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Rachel H Kay Blog

DIY Your Personal & Household Products

Over the last two years I’ve begun to make my own products, whether it's to replace a chemical based cleaner, or to save money on face wash, there have been two basic reasons why I’ve chosen to make my own products. The first reason is health, which should be the most important. Store bought products contain so many different chemicals that in the end we have no idea what we're using to clean our homes, wash our clothes, or use to wash our own skin and hair. While there are some more natural options out there, the sad truth is that those products are going to be more expensive, which brings me to the second reason I make a lot of my own products. I can’t afford those expensive products, and when I see the price for some of them, even if I could afford them I think the prices are crazy! But that’s the way it is. You want to make healthier choices then you’d better be prepared to pay more.

But wait, what if I told you that you could still have healthier products and save money? The only requirement, get ready to DIY your products! I know it's convenient to go to the store and buy what you need, but unless you're ready to pay those higher prices or if you would prefer to save some dough then just schedule some time to make those products yourself. You don’t have to spend every week making your own products, I don’t. I make batches that last me for a while before I have to make a new batch. So, if you’re still interested I’m going to tell you about the products I make myself, and how you can make them yourself. Ready to save some money?

Personal Care Products

I’m going to start with my personal care products. I’ve begun to DIY a few and I’m still working on others. Some of my past DIY personal care products you can view are in this post, Hair Care The Natural Way, which is about as natural as you can get for washing your hair, and Homemade Dry Shampoo. Other products I now make myself include toothpaste, mouthwash, face wash, and astringent.

Homemade Toothpaste

Earlier last year I began to experience a lot of tooth sensitivity, so much so that it actually hurt to brush my teeth. Just touching my teeth with my toothbrush hurt. I tried using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth made by Colgate, but the problem just kept getting worse. So I began to research healthier options and found out I could make my own. I read a blog post, Homemade Toothpaste, all about making your own toothpaste. The ingredients were simple enough and could be purchased on Amazon, so I decided to give it a try.

The main ingredients for homemade toothpaste are Bentonite Clay, water, an ingredient for a little sweet taste added, I’ll get to those in a minute, and an essential oil, such as peppermint, for flavor, which also helps to freshen your mouth with that yummy peppermint taste!

I found a good option for bentonite clay, which I purchased on Amazon here. The cost is $11.99 for a 10 oz jar, and if you’re beginning to wonder if it’s worth it, I’ll put your mind at ease right now. To make a full batch of toothpaste I use 2 tablespoons, and each batch usually lasts me about 3 weeks. Each batch is used between two people. The last time I purchased bentonite clay was January of this year. I’m getting low and it’s now December, so I will be purchasing again soon, but it might not be until next month. I don’t know how many people will be using your batch of toothpaste, but hopefully that gives you an idea of how long one container of bentonite clay can last. For me, it lasts 12 months, which makes the monthly cost around $0.99.

For the sweetener you have two options. If you want to save a little money on your first purchase of ingredients for this toothpaste, so you can see for yourself how it works, then you can purchase a small bottle of organic liquid Stevia here. It’s $10.95 for a 12 oz bag, and from what I’ve read using this as the sweetener also helps prevent cavities. So, i>here. It’s a 1.8 oz bottle that you can get for $3.99, but you only need two drops or so. I last bought this bottle in April 2018, and it’s now December 2019 and I still have enough left to make more batches. So this is a nice option. The second option costs a little more, organic xylitol here. It’s $10.95 for a 12 oz bag, and from what I’ve read using this as the sweetener also helps prevent cavities. So, if you want to spend a little bit more and really want to work against having cavities, then choose this option.

For the essential oil, you want to make sure it’s a product that is safe for use in your mouth. You aren’t going to swallow it, but I still researched to make sure I didn’t just buy the cheapest option, and still got a quality product that was safe to use in my toothpaste, that was also still a good price. I use Essential Oil Labs peppermint essential oil here, which is $14.95 for a 4 oz bottle, and lasts a really long time. I purchased mine in April 2018, and use it not just for my toothpaste, but in my mouthwash, I’ll get to that product in a bit, it’s now December 2019, and I still have plenty left. So overall, it’s a great price!

Oh, and last but not least, you just need two small glass jars to put your toothpaste into, depending on how many people will be using this toothpaste. You can purchase whatever you like for this, but I just bought a 4 pack of 4oz Ball mason food jars at Walmart for $5.32. I didn’t purchase them online so I don’t have a link to share with you, I just picked them up in a store in the kitchen area where you find all the canning jars and accessories. What I like about these is the lids are plastic, so they are easier to take off and put back on. But if you can’t find these, then just use what you like. You can even find small glass jars on Amazon.

Making Your Toothpaste

This recipe is for one full batch of toothpaste that I split into two 4 oz jars. It doesn’t fill the jars, but they were the cheapest, and easiest option for me at the time, and they work great!

  • 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
  • 5 tablespoons filtered water
  • 2 - 5 drops liquid stevia OR xylitol
  • 15 drops essential oil
  • small glass or plastic bowl
  • plastic or wooden spoon or spatula

The reason you need a plastic or wooden spoon or spatula is because you can not mix the bentonite clay with a metal spoon. The clay should not come into contact with any metals because it will absorb the metal and become less effective.

In your bowl add 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay. Then add 5 tablespoons of filtered water. You can add less if you prefer, but for me it came out too hard and thick. With 5 tablespoons it’s a nice consistency. Mix the water and bentonite clay together. It doesn’t stir really easily, so just carefully mix it together any way you can with your wooden spoon.

Once they are mixed add 2 drops of liquid stevia or xylitol. If using the liquid stevia I purchased, 2 drops is more like 2 short squeezes, so be careful you don’t use too much. Mix it in. Then add 15 drops of peppermint essential oil, or whatever flavor you choose. You don’t have to use peppermint, you can use spearmint, or even lemon, just make sure it’s a good brand that can be used in a product that you put in your mouth, like the one from Essential Oil Labs that I use. Mix it together really well to ensure the peppermint flavor is mixed throughout. If the flavor is too strong for your liking, then add 10 drops, but don’t go over 15 drops. The flavor will blend a bit more after you put your mixture into jars, and you could accidentally make it way too strong. So just play around with 10 to 15 drops to find the strength you prefer. Once it’s all mixed spoon the mixture into your jars.

When you use your toothpaste you don’t need a whole lot. Just a rounded amount on your toothbrush. Just dip your toothbrush into the jar. I don’t recommend sharing jars for this reason, so make sure everyone who will be using this toothpaste has their own jar. There you have it! A simple, budget friendly way to brush your teeth naturally!

Homemade Mouthwash

I started making my own mouthwash a few months ago. I used to use the Crest with Scope mouthwash, but then read about how some of the ingredients in store-bought mouthwash can actually damage the enamel on your teeth. After doing a bit of research on this I decided making my own was the better option. Plus it’s so easy to make, and two of the ingredients are always on hand, so it’s a really budget friendly way to cleanse your mouth without the worries of any damage to your teeth over time.

What you will need:

  • ½ cup of filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 10 - 20 drops peppermint essential oil

For this recipe I use a 6 oz mason jar, and bought a pack of plastic lids for regular mouth jars from Walmart. Just fill your jar with filtered water, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and stir really well. Then add the peppermint essential oil. I prefer to use 20 drops for a nice peppermint flavor, which makes my mouth feel refreshed after I use the mouthwash. But you can use how many drops you prefer for your preference on the strength.

Sometimes the baking soda won’t stay completely mixed at first. So with a freshly made batch I stir it with my finger before I use it each time. Eventually the baking soda does completely mix with the water. Overall this is a great alternative, not just for using after you brush your teeth, but to freshen your mouth as well, just like you would with store-bought mouthwash. Plus the baking soda is good for mouth care to keep it clean, and help prevent infections, and help with other tooth problems.

Homemade Facewash

This is a really simple and easy recipe which really helps your face feel clean. I started using this because most of the products out there have so many chemicals in them, and the products that are a bit more natural are so expensive, I don’t consider them to be worth the cost. Not when you can make your own.

This recipe just uses two ingredients, baking soda, and coconut oil. The baking soda exfoliates your skin, but not harshly, so it's safe to use daily. The coconut oil moisturizes your skin. If your concerned about the coconut oil making your skin oily, don’t worry, it won't. I have very oily skin and use this facewash every day.

Just mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda with 4 teaspoons of coconut oil in a small jar. I use the 4 oz glass mason jars, the same jars I use for my homemade toothpaste. You can make less or more, just make sure you use an equal amount of baking soda to coconut oil.

When you use this facewash just use your finger to put a small amount all over your face. On your forehead, both your cheeks, your chin, and your nose. Then rub it in, and keep rubbing it all around your face for a minute or so. Then leave it on your face for a couple of minutes, and wash it off. I really love this facewash, not just because it’s so budget friendly, and I always have the ingredients in my kitchen, but because it really leaves my face feeling clean, and I feel really good about using an all natural product on my skin.

Homemade Astringent

I had a similar issue with the astringent I had been buying for years. I used to use the Clean and Clear brand because with my oily skin I’m acne prone, but the price kept going up and up so I switched to the Kroger brand that is similar to that product. But after a while I decided that since I’m using more natural alternatives to cleanse my teeth, and wash my face, why not do the same with my astringent.

This product is the easiest to make yet. All you need is organic apple cider vinegar and filtered water. You just mix one part apple cider vinegar, and one part filtered water into a bottle of your choice. So for example 4 oz apple cider vinegar, and 4 oz filtered water. I used an old bottle from a store bought astringent. But honestly it doesn’t really matter what you use.

Just make sure the apple cider vinegar you use is organic. I use the Bragg brand, and purchase mine from Kroger. I get a 32 oz bottle for around $5.79, which lasts me a really long time. I get a lot of batches out of that one bottle, so it really is budget friendly.

Plus apple cider vinegar is good for oily skin. It helps to reduce the appearance of pores, from what I’ve read. But I do prefer it to store bought brands. It's good for my skin, budget friendly, and easy to make.

Wrapping Up

Try one of these recipes, or try them all. They really are a great alternative to any products you can purchase in the store. They will keep more money in your pocket, and keep your teeth, mouth, and skin healthy and free of harmful chemicals found in store bought products.

If that doesn’t convince you then maybe this will. A few months ago someone came by doing some water tests. It turned out they were selling a water filtration system that we didn’t end up purchasing, but during their visit they went over our household spending. When I told them all the products that I make myself, and gave them a rough estimate on what I spend to make these products, they told me that my household expenses were the cheapest they had come across compared to other households they had visited in my neighborhood. Not too shabby. So give these a try, let me know in the comments if they worked for you, or if you have any ideas on other products to make yourself.

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About Me

Hi there. I'm Rachel Kay, a Web Developer, Illustrator, & Designer, whose hobby is to be creative and artistic, while freelancing as a Web Developer building creative, modern websites.