Making Beauty and Household Products at Home


In addition to being toxic to the environment and human health, brand name corporate beauty and cleaning products tends to be quite expensive. I prefer to make my own at home like my grandmother did. Thanks to Lyn Webster, a local Taranaki woman who gives workshops all over New Zealand on saving money by living sustainably.

Below are examples of simple recipes that can be made in minutes in a food processor. I also encourage people to check out Lyn’s website, which has dozens of other homemade recipes, as well as a range of books, budget tips and other products.


Dishwashing Liquid

Bar soap cut in chunks

1-2 Tablespoons washing soda (calcium carbonate)

2 Tablespoons glycerine

Mix 1-2 minutes in food processor. Dilute the concentrate that forms overnight with water.

Washing soda can be found at hardware or grocery stores

Glycerine can be found in pharmacies or the baking aisle at the supermarket.

Kitchen/bathroom Cleanser

Use baking soda on sink stains and bathtub rings. Also good (with or without white vinegar) for burned on grease.

Laundry Detergent or Powdered Detergent for Dishwasher

Bar soap cut in chunks

1-2 Tablespoons washing soda

Mix 1-2 minutes in food processor. Use 1 Tablespoon for light load. Add white vinegar to rinse compartment of dishwasher to prevent spotting.

Stain Remover

Eucalyptus oil

Drain Cleaner

Baking soda, followed by hot white vinegar, followed by boiling water

Personal Deodorant

Baking soda in a spray bottle (essential oil optional) or white vinegar (smell disappears after a few minutes). Both work like commercial deodorant by changing skin pH to kill bacteria.


Baking Soda



Optional flavouring (peppermint or clove and orange oil)

Shampoo and Dandruff Treatment (works better than commercial products – kills the fungus that causes dandruff)

Baking soda

Follow with vinegar rinse for conditioning

All-purpose Anti-bacterial Cleaner

Baking soda (kills 99% of bacteria)

White vinegar

Few drops of homemade dishwashing liquid

photo credit: elycefeliz via photopin cc