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Household Product Recipes

Make Your Own Common Household Products


You can use home chemistry to make many of the everyday household products that you use. Making these products yourself can save you money and allow you to customize formulations to avoid toxic or irritating chemicals.

Hand Sanitizer

It's easy and economical to make your own hand sanitizer.
Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images
Hand sanitizers protect you against germs, but some of the commerical hand sanitizers contain toxic chemicals that you may wish to avoid. It's extremely easy to make an effective and safe hand sanitizer yourself.

Natural Mosquito Repellent

Aedes Aegypti Mosquito on Human Skin
DEET is a highly effective mosquito repellent, but it's also toxic. If you'd like to avoid DEET-containing mosquito repellents, try making your own repellent using natural home chemicals.

Bubble Solution

A soap bubble consists of a thin layer of water trapped between two layers of soap molecules.
brokenchopstick, Flickr
Why spend the money on bubble solution when it's one of the simplest things to make yourself? You can involve kids in the project and explain how bubbles work.

Laundry Detergent

Making your own laundry detergent can save you quite a lot of money, plus you can eliminate dyes and fragrances that may cause chemical sensitivity reactions.


You can use chemistry to create your own perfumes.
Anne Helmenstine
You can create a signature scent to give to someone special or to keep for yourself. Making your own perfume is another way to save cash, since you can approximate some name-brand scents at fraction of the price.

Natural Toothpaste

There may be situations in which you may wish to avoid fluoride in your toothpaste. You can make a natural toothpaste easily and inexpensively.

Bath Salts

Make these bath salt any color and fragrance you choose to give as a gift or to use for a relaxing soak in the tub.


It's probably cheaper and definitely easier to buy soap than to make it yourself, but if you're interested in chemistry this is a good way to get acquainted with the saponification reaction.

Natural Insect Repellent

A good mosquito repellent will keep you from needing to wear head-to-toe mosquito netting.
Thomas Northcut, Getty Images
Earlier I gave you a recipe for a natural mosquito repellent. Unfortunately, mosquitoes aren't the only insect pests out there so you may need to broaden your defenses a bit. Here's a look at the effectiveness of different natural chemicals against a variety of insects.

Cut Flower Preservative

Kris Timken/Getty Images
Keep your cut flowers fresh and beautiful. There are multiple recipes for flower food, but they are all effective and much less expensive than buying the product at the store or from a florist.
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