Frugal Home-made Household Products Recipes and Tips
Make a Frugal Living By Making Your Own!
This is my extensive list of simple and easy home-made household products recipes...with a seasoning of frugal living advice, and an occasional dash of scientific explaination.
Besides being fun to make, these do-it-yourself recipes will help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.
These may improve your health too (a good example is the Homemade Deodorant Recipe below).
Mixing up these recipes will also give you the satisfaction of becoming more self-sufficient - which is one of the corner stones of making a frugal living.
You will find many of these simple home-made alternatives to be much safer and more effective than their store-bought toxic alternatives.
You can choose a product category from the menu below or use the search box to find more recipes.
If you find the below money-saving advice, natural remedies, down-home tips, household hints, and product recipes useful....please do click the little "like" button at the very top of this page. Thank you.
Frugal Mad Scientist At Your Service
By the way, in case you didn't know, I am not only frugal but I am also a bit of a Mad Scientist, and a concerned scientist too.
I worked for many years in the industrial R&D laboratories of the largest chemical company in the world. I have a Biochemistry background as well, so I have a pretty good understanding of how and why most store-bought health and beauty products and household chemicals can damage our health and the environment.
So I'm always looking for new safe formulations to help others reduce their consumption, expenditure, and toxic chemical exposures. I really do enjoy chemical tinkering, experimenting, and inventing.
And since I just retired at 38 from my lab rat job thanks to my frugality in combination with another secret of my success, my kitchen and that system is now my primary laboratory and engine of creation.
I enjoy reverse engineering products to create cheaper and safer alternatives. This page is a collection of some of my kitchen lab formulations...IT'S ALIVE!
If you find this page useful or have any of your own effective homemade recipes for household products, please do share your tried and true recipes by leaving your comment at page bottom.
I'll bet your Facebook and Twitter friends will absolutely love you for sharing this extensive collection with them, so please use the share buttons at the top or bottom of this page.
This is by far one of the largest lists of homemade recipes on the web and it will continue to grow. So be sure to sign up on my mailing list using the following form to get notified of future updates and other exclusive tips and bonus materials. Much more to come!
Please pay it forward below. You will help change the world for the better.
Less Debt. Less Toxins. Less Pollution. That is the goal.
I hope you also save lots of money and have as much fun as I do making and using some of the below homemade recipes.
Home-made Home Schooling
Making home-made laundry detergent, to name but one, can be a fun family project. So do consider getting the kids involved with helping you mix up some of these.
Kids love homemade experiments, and helping to make some of these thrifty recipes will teach them self-reliance and show them that not everything has to be bought in a store.
This may even inspire them to become a young scientist, like I was when I was a kid. Who knows, it may start them on a path toward a career that improves the greater good of all.
Where to Find Recipe Ingredients
By the way, some of the below recipe ingredients are a bit old-fashioned and thus can be difficult to find. So I have compiled a complete list of all of the ingredients mentioned in these hundreds of homemade household products recipes in the Ingredients section toward the bottom of this page. I've also added a nifty search box which will help you find cheap suppliers instantly.
Plus I will be adding links to guides with more information on each ingredient, and including discount suppliers where you can get them in bulk quantities cheaply. In the mean time, try the ingredient search box to learn more and find the best deals.
Please be aware that your use of any information here or elsewhere on Frugalicity.com is at your own risk and should not be used in place of professional medical treatment or expert advice.
Change How You Do Laundry, Save Money: Homemade Laundry Detergent, Homemade Fabric Softener, and Frugal Clothes Drying
The below Homemade Laundry Detergent and Homemade Fabric Softener recipes can save you a lot of money and your health too. They are also more eco-friendly laundry alternatives.
Many expensive store bought laundry detergents and fabric softeners are some of the most toxic household products in the average home. Expensive heavy duty chemical laundry cleaners and fabric softener have been implicated as being possible causes of breast cancer and other chronic diseases.
So the below safe, simple, and cheaper homemade alternatives will possibly extend your lifespan as well as your dollars.
These simple, cheap, and easy batch recipes are also great family fun to make together. The kids will love helping with these diy "kitchen sink experiments". It's like applied chemistry and ecology meets home economics.
Best of all, the below easy frugal home-made laundry recipes will cut your laundry bill to just pennies per load. You can make 5 gallons of the below liquid laundry detergent for about $3. And it works great in both top load washers and high efficiency washers, though you may have to experiment a bit to see how much works best for you and your machine.
Tip for those with sensitive skin: In place of the Fels Naphtha or Castille soap bars below, you may want to give Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap a try instead.
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Option 1:
This homemade liquid laundry detergent is simple to make, much safer, and much cheaper than name brand detergents.
To make a 5 gallon bucket of this cheap detergent first get a large pot and heat on medium about one half gallon of water in it. While your water is heating up, grate a whole bar of Ivory soap, or Castille soap, or Fels-Naptha soap.
Add the grated soap to the hot water and heat on medium heat. Stir continuously until all the soap melts into the water. Remove the pot from heat after soap has totally dissolved into the water.
Into a 5 gallon bucket add about 3 gallons of hot tap water and then add the dissolved soap mixture, plus three quarters of a cup of Borax, and 1.25 cups of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. Stir this mixture well until all solids dissolve.
Then top off the bucket with more hot tap water and stir well again. Let set up over night. It should coagulate into a gel or just thicken somewhat, but that depends on what type of soap you used. Regardless of whether it is watery or gel-like the next day, it should still work well.
Get a clean container and dilute the laundry detergent by filling half with water and half with the detergent. If you want to make it more aromatic you may wish to add several drops each of one or several of your favorite therapeutic grade essential oils such as lavender essential oil, rosemary oil, vanilla essential oil, or jasmine essential oil.
Add 5 to 10 drops of Teatree Oil (Melaleuca Oil) for extra antiseptic power.
Shake this detergent mixture very well in the container and use about 1 cup per load. Experiment to see whether more or less will work better for your washing machine type, load size, or degree of dirtiness. This will last a very long time and costs only pennies per load.
How to Make Home-made Laundry Detergent Option 2:
Heat 1 grated bar of Dove, FelsNaphtha, Castille, or even homemade soap in a large pot to which has been added about a half gallon of water. Heat and mix until soap melts into water. Then remove from heat and add 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and mix well untill solids dissolve.
Tip to avoid solid soap on clothes: In the below washing powder recipes one of the most important steps is making sure your bar soap is ground up finely enough so it dissolves in the wash. This will help assure it does not leave soap nodules on your clothes after washing is done.
You can use your food processor to make sure it is ground fine, but then process it some more with the other ingredients added to the food processor to get it as fine as possible. The more surface area, the better; and I would say that goes for a lot of things related to making a frugal living.
Homemade Laundry Soap Powder Option 1:
Mix together very well 4 cups of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, 4 cups of Baking Soda, 4 cups of Borax (20 Mule Team Borax is what I happen to have right now), and 2 bars of Castille Soap, or Ivory Soap, or FelNaptha Soap grated up. Use a few tablespoons to one forth of a cup per load of laundry. Experiment with amounts to suit your laundry load size.
Homemade Laundry Soap Washing Powder Option 2:
Grate 1 bar of Felz Naptha Soap (or 2 bars of Ivory Soap, or 1 bar of Zote). Mix grated soap with 4 cups of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, and 4 cups of Borax. Mix all ingredients very well. Use a couple of tablespoons to one forth of a cup per load of laundry. Experiment to see what amount works best for your size of laundry load.
¼ cup clay powder, 2-3 tablespoons essential oil of choice (optional), 13 cups borax, 12 cups baking soda, 4 cups sodium lauryl sulfate. Mix clay powder and essential oil. Add remaining ingredients and mix well in a 2-3 gallon pail. Use 1 cup of laundry powder per load.
Home-made Laundry Soap Powder Option 4:
Grate up 1 bar of Castille or Ivory Soap (or one half bar of Fels-Naptha Soap). Add the grated soap to a food processor and mix very well with 1 cup of Washing Soda (such as Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda), plus 1 cup of Borax. Use a couple of tablespoons or more depending on load size and how dirty your clothes are.
Home-made Laundry Detergent Soap Powder Option 5:
If you do not have Borax, try the above recipe with 1 cup of Baking Soda in place of the Borax.
How to Make Homemade Fabric Softener
Home-made Fabric Softener Recipe Option 1:
Rather than using expensive and super toxic Fabric Softener, try adding half to a whole cup of white Vinegar to the washing machine rinse cycle. You can also add a few drops of your favorite smelling essential oil such as Jasmine, Lavender, Peppermint, or Vanilla.
Vinegar is great for removing stubborn odors, dissolving stains, and it will make your clothes soft and fluffy. The Vinegar also helps reduce static cling and it will also clean the soap scum from your washing machine parts.
Make sure Vinegar is rinsed out of clothes very well though to avoid Vinegar odor on washed clothes. Double rinse f you have to and experiment to see how much Vinegar works best for you.
Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe Option 2:
Don't waste your money on Downy or Snuggle fabric softener. Here is a wonderfully effective and inexpensive Fabric Softener Recipe...
Combine a cup of your favorite hair conditioner with 3 cups of hot water in a gallon container. Mix well then add 1 cup of White Vinegar. Mix very well.
This homemade fabric softener can be added to your fabric softener ball or used directly in your washing machine as you normally would. About 3 or 4 tablespoon fulls should do it. Find the amount that works best for you.
Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe Option 3:
Dissolve 1 cup of Baking Soda in 1 cup hot water in a bucket. Then add 4 cups of White Vinegar. Fizzing is harmless. The bubbles are simply harmless carbon dioxide gas being evolved (like the old "volcano reaction" in Science fair projects).
Once the bubbling subsides, you can add 2.5 cups of your favorite aromatic conditioner plus about 6 cups of hot tap water and mix very well. You can add a half to one cup of this softener to the rinse cycle. Or use this softener as you normally would or try it with the below described homemade dryer sheets without further dilution.
Homemade Dryer Sheets:
REDUCE - To save money on store-bought dryer sheets, tear them in two rather than use a whole one per dryer load. Using less is a great way to save on just about any product.
RE-USE - Try tossing the used up dryer sheets in a jar with liquid fabric softener (see above recipes) to make your own dryer sheets. Wringe one out and toss it in the dryer for a cheap alternative to the more expensive pre-packaged ones.
DILUTION - Try diluting your favorite Fabric Sofener or Hair Conditioner by taking one half cup of fabric softening liquid or conditioner and mixing with 1 cup of water in a seperate container. Soak half of a sponge with this mixture, wring out back into bottle, and toss softener moistened half of sponge into dryer to act as your home-made dryer sheets. You could also do the same thing with a wash cloth or sock.
Eliminate - Of course you can do what we often do and skip the fabric softener step all together.
We have found that total elimination of products, where possible, is usually the best way to go. In my experience, fabric softener is not really necessary.
The same goes for most household chemical products. It's liberating, healthy, green, and economically wise to take a minimalist strategy toward eliminating expensive and super toxic store-bought chemical products.
Low Hanging Fruit of Frugality: Eliminate Where Possible Don't Get Duped by Big Oil
The best form of frugality is minimalism, especially when it comes to household chemicals.
Most of us are brainwashed by marketing to think we need a specific purchased product for every little job. Not true at all. The home made alternative on this page will often multi-task for various jobs and they are safer and cheaper.
Also keep in mind that man-made chemical fragrances, no matter the source, are usually always harmful to your health.
I would NEVER buy those air freshener sprays or plug-in room deodorizers because they can be fire hazards and often contain petroleum-based compounds and fragrances that can cause allergies in many people.
Their toxic residues also accumulate inside your body and interact with other "body burden" toxins in ways we don't yet fully understand, yet which toxicologists strongly believe may contribute to cancer risks, as well as many other chronic illnesses.
Most folks have no idea that many of the thousands of chemical household products marketed to us ad infinitum are actually designed to turn toxic waste from the refining process into profits.
Household chemical products are a major route by which the petroleum industry gets rid of toxic by-products from the crude oil refining process...and the do so AT A PROFIT for THEM, yet a cost to YOU in multiple ways.
I don't care how good fragrant products (like fabric softeners) may smell, the molecules are usually harmful longterm and the fragrance chemicals end up in your bloodstream after you inhale them.
Even perfume and cologne often contain extremely hazardous carrier solvents such as Toluene which is cancer causing.
A healthy home is often also a frugal home thanks to elimination of most expensive and harmful chemical products especially those related to doing laundry, general cleaning, and lawn and garden.
Always try to think about possible ways you can cut back or eliminate those store-bought chemical products your family uses. I hope this page helps you reduce your spending and improves your longterm health.
Home-made Spray Starch
1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 pint cold water. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and squirt to apply (shake before each use).
Save More Money on Laundry With Free Energy Like Pennies from Heaven
After washing your clothes using the above easy homemade detergent recipes, to save even more money try to make a habit of drying your clothes outside in the sunshine and fresh breeze using a clothes line or by drapping over a porch railing.
Using a clothes line for drying clothes outside is one of the best ways to save money on electricity and will give you the added bonus of natural Ozone gas and ultra violet light sterilization for free. It is like free dry cleaning via the sun and wind.
But if you still want the fragrance, once your clothes are mostly dried by the sun and wind, you can always put them in your indoor dryer for a few minutes with your favorite fabric softener sheets (see above homemade fabric softener alternatives).
The point is to minimize paying for electricity. So just think about all that daytime photonic free energy - falling upon us every day like pennies from heaven. That is cheap solar energy with no expensive solar panels required.
Do not under-estimate the power of sunlight and outside Ozone to kill dustmites, bacteria, mold spores, and other microorganisms that sometimes survive the wash cycle.
As a chemist, I could go into great detail on this subject; but suffice it so say, Ozone generators and Ultra Violet sterilizers are now widely used technologies for purifying air, water, and surfaces in homes. Ozonolysis and UV sterilization lamps have been incorporated into many different types of household systems and appliances.
So why not utilize the free Ozone gas and intense UV light emitted by our solar system's central star, the sun, to not only dry, but also further clean your laundry. That's what I call the great solar powered washer and dryer in the sky.
Just remember, the same photonic energy from the sun that can kill bacteria and microorganisms also produces a strong bleaching effect on colored fabrics.
But overall, a clothesline is a great old fashioned way to "go green" AND save green on electricity because clothes dryers are some of the biggest household energy hogs, no matter whether you have a gas dryer or an electric dryer.
By nature of the atomic structure of water molecules, it takes a lot of energy to heat and vaporize water.
That is why hot water heaters and clothes dryers are two of your biggest energy hogs. So for big energy savings, start washing your clothes with all cold water and dry your clothes outside on the line.
Changing all your laundry habits really can save you a lot of money every year. You just have to take a step back and look at how you do things and then ask yourself, "how can I eliminate this product or this step or change how I do this task to save money or resources?" This thinking works for just about all household costs.
But if you support the mountain destroying coal mining companies, enjoy fat energy bills from coal-fired power, or savor the ever-growing levels of "Quicksilver" (Mercury) in your fish - by all means keep running that electric clothes dryer hot and heavy every day. I know of many families that do it daily.
½ cup borax, 1 gallon hot water Dissolve borax in hot water. Wipe down areas to be disinfected.
Isopropyl alcohol is also a cheap and excellent disinfectant - be sure to use gloves and keep it away from children.
Homemade Abbrassive Cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda or borax, add juice of ½ lemon and scrub.
Home-made Brass/Copper Tarnish Remover
Salt, Flour, and White vinegar. Mix together equal parts salt and flour, then add white vinegar to make a paste. Rub into the stain. Repeat if necessary.
Brass may also be polished by dipping a soft cloth in a solution made with baking soda and lemon or salt and vinegar.
Home-made Copper Polish
To clean tarnished Copper items try placing the item in a pot of boiling water to which has been added 1 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt.
Or try a paste made with cream of tartar, lemon juice, baking soda, salt, and vinegar.
All Purpose Metal Cleaner
Fresh squeezed juice of 2 lemons a cup baking soda 1 teaspoon fine salt 6 tablespoons clay powder Mix all ingredients together until pasty. Add water or more clay if needed. Rub paste onto metal with extremely fine steel wool and allow to sit for fifteen minutes. Wash off with a sponge and clear water. Polish metal with a soft cloth. Do not use on aluminum.
Homemade Aluminum Polish
Aluminum can be cleaned with a paste made from cream of tartar and water.
Home-made Silver Polish
Rub with paste of baking soda and water.
Silver can also be polished by boiling it in a pan lined with aluminum foil, filled with water with one teaspoon each of baking soda and salt.
Homemade Chrome/Stainless Steel Polish
Chrome can be polished using aluminum foil (shiny side out), vinegar, and baby oil.
Polish Stainless Steel with undiluted white vinegar.
Homemade Gold/Pewter Polish
Polish Gold with toothpaste
Polish Pewter by making a paste of flour, vinegar, and salt.
Glassware/Crystal Spot Removal
Dip spotted glassware into water to which a splash of vinegar has been added, dry with lint-free dishcloth.
2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons borax, Mix baking soda and borax and put mixture in dishwasher.
Home-made Window Cleaner
Juice from one fresh lemon 2 cups water or club soda½ teaspoon peppermint essential oil (optional)1 teaspoon cornstarch Mix all ingredients and pour into plastic spray bottle. Shake well.
8 parts water 1 part vinegar Mix ingredients, scrub and wipe with newspaper.
AVOID COMMERCIAL DRAIN CLEANERS!!! - they usually contain highly caustic Sodium Hydroxide, a very strong base that will damage tissues. Never combine any of the below ingredients (especially vinegar) with commercial drain cleaners because deadly gases may result!!!
¼ cup vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda Mix ingredients and pour mixture down drain. Let stand for a few minutes and rinse with boiling water. The resultant chemical reaction will break down fatty acids into harmless soap and glycerine that can be washed down drain.
Home-made Oven Cleaner
AVOID COMMERCIAL OVEN CLEANERS!!! - they usually contain highly corrosive Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) which binds calcium and can be fatal or in the least can severely damage tissues!!!
Arm & Hammer makes a good Oven Cleaner which Consumers' Union has deemed non-toxic, or just sprinkle baking soda on the moist oven surface and scrub with steel wool.
Or mix equal parts of casstille soap, borax and water. Apply mixture, let set for 20 minutes. Scrub with mixture of baking soda and salt.
Home-made Air Freshener and Deodorizers
Open windows or doors for a short period.
Use Potpourri in bowls to scent air - rosemary, sage, peppermint, lemon verbeana, lavender, orange peels, cloves, and bay leaves make excellent natural ingredients from the garden for home-made potpourri.
Vinegar is helpful in removing many odors like from onion odor on hands/cutting boards.
Place dishes of vinegar around the Kitchen to help neutralize cooking odors.
Sprinkle Borax (~half a cup) in garbage cans/diaper pails, ect. to inhibit odor causing bacteria and mold growth.
For Homemade Aroma Therapy boil a pan of water containing cloves and cinnamon.
Baking Soda is an excellent deodorizer all around the kitchen such as in refrigerator. It is also an excellent addition to cat litter pans - it's a good clumping agent, neutralizes the odor of ammonia in cat urine, helps kill bacteria, and reduces many other unpleasant pet odors.
Homemade Floor Cleaner/Polish
For an All-Purpose Home-made Floor Cleaner simply combine a few drops of vinegar in water.
For Brick and Stone Tile Cleaner mix 1 cup vinegar in 1 gallon of water, rinse with clear water after applying solution.
For Painted Wood Floors mix 1 teaspoon washing soda with 1 gallon of hot water.
For Wood Floors apply a thin coat of 1 part vinegar to 1 part baby oil and rub in well.
For Vinyl or Linoleum Floors combine a cap full of baby oil with a few drops of vinegar in water to remove soap traces, preserve, and polish.
Safe Homemade Green Kitchen Cleaners, Products, and Tips
Scrub with paste made from cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide.
Home-made Soap Film Remover for Fiberglass Surfaces
Apply baking soda with damp cloth, rub and rinse off residue well.
Soap Film/Mildew on Shower Curtains
Pour full-strength vinegar on the shower curtain to remove soap film and mildew.
Homemade Shower-Door Track Cleaner
Pour full-strength vinegar into the track, let soak for a few minutes, rinse.
Home-made Toilet Lime Deposit Remover
Pour full strength white vinegar in the bowl, let sit for several hours. Scrub with sturdy brush.
Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner
½ teaspoon sodium laural sulfate, 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon orange essential oil or 1 teaspoon grapefruit essential oil (optional), 2 cups water. Mix all ingredients. Vinegar and baking soda will foam when mixed. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes before pouring into a spray bottle.
Safe Homemade Green Bathroom Cleaners, Products and Tips
1 teaspoon lemon oil, 2 cups mineral oil. Mix and apply with soft cloth.
Home-made Dark Wood Polish
1 teaspoon olive oil, Juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon brandy or whiskey, 1 teaspoon water. Mix and apply with soft cloth. Must be made fresh each time.
Homemade Unscented Polish
3 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar. Mix and apply with soft cloth.
Home-made Oak Furniture Polish
1 quart of beer, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons beeswax. Boil beer with sugar and beeswax. When cool, wipe mixture on wood, allow to dry and polish with soft cloth.
Home-made Scratch Remover / Heat Blemish Remover
Rub in mayonnaise and wipe off. Buff with clean cloth.
Water Spot Treatment Polish
Toothpaste (not gel)
Apply equal parts toothpaste and baking soda with a soft, damp cloth. Rinse out the cloth and wipe off any residue. When the finish is smooth, buff with a clean soft cloth. Restore color and shine by rubbing the spot with the meat of half a pecan, then buff.
¼ cup borax, 2 cups cold water. Dissolve borax in cold water. Sponge it on and let it sit until dry. Wash with soap and water to completely remove spot. Works well on blood, chocolate, coffee,mildew, mud and urine.
Pour club soda on fresh spots and stains to remove wine and foods from clothing, carpets and linens.
Homemade Ink Spot Remover
Cream of tartar, Lemon juice, Warm water. Put cream of tartar on the stain and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on top. Rub into the stain for a minute, brush off the powder with a clean brush and sponge immediately with warm water. Repeat if needed.
Soak stained area in warm soapy water. Sponge with equal parts of water and white vinegar. Blot dry.
Home-made Dog House Flea Repellant
Wash dog houses with salt water. Scatter fresh pine needles or cedar shavings under your pet’s sleeping pad. Keep bedding clean.
Natural Cheap and Safe? Flea Remedy
Do your own due diligence here in particular. There are special safety considerations before exploring these options...
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
I have read many pet experts swear by "Diatomaceous Earth" (what the famous "White Cliffs of Dover" are composed of). It is a white powder composed of microscopic silica skeletons of dead diatoms (single-cell algae) usually found in ancient marine deposits.
Other names for Diatomaceous Earth are: "KieselguhrMake", "Kieselgur", "Diatomite", or "D.E." It has many uses in agriculture, research, household products, and various other industries.
Most who advocate its use recommend only using the form classified as "Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth", and also application to a pets fur outside to limit how much might otherwise get into your indoor air. Safety precautions should be heeded. I am not sure I would risk trying this because of the possible inhalation hazard that could result (see safety warnings below). If you have experience with this please leave a comment at page bottom. Thanks.
Some have suggested that Medical-grade Diatomaceous Earth may have some effectiveness as a de-wormer for animals and humans, though efficacy is questionable.
Due to the sharp edges of diatom skeletons and the affinity for it to absorb fats and moisture, Diatomaceous Earth has been used as a non-toxic slug repellent in the garden.
These physical properties may also make it an effective natural insecticide for roaches, fleas, and other small garden insect pests because it has abrasive properties that damage their exoskeletons while absorbing lipids and moisture at the same time.
This abrasion/absorption causes a weakening of their outer shell, thus causing them to lose moisture and therefore makes it more likely for them to die from dehydration.
Even if Diatomite were to not kill the pest, you can be sure that slugs, fleas, roaches, aphids, cucumber beetles, and stink bugs (to name but a few pests) will probably know to avoid it. A good analogy is to imagine what would happen if you rolled around in ground up glass. So it's no wonder it may be an effective natural bug repellent as well as non-toxic insecticide.
BUT, like any finely divided silica powder, Diatomite should be treated as an inhalation hazard to anyone. It is also a powerful drying agent. So respiratory protection and gloves should be used while working with it.
Certain heat-treated forms (such as that used in pool filters) may contain a larger proportion of highly crystalline silica which is particularly dangerous to inhale, especially for babies, the elderly, or someone who already suffers from a respiratory condition.
OSHA regulates workers' exposure to crystalline silica, which may cause lung cancer, silicosis, or other respiratory ailments. So be sure to do your own safety due diligence before thinking about using Diatomaceous Earth in any way, shape, or form. You have been warned.
Home-made Flea Remedy
Many pet owners claim that an effective flea repellent is to feed pets food into which Brewer's Yeast has been mixed, or to give them Brewer's Yeast tablets.
I'm not so sure this is a very effective flea remedy. If you have had success with this way to get rid of fleas on pets, please tell us about it by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page. Thank you.
How to Make Homemade Deodorant Which is Much Cheaper and Safer
An effective homemade under-arm deodorant is something I have been desperately searching for not so much to save money, but rather to find a less allergenic deodorant after the serious skin problems caused by my store-bought Antiperspirant / Deodorant.
I have never had skin problems or suffered from skin rashes, except as a result of using "speedstick" deodorant or the chalky white deodorant / antipersperants. I react badly to all of the leading brands. They all make me itch badly and this usually results in very bad dermatitis.
I have developed such a sensitivity to the chemicals in these deodorant products that when they touch my skin I develop a serious rash under my arms. The last time an under-arm rash developed I nearly had to seek medical treatment because it would not heal until I stopped applying these deodorants.
You may be thinking duh, find a safer alternative. Well, that is not so easy because most homemade deodorants are not strong enough, especially in summer. It's a real problem for those who sweat a lot.
I have tried many alternatives which work for about an hour, but that's about it. The brand name antiperspirants / deodorants use a very tacky resin and potent fragrance chemicals that are hard to wash off. In chemistry, we'd call it "hydrophobic" (or water fearing). Sweat does not easily dilute or wash it away so it keeps working where applied.
This is why it lasts all day. But as it kills bacteria quite effectively, so too does it probably slowly kill us. Most bacteriacides attack the same Biochemical processes also found in our own cells. We just happen to be much bigger and can "absorb" more damage without obvious side effects, except in my case and many others' who have developed chemical allergies to Deodorants / Antiperspirants.
I am looking at the back of my Deodorant / Antiperspirant stick right now and there are several warnings that clue me in to how toxic the chemical ingredients really are, not only for the skin outside, but also our organs inside. It can be a systemic poison to us.
For example, the words found on most Deodorant sticks, "Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney problems" tells me that an ingredient in this deodorant actually enters the bloodstream through the skin and travels through the kidneys where it does kidney damage to everyone who uses it, which is especially dangerous for those people who may already have weakened kidney function.
Of course I already knew that whatever chemicals we touch or apply to our skin usually ends up diffusing into our bloodstream. This is why you should never try to lower fevers in children by covering their body with rubbing alcohol, as they used to do when I was a kid (when alcohol evaporates it absorbs heat energy - like the evaporative cooling that occurs when you sweat). I think there's been quite a few cases of babies and children dying after their bodies were covered in alcohol, basically causing death by alcohol poisoning.
So chemicals can easily enter our blood through our skin. In other words, your skin is a permeable membrane, thus chemical compounds in contact with your skin can and often do diffuse into your body where they can damage cells, tissues, organs and life-sustaining systems.
This is why so many chemical ingredients in beauty products such as cosmetic makeup and deodorants can be found in most humans' blood and fatty tissue and why finding a non-toxic deodorant is so important.
Of course for me, blood contamination aside, the visious skin rash the chemicals cause is reason enough to avoid store-bought deodorants.
The main culprit is probably the active ingredient known as "Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY 17.8%" which is the main antiperspirant ingredient and is also the ingredient some say may be linked to Alzheimer's Disease, which is fatally incurable and has already affected several of my relatives.
I recommend starting with a small batch of this home-made Deodorant so you can first test how it works for you. Then you can make larger batches. This will keep for a long time, up to six months or more and can be applied in your old washed out speed stick applicators.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this easy recipe:
Tea Tree and Lavender Essential Oil
Mix thoroughly together a quarter cup of Baking Soda with a half cup of Corn Starch. Then combine this dry mixture with a quarter cup of Coconut Oil and a few drops of Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil. Essential Oils should be used very sparingly because if too concentrated they can sometimes irritate the skin.
Chemically speaking, the Baking Soda kills bacteria because it is Sodium Bicarbonate. High sodium environments are generally unpleasant places for most bacteria (why canned goods are so salty. It is a cheap preservative).
The Bicarbonate ions are also pH buffering which can help control odor by controling bacterial growth.
Just another science tid bit for ya...Ever wonder why you salivate before vomitting? That is your body's mechanism of reducing tissue damage in your throat from stomach acid about to come up. The saliva contains bicarbonate ions which neutralize the stomach acid.
The Cornstarch is a binder which helps hold it all together and also helps to absorb moisture. Bacteria like moisture.
Arrowroot is probably a good substitute if you do not have Corn Starch in house. And Canola Oil can probably be substituted for the Coconut Oil as well.
The oils, besides binding it all together, also have antimicrobial properties. This is why peanut butter can be stored for so long outside of the refrigerator and why bottles of oil do not have to be refrigerated. Bacteria find high fat environments inhospitable, generally speaking.
The Essential Oils are also anti-bacterial because they are oil based and contain anti-bacterial plant compounds.
So there you have it. It's mostly about creating a dry, saline, fatty acid coated environment that bacteria will find to be a hostile place to divide. No bacteria...No odor.
I'm looking forward to reading your comments below.
For rats and mice: Again, prevention may be the best cure. Holes in exterior or interior walls should be closed off and storage spaces kept orderly. Garbage should be kept tightly covered. To catch rodents, the most efficient system is the oldest: a cat. Next best are mouse and rat traps.
Stuff all cracks around gas and water pipes with steel wool to keep mice out.
Homemade Ant Repellant
Ants navigate by following their fellow ants' chemical trails, so just about any aromatic herb or ingredient will disrupt their ant pheremone trails.
Sprinkle red chili powder, cinnamon, bay leaves, black pepper, paprika, cream of tartar powder, dried peppermint, salt, borax, or sage near ant infestations.
Also try spraying diluted vinegar or peppermint oil.
Home-made Roach Repellant
Place bay leaves in cracks around room.
Mix by stirring and sifting 1 ounce TSP, 6 ounces borax, 4 ounces sugar, and 8 ounces flour. Spread on floor of infested area. Repeat after 4 days and again after 2 weeks.
Homemade Flea Repellant
Feed your pet brewer's yeast in powder mixed with food or by tablets.
Mix dishwashing liquid and water, spray infected area.
Homemade Moth Ball Alternative
Place cedar chips or blocks in desired area.
Air clothes well in the sun; store in airtight containers, and scatter sachets of lavender, cedar chips, or dried tobacco in with clothing.
Anti-Insect Air Spritzer
2 cups vodka, 1 tablespoon citronella essential oil, 1 tablespoon eucalyptus essential oil, 1 teaspoon geranium essential oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary essential oil, 1 teaspoon orange essential oil, 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil. Mix all ingredients and shake well. Mist into air to keep bugs away.
Home-made Bug Repellant, Body
2 tablespoons citronella essential oil, 2 tablespoons rosemary essential oil, 2 tablespoons geranium essential oil, 2 tablespoons eucalyptus essential oil, ½ cup olive oil. Mix all oils together. Dab on clothing and skin. Avoid eyes and mouth.
Home-made Termite Repellants
Any wooden parts of the house should be at least 18 inches off the ground, as subterranean termites cannot tolerate being exposed to air and light. They have to build easily visible mud tunnels to get at available wood. However, most existing houses have only about an 8-inch clearance between wooden parts and the ground, which makes the wood vulnerable. Metal shields may help discourage termites, but they cannot prevent infestations.
To treat existing termite infestations, there are a few nontoxic alternatives: the "Extermax" system, available in California; and the use of a particular species of nematodes to eat them, a system available from N-Viro Products, Ltc.
The most frugal homemade weed killer is Vinegar. Just put it in a spray bottle and spray it on weeds when the weather is hot and dry and the plants will die in a day. Vinegar is Acetic Acid which has low pH causing cell damage to the plants allowing the sun to dehydrate them quickly.
Home-made Chili-Vinegar Spray for Fruit Trees
4 jalapenos, habaneros or other hot chillies, seeded and chopped. 2 cloves garlic, 1½ quarts water, 2 oz. Beer, ½ cup vinegar. Mix chopped chillies, garlic, water and beer. Cover and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then let the mixture steep in the pot for 24 hours. Add the vinegar, strain well and pour into a sprayer. Spray leaves (but not blossoms).Will help keep birds away.
Pyrethrin a natural insecticide found in some plants is relatively nontoxic to humans and only slightly toxic to aquatic life, so it may be the best choice for home gardens. A natural source of Pyrethrin is the Chrysanthemum plant. To make a home-made garden bug spray soak crushed or cut up chrysanthemum flowers or leaves in a bucket of water for 1 day, filter through cheese cloth or an old pillow case, then pour in a spray bottle or hose end sprayer. To make it even stronger add basil, rosemary, peppermint, garlic, marigold leaves and flowers, or sage leaves to the above bucket of water to soak.
Observe which herbs and plants have leaves that are seldom if ever eaten by bugs. The above listed garden herbs are excellent examples. These plants often contain volatile oils and alkaloid compounds which garden pests and even animals like deer find distasteful.
Aphids on Rose Bushes
Mulch banana peels into the soil at the base of the rosebushes. This will strengthen them and ward off disease-bearing aphids.
Make beetle traps from open cans or milk cartons baited with melon or other garden targets. Place the traps around the garden and check them early in the morning and discard.
Home-made Earwig Repellant
Make rolls out of newspaper, soak them in water then set them out overnight. First thing in the morning the rolls will be full earwigs. Put the rolls in a tightly sealed bag and out with the trash. Keep at this for a while and you will be rid of your problem.
Fill old tuna or pet food cans with ½ inch of vegetable oil; place several cans around the infested area. When full, just dump bodies in trash and refill.
Fungus and Mildew
1 bulb of garlic (about 20 cloves), chopped. 1 quart of hot water. Place chopped garlic in the water and let steep for at least 24 hours. Strain and spray on plants to eliminate fungus and mildew.
Home-made Pest Spray
1 cup grated castille soap, 1 cup coarsely chopped tobacco leaves, fresh or cured. 3 cups boiling water, divide 1 entire bulb garlic, peeled and crushed or chopped, 1 cup of chopped fresh tansy (optional). In a bowl, dissolve soap in 1 cup boiling water and set aside. In a blender, pour remainder of boiling water over tobacco leaves and let set for ten minutes or so. Add garlic and tansy (if available) and whirl until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth and discard solid materials. Add herbal liquid soap to mixture and stir; pour into a spray bottle. To use, spray the herbal liquid on insects and their environs at early morning and dusk for three days in a row. Because this mix drives most bugs away, but does not kill them, apply as needed.
Homemade Deer Repellant for Fruit Trees
To repel deer, roll several pounds of soft, scented herbal soap into balls. Tie the balls into small bundles,using cloth or net and string. Hang several bundles from each fruit tree. The deer won't come near the trees. As a bonus, rain will eventually melt the soap bundles and lend a bit of alkalinity to the soil below.
Home-made Snail Repellants
Bury a small bowl or can flush with the ground and fill it with beer to attract and trap snails.
Homemade Fertilizer for Organic Gardening
Frugal Gardening Tip: Use compost to return needed bacteria, enzymes and nutrients to the soil. Include clover or other nitrogen fixing plants in the lawn to make it self-fertilizing.
Dry Out Lawn Fungis
De-thatch; add soil bacteria and re-seed. Fungus grows only in wet, thatchy, over-fertilized lawns.
Beneficial Bugs in Your Frugal Garden
Lady Bugs (Ladybird Beetles) – eats Psyllids, aphids, and eggs of the Colorado Potato Beetle.
Green Lacewings – eats aphids, mites, mealy bugs and other small insects.
Ground Beetles (Carabid Beetles) – eats cutworms, grubs, root maggots and other soft-bodied pests.
Parasitic Wasps – kills white flies, moths and Mexican bean beetles.
Basil – planted alongside tomato plants helps control tomato hornworms.
Thyme – planted with cabbage helps control flea-beetles, cabbage worm and white cabbage butterflies.
Marigold – planted in vegetable gardens produces a pungent scent that repels many garden pests.
Mint – repels mosquitoes and produces an odor that aphids and cabbage pests dislike.
Garlic – when planted close to roses it can protect bushes from black spot, a fungus disease; can be grown in rings around a crop to repel aphids; spray garlic tea (see above) on plants to eliminate fungus and mildew.
Here are hundreds of other simple tips, easy recipes, and ingenious strategies for saving money in the garden: "The Shoestring Gardener...Frugal Eco-friendly Gardening Tutorials": Click Here!
Also, don't miss the pet remedies and tips section where I discuss uses in the garden for Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth as an insecticide and bug repellent.
Rinse with strong tea of rose hips or cloves, or use strong black coffee.
½ cup dried sage, 2 cups water. Boil sage for thirty minutes, then steep for several hours. Apply tea to hair after it cools. Allow to dry,then rinse and dry hair again. Apply weekly until you have the shade you want and then monthly to maintain color.
Rinse hair with a strong black tea or black coffee.
Homemade Hair Shampoo Alternatives
Home-made Castille Soap Shampoo Recipe #1
Castille bar soap, Water, ¼ cup olive oil, almond oil or avocado oil, ½ cup distilled water. Grate castille bar soap and mix it with water in a blender or food processor. Blend 1 cup of castille liquid with olive oil, avocado or almond oil and distilled water.
Home-made Castille Soap Shampoo Recipe #2
Mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of liquid castille soap (Nature Clean is one brand). To make an herbal shampoo, heat water before adding soap and steep herbs, then strain and add soap. Castille will leave a film on hair which can be removed by rinsing hair with 3 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice mixed with 1 cup of water.
Homemade Egg Shampoo
Beat 2 large eggs and massage into scalp. Leave on a few minutes, then rinse with warm water. To cut film left by the eggs, rinse with vinegar (dark hair), or lemon Juice (light hair). Mix 3 tablespoons of vinegar or juice with 1 cup of water and pour through hair.
Baking soda mixed with water to a consistency that can be massaged through hair.
Home-made Conditioner Alternatives
Pour 1 cup of warm beer over hair, then rinse with water.
Mayonnaise Conditioner: massage mayonnaise into hair, coating every strand. Cover hair with plastic bag for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Dry-Scalp Conditioner: Massage plain yogurt into hair, especially the scalp. Cover with a plastic bag for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Henna Treatment: Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup of colorless henna and 2 teaspoons of honey. Let sit a few minutes to thicken. Coat each strand of hair, cover with a plastic bag and wrap with a warm towel. Shampoo after 1 hour.
Conditioner: Mix 1 egg yolk, 1 small container of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply to hair, wrap in towel for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Alternative Moisturizers and conditioners: egg yolk, milk, yogurt, safflower oil (for light moisturizing), olive oil (for dry skin or hair), water, oatmeal, Jojoba oil.
Home-made Depilatories for Hair Removal
Melt a small amount of beeswax in a small pan until very warm but still cool enough to touch. After dusting skin with body powder or cornstarch, apply warm wax with a wooden spatula. Allow mixture to cool for a few seconds, then remove quickly with a light tapping. Sooth with cream or aloe vera gel.
Home-made Hot Oil Hair Treatment
Combine 1 teaspoon soybean oil and 2 teaspoons castor oil. Warm on low heat. Massage mixture into scalp and hair. Wrap hair in a hot towel for 15 minutes. Shampoo and rinse.
Home-made Hair Styling Alternatives
Mix together 2 cups boiling water, and 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin in 1 teaspoon vinegar. Strain through coffee filter and put in sprayer bottle.
Home-made Lemon Hair Spray
- Squeeze juice of 1 medium lemon into 2 cups of water. Slice up lemon peel and add. Boil slowly until reduced to 1 cup. Strain and pour into spray bottle. Keep in fridge. For extra hold use 1 1/2 lemons.
Home-made Flax Seed Gel
- Boil 2 tablespoons of flax seed in 1/3 cup water for 10 minutes. Rub through hair, sparingly.
Home-made Acrylic Nails
Sally Hansen Nail Buffer and Groomer
This can be used instead of nail polish - your nails look very shiny and smooth, like you have a coat of clear polish on them.
Home-made Dandruff Remedy
Wet hair and rub in a handful of dry baking soda, then rinse.
1 chopped lemon (or 1 orange for dry hair), 2 cups pure hot water, 1 ounce vodka. Place lemon and hot water in a pot, and boil until only half remains. Cool and strain. Place in a fine spray bottle and test on hair. If too sticky, add more water. Store in the refrigerator, or add 1 ounce vodka per cup of hair spray as a preservative (with vodka, hair spray may be stored un-refrigerated for up to two weeks).
Homemade Jewelry Cleaning
Rub a small amount of toothpaste on jewelry with finger, rinse well and polish with a soft cloth.
Home-made Eye Makeup Remover Alternative
Makeup tends to be fat soluble so it can be removed with various natural oils or just soap and water.
Try these homemade makeup remover alternatives. These will save money and are healthier than store bought products such as Oil of Olay, Ponds, Victoria's Secret, Mary Kay, Avon or Neutragena Makeup Remover
1 Tbs castor oil, 1 Tbs light olive oil, 1 tsp vegetable oil (sunflower, safflower etc). Blend ingredients, Use to remove makeup around the eyes.
Natural, easy, and cheap homemade makeup removers:
Dip a cotton ball in Jojoba oil, or Vaseline (great homemade Mascara Remover), or Baby Oil, or Grapeseed, or Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil, or all natural Witch Hazel mixed with Olive Oil or Almond Oil.
Try Baby Wipes or Baby Shampoo to remove your makeup and Mascara if you already have those products in the house.
Add pulp-free aloe vera juice to water in a spray bottle and spritz arms, legs, back and face.
Try Witch Hazel diluted in Isopropyl Alcohol (keep out of reach of children).
Home-made Skin Astringents and Toners
Lettuce leaves, Water. Boil green lettuce leaves for 10 minutes in enough water to cover. Let cool and strain.
Vodka, Strong chamomile or mint tea. Mix 1 part vodka with 9 parts strong chamomile or mint tea.
6 cup pure water, 2 tablespoons vodka, ¾ cup borax. Combine ingredients in a blender until borax is dissolved.
¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup lime juice, ¼ cup pure water, ¼ cup vodka. Blend ingredients. Strain to remove pulp.
Mix equal amounts of water and organic apple cider vinegar.
Option: 6 Home-made Herbal Toner for Dry Skin
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
1/4 cup rose hydrosol (rose water)
6 drops rose geranium essential oil
1 drop chamomile essential oil
1 drop jasmine essential oil
Mix aloe vera and essential oils in a glass bottle. Then add hydrosol (rose water).
Homemade Healing Toner for Sensitive Skin
1/4 cup rose hydrosol (rose water)
2 tablespoons witch hazel
4 drops rose essential oil
2 drops yarrow essential oil
Mix essential oils with witch hazel in a glass bottle. Then add hydrosol (rose water).
Homemade Chamomile Astringent for Acne
1 cup witch hazel
20 drops tea tree oil
1/2 cup chamomile tea
Mix oil and witch hazel in a glass bottle. Add chamomile tea.
Easy Homemade Organic Skin Care Product Recipes
You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars and your health too with this huge collection of Quick And Easy Diy Organic Anti-aging Skin Care Recipes: Click Here!
Homemade Bath Products
Epsom Salts - follow package directions
Milk Bath - Add one quart of milk to tub, or 2 cups of instant powdered milk.
Soothing Bath - Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to bath water.
Bath Oils - any of the following
1/2 tsp. coconut oil
1 –2 tsp. purified castor oil
1-2 tsp. almond oil or other oil of your choice
Homemade Body and Massage Oil Alternatives
Any plain vegetable or nut oil can be used.
In a glass jar, combine 30 grams of fresh or dried herbs with 2 cups of oil (almond, jojoba, avocado, safflower, etc). Set out in sun on a warm day or warm on low heat for several hours. Strain. Or, add 4 to 8 drops of essential oil to 1 liter of oil. Let stand for 2 weeks, shaking daily.
Home-made Body Powder Alternatives
Home-made Skin Cleansers
Homemade Oatmeal Skin Cleanser
Process rolled oats in a blender until fine. Massage a small amount into wet skin, then rinse.
Home-made Citrus Skin Cleansing Milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon jojoba oil (or other oil)
Blend yogurt and lemon juice. With blender running, slowly add oil. Pour into jar and add essential oil. Massage a small amount into skin and rinse.
Homemade Deodorizing Powder
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
8 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine baking soda, cornstarch and arrowroot. Add essential oil and stir well. Let sit 24 hours minimum. Store in glass container.
Homemade Lavender Bath Powder
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup lavender flowers, finely crushed
4 drops lavender essential oil
Mix well. Let sit 24 hours minimum. Store in glass jar.
Homemade Spice Bath Powder
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and stir well.
Home-made Deodorant and Anti-Perspirent Alternatives
Pat baking soda under arms after showering. Skin should be slightly damp, but not wet. If too abrasive,mix with cornstarch or white clay.
Dab well steeped black tea onto skin.
Try mineral deodorant crystals commonly used in Europe - they have natural anti-biotic properties which help to reduce odor causing bacteria.
Home-made Facial Masks and Steam Baths
Homemade Oatmeal and Honey Mask
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tablespoons honey
Mix together. Leave on face at least 30 minutes.
Home-made Astringent Blemish Mask
Drop oil into clay powder, mix well. Add vinegar. Make a smooth paste. Immediately spread on face and leave for 15 to 30 minutes.
Home-made Meringue Mask
2 egg whites
1 Vitamin E capsule
Combine ingredients and whip until stiff. Spread on face, allow to dry, rinse.
Home-made Lip Gloss/Balm/Protector
Plain vegetable or nut oil.
Lotion, Cream, Moisturizer
Shea Butter is especially good for dry skin and skin high in melanin (natural pigment).
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT TALCUM POWDER: There is much controversy surrounding Talcum Powder which is chemically very similar to Asbestos. There is much evidence suggesting respiratory problems particularly in babies resulting from Talcum Powder inhalation. There also may be a correlation to Cervical Cancer in women using Talcum Powder. Talcum powder is inorganic meaning it is mineral and will not degrade like an organic ingredient such as oat flour.
Bottom line, I'd avoid it at all costs, all finely divided powders are inhalation hazards particularly for babies who's lungs are still developing - the lungs are designed to deal with gases not solids!
Use cornstarch, rice starch or oat flour on skin.
Homemade Shaving Cream / Gel
Use skin cream in place of shaving cream.
Use organic Jojoba Oil to shave with. Jojoba is very similar to our skin oils and is a great moisturizer.
Aloe Vera Gel
- Replace shaving cream with 100% aloe vera gel. Purchase commercial aloe vera gel, or use aloe vera gel from your house plants. Cut open leaf and rub on skin.
Soak in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water, mixed half and half.
Soak in a mixture of a quarter teaspoon of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and a half glass of water. Rinse well.
Home-made Mouthwash Alternatives
1 tsp of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in 1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 1/4 cup water
Salted warm water
Homemade Mouthwash Recipe:
10 Drops tea tree oil (approx 1/10 tsp or .5 ml)2 drops myrh, 12 drops emulsifier, 1 liter purified water. For a better taste add 7 drops peppermint oil and 7 drops emulsifier.
Add to emulsifier jar, then add essential oils. Blend well. Add one liter of purified or distilled water to bottle.
Home-made Toothpaste Alternative
Brush with plain baking soda or salt.
Brush with 2 parts baking soda and 1 part salt mixed to a fine powder in a blender.
Soak 1 teaspoon of dried Irish moss in 1 cup of spring water for 15 minutes. Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes. Strain gel through cheesecloth and add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon soda, a few drops of chlorophyll.
6 tablespoons gum arabic, 1 cup water, ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons natural glycerin. Dissolve gum arabic in water, add glycerin, and mix well. Apply to both surfaces with a toothpick or tongue depressor. Hold together for 5 minutes. Make fresh batch each time.
4 tablespoons wheat flour, 6 tablespoons cold water, 1 ½ cups boiling water. Blend flour into enough cold water to make a smooth paste. Boil water and stir into flour mixture until mixture is translucent. Use when cold.
3 tablespoons cornstarch, 4 tablespoons cold water, 2 cups boiling water. Blend cornstarch and cold water to make a smooth paste. Stir paste into boiling water, continue to stir until mixture becomes translucent. Use when cold.
Home-made Bleach Alternatives
Use vinegar or baking soda as a substitute.
Homemade Air Freshener
Set potpourri or fresh oranges with cloves in a dish.
Homemade Car Wash Soap
The simplest home-made car wash soap is to use liquid dishsoap like Palmolive or Ajax which is very cheap and can be diluted to last a long time.
Another cheap homemade car washing soap + homemade bug remover is to make a paste with dish soap and baking soda. The baking soda is a good abrassive cleaner even on chrome and the dishsoap helps to remove bug oils, road tar, or motor oil spots.
You can also try the following homemade car wash soap recipe: 3 cups grated castille soap, ½ cup sodium lauryl sulfate, 3 cups boiling water, 1 tablespoon borax, 1 tablespoon balsam fir essential oil (optional). Dissolve castille soap and sodium lauryl sulfate in boiling water; add borax and essential oil and mix well.
Upholstery Cleaner and Rug Shampoo
4 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, 3 tablespoons sodium lauryl sulfate, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil (optional), 1 teaspoon ginger essential oil (optional). Mix all ingredients together and fill a hand-held rug/upholstery shampoo bottle half full. Shake the bottle vigorously and shampoo furniture using small circular motions. Scrub sudsy area well.
Home-made Laundry Detergent
Homemade Laundry Detergent Option 2:
Baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda liberally on area for treatment. Wait fifteen minutes or longer, then vacuum. Repeat if necessary. Carpet should be completely dry before application. Please note: several pounds of baking soda are needed for a nine-by-twelve-foot room.
Removing Grease Spots from Walls
Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply thick paste to the grease stain and let it dry. Brush the residue off with a soft brush or cloth.
Club soda. Spray on the windshield and wipe dry. Not recommended for use in the vehicle's windshield-spray reservoir because it could freeze.
Homemade Battery Cleaner (Removes built-up acid)
Baking soda, Water. Sprinkle baking soda onto battery terminals. Spritz with water to dampen. Let set for about one hour. Sponge off with water. Air dry.
Home-made Cleaning Polish (shiny, protective finish similar to wax)
½ cup flakes of grated hand soap, ½ cup water, ½ ounce beeswax, ½ cup jojoba. Mix soap flakes and water in a bowl or jar and allow the soap to dissolve over night. Combine the beeswax and jojoba in a double boiler over medium heat until the wax is melted. Remove from the heat and add the soapy water. Mix with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Dab some onto a soft cloth, then buff to a shine with a soft cloth. Excess polish can be stored in a container for future use.
Home-made Vinyl Smell Reducer and Natural Home-made Engine Degreaser
¼ cup washing soda, 1 gallon warm water. Dissolve washing soda in warm water. Saturate a sponge with the mixture and wash the vinyl or pour on engine areas that need de-greasing. Rinse homemade degreaser off thoroughly. Excess should not be stored -- discard all leftovers.
Homemade Leather Wash
¼ cup vodka, ¼ cup distilled vinegar, 3-4 drops of jojoba or olive oil. Combine all ingredients in container. Shake to blend. Pour mixture onto a soft rag and rub into leather. Do not rinse.
Home-made Bug Remover
½ cup baking soda
Home-made Liquid soap
Combine baking soda with enough liquid soap to make a paste. Scoop the paste onto a sponge and scrub over splattered bugs until they are loosened. Rinse well. Safe to use on painted surfaces and chrome.
Homemade Green Cleaning Recipes, Products, and Tips
We save hundreds of dollars and protect our health too by using frugal natural homemade green cleaners in addition to just a few cheap effective store-bought green cleaning products.
These tips and a few cheap (mostly non-toxic) ingredients will go a long way toward effectively cleaning just about anything in or around your home...
Magic Eraser: resembles a sponge, but it's actually an effective cheap multi-purpose scouring sponge for chemical-free physical removal of scuff marks, smudges, and dirt from many different surfaces throughout your home, including: walls, doors, baseboards, windows, and floors. Magic Erasers work because they contain a crystalline abrasive compound called Melamine which in combination with other compounds creates a microscopic structure with a unique texture conducive to physically "erasing" blemishes without easily damaging the underlying surface. All you need is a little water and some elbow grease. It's great for removing crayon or marker on walls, removing soap scum or hard water spots, as well as for cleaning tight nooks and crannies. The National Institutes of Health deemed Magic Erasers as being non-toxic. It's a great low-cost green cleaning product! Magic Eraser is made by Mr. Clean. But there is a similarly effective melamine-based sponge cleaner called "Easy Eraser" which is made by Scotch-Brite.
Pumice Sticks (plus a little elbow grease): this plumber's secret is a little-known old fashioned soft rock scrubber for chemical-free removal of tough hard-water spots and mineral deposits on porcelain tubs sinks or showers. They work particularly well for scouring away those gross stubborn toilet bowl rings or other dark mineral spots inside your toilet that NOTHING else will remove. I've often used my Pumie Heavy Duty Scouring Sticks (made by US Pumice) to clean ovens, grills, pipes, and pots/pans and tools of corrosion, lime, scale, or baked on food, grease and carbon. Pumice sticks are also great for removing paint spots from concrete, masonry, and tiles. One Pumice Stick is cheap and goes a long way. At first I was skeptical of using this odd looking rectangular rock to scrub with. I was sure it would scratch my toilet. But it's a bubbly rough silica-based rock blown out of volcanoes. The bubbles collapse and make an abrasive residue as you scrub. And it does not scratch porcelain because it's softer than porcelain, BUT it does physically abrade those mineral buildups quite well.
Vinegar is a weak acid (Acetic Acid to be precise) that will dissolve mineral deposits and is excellent for removing odors and also killing bacteria. Vinegar is great for showers, sinks, and most other surfaces throughout your home. Spray it on or soak a rag with it and place it around faucets or over other deposits for 15 minutes or more to help dissolve tough mineral scale or spots. We even make a weak vinegar spray to clean pesticides off fruits and vegetables (TIP from apple orchard country: bring a dish cloth and a small spray bottle of diluted vinegar to your local u-pick apple orchard if you plan to taste-test which varieties to pick most). The dilute vinegar spray is also great at removing that awful metallic odor from the dogs fur after they come in from outside.
Baking Soda (or Sodium Bicarbonate) is a cheap non-toxic scouring powder and cleaning agent. The soft crystals are mildly abrasive, but will not scratch most surfaces. We even use a paste of baking soda and water to scrub showers and sinks, and also to clean tire rims and hub caps, or to remove bug tar from chrome and paint on our vehicles. Doesn't scratch! Baking Soda is also unmatched in its ability to deodorize anything: shoes, fridge, clothes hamper, trash cans, cat litter box, pet beds, etc. You can also deodorize carpeting by sprinkle baking soda on it, then vacuum it up, it's a cheap effective carpet powder. There's literally a thousand uses for baking soda around your home!
Citrus Oil (brand I've used - Citra-Solv): One cheap but powerful store-bought cleaning product I highly recommend is a citrus-oil based solvent called "Citra-solv" made by Shadow Lake Inc in Danbury, CT. It is a very concentrated cleaner and degreaser composed of a mixture of: Limonene + Citrus oils + Surfactants (soaps). A little 8 fl. oz. bottle goes a long way. You can dilute it (8 fluid ounces makes 4 gallons of all-purpose cleaner!) or you can use it straight on a rag, such as for easily melting away sticky adhesives from labels. And it smells good too, like oranges. I put myself through college working at Wal-Mart and we used to go through many bottles of this stuff for quickly removing stubborn adhesive deposits left behind on the metal shelves after product labels were removed. It works like a charm for removing all sorts of paint or ink stains, grease, tar, chewing gum, tough dirt spots, etc. I recently used it to take printed ink off the edge of installed bathroom tiles, and it quickly removed white paint spots in the plastic liner of a truck I was trying to sell. I often use it undiluted for tough cleaning jobs, but on the bottle they recommend different dilutions with water for various cleaning jobs. They also warn to spot test for color fastness and to be careful because it can react with some types of plastics to cause damage. Also be aware this is pretty potent stuff, so pay attention to the warnings on the bottle: "CAUTION: Eye and Skin Irritant. Harmful if Swallowed. Combustible. Keep Out of Reach of Children." Notice: Some pets are also sensitive to chemicals in citrus, especially cats. So keep that in mind.
How to Unclog a Drain: No expensive and toxic drain cleaner is needed! Just pour vinegar and baking soda down a clogged or slow drain. The fizzing chemical reaction helps loosen the clog. Then follow up a few minutes later with a pot of very hot or boiling water to further melt any grease. If that doesn't work, fill sink with more hot water and use your toilet plunger. Push down slowly to form tight seal over drain, then pull up quickly to suck the clog upwards and help it get dislodged. Rinse loosened particles down the drain with more hot water. What comes up often looks gross, but you'll be amazed how a few plunges will unclog just about any drain! TIP: careful of a bit of splashing. Remove from the area any clean dishes or anything else you don't want the nasty water to splash onto while plunging. Use vinegar afterwards to disinfect sink and surrounding area.
Dish Soap: If you look at most expensive store-bought cleaners (from deck cleaner to stainless steal appliance cleaner) the main ingredient is often "surfactants". Surfactant is just a fancy word for soap. So for mild cleaning indoors I often use diluted dish soap. But for outdoor cleaning of decks, porch rails, siding, and patio furniture I will usually mix up half a bucket of hot water into which is mixed about a cup of Bleach and a half cup of dish soap. Doesn't have to be exact. I usually just eyeball it. This is a powerful all-purpose outdoor cleaner. Just be aware that bleach is classified as a pesticide and can be toxic to many species. But bleach is also a disinfectant and is excellent for killing and inhibiting growth of algae, mold, bacteria, viruses, and mildew
Complete Ingredients List for All the Above Homemade Recipes
Looking for the best bargains on the below ingredients used to make all the above home made recipes? Try this search box to find the best deals on organic essential oils, herbal ingredients, and difficult to find good old-fashioned non-toxic multi-purpose cleaners and compounds.
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Clay Powder (Kaolin, Bentonite, European Clay Powder)
Cream of Tartar
Diatomaceous Earth (food grade only)
Dove Sensitive Skin Soap
Easy Eraser by Scotch-Brite (3M)
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Geranium Essential Oil
Ginger Essential Oil
Grapefruit Essential Oil
Jasmine Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Magic Eraser (Melamine crystal sponge)-(P&G)
Mineral Deodorant Crystals
Orange Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Pumice Sticks (brand Pumie by US Pumice)
Rose Essential Oil
Rose Hydrosol (rose water)
Rosemary Essential Oil
Salt (Sodium Chloride)
Scotch-Brite Easy Eraser (3M)
Sodium Laural Sulfate
Tea Tree Oil (TTO, or Melaleuca alternifolia Oil)
Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP)
Vinegar (Acetic Acid)
Vitamin E Capsules
Yarrow Essential Oil
Zote Bar Laundry Soap
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Many more home-made recipes for household products are in my test kitchen pipeline and will be added soon.
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Extensive list of simple home-made, economical, non-toxic, and more effective product recipes you can quickly make yourself. Safer and much cheaper than toxic store-bought items. Plus money-saving gre…