Last month I wrote about my quest for a more natural lifestyle, free from nasty products known to cause harm, and I shared the recipe for my homemade deodorant. I was super excited when several people got in touch to say they were going to give it a go. To be fair, I am pretty easily pleased. Any reaction to homemade products besides an eye-roll, a raised eyebrow, or that look that subtly says “oh, you’re one of those”, and my day is made.
When I first started dabbling in homemade products I really had no idea what I was letting myself in for. It started on a bit of a whim. I’d stumbled across a blog post discussing the potential harms of ingredients in commercial deodorant, and recommending a homemade alternative. It sounded kind of crazy, but it also sounded kind of fun. Making homemade products is a bit like baking: you find a recipe, whip out your measuring spoons and off you go. Much like when I bake, I’m not very good at sticking to recipes. I like the idea of a recipe. A neat and tidy list perfectly packaged and ready to go. Oh how I love a good list. Nearly as much as my Dad, who has even been known to keep a list of lists. Amazing. But after a few attempts I inevitably run out of some vital ingredient and in my typical slapdash, bull-in-a-china-shop approach to life, I chuck in some other random ingredients and hope for the best. Needless to say, there have been many, many failed attempts along the way. But what fun is life if things always go right?
So I started making homemade products because it sounded kind of fun and I probably had nothing better to do one sunday afternoon. But a funny thing happens when you start living a natural lifestyle. It is oh so addictive! There is always more to learn, more to research, another recipe to attempt, and before you know it you are well on your way down the one-way road to hippydom.
I am still experimenting with lots of new recipes, including washing powder (which is super easy by the way), and even…..holds breath and hopes no-one judgy is reading….toothpaste! But given my ‘chuck it all in and hope for the best’ approach I couldn’t possibly share my haphazard experiments with you. Instead, here is one of my long-term favourites. My homemade handwash.
Makes about 450ml; not to teach your granny to suck eggs or anything, but if you want to make less, use less.
- 250ml water
- 60ml liquid castile soap. I like Dr Bronner’s but there are other brands too.
- 25ml oil (jojoba, avocado, sweet almond, or even plain old olive oil)
- 30ml honey – if you’re vegan or don’t have honey, you can leave it out and add a little extra oil
- 1 tsp xantham gum
- 20 drops of essential oils of your choice (optional)
- In a blender combine the water, oil, honey, xantham gum and essential oils.
- Add the castile soap and pulse for a few seconds – castile soap is, well, soap, so if you put this in at step 1 you will end up with a big foamy mess.
- Pour into a bottle. You can spend lots of money on a posh soap dispenser or if you’re frugal like me (read: cheapskate), just reuse an old soap bottle when you’re done with it.