Five DIY Natural & Low-Waste Recipes for Your Home

For a long time now, I’ve been on a journey in which I’ve slowly incorporated new habits and products into our home that are better for the environment and my family’s health. There are a lot of natural cleaning products on the market that work well and have a lighter footprint on the environment. The ingredients are natural, sustainable, derived from plants, and are non-toxic to our health, or our sweet pets. However, over the years, I’ve also learned that I can easily make several of our own products that work just as well, are low-waste, environmentally friendly, and cost significantly less. Here are five simple and effective recipes you can easily create for your home to help you get started on your journey to going green.

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The foundation for most of these recipes is primarily Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, which is a bit pricey, but in my experience has saved me money in the long run. I prefer to buy a gallon at a time to save a bit (the last time I purchased a gallon was December of 2020 for about $60). This soap doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients or harmful chemicals, has a multitude of uses, and lasts a long time. Yes, the gallon jug is plastic, but they are made from post-consumer recycled plastic, and when I considered how many bottles I could’ve easily gone through if I weren’t making my own products, I knew it was the better option, plus the main ingredients are fair trade.

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Multi-purpose spray: This is a spray I use on my wood furniture, counters, sinks, faucets, and just about everywhere else so it’s easy to say I go through a lot of this spray. I tend to love citrus scents when I’m cleaning so lemon essential oil is typically my go-to for this one. Once you are done combining the ingredients, give it a shake and you’re good to go.

16 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Fill the bottle with water leaving a little room at the top.

1/2 teaspoon Castille soap

10 drops of lemon essential oil

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Foaming Handwash: When I first made this handsoap I was thrilled because I really wanted an alternative to buying bottles of handsoap that came in plastic containers. Even if I purchased the large refill, it still pales in comparison to the longevity of Castille soap. This recipe is similar to the first, but it differs in measurement. Combine and shake.

12 oz. Glass Foaming Dispenser

Fill the dispenser with approximately 1 cup of water

1/3 cup of Castille Soap

15 drops of lavender essential oil (this is just my preference, you can use any essential oil you prefer).

Foaming Body Wash: I got the idea to make this body wash for my kids (who prefer body wash) because again, it was disheartening to continuously send plastic to the recycling bin when I know the low probability of these bottles being recycled. I’ll typically stick to orange essential oil for this recipe, but again any essential oil you prefer is fine. Also, I like to use an aluminum foaming dispenser since I don’t want to risk broken glass in the shower.

17 Ounce Aluminum Foaming Dispenser

Equal parts Castille soap and water

20 drops of orange essential oil

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Vegetable Wash: I used to rinse my produce with just water until I learned that fruits and vegetables with edible skin should be sprayed with a solution in an effort to remove any potential pesticides or residue. I will usually let the solution sit on the fruits and vegetables for a minute or two before rinsing and scrubbing with a produce brush.

16 oz. glass spray bottle

Fill the bottle 3/4 with water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

10 drops of lemon essential oil

Glass Cleaner: This recipe works really well on glass and mirrors, and I’ve used it as a disinfectant for our devices as well. However, when I’m cleaning our devices, (not the TV) I always spray my microfiber cloth first and then wipe it down. Never spray your devices directly as this could cause damage. Also, if the smell of vinegar and rubbing alcohol bother you, not to worry because it dissipates in no time at all.

16 oz. glass spray bottle

Approximately 1 1/2 cups of water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1 tbsp. rubbing alcohol

I hope you’ve found some inspiration here to try your hand at making your own home cleaning products. Let me know in the comments which one you plan to try first and what motivates you to go low waste.

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