All-Natural Reusable Cleaning Wipes
Wipe up any spill, stain, or surface smear with these durable cloths. They're soaked in a disinfecting solution of castile soap, essential oils, and water.
Photography: Ashley Poskin
Source: Martha Stewart
This idea comes from our friend Ashley Poskin. While store-bought cleaning wipes are convenient, they're less eco-friendly. "Making your own wipes at home is really a win-win situation," Poskin explains. "You're not wasting a bunch of plastic containers, you can control exactly what ingredients you're cleaning your home with, and it's cost effective."
In this cleaning solution, we used castile soap, which is touts natural antibacterial properties that make it an effective cleanser at home. Plus, we added lavender and lemongrass essential oils (to add disinfecting properties, you can use thieves oil or rosemary oil). These might not be the wipes you reach for after a bout of the flu has made the rounds in your home, but they're good for keeping your home clean and smelling fresh—delicate enough for cleaning your finest jewelry or strong enough for heavy-duty pots and pans.
After use, hang these heavy-duty cloths on the line to air-dry, then launder them in the washing machine. For ease, combine all used wipes in a mesh laundry bag and wash them once each week. We selected this particular canister because it's BPA free, the shape fits perfectly under the sink, and it's wide enough to reach in easily, grab a towel, and wring out excess water. Other options you may want to consider would be airtight containers, lidded jars, or recycle store-bought containers.
For more ideas, scroll through our entire guide to cleaning products 101.
Washable heavy-duty kitchen cloths (Pictured: Clean Leader Heavy-Duty Kitchen Cloths, 12" x 20", $14 for 50, amazon.com.)
Canister with lid (Pictured: The Container Store Rectangular Canisters, from $4, containerstore.com.)
Castile soap (Pictured: Dr. Bronner's Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap, 32 fl. oz., $16, target.com.)
For each towel, unfold open and fold the edges back in toward the center crease to create a gate fold. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut along the center crease to create two smaller folded towels (this doubles the quantity of towels).
Fold each towel in half again, and stack in a neat pile. Trim any excess from the open edge (not the folded edge), so that the stack of towels will fit nicely into your canister.
Pour two cups of warm water into the canister; add one tablespoon of castile soap, and 20 drops of each essential oil.
Secure the lid on the canister, shake to combine ingredients, and submerge the towels in the cleaning solution. Pour the remaining two cups of warm water into the canister and secure the lid back on.