Homemade Shampoos, Toothpaste, & Deodorant

DIY Toiletry Recipes

June 29, 2021
Baking Soda

We cook what we eat. So, why not try whipping up the products that get absorbed by your skin? Here are recipes for shampoos, conditioner, moisturizer, a bath soak, and toothpaste. Using pantry ingredients, they’re safe, fun, and easy on the wallet!

So many hair and body care products are not only overpriced but also loaded with chemicals. You’ll feel better knowing what’s in the stuff that goes on your skin—and we guarantee your skin will look and feel better, too.

“Almond meal … acts as a pleasing alternative to soap at any time. It softens, cleanses, and whitens the skin.”
–The 1916 Old Farmer’s Almanac

Homemade Toothpaste

Washing your hands with toothpaste and water will eliminate fish odor.

Even today, baking soda remains in the lead ingredient for oxidizing stains and removing plaque without removing tooth enamel. A combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide lifts particles caught between teeth and kills bacteria.

Do not add anything to the baking soda to make it more abrasive. You may want to add an artificial sweetener for taste (which is essentially all some of those “natural” toothpastes do), but do not add real sugar which would promote tooth decay.

  1.  “Bare-Bones” Toothpaste: Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with ½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide; make a paste; scoop up with your toothbrush and proceed as you normally would.
  2. “Minty” Toothpaste: Mix together 6 teaspoons of baking soda, ⅓ teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons glycerin, and 15 drops of peppermint or wintergreen extract. Depending on how much you use at a time, this recipe is good for 15 to 20 applications and should be stored in any appropriately sized container with a snug lid.
  3. “Modern” Toothpaste: Mix baking soda with equal amount of coconut oil, creating a paste. Add an essential oil in mint or herb if desired (5 drops per tablespoon of paste). Add sea salt for taste (a dash for every two tablespoons paste).

Note: Check with your dentist before usage. The American Dental Association only accepts toothpastes containing fluoride and recommends fluoridation of community water supplies. This is a debated subject; we refer you to your respective health care provider for their professional recommendation.leaf-3070153_1920_full_width.jpg

Eye Make-up Remover (Safe and Gentle)

  • Save on those very expensive eye make-up removers with this recipe. Combine 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 tablespoon castor oil, and 1 tablespoon light olive oil.
  •  For use on your entire body, put some castor oil in a little spray bottle. To maximize absorption, spray it on your skin after showering and gently rub it in while your skin is still warm and your pores are open.

Homemade Moisturizer

  • For healthy skin, add rosemary oil to the bathwater.
  • Another age-old tradition to prevent wrinkles around the eyes is to apply a drop of castor oil around each eye before going to bed. Castor oil acts as a humectant, meaning that it attracts and retains moisture in the skin. This promotes healthier skin cell rejuvenation. Some plastic surgeons apply castor oil around an incision after surgery for this exact reason.

Bath Soak for Healthy Skin

Tales of the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, tell of her beauty and her radiant skin. Her secret? Apparently she used to take frequent baths in fresh milk! Researchers now have found that the lactic acid in milk is the cause of the stunning skin. Alpha hydroxy acids help loosen dead skin and give healthy skin a deep cleansing.

  • As the tub fills, pour in two cups to one quart of fresh milk or butter milk. Fresh milk can be substituted with one cup of powdered milk. A few drops of lavender essential oil may increase the relaxing effects. Soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes and gently massage your skin with a wash cloth or a loofah to rub off all the dead skin.
  • After taking your bath, drain the tub and take a quick shower to rinse off all the milk on your body.

Homemade Deodorant

The best homemade deodorant contains baking soda. You equal parts baking soda and cornstarch. OR substitute cornstarch with arrowroot powder if cornstarch bothers your skin. Then just pat it on your underarm. If you prefer more of a paste, add a few drops of coconut oil. 

  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch OR arrowroot powder.
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil to make a paste.
  • Some readers say that mixing in a few drops of anti-bacterial tea tree oil makes it even more effective.

Note: For those allergic to coconut oil, substitute with half as much of a liquid oil such as almond, jajoba or avocado oil.


Homemade Shampoo

You can make your own shampoo with ingredients you have in your kitchen. Seriously. For cleaning alone (without styling), a homemade recipe really does eliminate oil and grime as well as any store product so you’ll have clean, shiny hair.

  • Mix ½ cup water and ½ cup castile vegetable-based liquid soap. Or dilute a bar of castile soap in water. (Castile is a vegetable-based soap.) The shampoo won’t suds like a store brand but it will clean. Rinse with warm water and then lemon juice. 
    • Optional: Add 1 teaspoon light vegetable oil or glycerine to the mix (omit if you have oily hair)
    • Optional: For scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or buy scented castile soap or substitute ½ cup herbal tea —such as chamomile, lavender, and rosemary—for water.
  • One of our favorite homemade shampoo recipes uses baking soda (which opens the hair shaft and rids it of dirt and debris) followed immediately by an acid rinse of cider vinegar in warm water (which closes the shaft and leaves hair smooth and manageable). Give this two-step process a try.
  • If regular shampooing with water is impossible for some reason, try mixing 1 tablespoon salt and ½ cup cornmeal in a shaker bottle. Sprinkle lightly onto hair, then brush thoroughly to get rid of dirt and oil. A combination of baby powder and cornstarch can also be used the same way.

Customize With Essential Oils

If you like your store-bought shampoo but would like to add to it a little, the essential oils that old-timers relied on for hair care really do work.

  • To nourish and moisturize, pour some shampoo or conditioner into your palm and add a few drops of cedar wood, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, rosemary, thyme, or ylang-ylang.
  • To add thickness and body, use cedar wood or clary sage.
  • To reduce oiliness, try bergamot, cedar wood, lavender, lemon, pine, rosemary, or ylang-ylang.
  • To add luster, try sweet basil, Roman chamomile, or lavender.
  • To detangle hair, use chamomile, grapefruit, marigold, passionflower, or sweet clover, and to relieve dandruff, try cedar wood, clary sage, lemon, pine, rosemary, or tea tree.

See our natural health editor’s shampoo recipe which uses only 2 ingredients!

We hope you enjoyed our DIY recipe ideas. We’d love to hear what works for you!


The Old Farmer's Almanac

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

"Tooth Powder"

My mother was a real working cowgirl when young, on her dad's ranch. Her recipe for toothpaste is simple: three parts baking soda, one part fine salt (I use sea salt) in a small container with a tight screw-on lid. Shake before use. Wet toothbrush and dip, apply to one side, dip again for other side, brush gently all over. Don't get powder too wet or it clumps but shaking before using again fixes that. The salt makes you salivate which helps kill germs and loosen bits between teeth. Rinse very well or tongue will feel dry. I've used this for over fifty years and have never had a cavity. True!

Homemade Deodorant

I started making my own deodorant at home and it works so much better. I’m using refillable roll-on bottles. I also waste less plastic doing this way.

Homemade toothpaste

Hello, my husband and I have been making our own toothpaste since 2012 with great results. No cavities yet and I am 35. You will need 1 Tablespoon almond oil, 3 Tablespoons of peppermint oil, and 1 Tablespoon spearmint oil. Mix and pour into glass container. Drop as many drops as you prefer on a toothbrush and brush away. This will not whiten teeth so for that I sometimes use baking soda mixed with peroxide and apply with a qtip, or sprinkle a tiny bit on toothbrush with oil. We got the idea from ORA-MD, but that got expensive fast. Now we just use their empty bottles (recipe fills 4 of their empty bottles)
Homemade shampoo I have had no luck, don't add cinnamon cause whoo did it burn!

Thank you for the tips!

all of the information shared was helpful!

Help for seborrheic

Help for seborrheic dermatitis on head beard and upper chest worst I've had. Born and raised on a farm in AZ never had this stuff till farm town turned into metro city. I've read a lot of stuff on natural stuff for this. I'm sure every ones skin is different can't find the magic bullet.

Seborrheic dermatitis can be

The Editors's picture

Seborrheic dermatitis can be indeed be worse in wintertime as well as under beards. Did you happen to change your soap? Be sure to use a mild soap and completely wash off and use a moisturizer.
Do avoid ANY product that contains alcohol.
In terms of a home remedy, it can help to apply mineral oil or olive oil to your skin and leave in for an hour or so. Do this regularly.
Ask your pharmacy for a mild corticosteroid cream. If that doesn't work, try the antifungal cream ketoconazole.
Wear cotton clothing that has a smooth texture so it's less irritating to your chest. Try not to scratch. If it's really itchy, try applying hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion just for relief.
As you may know, there are other reasons for seborrheic dermatitis that could be more serious so, if you haven't already done so, please consult a doctor. We hope you find relief!

Homemade shampoo actually

Homemade shampoo actually seems like a great idea! I can't wait to try it :)

To get rid of flouride and

To get rid of flouride and chlorine in your drinking water try the Zero Water filter pitcher. It is not cheap, but I feel better and do not get sick as often since I have been using it. I use it for cooking and drinking water.

I like homemade remedies but

I like homemade remedies but do you have other ways to make shampoo if you don't have the Castile soap

Yes, here is a homemade

The Editors's picture

Yes, here is a homemade shampoo recipe using just two ingredients: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Click here to see more: http://www.almanac.com/blog/na...

Baking soda is to alkaline

Baking soda is to alkaline for hair's natural PH. Using it would be like bleaching your hair 10 times at once. It causes the hair shaft to stay open leading to weakened hair that breaks easily. A better bet would be to use Aloe Vera gel and coconut milk but that may leave your hair too greasy.

Hi Alika, I use either

Margaret Boyles's picture

Hi Alika,

I use either borax or baking soda as a shampoo (whch indeed opens the hair shaft and rids it of dirt and debris), followed immediately by an acid rinse of cider vinegar in warm water, which closes the shaft and leaves hair smooth and manageable. Give this two-step process a try!


I have never liked shampooing with baking soda, and now I know I need the apple cider vinegar rinse to follow! Many thanks for this bit of information.

BS and vinegar for hair

Been doing this now for years; way better than prepared shampoos, "natural" or otherwise. 3T BS in hot tap water; 3T vinegar in cold/room temp distilled water. I use "bike" bottles for application; 12-16 oz. I rinse with plain distilled water to avoid the vinegar odor. For me, I need a leave in conditioner; I live in an arid environment. I found a nice shea butter based one at the local natural grocer. No frizz, no greasy, waxy build up, lots of shine. I always get compliments from the salon, too bad for them I don't buy their junk. Whoever tell you this is "bad" for you is flat wrong.

I am a big fan of homemade

I am a big fan of homemade remedies and other homemade hair care

I've been using an

I've been using an all-natural shampoo from a small company called Healthy Skin for a Happy Life. It contains no dangerous chemicals like sulfates or parabens, but it is made entirely of things like honey, coconut oil, jojoba and lemon juice. Soooo good and so much easier than making it myself. Give it a try! www.healthyskinhappylife.com

Thank you! I just ordered a

Thank you! I just ordered a sample kit because of your comment.

Novel Vegan Palm Oil Free

Novel Vegan Palm Oil Free Soap! It has pure essential oils to create the amazing natural fragrances. Palm Oil Free, SLS Free, Not tested on Animals and 100% Cruelty Free make the Earth collection simply brilliant.

This is a very informative

This is a very informative site I like it and more people need to use it to keep the cost of living down.

When I have made dirty greasy

When I have made dirty greasy job, on car or bicycle - the best way to clean my hands is to take ordinary food oil and a cloth. It solves and cleans and feels good for the skin. Than I wash my hands to clean them from the oil. It works like miracle.

Homemade Liquid Laundry

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent:
a bar of fels-Naptha soap
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
(got everything in the laundry aisle at Wal-mart. You can also add 1/2-1 cup Oxyclean & a
few drops of essential oils for fragrance if you like)

You grate the bar of soap & put it in a pot with 4 cups of hot water & heat/ stir on
the stove until all the soap is dissolved. Fill a clean 5 gallon bucket half full of hot water, add the soap, Borax & soda & stir it all up really good, then fill the bucket the rest of the way with hot water & stir again. Put the lid on it & let it sit for 24 hours, then fill whatever container you want to use half full of the detergent & the rest with water. Shake well. Supposed to use 5/8 cup for top loaders & 1/4 cup for HE machines.
(some ppl prefer not to dilute with water & just cut the amount they use by 1/2 instead)

Homemade Fabric Softener:
2 cups of any scented HAIR conditioner
3 cups of white vinegar
6 cups of warm water
Mix well

I use a 1/1/1 mix. 1 bar of

I use a 1/1/1 mix.
1 bar of soap (I don't like the Fels naptha)
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda (baked at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes)

I also add Purex crystals to mine for smell.

Laundry soap: grate part of a

Laundry soap: grate part of a bar of soap, add baking powder and for softness vinigar