Here are seven simple products that you probably already have at home that can be used for multiple purposes. I’ve updated this list with more options, and provided a bit more information that I hope will spark some do-it-simple ideas for you. By using natural products you save tons of money, create safe toxic-free homes for your family and pets, and support healing and balancing the environment with your everyday choices. A minimalist lifestyle can translate on many levels including easy ways to use everyday products.
1. Baking Soda
—Toothpaste–A little baking soda and water creates a wonderful toothpaste. It will keep your teeth really white and squeaky clean. No more toxic floride toothpaste needed!
—Household Cleanser Scrub–Instead of using toxic household cleansers, try baking soda. Baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide makes the perfect cleaner for scrubbing and disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens. You can see another multipurpose household cleaner also using baking soda below.
2. Coconut Oil
—Hot Oil Hair Treatment–Coconut oil is a wonderful deep conditioning oil for your hair as it fully penetrates the hair shaft. Simply warm the oil, massage into your hair, and cover with a conditioning cap. Leave this treatment on for 30 minutes to an hour. Wash and condition as usual.
—Hair Leave-In–Coconut oil makes an incredible leave-in conditioner for all hair types. A little oil will go a long way, yet use as much as you need for your hair.
—Body Oil–You will be surprised how such a simple oil will leave you skin feeling extremely soft and smelling divine. Coconut oil will help maintain the elasticity of skin for a radiant complexion.
—Cuticle Oil–Coconut oil is very nourishing for dry cuticles. Massaging the cuticles every night with coconut oil to soften, heal hang nails, and build strong nails.
*If you are acne prone, please check out some other oil alternatives here.
—Window Cleaner–Pour equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oils for scent. Super simple and simply clean.
—No Wax Floor Cleaner–½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water is all you need.
—Multipurpose Household Cleaner–Wipe surfaces with white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils for scrubbing any tough dirt. This cleaner is also great for tile floors. You can see exactly how to make this DIY Multipurpose Household Cleaner here.
—Hair Clarifier/Shampoo Alternative–Pure vinegar is too strong for the natural pH of hair. By diluting 1 part vinegar to four parts water you now have an incredible hair clarifier for a final rinse after washing your hair. If you’d like to keep things extra simple try using a vinegar rinse as a shampoo alternative. It will remove any product buildup and fight dandruff and keep your scalp perfectly balanced and happy.
You can also see how to infuse your vinegar with hair loving herbs here. You can use both white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for your hair rinse as well. White vinegar has less of an intense smell. Feel free to add your favorite essential oils to your rinse.
—Daily Healing Face Wash–Raw honey is a very gentle and effective daily face wash. It’s natural antibacterial properties help heal acne and keep your pores clean and refreshed. Raw honey will not remove heavy makeup unless mixed with rhassoul clay. Adding rhassoul clay will also add extra exfoliation if needed. You will be surprised that once honey is mixed with a bit of water it is not sticky at all and rinses so easily. Read more about using raw honey as a face wash here.
—Skin Brightener/Spot Treatment–Raw honey is brilliant for brightening the complexion and helping to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation because once it is mixed with water it releases a natural peroxide. Mix a tiny bit of honey and water and use as a spot treatment for blemishes and watch them fade. Check out my DIY Gentle Exfoliating Mask for another recipe using honey.
—Hair Humectant–Honey brings so much moisture to dry parched hair. It is wonderful for curls and can be used as a pre-wash treatment with oil or as a styling conditioner like in my DIY Curl Conditioning Serum.
—Honey Hair Lightener–Yes honey can also be used to gradually lighten your hair overtime too! You can read more details on this here.
—Citrus Hair Lightener–Lemon juice and sunshine will brighten your hair if it is already light brown or blond already. This process will take time and consistency but is much more gentle than any peroxide or hair bleach. Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with a gallon of water. Rinse your hair with the solution and repeat daily until you receive your desired results. Be sure to condition well as lemon juice can also be drying to hair.
—Skin Exfoliant–The citric acid in lemons creates a great skin exfoliant. It is perfect for rough elbows, knees, and feet. Lemon juice is also one of my ingredients in my DIY Gentle Exfoliating Mask. Lemon juice will help fade dark spots, yet should be used carefully as it is a bit too acidic for skin unless diluted.
—Fruit and Veggie Wash–Soaking fruits and veggies in lemon juice and water will easily clean them. You can also make a quick fruit and veggie cleaner with a cup of water, a cup of vinegar, two tablespoons baking soda, and two tablespoons lemon juice. Place in a spray bottle for easy use.
—Face Scrub–Mix sugar with your favorite facial cleanser or carrier oil to create an amazing face scrub.
—Simple Sugar Body Scrub–Mix sugar with a carrier oil or preferably vegetable glycerin for an awesome body scrub. See more details on how to make it here.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
—Household Disinfectant–Use hydrogen peroxide in place of other toxic chemicals. It will kill germs and bacteria without creating a toxic environment. Pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle undiluted with a few drops of essential oil if you desire and use as an all natural disinfectant.
—Mouthwash–Mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide with water is all you need for a fizzy germ killing mouthwash. A few drops of peppermint essential oil will give this mouthwash the minty taste you are used to.
What other simple household ingredients have you used in different ways?
(Photo by D Sharon Pruitt, Image Design by Dawn Michelle)