Posted on: March 16, 2020 at 7:38 pm
Last updated: September 17, 2020 at 1:29 pm

As coronavirus hysteria rises, people have begun stockpiling essentials like food, toilet paper, medications, and of course, soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. So many fear that they may be put on quarantine and be unable to buy anything they need, hence all of the panic-buying


The problem is that stockpiling only benefits those who managed to shop ahead of time, leaving store shelves empty for those who didn’t buy in advance or shop on a more weekly basis.

Supply chains in the United States are strong, and it is unnecessary for the American public to hoard daily essentials,” said the readout of President Donald Trump’s conference call provided by White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere.

All of the executives are working hand-in-hand with the Federal Government, as well as State and local leaders, to ensure food and essentials are constantly available,” Deere said.

However, Consumer Brands are concerned about countries restricting products from being exported to the U.S. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen.


 Fortunately, there aren’t shortages despite what the empty shelves might seem like; just the usual wait time to restock shelves that are being continuously emptied.

We’ve been working diligently to mitigate any potential shortages in the supply chain, including addressing increased demand and supply challenges associated with personal protective equipment,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement earlier this month. [1]

To get cleaning wipes, it looks like you’re going to need some luck — or perhaps this recipe to make your own.

Read: How to Distinguish between the Coronavirus and Flu

Why make homemade cleaning wipes? 

For one, they are super easy to make and they require items you probably already have in your house. They are also free of harsh chemicals that can irritate people’s skin, and they are way cheaper than store-bought versions.  


In general, never use store-bought wipes on dishes or anything that will go near your mouth, since the chemicals in these products can be harmful when ingested. In the same vein, keep them away from your eyes, and wash your hands well after using them to avoid accidentally rubbing your eyes with chemical residue. [2]

These homemade all-purpose wipes require only four ingredients to clean hard surfaces with a simple wipe-down. Rubbing alcohol makes a great disinfectant, [3] although it’s not as powerful as hospital-grade varieties. Alcohol is also useful for cleaning blinds, dry-erase boards, makeup brushes, computer mouses and keyboards, mobile phones, removing stickers, and cleaning stainless steel.  

These wipes make a nice addition to a cleaning routine during this time of anti-germ-hysteria. Plus, the smell of your preferred essential oil can help calm those stressed during this outbreak. Do your part to stay protected from the virus, and then distract yourself with activities you enjoy! 

How to Make All-Purpose Wipes 

  • Mix together: 
    • 1 cups warm water 
    • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap 
    • 2 cup of 90% isopropyl alcohol*
    • 10-15 drops essential oils (optional) – Rosemary, lavender, lemon, or peppermint work great, but most will work well. 
  1. Place the paper towel roll in a container that just fits it, like a large glass cylinder container that was intended for food storage.) You want a fairly tight container without much space around the paper towels, so they will absorb the liquid. 
  2. Pour the soap and alcohol mixture over the paper towels. 
  3. Pull the cardboard tube out—it should come out easily.   
  4. Now you can remove one paper towel at a time, starting from the center. [4]

*Note: 90% isopropyl alcohol is recommended because any sanitizing solution should consist of at least 60% alcohol to be effective against germs.

Recipe inspired by A Mindful Mom


  • If you can’t find a glass container large enough to fit an entire roll of paper towels, tear the roll into individual squares, roll them up and place them in a two-quart glass ball jar, or lay them flat in a square plastic container. You can even clean out an empty Clorox wipes container or baby wipes container and use that for your homemade version. 
  • As mentioned you can choose your favorite essential oil like lavender, lemon [5] or tea tree oil [6]. As a bonus, many essential oils have antimicrobial properties of their own. However, in this case, it will be the alcohol doing the heavy lifting. Do not rely on essential oils alone.   
  • These wipes are homemade and their effectiveness against all bacteria, spores, and viruses cannot be guaranteed. However, if disinfecting wipes are not available to purchase, these will certainly be better than nothing. 

If you suspect you or a family member has the coronavirus visit the CDC website for more information.

Keep Reading: Can’t Find Any Hand Sanitizer? Here’s How To Make Your Own

  1. Katelyn Polantz. Health care and consumer industry groups concerned about supply shortages during coronavirus pandemic. CNN. March 15 2020
  2. Jamie Birdwell- Branson. 10 Times You Should Never Use a Clorox Wipe. MSN. June 27, 2019 
  3. Rachel Nall, RN, MSN, CRNA. 26 Uses for Rubbing Alcohol, Plus What You Shouldn’t Use It For. Healthline. July 17, 2019 
  4. Kristen Chidsey. DIY All-Purpose Wipes. A Mind “Full” Mom. December 14, 2015 
  5. Ze-Hua Li, Ming Cai, Yuan-Shuai Liu, Pei-Long Sun, and Shao-Lei Luo. Antibacterial Activity and Mechanisms of Essential Oil from Citrus medica L. var. Sarcodactylis. Molecules. April 22, 2019 
  6. Chia-Jung Lee, Li-WeiChen, Lih-Geeng Chen, Ting-Lin Chang, Chun-Wei Huang, Ming-Chuan Huang, Ching-ChiungWang. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis Correlations of the components of tea tree oil with its antibacterial effects and skin irritation. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. June 2013
Sarah Schafer
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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