The amount of dust that accumulates around your home is sometimes a mystery. Vacuuming your carpets and changing your sheets on a weekly basis can help cut down on those dust bunnies, but what about your hard surfaces?
Dust wipes (as compared to feather dusters that simply move the dust from one place to another) are a significant help because they trap the dust in the cloth. There are disposable versions available in supermarkets, however, making reusable ones is simple and environmentally friendly.
My version of dust wipes uses Lemon essential oil, making them particularly helpful for purifying surfaces, polishing wood furniture, and also for removing thicker dust or dust that may be slightly greasy from cooking.
Why Use a DIY Dusting Wipe?
Dusting wipes are advertised as an effective, convenient way to dust your home. However, dusting wipes often contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful in dust form.
– A study by Dr Neil Apthorp of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy found that dust from dusting wipes contained “potentially toxic ingredients”, including benzalkonium chloride and quaternary ammonium compounds which may be react with ammonia or nitrogen oxides in the air, to create carcinogens (1). The same study also reported that levels of these chemicals on furniture were higher than on computer keyboards.
– Analysis conducted by researchers from Duke University showed that dusting wipes contain high concentrations of microplastics, ranging from 0.2 to 8.2 plastic particles per dusting wipe (2).
– California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has identified dusting wipes as a potential source for hidden allergens, and recommends that “consumers and cleaning product manufacturers should avoid using dusting wipes on surfaces that touch the mouth” (3).
Some 53 percent of cleaning products assessed by EWG contain ingredients known to harm the lungs. About 22 percent contain chemicals reported to cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy individuals.
- Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, is sometimes used as a preservative or may be released by other preservatives in cleaning products.
- The chemical 1,4-dioxane, a suspected human carcinogen, is a common contaminant of widely-used detergent chemicals.
- Chloroform, another suspected human carcinogen, sometimes escapes in fumes released by products containing chlorine bleach.
- Quaternary ammonium compounds (“quats”) like benzalkonium chloride, found in antibacterial spray cleaners and fabric softeners, can cause asthma.
- Sodium borate, also known as boric acid is added to many products as a cleaning agents, enzyme stabilizer or for other functions. It can disrupt the hormone system and ability to function properly.
Does any of that scare you? It sure makes me think twice about using any of it in my home.
– Dusting wipes are an unnecessary expense, with tried-and-tested dusters costing less than $1 and being made from recycled materials.
Benefits of Homemade Reusable Dust Wipes with Essential Oil
Using an all natural homemade dust wipe ensures you don’t have any of these toxic ingredients that are found in most store bought cleaning products.
You are also doing a small part to help save the planet by not producing disposable waste that store bought one time use dust wipes create.
You’ll save money because you are reusing materials instead of throwing them away after each use. Another way you’ll be saving money is because the ingredients used to make these wipes are much cheaper than the cost of store bought wipes. The main ingredient is vinegar, which is a common kitchen ingredient and only costs a dollar or two for a large jug.
Recipe for Homemade Reusable DIY Dust Wipes
Reusable dust wipes take just a few minutes of time to make. Once you have made them, store them in an airtight container. To reuse them, wash them in the washing machine, then reapply the the solution.
Supplies needed for your DIY Reusable Dust Wipes:
Some of the ingredients are standard ingredients found in your kitchen like olive oil and vinegar.
Flour Kitchen Cloth Towels like these that can be quickly and easily ordered on Amazon or grab them at your favorite superstore like Target.
I like to use Organic materials whenever possible, but you could use any standard flour kitchen towel if budget is a concern.
DIY Reusable Dust Wipes With Lemon Essential Oil
- 2 cups distilled water
- 25 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 2 TBL Olive Oil
- 1 TBL White Vinegar
- Cut 3–5 flour cloth towels into fourths or quarters.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and add all cloths.
- Soak in liquid mixture until there are no dry spots on the cloth.
- Ring out each cloth until it is damp and no more moisture comes out.
- Tightly roll up the cloths and store them together in an air-tight container.
- If cloths happen to dry out before you use them, dampen with water before use.
Wrap Up Of DIY Reusable Dust Wipes With Lemon Essential Oil
Making your own dust wipes with essential oil is fast, easy, economical, and ensures you are avoiding toxic ingredients. I use these in my own home and they are just as effective as store bought – and actually I find them to work even better.
By eliminated the waste of disposable wipes, You are helping to save the earth and the environment.