These Easy-to-Make Wipes Will Help Keep Mosquitoes Away

You only need a roll of paper towels and a few natural ingredients to make these bug-fighting wipes.

If you’re hosting an outdoor barbecue this summer, there’s definitely one group of pesky party guests that always seems to show up uninvited. Mosquitoes! Keeping them away can be a challenge. You can try a few different methods for repelling them from your yard or patio; but what should you use on your body?

Sure, store-bought sprays are an option, but can leave a sticky residue. We prefer these effective DIY mosquito repelling wipes. They’re made with natural ingredients that mosquitoes just happen to hate, gentle on your skin and simple to use for both kids and adults. Here’s how to make your own!

Trying to keep other bugs away instead? Try using pennies in a bag of water to keep flies away.

How to Make Mosquito-Repelling Wipes

This tutorial was inspired by the one at Better Homes & Gardens.


  • Roll of paper towels (Brawny is the best paper towel brand, according to our test.)
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/4 cup castor oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 15 drops of a mosquito-repelling essential oil like citronella, cedarwood or a combo of lemon and eucalyptus


Step 1: Prepare the paper towels

Start with an airtight container large enough to hold half a roll of paper towels. (You can reuse a plastic container for this.) Using a serrated knife, cut the roll of paper towels in half crosswise so that it fits in the container. Clean up any rough edges with scissors, then remove the cardboard tube from the center of the roll.

Set the roll of paper towels aside for now.

Step 2: Make the mosquito repellent

In a small mixing bowl, combine distilled water, rubbing alcohol, castor oil, lemon juice and essential oil. Mix well with a metal spoon (so the oils don’t penetrate it). This is your magic mosquito-fighting juice! Citronella oil is thought to repel mosquitoes, and castor oil has anti-inflammatory benefits, which will definitely help if you happen to get a bite.

Step 3: Let the paper towels soak

Pour the homemade mosquito repellent mixture into that airtight container from Step 1. Then, place the paper towels in the container, right into the liquid. The goal is for the towels to soak up the liquid. It will take about 10 minutes for the paper towels to become saturated and ready to use as mosquito repellent wet wipes.

Step 4: Use the mosquito wipes

Bring your container of wipes to a picnic to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay! Simply grab a wipe from the center of the roll and rub on your exposed skin (be careful to avoid your eyes). Make sure your container is sealed tight after every use to ensure the wipes stay damp and fully saturated with the repellent mixture. If they do happen to dry out, simply mix up another batch of repellent and pour into the container.

Next up: See what plants repel mosquitoes naturally.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.