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DIY Projects For Your Home

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Johanna Hicks

By Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]

Many people do a fantastic job with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects; others – not quite as successful!  I often fall into the latter category, depending on what I’m trying to do.  However, at a recent conference, one of the workshops focused on making your own wet wipes (for cleaning hands and faces), and disinfectant wipes for surfaces in your home.  Both are super simple and include easy-to-find ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your cabinet.

Both of these recipes use paper towels.  I like to use the select-a-size heavy duty paper towels.  If you use an empty coffee can in which to store them, cut the roll of paper towels in half using a sharp serrated knife.  Squish them into the container.  Otherwise, a zip-style plastic bag will work. 

DIY Wet Wipes

  • 1 tablespoon baby oil or other massage oil
  • 2 cups water (distilled)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid body wash

Directions:  After cutting the paper towels in half, carefully remove the cardboard tube by twisting and pulling.  Place paper towels in coffee can or other plastic container.  Mix together distilled water, liquid body wash, and baby or body oil in a small bowl.  Slowly pour liquid over the paper towels to saturate.  If you use a container with a plastic lid, you can cut a small X in the center of the lid and feed the first paper towel through the hole.  An alternative is to place the desired number of paper towels in a zip-style bag to carry with you!  These can be used to clean hands, faces, elbows, etc!

DIY Disinfectant Wipes

  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol (at least 70% concentration)
  • 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid
  • 3 drops tea tree oil (optional)

Directions:  follow directions above for preparing the paper towels.  Mix together water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap.  You can add several drops of tea tree oil or other essential oil to the wipes, which personalizes the cleaner.  Pour liquid slowly over the paper towels until saturated.  Now you have homemade wipes that are great for cleaning and disinfecting  your home as a fraction of the cost of store-bought wipes. 

DIY Hand Sanitizer

You have probably already seen recipes for DIY hand sanitizers, but in case you missed it, here’s a simple one!

  • 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol (at least 70% concentration)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel or glycerin
  • 5 to 10 drops skin safe oil (my favorite is the citrus)

Mix well and put in a container or add to paper towels.  Pump bottles don’t work well with this recipe because it is more liquid.  However, spray bottles DO work well!

Closing Thought

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

– Abe Lincoln

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Author: Faith Huffman

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