The next time you run out of one of your household staple items, don’t run to the store. Instead try making an inexpensive and more natural alternative at home. Here are some everyday household products you can make yourself with common and powerful ingredients you probably have on hand. Once you get into the habit of making these items yourself, you’ll wonder why you ever relied on the store-bought variety.
Alternative Cleaning Products
Traditional cleaning products are filled with carcinogens that get into the air and surfaces of our home – just take one look at the warnings on the back of these products to give you an idea of how harmful they can be to your health. While cleaning our home is vital to remove dust and buildup of toxic debris, cleaning with equally toxic chemicals make little to no difference.
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- 8-10 drips of grapefruit of orange essential oil
- Mix all ingredients together into a BPA-free spray bottle. Spray onto glass surfaces and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup water
- Combine all ingredients thoroughly to make a paste. Set to the side for at least 5 minutes. Dip your scrubbing tool into the paste and clean the inside of your oven.
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 30 drops of orange or grapefruit essential oil
- Combine all ingredients and mix well before transferring to a BPA-free spray bottle.
For additional cleaning tips using household ingredients, see our video here.
Natural Beauty Products
Traditional deodorants often contain some of the worst chemicals you can put on your skin. Even more alarming is we use deodorant under our arms, clogging up our bodies natural toxin release mechanism. The following recipe is one alternative, another is a salt-based deodorant you can find at most health food stores that use only mineral salts.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 ½ tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 40 drops of orange or grapefruit essential oil
- In a bowl mix together all the ingredients until well combined into a thick, paste-like consistency. Store in the refrigerator. To use, dip your fingers in the mixture and apply directly to skin.
Clay is a powerhouse for drawing out impurities and has been recently become popular with many large beauty companies. The problem is these store-bought masks often contain unnecessary indigents to improve the texture and colour of the clay. Ditch those additives and follow this easy recipe instead:
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons bentonite clay
- Mix the water and honey first, then stir in the clay and mix well to form a paste. Apply to entire face, being careful to avoid contact with your eyes. Leave on for about 20 minutes then rise well. Use 1-2 time per week.
Have some fun with this one as there are literally endless household ingredients you can use to create gentle and chemical-free exfoliators, including salt, white sugar or coffee grounds (a great use for the ones from your morning coffee). Our favourite is the following:
- Juice from one lemon
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. of coconut oil
- 1-2 drops of the essential oil of your choice (try peppermint in the summer and tea tree oil in the winter)
- Mix all items except essential oil together in a small bowl; you may need to add more brown sugar depending on the size of the lemon. Mix until the sugar is completely coated in the lemon and coconut oil. Add essential oil last.
Nut milks are readily available in most grocery stores, but often contain a shocking number of added chemicals and preservatives. The homemade versions require very little preparation and can even be made in the moment when you need them.
- 1 cup of water
- small handful of the nuts of your choice
- 1 date
- Dollop of honey (optional for those who prefer their nut milk a bit sweeter)
- Combine all ingredients in blender until no large chucks of the nuts remain. You can strain it through a cheesecloth to get it smooth, or drink as is. If you’re adding nut milk to a smoothie, make the nut milk first in the blender then add the additional ingredients.
Herbs and Spices
Instead of buying dried and packaged spices with contain little nutritional value, try replacing some of your most used items with the fresh variety, and better yet, grow them in your home. If you don’t have a green thumb, try self-watering containers like those at Modern Sprout. All you have to do is add water to the bottom and the plants feed themselves.