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Lazy Mama’s DIY T-shirt Disinfecting Wipes

DIY Wipes 1

Do you have a natural artistic touch, whipping up Martha Stewart centerpieces and crafty Pinterest inspired ideas for your kids on a regular basis? If so, this is NOT the post for you. Though I admire and possibly even covet your creative mojo, this post is for the “other Mamas” out there.

For those of you who have posted Pinterest fails, or who have had to make late night trips to the store after failed homemade attempts, or even those of you who have never embarked on a DIY project because, ‘Aint nobody got time for that,” this post is for you.

Several years ago, I got tired of the chemicals, cost and general contribution to the global waste associated with buying disposable disinfectant wipes. I stopped buying them, but I missed the convenience and ease of quick clean up. I found that I was less likely to wipe down the counter, cabinets, tables and even the bathroom on a regular basis, without the ease of those handy wipe tubs. So what’s a Lazy Mama to do? I looked on Pinterest and found ideas for homemade, reusable wipes, but I was discouraged by the work involved. Buy fabric. Measure. Surge Edges. No, thank you. Once I identified that I was not a crafty Mama looking for a project to show off, but more a Lazy Mama looking for a quick solution, the mission became clear. Design a kid-friendly, earth-friendly wipe that I can make in 10 minutes or less. No frills, no art, just function.

The Lazy Mama DIY T-Shirt Disinfecting Wipes were born.

What you will need:

An old t-shirt (stains and holes totally acceptable)

A pair of scissors

A wide mouthed quart-sized glass mason jar with lid (though I’m sure other wide-mouth glass containers would also work)



Essential oils (optional)

What you will NOT need:

A sewing machine

A ruler

Skills of any kind

Step by step directions (with pictures):

  1. Start with the T-shirt. Cut it into pieces. Sizes and shape do not matter, whatever you like is fine. I cut mine as below, freehand, no ruler, no lines. I first cut the shirt into 3 sections. Then I cut the bottom two sections into long strips and cut them into usable square-like shapes. From the 2 strips, I end up with 10 cloths.       DIY Wipes 2
    Next, I cut the sleeves off the top section and put them aside. I then cut the remaining section into 4 square-like pieces, no need to remove neck area, just think of it as an “extra scrubby” wipe. Then I cut each sleeve into two pieces and done. DIY Wipes 3With a standard t-shirt, I end up with about 18 cloths.
  2. Once the t-shirt is cut, shove the pieces into the jar, as seen below. No special way, just shove them in.DIY Wipes 4
  3. Now it’s time to make the cleaning solution. It’s easy. Two parts water to one part vinegar. In my experience, I usually start with 1.5 cups of water and ¾ cup of vinegar.DIY Wipes 5
  4. I also add essential oils to my mixture, as many have great cleaning properties and smell fantastic. To this volume, I usually add 12 drops of lemon or some citrus oil and 4 drops of eucalyptus (stronger smelling), but you can play around with different essential oils to find the best combination for your needs. I usually use lemon and lavender in the kitchen, but lemon and eucalyptus in the bathroom. You also don’t have to add them at all as vinegar is a great solvent and disinfectant all on its own!
  5. Add the liquid to the jar, SLOWLY. It takes time for the jersey to absorb the liquid. To help the process along, I depress the wipes and then release to work the liquid towards the bottom.DIY Wipes 6
  6. Once you add all the liquid, put a cap on that sucker, it’s done! I timed myself, and even taking pictures for this post, the entire project took 8 minutes.

The bottom wipes may not be wet immediately, but the liquid will continue to seep down and you can always add more liquid in the 2:1 concentration. If you have too much liquid you may need to wring wipes out over the jar before use.

I keep a jar of these in my kitchen and bathroom and after I’m done using it just throw it in the laundry. I use them for everything, from wiping up messes, wiping down the counters and bathrooms and even scrubbing the stove top! Jersey fabric generally does not fray and I have been using one t-shirt for over a year! If you wash the used wipes, but still have not finished the jar, just put the freshly laundered wipes on the bottom of the jar to aid in wetting them, or add more liquid.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do and stay tuned for more Lazy Mama tips!


One Response to Lazy Mama’s DIY T-shirt Disinfecting Wipes

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