I recently found myself with a glut of paper towels and a shortage of baby wipes (I know. Bad stockpiler, bad stockpiler!) Then I remembered that a friend of mine who had three kids in diapers at once told me how to make homemade baby wipes using paper towels. So I grabbed a roll from my stockpile and went to town.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 roll of paper towels cut in half (use a sharp, serrated knife to accomplish this)
  • 1 gallon-size plastic zipper bag
  • Approx. 2 cups water
  • Approx. 2 tsp. baby wash


1. Cut your paper towel roll in half so you end up with two mini rolls. I used Bounty, but I suppose others will work. I would stay away from super cheap ones because I don’t think they’ll hold up to a massive diaper blowout.

2. Place one half paper towel roll in zipper bag.

3. Mix water and baby wash in a measuring cup, then pour over paper towel roll in bag. Notice I gave APPROXIMATE measurements. Depending on the weather where you live, the type of paper towels, etc., you may need less or more. I live in humid south Florida, so I found I needed less soap and water in order to get the proper moistness for my wipes. Start with a lesser amount than you think you need. You can always add more, but taking away will be difficult.

4. Smoosh it around a bit to allow the paper towels to absorb the soap and water mixture.

5. Remove the inner cardboard roll from paper towels, pull a piece from the center, and VOILA! You have your own homemade baby wipes!

Don’t have a baby? No problem! With a few substitutes for the baby wash, you can make all kinds of wipes:

  • White vinegar = GLASS CLEANING WIPES
  • Multi-purpose cleaner = MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANING WIPES (I guess that was self-explanatory)

I’m sure with some imagination and a dip into your stockpile, you can think up many more types of wipes to make!

This has been a guest post by Michelle from Port Charlotte, FL
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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50 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Wipes”

  1. Dana Jenkins says:

    I jump up and down when I find a buy one get one on Lysol or Clorox wipe. I am swinging from the ceiling on this post. Woohoo the money I will save. I am a wipe-aholic. Lysol wipes, Clorox wipes, Windex wipes, Pledge wipes, Baby wipes. Yay on this post. Thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    My husband had been in the hospital and brought home the usual “freebies” which included a bottle of perineal wash. I used this to make some wipes to put in an empty Cottonelle wipe box. It is really soapy, so a little goes a long way.

  3. Anonymous says:

    so I got my recipe from the duggars… use an ice cream bucket, cut an x in the top to pull them out… cut BOUNTY (works best) rolls in half, put one half in bucket, mix together 2 c water, 2 T baby oil, 1 T alcohol, and 1 T baby shampoo or soap, then pour over roll… let sit for 30 min then pull out cardboard and start roll from inside not outside, works like a charm!

  4. Cheryl says:

    I actually use the vinegar as my cleaning/allpurpose wipes! Since vinegar is a great anti-bacterial and does a fabulous job on glass, saves me tons of money!

  5. This is a great way to save on wipes, all kinds not just baby… and I read that baby wipes will “erase” deodorant marks on clothing. I do this way too often!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I did this with my 3 boys when they were babies. And found Viva to be the best, strong and soft. It was the best way to use up those little pesky trial/travel sizes of baby soap/shampoo! I also added some baby lotion, which didn’t dissolve perfectly but wasn’t that big of a deal. Mixed the water, soap and lotion in the blender a couple of seconds and voila!

  7. If you really want to save money, try cloth wipes! That’s what we use for our baby twins. (and cloth diapers too, I highly recommend it)

  8. yuki tacy says:

    i’ve read somewhere you can use coconut oil,too.
    natural way to make it antibacterial?
    i condition my hair w coconut oil and i love the smell!!
    you just have to keep it warm so it turn liquidity.
    or i put it in a small jar and leave it in hot water till it melts.

  9. Amy Zuck says:

    I learned about making wipes with my first (who’s 5) I almost never had any of my kids (# 3 is a baby) have a diaper rash! I use an old wipe container from walmart (they have cheap (maybe $2) cylinder shaped container with cheapo wipes in it that I use for face and hand so I can use the container for these!) I use viva paper towels (cut in half), 1/4 cup baby shampoo, 1/4 cup baby wash, 1/4 cup baby oil, and 3/4-1 cup warm water. Swish it around it container, then place 1/2 a paper towel roll in solution, let sit for couple min, flip roll so other side is sitting in it, let sit till inner cardboard is completely wet, pull out inner cardboard, and pull out wipe from center to pull through hole in top. I’m sure you could use less soap etc if you were worried about that, but I figured don’t mess with a good thing : )

  10. My understanding is that bleach water is only effective for 8 hrs., so this could be a concern with the disinfecting wipes.

    • Sam says:

      It takes 8-24 hrs for the chlorine to evaporate from your tap water.. If you use a higher concentration and use a sealed container, Say, an old clorox wipes bin. It will last for months.

  11. This is such a great idea! I never have enough wipes or wipe coupons to keep up with my little one so I can’t wait to save money with this! Has anyone put the homemade wipes in an old wipe container? I wonder if they will pull through as easily as regular wipes and it will save a Rubbermaid container, if you have a few of these laying around like I do =).

    • Anonymous says:

      I was wondering the same thing when my husband told me to just use the old wipe boxes, seeing as I have a ton of them around! I am just wondering if it will hold the moisture like it does the wipes or would it dry out quicker.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since the water only will evaporate, leaving the baby soap/shampoo behind in the wipes, you only need to add a little to rehydrate and they are good as new again. :)

  12. Cool. Awesome idea. I’m out of clorox wipes and those Swiffer things that go on my mop. I was wondering about using paper towels. Now I think I will give it a try. Thank you for posting this.

  13. Ashlea Watson says:

    I just started making my own wipes about a week ago. My little guy has a sensitive bottom and these work awesome. I used Viva towels because they were the softest. For the solution I used 2 cups warm water, 1 TBS Burt’s Bee’s Baby Wash, and 2 TBS olive oil. I found that 2 TBS of the baby soap was a little too sudsy and I wanted to be sure I didn’t leave any residue.

  14. Jackie Davis says:

    I did this. I used Viva paper towels in the select-a size and just kept the rolls whole. I used warm water, aveeno lavender wash, baby oil and a few drops of lavender essentials oil for a stronger scent. Using the Aveeno and the baby oil I felt helped prevent some rashes and protected my little one’s bums!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I did this with all 4 of my kids and my oldest is 14. I use bounty, cutting them in half, putting the 1/2 roll in a 3qt. rubbermaid cylindrical container, pour in 2 c water, 1 T baby soap, & 1 T baby oil. I pull out the cardboard center and the wipes exit from the middle. PERFECT!! With the other half of the paper towels I would use them as liners in the diapers. Because it never fails that as soon as you change the dipper they will poop so you can just flush that liner down the toilet and the diaper is still good. Works REALLY good with cloth diapers…no more rinsing them out in the toilet.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I did this with all 4 of my kids and my oldest is 14. I use bounty, cutting them in half, putting the 1/2 roll in a 3qt. rubbermaid cylindrical container, pour in 2 c water, 1 T baby soap, & 1 T baby oil. I pull out the cardboard center and the wipes exit from the middle. PERFECT!! With the other half of the paper towels I would use them as liners in the diapers. Because it never fails that as soon as you change the dipper they will poop so you can just flush that liner down the toilet and the diaper is still good. Works REALLY good with cloth diapers…no more rinsing them out in the toilet.

  17. I wish I would have known about this when my 18 month old twins were newborns!! This would have saved me a FORTUNE!! haha Still, I’m going to try it now!!

  18. Wow, this is an amazing idea. I think I will try a face/cleanser one for my teenage daughter. Any ideas?

  19. baby oil is also good when making these

  20. I used homemade wipes with both my boys. I used the whole sheet. I didn’t cut the roll. That way it covers the whole hand. I tore off the sheets and folded them and stacked them in a plastic shoe storage box. Put a few in storage bags in the truck and diaper bag. Works great and I liked that you only need one for most jobs and it covers you hand so less mess on you than the store bought wipes.

  21. you can also add baby oil or essential oils to makes the wipes softer and smell really good. Another good idea is to put the diapers in a rubber maid container. It will keep them moist longer. Brawny is also a very good brand to use for these. The thicker the paper towels, the better!

    • Sam says:

      Again.. essential oils can have very adverse affects on a baby’s skin. You should never put essential oils on direct skin.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I love this! Thank you so much for posting this and for all the extra add-in ladies. I can’t believe how expensive baby wipes are. With a 2 year old still in diapers and one on the way (March) this is going to save us tons of $$$. I’m new to this couponing and I’ve been creating my stockpile for 2 months now and I love it. My goal is to get stocked up on baby supplies before the baby gets here. So, I’m gonna work on a good stockpile of papertowels. Yay!!

  23. Alisha Starnes says:

    I have been using homemade wipes now for about 8 months, my only regret is wishing I had found this about 8 years ago when I had my first child (we are are child number 4 currently) I like to use Viva paper towels. I figure it cost me about $2 a month at most and that includes the papertowels soaps and oils for 2 boys backsides!! I sure do love couponing and I love this website!! thanks for all your help each week!!

    • margo jablonska says:

      ive read that paper towles these days are coated with some chemicals
      …..Im not sure if this is that perfect for baby skin……
      the other idea is great /cleaning wipes/ ………..cant wait to do my own windex ones /i ll use original empty container form used ones/

  24. I do this too. But I use 1 cup HOT water, 1 T Baby Oil, 1 T Baby Wash… Mix in bag before putting in Papertowel and wait 10min then use. :D

  25. Baby wipes can become expensive!! I am going to have to try this…

  26. Anonymous says:

    I did this all the time when my twins were little…. saved us soooo much money!

  27. Jennifer Jones says:

    This also works great with cloth as well that way you can just wash them and do it all again. Big money saver! I think that is where my frugalness kicked in is with my daughter, Made my own wipes, did cloth diapers, and breastfed. We saved a lot of money :)

    • Kelly Postle says:

      We did the washcloth wipes too when my son was a baby (now 3yrs). Huge money saver. We did cloth diapers also. I found a couple of good quality pack (12) of washcloths from Target for about $7 each when they had their Back to School sale. Don’t worry about color as you will bleach/wash them tons. Just make sure they aren’t the thin ones. I never pre-wet and stored them like a wipe. Instead I wet a washcloth with warm water right before changing time. Then I used a small spray bottle (recycled California Baby diaper spray one) to spray on my son’s groin. Then wiped any mess gently away. Stored dirtys in a minature garbage can with top and washed every other day. Now I use the cloths for cleaning around the house and to wipe hands or faces.

  28. April says:

    wow! what an amazing idea! will have to let all my friends and family know…thank you KCL!

  29. Viva paper towels work great for this!! And I agree with the baby oil. It is a great add in. :-)

    • stephanied says:

      I agree!! Viva Paper towels are softer. My son had a milk allergy that caused bad diaper rashes and we had to use paper towels instead of baby wipes. Viva was the softest on his skin.

  30. baby wipes are always expensive- paper towels are often free… Never would have thought to use the baby soap or the oil, but I have used a wet paper towel, or napkin when I was all out. This is a TERRIFIC idea.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Rubbermaid makes a container the right size for a half roll too.

    I think you can put a little tea tree oil in them to help with the mold. (Google it to make sure that’s right!)

    • Keri Jones says:

      What type of canister is it? Do you know the model number or the exact name?

    • Sam says:

      I don’t advise adding Tea tree oil to anything used on a baby’s delicate skin, it can have very adverse affects. A few “drops” of witch hazel to the mix would be fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Witch Hazel!! I bet that’s it!!! The baby of our family is 5…how soon we forget! Thanks Sam!! =)

  32. sprinkle in some baking soda to help with that. although I’ve tried many brands of paper towel and bounty have yet to mold on me, and I’ve store them for up to a month or more.

  33. also works great when they have a diaper rash cause it doesnt hurt on the rash like regular wipes can and i love that i can make it as needed instead of worrying about running to store for sensitive wipes when needed :)

  34. I also add a tbs of baby oil and use warm water to make them. The baby oil seems to help sooth irritated bottoms!

  35. Anonymous says:

    This is a great way to save money on wipes, but you need to use them sort of quick. They will mold if kept for a long time. The best thing to make is the clorox wipes, they will not mold.

  36. Jacque Cialone says:

    I use bounty napkins, I think it works better because you don’t have to cut the paper towels in half and I find it easier to pull them apart. But I love making my own wipes. I have skin allergies and this is the only baby wipe I can use. Plus it is way cheaper since I can get a package of bounty napkins for less than a $1 at my grocery store.

  37. Ashley Kenny says:

    Great Idea! I’ll have to try it sometime!