Recipes for Homemade Toiletries
Oats for Beauty
Homemade Masks and Scrubs
Spa Beauty for Pennies
Recipes for Homemade Toiletries?
Is there a homemade recipe out there for making deodorant (one that really works!) toothpaste, laundry detergent, mouthwash, and maybe even shampoo? These items costs my family so much each month that I would love to cut back somehow. I know the trick of adding water to shampoo but I'd like to cut back the "TOILETRY" expense every month.
MoM for Deodorant
It's not homemade, but we use milk of magnesia dabbed on with a cotton ball.
Good Old Baking Soda
To the reader who asked for homemade recipes for toiletries, two words: baking soda. I don't know about shampoo or deodorant, but it works very well in the wash and as a toothpaste. You can buy peppermint oil very inexpensively in the baking section of a grocery store to make it taste better (as a toothpaste, of course!).
Sometimes Store Bought Is Cheaper
Why make it yourself when you can get it for free. I found a drug store that does a month long rebate program, and I have a whole shelf load of free shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, etc. Every week I just check their flyers for items advertised for free (no catch). You collect your receipts for the month and send in one envelope with special rebate form from store. You get one check back. Just make sure you follow the instructions on the form properly. The only cost is a stamp and the sales tax paid on item. In our state, Walgreen's does it, but my mother-in-law uses a different drug store that does it in her state.
Hand Soap and Hair Conditioner
Here are 2 recipes that have been helpful in cutting costs in the bathroom
Liquid Hand Soap
1 bar of soap, small (not super size)
3 C. water
Take your bar of soap (we use Dove or store brand like it, because it's more moisturizing), and grate it with a cheese grater. Pour the water and grated soap into a microwavable container and cook on high for 3 min. Remove and stir until all soap bits have melted (put in a bit longer, if needed). Let it cool, then pour into pumps (leftover from store bought liquid soap), and the remainder in any container with a lid. Makes about 24 oz.
Peppermint Hair Conditioner (Makes 8oz)
1/2 C. Cholesterol-type hair conditioner
3/4 C. water
peppermint essential oil
red food coloring for pink tint, if desired
Shake in a bottle, 'til well mixed, using just a few drops of essential oil, and only 1-2 drops of food coloring (optional). If hair is dry, add a tablespoon of corn oil. I make a double recipe of this, since I have a 16oz. bottle that I like to use and it only costs about $1.20 to make (compared to $4.99 at a beauty supply store - or more!).
Read Natural Beauty at Home(Revised Edition)
by Janice Cox. (ISBN 0-8050-3313-0) This book has easy (and cheap) recipes for making all of the items you listed and many more All of the recipes I have tried have worked wonderfully, except the shampoo. We tried several shampoo recipes and none of them worked well for us, so we still buy that product.
Check the Ingredients
As a nurse, I know that these are tried and true. The main ingredient in most deodorants is alcohol! If you use plain alcohol with a cotton ball each morning, it will last all day! For your teeth, Baking soda and salt make a very effective toothpaste. Also, salt water makes a good mouthwash. Dish detergent is just as good as shampoo. If you think that this might be too harsh, just dilute it with water. For those of you who say, "what, I would never use detergent on my hair" Just look at the list of ingredients on the back of your shampoo bottle. You might be surprised.
Many common toiletry items can be diluted or have the recommended amount reduced.
Shampoo - There is no need to shampoo twice. Dilute shampoo by 50 percent. Ditto conditioner. Buy no-name or store brands. Buy in bulk.
Toothpaste - A paste of baking soda works well. Reduce amount used by half.
Mouthwash - Use only once per day. Dilute by 50 percent. Buy no name or store brands.
Laundry soap - Use 1/2 cup of vinegar in place of bleach (this sterilizes in case of fungal infections,and also softens in the rinse cycle,eliminating the need for expensive softeners). Use 1/2 the recommended amount (this also saves excessive wear on clothing). Wash in cold water. Hang 1-2 loads a week (clothes last longer, saves on electricity). Do less laundry (hang towels after use, wear items more than once where possible ie. sweaters, dresses, pants).
Paper Towels - Cut roll in half. Use rags instead.
Facial Tissue - Use handkerchiefs (monogram if needed), soak in ice cream bucket until laundry day.
Deodorant - Let dry uncovered for a couple of days, it will last longer. Ditto bar soap, but leave it for at least 1 week.
A Number of Choices
I would not bother with homemade shampoo, because the chemicals to make a product that isn't tremendously drying cost more on the retail market than the shampoo in the first place. One way to save money is to buy salon size containers of salon shampoo from salons (not the ones with the same names in department/discount stores -- they are formulated differently), on sale (they do go on sale sometimes) and water it down one-to-one into other containers. It's cheaper in the long run, because you use far less of it and it's a better quality cleaner in the first place.
Clean your skin with the cheapest non-soap cleanser you can find that doesn't have mineral oil as an ingredient. They are all essentially the same, with more expensive perfumes going into the high end products. Use straight hydrogen peroxide as a toner if you need one, and straight grapeseed or sweet almond oil as a moisturizer.
Buy permanent razor handles, and keep the blades dry between use -- they are much cheaper than disposable razors this way.
Toothpaste? Try brushing your teeth with a dry brush (it feels weird the first few times) -- it takes tartar off much more effectively (tastes disgusting, though), and use the cheapest no name or on sale toothpaste you can find in very small quantities, to freshen your breath. There aren't any legitimate uses for mouthwash (unless you really want a snort of 80 proof for breakfast!), so just stop buying it.
Check sale prices for green cleaning solutions.
Unless your clothes get very greasy & dirty, omit laundry detergent entirely -- it really isn't necessary to get the day's dust and skin cells off, as the water & agitation do that alone. If you feel compelled to use detergent, use 1/8th to 1/16th the amount recommended by the manufacturer -- if it really isn't enough, increase by the 1/16th amount until you are satisfied. Do not bother with fabric softener (attracts dirt) or dryer sheets (removes the finish from the dryer drum).
Take the Next Step
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
Prices keep rising while my income remains stagnant and I worry I am heading for debt trouble. Tell us: Yes, I think I am heading for debt trouble and could use some help! or No, I am not in debt trouble but I am always looking for new ways to help keep my budget on track!
More Money-Saving Lifestyle Tips
- Best September bargains for thrifty shoppers
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 secrets to being a frugal foodie
- Should I sell my phone or trade it in?
- How to get more from the stores you shop at
- Mastering the mess for less
- This week's Readers' Tips