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DIY: Homemade Cleansing Wipes

Cleansing wipes are extremely convenient and great to have on hand when you are cleaning surfaces.

Most commercial disinfecting wipes are made of harsh chemicals and fragrances which can be unsafe for your family and the environment.

 Take the worry out of your life by making your own cleansing wipes. Making your own wipes is easy, fun, effective, and affordable. You probably already have everything you need in your home, so get going!

 What you need:

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  • 1 roll premium paper towels
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
  • 3 drops On Guard Protective Blend
  • 3 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons On Guard Foaming Hand Wash
  • An airtight storage container


Cut paper towel in half widthwise with a serrated or electric knife. Use half the roll now, and half later.

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Combine water, fractionated coconut oil, essential oils, and On Guard Foaming Hand Wash in a small bowl.

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Pour the mixture over the paper towels and then cover with the airtight lid letting the mixture absorb for 10 minutes.

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Turn the container over and let sit for another 10 minutes.

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Remove and discard the cardboard middle. Just pull the wipes from the center when you are ready to use.

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 Submitted by Heather Gunnerson, Independent Product Consultant

“I use the sanitizing wipes just like I would use brand name wipes. The difference is, even my kids can wipe door knobs, walls, light switches, etc., and I am not worried about the chemicals.”

This was originally featured in the Spring 2012 dōTERRA Living Magazine.

Essential oils can be purchased online, or from any of our Independent Product Consultants. If you would like to locate a Product Consultant in your area, click here.

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  1. I made baby wipes like this years ago, but I removed the cardboard tube before plscing the paper towels in the water mixture.

  2. I made baby wipes like this years ago, but I removed the cardboard tube before placing the paper towels in the water mixture.

  3. Does it matter what the airtight container is made out of? Does it need to be glass or is plastic okay? I know these would be sitting around for awhile, especially I am reuse the same container the next time I make a batch. I haven’t had much chance to use the oils to make my own cleaners, but I am wanting to and just want to do it right. Thanks!

  4. You could use either plastic or glass because the essential oils are so diluted. If you are going to use plastic make sure it is high quality.

  5. Doesn’t the container have to be glass because of the oils?this is so wonderful to have ready for in the home, diaper bag, traveling, camping, shopping, gifts(nursing homes,new moms),etc. Thanks!

  6. I made these up for my little girls classroom. I used a coffee can because it was the perfect size. However, after a week the wipes smelled like coffee, guess that coffee really gets into the plastic and the cans. So I’m on the look out for the perfect container. LOVE these wipes!

  7. I wonder if you took this same idea and used the TerraShield if it would make an easy way to apply the TerraShield as a bug repellent? Would it be to weak? Just thinking.

  8. I would not use plastic as my experience from past use the oil eats away at the plastic. I put small drop of oil in cold humidifier and the oil ruined the inside. I would be interesed to hear from other as to what pladtic they have used and if they had problems. Thank you.

  9. I found BPA free plastic containers at my local Wal Mart has worked well for me.I have made both the disinfecting wipes and the baby wipes.

  10. For the mold problem, the mold quickly because there are no preservatives! To delay the mold? I add 5 drops of melaleuca to the mix!

  11. Ways to keep mold out of preservative free stuff:

    1. Use distilled water. Tap water has a lot of junk in it, believe it or not, and it’s coming out of a sink faucet that, let’s face it, doesn’t get sterilized often. Distilled water will keep it a bit fresher longer.
    2. Use glass containers and sanitize them before and between uses. Hot water or freezing the container and lid overnight will do the trick.
    3. Cinnamon and tea tree essential oils are great for staving off mold, so maybe add these into the mix.
    4. Sanitize the TOWELS themselves. Throw them in a plastic baggy, and shove them in the freezer overnight. They’re going to be wet when you make this recipe anyways, so freeze them overnight to kill anything on them. Then, pull them out, let them thaw out in the container for an hour and make the recipe as usual.

    If mold and mildew still bugs you even after all of that, try to add a bit of vodka to the mix instead of just water. If you’re STILL having trouble, you probably don’t use enough of these in a reasonable sitting, so you might want to cut the recipe down further and make travel sized versions of it. Nothing completely natural is going to stay mold free when sitting unused, which is the downside to going preservative free.

  12. Thanks for the comment about adding 5 drops of Melaleuca to prevent the mold. I’d heard that was happening with the baby wipes too.

  13. What is the purpose for using the OnGuard foaming handwash? Can any handwash/soap do? Does it need to be foaming? Or, can the soap be byoassed by adding more oil or Castor Oil soap?

  14. I made these and the first batch was too wet so I reduced the amount of water and used on guard oil blend. love it.

  15. I would think that if you used a “select-a-size” type towel, after cutting the towels, you could fold them on the perforation lines accordian style, soak them per the instructions then use them like wipes in a square container. Maybe even put some in a zippy bag for travel. What do you think? Has anyone tried this?

  16. Mindy Lee, my hand wipes of ten drops Melaleuca, ten drops lavender molded just as badly and quickly as my cleaning wipes. Any ideas, doTERRA??? Made a new batch this morning with Witch Hazel instead of water to see if that makes a difference, but I don’t like the smell as well.

  17. Doh! I just made a batch then read about the mold problems/issues. Why not use 1 cup vinegar 1 cup water?? I have my previous cleanser of choice, Vinegar with the rinds of a few oranges that I LOVEEEE cleaning with and has never had ‘mold issues’. Think I’ll be adding some of that to the batch to help prevent troubles. :)

  18. Jamie for the disinfectant spray, I just mix up warm water and the doTerra cleaning concentrate. Voila!! Not needing any other oils or mixing and loving the cleaning power. As I just stated, I’ve been using a vinegar mix with soaking orange peels in in for 2 weeks before use and its a GREAT cleanser also.

  19. The recipe remains the same except you would use 3 drops of Lavender and Melaleuca essential oil instead of the On Guard essential oil, Lemon essential oil, and Foaming Hand Wash. Hope that helps.

  20. Great ideas, everyone! I will try adding a little vodka to the mixture.
    To Karren, who would like to find a doTerra rep, look me up on FB and I would be happy to help you learn how to use EO in your daily life AND get a discount! Paula HenkelmannKiley

  21. For those wondering about mold in baby wipes, use the princelionheart warmies wipes warmer, and instead of paper towel, use washcloths, cut the recipe just enough to wet/soack the wipes. Since they are warm, they stay mold free, and babies love, love, love the feeling! Also use destilled water, but you use them so often, you might not need that much mold prevention.
    For the counter wipes try using the crockpot SCCPLC-200 which is 20oz crock food warmer. It has a retractable cord and its rou ded, perfect for keeping wipes warm, if you dont mind wiping surfaces with a nice warm wipe. I havent used them with paper, only cloth wipes, but give it a try, to use them with cloth wipes. I use the gerber washcloths for kitchen and fuzzy buns for baby wipes.

  22. I just added some Purify – 4 drops – for the mold issue. Don’t know if it will work but worth a try.
    Mine look very, very wet! Maybe your American Cup Sizes are smaller than our Aussie ones!

  23. Hey Jeanette,

    You could always dump out some of liquid if it is too wet. The next time you make it just use half the amount of liquid and see if that helps.

  24. I found these to leave an oily residue on surfaces. I left out the coconut oil and like it much better. But I still use the oily ones on my butcher block counter tops.

  25. I’m a little new to this, but I thought diffusing On Guard was supposed to kill mold. So…why would these wipes get moldy if you’re using On Guard in them?

  26. Just wondering where you got your awesome glass container PERFECT for the size of a half roll of paper towels?! Want.

  27. I also notice an oily residue on my surfaces after cleaning with these wipes. What is the reason for adding the coconut oil and is the recipe as effective if it is left out?

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