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Because of the pandemic, countless people have been learning how to make facemasks, and how to make hand sanitizer. But this time of social distancing offers an opportunity to make many other items that are expensive or in short supply.
Making these do-it-yourself products will help you limit your trips to the store, and they’ll introduce you to many simpler, healthier alternatives to store-bought items. The best part is that you probably already have many of the ingredients you need.
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Here are 27 everyday items you can easily make yourself.
We all have a heightened awareness of clean counters and other household surfaces these days. The problem is that many supermarket aisles are sold out of spray cleaners and disinfectants. You can save time and money – and keep your family healthy – by making your own spray cleaner.
Here are two ideas:
- A Simple DIY All-Purpose Cleaner That Really Works
- DIY Natural Disinfectant Spray (Like Lysol But Homemade)
With most of us sheltering at home these days, we are washing way more dishes than usual. If you find yourself running low on your store-bought brand, here are a couple of recipes:
In the early weeks of the pandemic, it was clear where many shoppers’ hearts were – with their pets. The pet food aisles in my area were nearly stripped bare of cat and dog eats. However, homemade pet food can be less expensive for you and healthier for your pet. Here are a few ideas:
- DIY Homemade Dog Food
- 10 Homemade Cat Food Recipes That are Best and Healthy for your Kitty
- Kiss Kibble Goodbye: Homemade Dog Food Recipes
What can you do when your kitchen sink clogs up, and you can’t get to the store for the commercial clogged drain cleaner you usually use? Try this simple and natural solution that uses only baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water.
If you have shopped for commercial brands of floor cleaner, you know how expensive they can be. You don’t need all those chemicals on your floors to get them clean. Check out these instructions for an easy homemade version.
Forget the fancy name brand oils and sprays. Here’s an easy way to make your own furniture polish:
Mix the juice from five fresh lemons with one cup of olive oil. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and shake well before each use. Spray onto a soft, clean cloth and then wipe down your wood furniture.
You may not be packing as many lunches with the kids doing online learning, but the pandemic does not have to shut down spring and summer picnics. Here is a cool idea for making a homemade ice pack. These packs also are handy for bumps and bruises.
There are many natural ways to keep ants out of your home. For example, they dislike cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, and black pepper. And a mixture of equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar can get rid of a roach problem. Just spread the powder wherever you have seen roaches.
Here is a list of other safe alternatives to commercial bug sprays. You’ll see that many of the recipes use ingredients you already have on hand.
Making your own laundry detergent is incredibly simple. The main ingredients are
- Washing soda (sometimes called sodium carbonate or soda ash)
- Borax powder
- Grated bar soap
Here are a few links to help you make your first batch.
- Making your own Laundry Detergent
- How to Make Laundry Soap (Liquid or Powder Recipe)
- How to Make Laundry Soap for Three Cents a Load
Baking is a great stress reliever, but if you are smelling last night’s chicken when you bake this afternoon’s bread, it’s time to clean your oven. Here’s how to do the job without all those harmful (and smelly) chemicals you want to avoid.
You may be wondering how to get rid of those pesky grass or grape juice stains without your favorite stain remover spray. Here’s a natural alternative that works great. It uses simple ingredients you already have in your home – dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.
Spring sunshine really highlights the winter dirt and grime on a home’s windows, doesn’t it? Here are a couple of ways to make your own window cleaner.
In an April 10 interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s Today Show, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon discussed how Americans have been shopping during the pandemic. He mentioned that although toilet paper and hand sanitizer are still flying off the shelves, hair products are the big sellers right now.
Apparently, after several weeks of barbershops and hair salons being closed, people are needing grooming supplies more than ever.
If the pandemic is making you think about your family’s health and beauty supplies a bit differently, here are some ideas for homemade alternatives to commercial products.
Have you read the ingredients on many popular baby wipe containers? Yikes! Here is a recipe for a natural alternative.
Even some commercial deodorants that claim to be aluminum-free contain some aluminum derivatives. If you would like to smell fresh throughout the day without exposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals, here are a few homemade deodorant recipes to check out.
- Homemade Deodorant: Make your armpits happy!
- Homemade deodorant that really works
- How to Make Natural Deodorant
Eye Makeup Remover
Yes, you can gently remove your eye makeup without commercial wipes or solutions.
Making your own lip balm is something that will help your family from suffering from chapped lips this spring and summer. And you will have a great stocking stuffer gift idea for the holidays.
You also can have fresh breath without all the harsh chemicals that are in many commercial brands of mouthwash. Here’s how.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Many commercial shampoo brands include ingredients that can strip your hair of its natural oils. Why not make your own supply for your family? Here are some ideas:
- Homemade Natural Shampoo
- Homemade Shampoo With Essential Oils
- 10 Shampoo Recipes You Can Make at Home
- DIY Homemade Conditioner
- How to Make Natural Homemade Shampoo
You can save money and be able to choose the fresh scent you prefer with this recipe for homemade shaving cream.
All the handwashing we’ve been doing lately has taken its toll on our skin. Don’t dry it out further with chemical-laden skin lotions. You can make some gentle homemade versions instead.
- DIY Homemade Lotion – 3 Recipes for 3 Textures
- Luxurious Homemade Lotion Recipe
- Homemade Lotions and Balms
Creating your own soap – both liquid and bar varieties – is surprisingly easy and satisfying. You might find you enjoy it so much that you continue long after things have returned to normal. Here are some recipes:
- DIY All-Natural Rich & Creamy Moisturizing Hand Soap
- Make Your Own Soap Without Lye (well, you’ll see what I mean)
- Homemade Body Wash – Keep Scary Out Of Your Shower
Sometimes you may wonder if the chemicals in those commercial sunscreen brands are more harmful than the sun’s rays. While the best sun protection is wearing a floppy hat and covering up with lightweight clothing, that option is not always realistic.
However, there are homemade sunscreen recipes you can try for natural protection:
- Simple Homemade Sunscreen
- Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
- A Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe That Works!
Did you know that those popular whitening types of toothpaste can be harsh on your tooth enamel? Homemade toothpaste might be the answer for a clean, healthy mouth. Here’s how to make a batch.
- Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe (Natural + Simple)
- Lauren’s Zero Waste Homemade Toothpaste Recipe
- How to Make Your Own Natural Toothpaste
Here are some ideas for homemade garden products that will save you time and money in the long run.
Many of you are already making your own compost, but some of you may not fully realize how easy it is. Compost can’t be beaten as a cheap (and green) way of nourishing your spring garden.
Here are a few guides to get you started (or re-started) in making home compost:
And if all those expensive compost bins you see online are putting you off from composting, here’s a thrifty alternative.
Would you like to enrich your lawn without risking the health of your family? Here are some recipes for homemade lawn fertilizers. You’ll notice that they use many household items you already have in your pantry or garage.
We all want to avoid the scary chemicals that are in most commercial weed killers. Did you know you can kill some of those pesky interlopers with everyday items you have in your kitchen? Here are weed killer recipes that use dish soap, white vinegar, and salt.
- Liquid Dish Soap Weed Killer: Combine 10 parts water with one part liquid dish soap in a clean spray bottle. Spray weeds with this mixture during the hottest part of the day, and it will dry out and kills them.
- Vinegar: Pour undiluted white vinegar into a clean spray bottle, and spray it on the leaves of the weeds. (Note: vinegar can alter the pH of the soil, so avoid spraying it directly on the soil.)
- Salt and Vinegar: Stir 1 1/4 cup of salt into one gallon of white vinegar. Then pour some of the solution into a clean spray bottle. Spray it directly onto weeds, avoiding grass and other plants.
Finally, don’t forget about creative ways you can make everyday items you normally would run out and buy. For example:
- You can design your own greeting cards and invitations with construction paper and simple art supplies.
- You can create unique wrapping paper with newspaper or magazine pages and bows with hair ribbons you know longer use.
- Homemade cloth rags and cloth napkins work better than the store-bought paper kind, and you don’t have to worry about the stores being in short supply of them.
We’re all learning some difficult lessons during this challenging time. One of the bright spots may be the realization of how self-sufficient and resilient we can be. And how much fun it is to tackle new projects with the people we love.
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