D.I.Y. Handy Wipes

by Jim Prentice
Make your own handy wet wipes. — photo courtesy Jim Prentice

Whether at home or on the road there are few things more unpleasant than cleaning up a mess. There are numerous pre-packaged cleaning products on the market to choose from.

These commercially made items have one common denominator: they are pricey. So along come D.I.Y. Handy Wipes, a  thrifty alternative. We have them in the car, truck, RV, boat and at home.


  • 1 roll of heavy-duty paper towel
  • 1 container, straight-sided with tight lid (Rubbermaid 10-cup Serving Saver is perfect)
  • 1 tbsp. liquid hand soap, or dish soap
  • 2 cups boiling water (start with 11/2 cups; add water as needed)

The container is the key! The idea is to find an airtight container able to hold a half roll of paper towel.

The first step is to cut the paper towel roll in half lengthwise, producing two short round rolls similar to rolls of toilet tissue.
Place one half roll in your container, then put the soap into the hot water, pour the mixture over the paper roll and replace the cover. After allowing it to cool, open the container and, with a twisting motion, remove the cardboard tube from the centre of the roll.

For use, simply remove the lid, pull out the desired amount of damp and slightly soapy wipes, tear them off at the perforation, and use as required.  Just remember to keep the lid on in order to keep them moist.

Using a small amount of slightly perfumed hand or body soap, these wipes are perfect for personal hygiene, especially when you are boondocking and trying to conserve water.

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