How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Products
8 Minute Read.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably googled a thousand DIY recipes in an attempt to make your own deodorant, tooth paste, household cleaner, or windex replacement. I totally get it. You wanna find low waste, cost-effective, non-toxic alternatives to the products you use everyday. But my guess is: you probably found it really frustrating trying to sift through all those online recipes, eliminating ones that were either too complicated or had too many ingredients. The idea was to make your life easier with less chemicals, not more complicated with the 36 ingredients you had to buy.
My M.O. has always been to make sustainable living as easy as possible, so I’ve sifted through all those recipes to bring you the simplest, most effective options for the most common products you have in that 400 sqft apartment of yours. May I present to you: The 8 Best DIY Recipes of All Time. Now, I made sure to only include recipes that had minimal ingredients, so you can whip up these babies in a snap, save some cash monaaaayyyy, and refrain from poisoning yourself with all those toxic products you used to buy. Let’s get this show on the road!
List of DIY Recipes:
- Dry Shampoo
- Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Conditioner
- Tooth Powder
- All-Purpose Cleaner
- Pot/Pan/Shower Cleaner (yup! it’s an all-in-one)
- Rust Remover
Homemade Mouthwash by Amber of Tulips and a Toolbox
- 500 ml distilled water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 30 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Mix all ingredients together and store at room temperature (I use an old [glass] salad-dressing bottle for storage as you can drink straight from the bottle)
- Shake before using.
**1-year shelf life. Do not swallow.
Homemade Deodorant by Katie of Wellness Mama
- Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl
- Add coconut oil and with a fork until well mixed
- Add oils if desired
- Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use
Katie also has another version of this recipe, which includes shea butter and is a bit softer. You can check out both recipe’s here.
What I like about Katie’s recipes in general is that a lot of the ingredients are optional, so if you don’t happen to have something lying around your house, you don’t have to include it, and you can make your own pared down version with what you already have. For me, whenever I attempt a new recipe, whether it is DIY or cooking, if there are too many ingredients or too many steps, I get overwhelmed and either throw in the towel or I cut certain things out, which in full disclosure doesn’t always work out for me. But that’s not the case with Katie’s DIY recipes; they’re fool proof, so have at it!
If you’re interested in using a natural deodorant but don’t have the time to make your own, you can try one of Meow Meow Tweet’s Deodorants, which are packaged in a glass jar and mostly made of organic, fair trade ingredients. For a more economical option, you can try this one by Crunchy, also packaged in a glass jar, or this one by Gaia Guy, which is packaged in a compostable paper tube.
Dry Shampoo by Michelle of Grown Ass Wmn
- 4 tbsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
- 6 tbsp cacao powder (note: this is different from cocoa powder; it has more nutrients & antioxidants)
- 5-7 drops essential oils (lavender and sage are a great combo, but Peppermint, vanilla, rosemary, or cedarwood are all great alternatives)
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Add the essential oils of your choice and mix until evenly blended
- Store at room temperature
Here’s how Michelle does it: “the best way to apply is with a makeup brush! I use an old powder foundation brush I had laying around. Then I gently swirl it around in the dry shampoo and tap the brush to get rid of the excess powder. I section my hair and then apply the dry shampoo at the roots. I let it sit in my hair for at least a few minutes, but the longer the better. That way, it’ll soak up all those unwanted oils. I then massage it into my scalp or use a brush to really get it in there. I do both! But whatever works.”
Note: Adding cacao powder is only recommended if you’ve got darker hair (it helps to match your hair color). If you have blonde or grey hair, you can simply use arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) on its own. Cinnamon is also a great addition if you have reddish tones. Since everyone’s hair is a different, it may take a bit of tweaking to get the color that’s right for you.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Conditioner
(ideal for using with a shampoo bar)
**For a small container, you can use 1 tablespoon for each ‘pt’
- Pour all ingredients into a glass spray bottle, shake contents, and store in your bathroom or shower
- While showering (and after shampooing your hair), generously spray mixture into your hair, and run your fingers through it several times to ensure it covers all your locks
- Rinse out the mixture
- Repeat every 3-4 weeks, or as needed
I usually shampoo my hair with a shampoo bar every 3 days, coupled with this apple cider vinegar treatment every 3-4 weeks. It gets rid of the film that tends to build up on your hair after a few weeks of using a shampoo bar.
Homemade Tooth Powder by ME!
- 2 pt Bentonite Clay (removes toxins & alkalizes your mouth)
- 1 pt Organic Cinnamon (fights bacteria & adds flavor)
- 1 pt Baking Soda (helps remove stains, bacteria and plaque; reduces irritation; exfoliates & alkalizes your teeth)
**For a small test size, you can use 1 teaspoon for each ‘pt’
- Pour each ingredient into a glass jar and mix with a non-metal utensil. Store with a lid.
- To use: wet your toothbrush and apply a pea sized amount of tooth powder onto your brush. Brush as usual.
**If you want an extra punch of mintiness, you can add a drop of Peppermint Oil to your brush.
All-Purpose Cleaner by Stephanie of Good Girl Gone Green
- 3 pt filtered water
- 1 pt vinegar
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- 5-7 drops lemon essential oil or thieves essential oil
Add ingredients to a glass spray bottle and fill remaining amount with hot water
You can check out Stephanie’s blog: 7 DIY Cleaning Recipes Using Vinegar for her extensive list of DIY recipes using vinegar.
(this is great for baking sheets and stainless steel pans that have built-up grime. It also works really well for scrubbing your shower/bathtub)
- baking soda
- Wet the surface you want to clean
- Sprinkle a layer of baking soda onto it (about an eighth of an inch thick)
- If the baking soda doesn’t cake on, spray a little more water to get it to stick
- Leave for 1 hour. If you’re using this to clean your shower, I usually leave it for 10 minutes or so (instead of an hour), and scrub with a heavy duty sponge
- Put vinegar into a spray bottle and lightly spray the surface to moisten the baking soda. You should see the two start to react and you’ll hear a fizzing sound
- Leave for 30 seconds. Then, scrub with a copper scour.
**this recipe definitely requires a bit of elbow grease, but it gets the job done
(this one’s kinda random, but hey, sometimes you have to take care of some rust . . . am I right?)
- baking soda
- Soak rusted object in vinegar for 24 hours
- Remove object from vinegar bath, sprinkle baking soda on top, and scrub with an old toothbrush or metal bristle brush
I consider this a work in progress, and will continue to add recipes to the list as I stumble upon them.
If you have any easy DIY recipes with 3 ingredients or less, share it in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you use to make your own products!
And if you decide to try your hand at any of these DIY recipes, drop me a line and let me know what you think of them.