Simplifying in the home- some DIY Recipes

Since reading the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson two years ago, I started dabbling in the DIY department. I didn’t make any changes over night, I just chose one area of our home and one thing to work on at a time.

Here are some recipes I use at home;

Bathroom- Personal Care

  • Deodorant–  For everyday use- (apple cider vinegar with a bit of water in a small spray bottle) or for something stronger- bicarb, arrowroot, coconut oil and shea butter) using the Trash is for Tossers Deodorant recipe. I store mine in a small glass jar. You can use cornstarch if you don’t have arrowroot.
  • Hair washing– shampoo bar and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. I have very dark hair, so apple cider vinegar hasn’t affected the colour in anyway. I am not sure about using it on lighter hair or died hair.
  • Toothpaste– I use two recipes either Going Zero Wastes Recipe (xylitol, bentonite clay and baking soda but I add charcoal powder) or Trash is for Tossers Recipe (coconut oil and baking soda but I add mineral salt as well (himalayan or celtic sea salt). I don’t use any essential oils. I store mine in a small glass jar.
DIY toothpaste ingredients
Charcoal powder and Bentonite clay for DIY toothpaste/powder. Charcoal powder can also be used for facemasks and for DIY makeup (eyeliner or mascara).
DIY deodorant
DIY deodorant on the stove top. I am melting some of the ingredients so they blend well together.
DIY Deodorant ingredients
DIY Deodorant- Coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda and shea butter. Excluding the shea butter, all of the other ingredients are multipurpose and can be used in cooking and baking.


For washing clothes, I used to use soap nuts but now use Zero Waste Nerd’s Recipe. I made this up for a family member at Christmas and they loved it and asked me to make up some more. I made them up one more batch but added the ingredients on a label so they can continue to make this recipe up for themselves.

  1. 1 cup of washing soda. You can purchase washing soda in supermarkets here in Australia but if you have trouble sourcing it or want to avoid excess packaging then you can try making it up yourself. DIY washing soda recipe.
  2. 1 cup of baking soda
  3. 1 bar natural soap finely grated. In this recipe they use castile soap. I also added some Eucalyptus essential oil.

DIY Zero Waste Laundry powder

General house cleaning

  • For floors I use hot water, vinegar and either lemon essential oil or peppermint essential oil. I have started using apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. I am also planning on trying to make DIY apple scrap vinegar.
  • Surfaces– bicarb and water to form a paste for stubborn spots otherwise I mostly use vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Sometimes I add essential oils or my mix of citrus peels (lemon, orange or mandarin peels) that have been soaked in a glass bottle of vinegar for 2+ weeks.
  • Shower and bath– vinegar, bicarb and clove bud essential oil for around the shower to avoid mold. I use a squeegee on the shower glass screen after each use.
  • Dishwashing– Still working on a suitable dishwasher powder recipe. For washing dishes by hand I either use liquid castile, or a hand-made laundry soap bought through a soap making company. Some other bloggers have said that they just use hot water, regular natural soap and either a wooden scrubbing brush or a home-made knitted dish cloth.
All purpose cleaner
All purpose cleaner- vinegar and water plus essential oils. Stored in a glass bottle. I re-used our apple cider vinegar bottle. The plastic spray top was just re-used from another bottle.


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