In my recent Zero Waste Bootcamp workshops with Inner West Council in Sydney, I shared my favourite recipes for homemade bathroom products. Most people were thrilled with how simple they were. I think we all have a sneaking suspicion that, even though our bathroom vanities often overflow with a multitude of products with different purposes, we don’t actually need all these different concoctions. What we need is good quality products that nourish us, are good for the environment and can do double, triple or even quadruple duty in the bathroom. Such products minimise waste from packaging, avoid environmental pollution from petrochemicals and work out to be MUCH cheaper in the long run!
These are recipes for homemade bathroom products that I have collected over the years. They are simple, non-toxic recipes that can be made with products from the pantry or pharmacy. Where other ingredients are required, they can be easily sourced from a soap supplies retailer. There are plenty online, but I always use Aussie Soap Supplies.
Best recipes for homemade bathroom products
First I need to issue a warning: Soap making is a addictive. Once you dive down this rabbit hole it is hard to dig yourself out. It’s an extremely satisfying home-science activity that is also profoundly creative. There are so many recipes available online that can get you started. I learnt the basics from this one by Rhonda Hetzel from Down to Earth. When I was learning I also borrowed recipes from Gavin Webber from Little Green Workshops. Once you have mastered the basic process you are free to start experimenting with different oils, fragrances and additives – and this is where it gets super exciting. Soap Queen will keep you going with tips and techniques.
You can actually brush your teeth with just a toothbrush. Apparently it’s the brushing that matters not the substance with which you brush. You can also use simple bicarb – but it tastes revolting. I, for one, like the minty freshness that toothpaste provides, so I’ve tried out several natural alternatives to commercial toothpaste. This recipe from Treading My Own Path is the best one I have come across. It has the required minty freshness, and the aftertaste isn’t horrible. Try using it a bamboo toothbrush.
Did you know that sweat doesn’t stink? It’s the bacteria that feed on the sweat that cause you to smell. Gross, huh? This deodorant recipe contains bicarb to absorb the smell as well as coconut oil and white clay. I have found it sets quite hard in winter, but melts once you apply it to the skin. It is the most effective deodoriser I have ever used. It isn’t an anti-perspirant, but it takes the smell away better than any product I’ve ever used.
We all know the feeling of chapped lips through a dry winter. It is so annoying and uncomfortable. Most of the commercial products on the market will only soothe your lips in the short term, but my lip balm recipe actually nourishes your lips and helps to heal them. Because this will be going on your lips, make sure you use food grade beeswax, coconut and jojoba oil.
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