Homemade Disposable Cleaning Wipes {Version 2}

A few years ago I made my own homemade disposable cleaning wipes for the first time. And I liked them! They were a handy way to do a quick clean up and they were cheaper than than store bought disposable pop-up wipes too.

The focus on that original recipe, however, was to use a roll of paper toweling for the wipes – BUT – not to cut the roll in half as most other recipes did. I put my roll in a gallon beverage pitcher (a perfect fit for a roll of paper toweling) and was content to just take the lid on and off of the pitcher to get a wipe when I needed one.

Well, for a while I was content to do that. As time went on I found myself growing a bit weary of the size of the large gallon sized pitcher, and kind of weary of not having them in a pop-up style. I really liked how the wipes worked though, so I decided it was time to try a little smaller version of this recipe.

And it was time to just cut that stupid roll of paper toweling in half. It was time to make homemade disposable cleaning wipes – Version 2!

Homemade disposable cleaning wipes using natural cleaning ingredients

Cutting the toweling really wasn’t as hard as I thought. I did NOT use my favorite chef’s knife to do it however. I used another one of my big knives because I still feel that cutting paper can really dull a knife. And with a little sawing and poking, I had my toweling cut in half in only a minute or so.  After the initial cut, I found it helpful to still trim some of the loose little pieces away with a scissors along the cut edge so that it was a little straighter and cleaner cut.

How to make homemade disposable cleaning wipes

It’s important to use a good quality paper toweling for this project too so once again I used the Viva brand of paper toweling.  The cheaper towelings can too easily fall apart once they are moistened with the cleaning solution.

A Container For Homemade Cleaning Wipes

The next step was to find a smaller container for my half-size roll of toweling.  I had seen the suggestion to use a recycled coffee container and the Folgers 24.2 oz was indeed the correct size.  I snagged one out of the trash at the office where I work and gave it a coat of spray paint using a type that would bond to plastic (I used Rustoleum in the Summer Squash color).

How to make homemade cleaning wipes

Then I prepared the lid. By simply cutting an “X” in the top of the lid, you can create the correct type of opening to pull your wipes through.

How to make homemade disposable cleaning wipes

Now to make the wipes!

Cleaning Solution for Homemade Disposable Wipes

Once the container is ready, the half-size roll of toweling can be placed inside.  I’ve learned you don’t need to worry if the roll of toweling is a little taller than the container.  Once the toweling is moistened, it will compact down a bit and you can indeed put the lid on without a problem.

To make the cleaning solution to moisten the toweling, I just downsized my previous mixture a bit.  I used:

1 Cup Distilled Water
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
A Small Squirt of Dish Soap 
8 Drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil

I combined the mixture in a 2 cup measuring cup, and then slowly poured it over the paper toweling in the container to moisten it.  Once all the liquid has been added, you can pull the roll of cardboard out from the middle of the toweling and toss it out. Find the first piece of toweling in the center of the roll and pull it through the opening you cut in the lid of the coffee container.

Your pop-up homemade disposable cleaning wipes are now ready to go!

Homemade disposable cleaning wipes made with natural ingredients

A Few More Notes:

In the course of the last few years that I have used these wipes, I have never had them go moldy.  A believe this is because of the importance of the distilled water and the tea tree oil in the mixture, and I would avoid substitutions of those two ingredients. The vinegar helps with this too, as well as to help with cleaning.

I did note after using my new wipes, that they were smaller wipes than my original version . . . because DUH, I cut the roll of paper toweling in half.

So there are pros and cons to both of my versions.

The larger version? It’s nice to not have to cut the roll of toweling and you’ll have larger wipes too. BUT, you’ll need a bigger container and that bigger container might mean you have to make do without a pop-up lid. Without a pop-up lid the wipes don’t feel quite as handy to use. (Read more about my larger version here: Disposable Cleaning Wipes Version 1)

The smaller version?  The smaller version feels handier, you can re-purpose a recycled container, and the pop-up lid is certainly more convenient. But the wipes are indeed a little smaller because the roll has been cut in half.

Either way, it’s pretty simple to make your own homemade disposable cleaning wipes for those times when you want to do just a quick wipe of a counter or surface – AND – you can use natural ingredients in the cleaning solution too.

Here are the complete printable instructions:

DIY Disposable Cleaning Wipes

Make your own disposable cleaning wipes for quick household cleaning with natural ingredients.
Keyword: Homemade Cleaner
Author: TheMakeYourOwnZone.com


  • A Roll Good Quality Paper Toweling (I used Viva)
  • 1 Cup Distilled Water
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • Small Squirt Dish Soap (I used Dawn)
  • 8 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

Additional Tools:

  • Knife for cutting roll of paper towel
  • Recycled Plastic Coffee Container (24.2 oz Size)
  • Utility Knife to cut hole in lid of container
  • Spray paint for painting recycled container (optional)


  • Begin by cutting the roll of paper toweling in half with a large knife. Trim any small loose bits of paper toweling away with a scissors along the cut edges.
  • You can paint the recycled coffee container if you wish. A spray paint labeled to work on plastic is a good choice. (If you paint the container, make sure you let it dry for the specified time before placing the wipes inside).
  • Cut an opening in the center of the lid of the coffee container using a utility knife. Cut an "X" shape by cutting two lines about an 1-1/2" long.
  • Next, make the cleaning solution by mixing the distilled water, the vinegar, the small squirt of dish soap, and the tea tree oil.
  • Place the half roll of paper toweling in the prepared container. It's OK if it's a little larger than the container as the toweling will compact down once it is moistened. Slowly pour the cleaning solution over the toweling to moisten it.
  • Remove the cardboard roll from the inside of the moistened roll and throw it away. You can then find the beginning wipe at the beginning of the roll and pull it through the opening you cut in the lid. Your wipes are now ready to use!

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    1. I don’t currently have a published recipe, but if you wanted to do something like this you would need to saturate the paper towels with just straight rubbing alcohol, or a mixture that still has at least 60% alcohol in it in order to be effective at germ killing.

    1. I would try adding 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol so it would be at the same ratio as the vinegar in the mixture.

  1. Do they dry out since the lid is slit open? I’m thinking these would be perfect for my boys in the garage

    1. If the wipes sit for a very long time, they will eventually dry out, but if you are using them on a regular basis they should get used up before they dry out. You can also mix up a little more of the solution and pour it over the towels again if you run into that problem.

  2. Thank you for this great idea. I will definitely use this DIY. Now I need to figure out which size, lol.