DIY Bath & Body Recipes

DIY Mineral Toothpaste

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Common commercial toothpastes have a variety of ingredients that really aren’t needed and some that are even questionable to dental health–like glycerin (may inhibit saliva’s ability to do it’s job), saccharin (everybody hates this stuff), some have the environmental hazard known as triclosan (an unnecessary antimicrobial contributing to antibiotic resistance), and fluoride.

We have been brainwashed to believe fluoride is the best thing ever for our teeth. We even add it to our water supplies (but there is a push to reduce this). However, more and more evidence is developing to show that it may cause more harm than good. Dental is a condition that develops when children get too much fluoride–it actually makes the teeth more likely to decay. Oops. A dating tips for gay guys found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. Based on the findings, the authors say that this risk should not be ignored, and that more research on fluoride’s impact on the developing brain is warranted. Double oops. There are other examples, but this post would be longer than I have time for.

So, can you adequately clean your teeth with basic ingredients? Yes. It that calcium-containing toothpastes can deposit mineral into enamel surface deformities under a wide variety of conditions and from a wide variety of formulas. Specifically sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and calcium formulas. Easy enough.

I have added xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that has been shown to reduce cavities and aid in remineralization as well. I have made toothpaste without it, but it does knock the salty edge off of the baking soda. I really like this version. You can add more coconut oil if you would like it to be a softer, smoother consistency. This recipe works for me and the truth is, it’s not a specific science, so there is wiggle room here. :)

Even if you aren’t convinced that this is ok 100% of the time, you can do what I have been–use this DIY toothpaste once per day. But, I’m getting close to switching completely.

THE RECIPE: Mineral Toothpaste

Makes about 1/3 cup

2-3 Tbs baking soda 
2 Tbs coconut oil
2-3 tsp, to taste
2 tsp calcium carbonate powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
8 drops Peppermint essential oil or Spearmint (my favorite)
3-4 drops trace minerals (optional, especially with using sea salt that contains trace minerals naturally–also $$$)

1. Melt coconut oil in microwave, 10-20 seconds.

2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Adjust baking soda quantity to your desired thickness. Store in a lidded container. Use a pea-sized amount and brush your teeth as usual. 

Calcium carbonate powder
Peppermint essential oil
Trace minerals


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DIY Vapor Rub (Revised)

Original post 11/2014, updated 3/13/15 to include more cowbell, I mean camphor.  So, the commercial vapor rub that I love so much during cold and flu season (and allergy season) has got to go because of the “special petrolatum” listed in the ingredients. I used the last of what I could find a few nights ago, so it was time to experiment in the kitchen.

I have made two changes to my original attempt. The first major tweak was the missing ingredient: camphor. Second tweak (3/13/15) was adding more camphor. It is a great cough suppressant, an so is rosemary. I am very happy with the result and noticed a very quick reduction in the 5 year old’s coughing the first night we used it. Just rub it on your chest and neck before bed.


DIY Cloth Wipes

We changed cloth diapers for just over 4 years 11 months, or approximately 1810 days (give or take). We also used cloth wipes because, well, why not add to the fun? But, in reality, we got spoiled with the DIY cloth wipes–they were made from fleece so they were thick–which means you don’t use as many. Until you use a cloth wipe, you can’t really appreciate what a luxury it is. Yes, I said luxury–because not having to feel warm babystuffofnightmares through a paper thin wipe is pretty freaking awesome. (more…)

Reducing Cooties: Bathroom Hand Towels

Last winter, between the boys and I, it seemed like we were sick every other week. So, in the spring, I decided to change our hand washing process in the common half bath and switched to single use hand towels. And we (knock on wood) have not been infested with cooties very much at all this year–and it’s January. I’m going to call this a success. (more…)

DIY (ish) Melt and Pour Soap with Ingredient Comparisons

I’ve often daydreamed about making cold process soap (seriously, I have, and I know this is not “normal”). However, the process of using lye and the whole chemical reaction and potential dangers have really spooked me away from attempting it. So, I have found the next best thing–melt and pour soaps–truly one of the easiest things I’ve ever “made”. If you can boil water, you can do this. If you can’t boil water, go ahead and look away now. LOL (more…)

DIY Face Wash: Tea & Honey

This DIY face wash removes makeup like a champ and is easy on the skin!!! Plus, the fact that I could eat everything but the Castile soap is nice, in theory. :)

I have used regular soap or body wash on my face, but would always be reminded it was a mistake because my skin would end up feeling tight and looking dry after only a few days. Sigh. So, back to the store I would go, spending anywhere from $10-15 on gentle freaking face wash!!! After the last bottle of foaming face wash I bought, it was time to start experimenting. (more…)

DIY Beeswax Lip Balm

I finally decided to try this DIY Beeswax Lip Balm after suffering with some crazy Sahara desert lip syndrome the last couple of days. I have no idea what was going on, but it was absolutely ridiculous–I am talking constant burning like I was in the middle of a spicy chicken wing eating marathon. Nothing I applied was working, not even my gold standard lip gloss. I’m going to call this experiment a success since after applying it, the relief was not only immediate, but it lasted!!! Woohoo! (more…)

DIY Body & Linen Spray

A popular bath and body store sells 4 ounces of Lavender Vanilla body spray for $15.00. You can make your own body & linen spray for less than $1.00, unless you need to buy a bottle, then it may cost you $2.00. :) I use this as my perfume and as a linen spray for my pillow at night. I have also made different scents for air fresheners in the bathroom and boys’ bedrooms.

So, why bother making your own, aside from the crazy savings? Because you know what is in it….and what isn’t in it. (more…)

DIY Relaxing Salt Bath

So, I just got over a little 48 hour stomach bug. After a full day of body aches, I decided it was time for a bath. There has been lots of talk about “detox” everything, including baths. It seems to be a popular word, but it may be a slight dramatization in the case of a bath. But, popularity and science be damned–after a lovely 20 minute escape, I emerged feeling much better and my skin was soft and silky. A little lotion applied right after drying off, and I was ready for bed. (more…)