remove the washcloths from the jar as needed. Wash the dirty cloths in the washer, and repeat the process.

Bonus: DIY cleaning wipes are perfect to use as homemade Swiffer pads! Simply attach a wipe to a standard Swiffer base and clean the floor.

DIY Reusable and Disinfecting Cleaning Cloths

More DIYS You May Like: 

homemade surface cleaner

Two Homemade Surface Cleaner Recipes

kids cleaning kit

 Natural Kids’ Cleaning Kit + Printable


DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes

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  • Felecia says:

    Hi Kristin! What an awesome idea! Especially with children around! I love this! I have so many jars and rags; this will work for me! Blessings from Bama!

  • Bonnie says:

    Just for clarification – the washcloths are dry when put in the jar?

  • chrissy says:

    Hi there! Awesome idea, will definitely give it a try here! One question though…once you use one washcloth on the countertop or around the toilet seat…do you put it back in the jar to reuse or just toss in the hamper?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Chrissy, Thank you. Once a cloth has been used for cleaning I toss it in the washing machine and dryer. Once dry and clean I add it back to the cleaning solution, until more solution is needed to wet the washcloths.

  • Megan says:

    Genius! I go through way too many paper towels, using a similar homemade cleaning recipe. Why didn’t I ever think of just keep a jar of cloths soaking?! Thank you for your brain! :)

  • Heather Humes says:

    Thank you for this super idea! I just received my oils and was looking for a recipe to test them on and I found this. I made it and it works great. Thank you!!

  • Emily says:

    Excited to try this!
    Are the essential oils just for fragrance or do they have some anti-bacterial effect?
    And also what size jar do you use? Is a three-cup one enough? Or 5-cup to leave room to draw the towels in and out?


    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Emily, The EOs provide cleaning power (known for their antibacterial properties) and also mask the vinegar smell. I would go with the 5 cup jar just to be sure you have enough room for the towels. Enjoy!!!

      • Allison says:

        Any advice on where to purchase the 5 cup jars? Preferably online? Looking forward to trying this out as I try to reduce my waste footprint in 2015! Also, any particular wash cloths you recommend?

        • Kristin Marr says:

          Hey Allison, I always have good success finding large jars at Target. They can usually be found in the kitchen/cooking aisles. I usually purchase terrycloth washcloths (in packs of four) at Target as well. Enjoy!!

  • Earl Finch says:

    Hello there! Great idea, will definitely give it a try here!

  • Kristine says:

    I LOVE this recipe! My mom made me a bunch of pretty crochet dishcloths a while back that I had sitting around in a drawer. I finally found the perfect use for them. Thanks so much!

  • Lis says:

    I know this post is a little old now but do you still use the glass jar? I’m looking for something glass to store damp cloth baby wipes in for diaper changes and this looks like it could work. So after a few months is the glass container still convenient for you?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Lis, I still love my glass jars for cleaning and floor wipes. They are easy to clean and hold up very well. I just saw a few in the dollar section of Target this week and thought about buying a couple more :).

  • I love this idea!! I use a lot of those Clorox wipes for the bathroom, and occasionally other surfaces. Most of the time I use old towels or cut off t-shirt rags with vinegar in a spray bottle. My only concern is the acidity of the vinegar. Can the cloth get weakened by sitting in that solution? Thanks :-)

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey April, I’ve been using these wipes for about nine months now and so far the towels aren’t showing any signs of being weakened. I bought terrycloth wash towels, so I’m not sure if the material makes difference with a towel vs. t-shirt. The towels usually only sit in the vinegar solution for about 3 weeks, before they are all used and washed, then returned to the jar with vinegar.

  • Bruce Dixon says:

    Looking good! Thank you for the tip! I think my mom would be ecstatic to learn about this technique. When she first heard how hotels and restaurants have been using industrial fabric dyes to freshen-up their towels and table linens, my mom decided to recycle ours instead of buying new ones; so began the life of healthy living for us. Anyway, good job on the blog, keep it up!

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