Dear Fellow Survivalist;
The last couple of months have been riddled with shortages. Starting with toilet paper and going through the rest of the supermarket, many things which we take for granted in our daily lives have flown off the shelves, leaving us to come up with other things to eat and other ways to do things.
One of those items has been hand cleaner. With the government constantly telling us to “wash our hands” people have scooped up all the hand cleaner they can find. Even with distilleries and other companies turning to making hand cleaner to take up the slack, we’re just now getting to a point where you can actually find hand cleaner in the stores.
Another such shortage has been disinfectants of all types, especially Clorox wipes. That shortage has at least made sense, as we need those to clean things and protect ourselves from COVID-19. I wrote about a month ago about the need to disinfect our worlds, especially those things we bring into our homes.
Of course, there are always consequences of using the things that you have; they tend to run out. As of my last visit to the grocery store, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, Clorox wipes and Clorox spray disinfectant and cleaner are still conspicuously missing from the shelves. It turns out that both of these come from China, which at least in part explains their shortage. It seems the Chinese are putting the screws to us and not shipping all that fast.
So what do we do? We’re Americans. We’re innovative. We come up with our own answer. That’s what we do.
You can easily make your own Clorox cleaner and disinfectant, if you have Clorox bleach, or any other brand of bleach for that matter. The only thing you want to do with any other brand, is make sure that it is 6.0% sodium hydroclorite (otherwise known as chlorine), like Clorox is. Some of the lower-cost brands might not be that much of a concentration. You also want to avoid “color-safe” bleaches, which contain hydrogen peroxide, rather than chlorine.
By the way, hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant too; so if you can’t find anything else to use. Most color-safe bleaches are 3.5% hydrogen peroxide, so they are just as effective as the 3% hydrogen peroxide sold in the pharmacy. But I’m not sure how they compare price-wise. Don’t water it down though, like you would with chlorine bleach.
On the other hand, you do need to water down that chlorine bleach. Assuming you’re working with Clorox, or some other brand that is also 6% sodium hydroclorite, you’ll want to water it down at a rate of 1/3 cup per gallon of water. If you’re just trying to make enough to fill a spray bottle (roughly a quart), then mix 1 tablespoon with a quart of water.
That takes care of the disinfectant part, but chlorine bleach isn’t a cleanser on its own, even though a lot of people think it is. Rather, we need to add some cleanser to it. So, in addition to the bleach, add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to the mix. Dawn seems to be a favorite brand for such recipes, although I’m not sure why.
So now you can refill that spray bottle of disinfectant and cleaner with a solution that’s going to work just as good as what was originally in there.
That’s great and you can always use it with paper towels, right? Well, maybe. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that when I try and clean my groceries with paper towels sprayed with disinfectant cleaner, my paper towels don’t last that long. That’s not because I buy cheap paper towels either, I’m buying one of the top brands out there.
However, there is something better than the paper towels they sell at the grocery store; that’s the blue “shop towels” they sell at the auto parts store. While I can’t say they are indestructible, they at least come close.
Okay, so let’s turn those into disinfectant wipes. To start with, grab a bread knife and cut the roll in half, just like you were cutting a fresh-baked loaf of bread in half. Then check to see if that half roll will fit into your empty container of wipes. You might need to peel a few off the outside to get it to go in. If that doesn’t work, the big square plastic jars (35 oz.) that peanuts come in are ideal.
Soak the half roll of blue shop towels in your disinfectant and cleaner, giving it enough time to ensure that it soaks all the way through. Your towels will actually change colors, but that’s not an issue.
Pull the core out of the roll, so that you can pull towels out of the middle of the roll. This will also give you the opportunity to check and see that the disinfectant has soaked all the way through. Then pull the end of the last towel out to the end of the roll. This is important, as these packages always pull the towels from the middle. That keeps the roll from getting messed up in the container.
With your roll now prepared, all you need to do is put it in the container and seal it up. If you want, pour about a quarter cup of the disinfectant in the bottom of the container, to keep the towels wetted. That’s not a requirement and you can even do it later. But if your disinfecting towels sit too long, they can dry out. That little bit of liquid will help keep that from happening.
So there you have it. Now you can keep your disinfectants at hand, just like you’re keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.