How To Make Reusable, Chemical-free Cleaning Wipes (for Cheap!)

by BUST Magazine

Those plastic tubs of pre-moistened cleaning cloths are pretty tempting—just grab a wipe, and that puddle of beet juice is banished from your counter. But tossing the equivalent of several books’ worth of paper into the trash each month isn’t the most eco-friendly solution, and who even knows what kind of toxic garbage those things leave on your hands, floors, and cat? Here’s a recipe for homemade disinfectant cloths that will let you save the planet and slay dirt at the same time—like some kind of frickin’ superhero. 


Get a large Mason jar and pour in a cup of warm water, 1/8 cup of castile soap (unscented Dr. Bronner’s is perfect), and 10 or so drops of essential oil (tea tree or eucalyptus is nice, or a combo of lemon and lavender). Stir, then add some old rags or shirts that’ve been cut into pieces (8″x8″-ish, or whatever size you like). Seal the jar and hold upside-down, to make sure the cloths soak up the mixture—with the lid on, they’ll stay moist for a number of weeks. After they’re used and grimy, just toss them in the wash.

If you’re ready to get extra down and dirty, pick up these cute cleaning tools:


Crate & Barrel Red Dustpan ($9.95) and Redecker Natural Dustpan Brush ($14.95), both at


Fred and Friends Tuff Dish Tattoo Kitchen Gloves, $11.99,


Aqua Donna Storage Caddy, $24.99,


24″ Lambswool Duster, $11.99,

By Molly Simms 
Photos by Emily Kate Roemer
Prop Stylist Meredith Duers

This story originally appeared in the April/May 2014 print edition of BUST Magazine.
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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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