How to Make Homemade Wipes- The New Way

Sorta looks like milk spewing out of that pitcher. Naw it’s just another one of Robin Sue’s cockamimi idears. When I had my first baby, a girlfriend of mine taught me how to make my own baby wipes. It was in style back then, you know like making your own onion keeper out of lady’s pantyhose. It wasn’t like I was all granola or anything, I think I did it to stay in my grocery budget. So was it cheaper than purchased wipes? Yes, but what a pain. In order to get the paper towels in the Rubbermaid (round back then) container, the paper towel “loaf” had to be cut in half using a serrated knife. Have you ever tried to cut a paper towel roll in half? Lots of sweat, a dulled knife, two caddywompus loaves of paper towels, and one heck of a dusty mess. That trend for me did not last long.

Now fast forward to today. Why the heck would I want to make my own wipes again, I have no babies? For the Cooking Salon. Last week, I found my hands got rather sticky, and without running water and only having dry paper towels, I got stickier. The hand sanitizer worked nicely but my hands were as dry as prunes by the end. So being in the market I thought I would go back to my old wipes, more au naturel though. By replacing tap water with filtered water steeped with herbs from my garden, and swapping olive oil for the baby oil in the original recipe, and using a fragrance-free soap, I was able to come up with these moisturizing, lightly-scented wipes that a dude would even use.

This pitcher is brilliant! I should patent it pronto. Wish I had thought of it years ago, instead of cutting all those wicked rolls in half. The idea of using a one gallon Rubbermaid pitcher made me giggle right there in isle 8 of my grocer. The spout makes this perfect for pulling the wipes through. When done, twist it shut. Jump up, toe touch, splits! Yaaaaaay BRK!

The downside to going au naturel? The yellow on white effect you get on the towels from the olive oil. Not pretty. Almost disturbing. But then kinda funny too.

Well anyway…

How to Make Homemade Wipes, the New Way
One roll 112 sheets select-a-size Bounty paper towels*
3 T. olive oil**
3 T. Fragrance-free hand soap (I used 365 foaming hand soap)***
4 cups filtered water
a few handfuls of garden herbs- I used lavender and mint****
zest from one citrus fruit, optional- I used lime*****
One gallon Rubbermaid pitcher with lid

In a large pot bring water to a boil. Pour into a glass bowl filled with various herbs and the zest of one citrus fruit. Muddle the herbs using the handle on a wooden spoon. Let steep until water is cool. Strain water through a fine mesh sieve lined with a few layers of cheese cloth or a coffee filter, then whisk in the soap and oil- I stirred and that is why I got yellow patches, must whisk well! Place the paper towels in the pitcher and slowly pour the water over it. Let the towels completely soak. Now that the towels are wet, pull out the center tube and discard it. Gently push the paper towels just below the level of the spout. Find the center towel and start pulling. Pull and rip off about 5 towels to get it all started. Don’t waste those towels, give yourself a bath with them at this point, or put them in a zippy bag for on the go. Pull the leading towel from the center and thread it through the hole in lid and place the lid on the pitcher so that the towel exits through the spout. When not is use twist the lid shut. A few towels got stuck here and there, but so do the purchased ones too.

My thoughts…
* From what I understand Bounty uses chlorine to bleach the towels white. Go as natural as you want here and use the paper towel of your choice but it must be strong enough to withstand pulling. OK, all the way natural would be not using paper towels at all, but using cloths instead. Yadda, yadda, I get it. Go pin your shiny medal on.

**You may use baby oil as your oil of choice. Whole Foods has some very nice ones to choose from if you want to go very natural, or avoid mineral oil. Be sure to read up on any oils you may use, like if tea tree oil is not properly diluted it can cause irritation, so read up. I like olive oil even if it does make my towels look yellow!

***I liked the foaming hand soap as it does not leave such a soapy feel on my hands as does regular hand soap. I did not pump it out, I opened the lid and poured it out. Remember we are not rinsing this stuff off so we don’t want to be too soapy. But do try any soap you like, and fragrance is fine, I just wanted my garden herbs to scent my wipes.

****The mint, lavender, and lime is a great combo. Next I would like to try rosemary and lemon. Then orange and sage. I’m sure to have 17 of these around before long.

*****Using citrus zest, whether it be lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit is a nice way to add fragrance oils. A few drops of essential oil works as well too for adding fragrance. Again, read up.

These wipes do not have preservatives in them and will spoil over time. I’m thinking a splash of vinegar may help(?). So keep in a cool place, not the car on a hot summer’s day with the windows up- that’s just a no no on all counts.

These wipes are perfect for cleaning “dirty” hands or faces, but for “germy” hands, use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Catch my drift here?

Well this should keep you busy over the weekend. I am off to the market tomorrow to cook up some delicious chard dishes- the chard, the whole chard, and nothing but the chard. And a beautiful strawberry dessert too. I may just share it with you all.


  1. Kelly
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Wow, this is a great idea! I'm pretty "granola" and I had never heard of this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Karen
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Love the idea of the pitcher, too! I get so frustrated with the containers of wipes.

  3. Kate
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Too complicated for me! We just use stacks of cheap dry washcloths and wash them. We throw them out when they get really gross. Easy peasy.

  4. BigAppleNosh
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea!

  5. Anonymous
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    Great idea. Can see how it would be great for your cooking salon. Would be great for outdoor entertaining-having guests over for crab picking-can still have water bowl, etc to rinse off hands-but you do need to wipe them and get the old bay off. Would be better than everyone trying to get into the house to wash in the sink and getting old bay and crab guts on the door knobs! The right herbs would help get the smell out too.
    I had to laugh at your baby wipes comment-I used them too and remember how hard it was to cut the towels! But certainly more economical,when they were really little and I was changing diapers all the time! (Also-Brian had tender skin and didn't like the commercial wipes.)
    Joyce K.

  6. FOODalogue
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Are you sure you don't have more than 24 hours in our day? I get tired thinking about all things you do.

  7. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

    I never would have thought of that in a million years! Great idea!!

  8. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Don't throw away the "tu-ta-tus. When Robin was a little girl, we saved the tubes from the paper towels and she called them "tu-ta-tus" because she played them as a horn. So you with young children, save the "tu-ta-tas". They make great horns. Ma

  9. Julieann
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    What a cute idea using the pitcher:) I have seen it done using a baby wipe container or a plastic shoebox, but not a pitcher!

    I just saw your commercial, and wanted to check out your blog:) I love it, such great ideas.

    Happy Tuesday


  10. Miri Leigh
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    What a creative idea! Thanks!

  11. Sandra
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Permalink


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All posts are moderated.


  • 10,080 Minutes - BRK Book The story of our dramatic lifestyle makeover and journey for living what matters.

    10,080 Minutes - Daniel and Robin Joss