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Getting started with Low Tox DIY – Make your own natural products

by in DIY August 13, 2020

Make your own natural products at home - cut the chemicals, budget saving and fun

I spoke to Low Tox advocates Jennifer and Jane from Blooming Mandala to get some great tips on making your own products.

If you are new to DIY what is an easy way to get started?

For those wanting to dip their toe into a bit if DIY, a great place to start is with cleaning products, as they are super simple to throw together, you don’t need to worry about shelf life and clean up is a breeze!!  Dishwasher tablets, rinse aid, toilet cleaner or laundry soaker are great and don’t require a heap of ingredients.

On the other hand if your wanting to tackle something more fun lip balms, body butters and bath salts are all super easy too.  And there is nothing better than pampering yourself with your own homemade goodies.

Where you start is really dependent on what is most important to you, for where you are right now.  For example if you are pregnant you might be placing a higher priority on replacing products you apply to your body.  On the other hand, if your budget is tight, saving money by giving DIY cleaning products a crack might be more helpful to you right now.

What is the best way and place to store your creations?

As a general rule, DIY products should be stored in clean airtight containers.  Glass or metal is best, not only for the environment but if the DIY products include essential oils this can leech chemicals from plastic.

Most cleaning products don’t need any special treatment, we just keep them where we would keep any cleaning products.

With body products you really need to use your discretion and common sense.  Storing them in the fridge can extend the shelf life, especially if they contain water or fresh foods.  However lip balms, salves and other oil based products will last 6-12 months at room temperature.  Which is handy cause keeping a lip balm in the fridge isn’t exactly practical.

Do DIY handmade products expire?

Products like dishwasher powder or Laundry soaker don’t really expire as they don't have ingredients that will go rancid or encourage bacteria growth.

Items containing oils or butter like shea or cacao butter will generally last around a year or so or as long as the shortest best before date of the individual ingredients.  With oils and butters you can generally tell when they have past their best as rancid oils have an unpleasant smell.

The DIY products you most need to be wary of are any that contain water or are exposed to water, like body scrubs you scoop out with wet hands etc.  Water is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi and cannot always be seen or smelt, so it really comes down to personal discretion.  As long as you are not immunocompromised you should have no issues as long as you remain aware and ditch anything when in doubt.

What is the best way to clean your bottles and pots ready for your next product?

DIY Grubby Hand Soap

It all depends on what products you are making. 

For powdered items like dishwashing powder and laundry soaker you can just wash the bowls and utensils like you normally do your dishes.  Either hand wash or pop into the dishwasher.  For these types of products we don’t bother washing the storage container at and just refill it.

Lipbalm and body butters etc containing oils, butters or beeswax make cleaning more tricky.  For making these types of products we tend to use a an old jar (one for each type of product, you don’t want to put some inedible essential oil on your lips) which we then put the lid on and store until the next time we need to make it. 

To clean the storage containers and jars for oily products the best way we have found is to wipe as much out as possible using an old rag or papertowel.  If it has no beeswax in it most often these can then be washed in warm soapy water or the dishwasher no problem.  However if there is beeswax in a product we have found that putting the containers into a pot of simmering water for a minutes and then re-wiping it out with a rag until it looks visually clean.  Once visually clean, finish them off using the dishwasher or warm soapy water.

If you are really concerned about bacteria or contamination you can prepare clean containers ready for refilling by spraying them with isopropyl or ethanol and allowing them to dry before filling

Blooming Mandala Low Tox DIY Bath Salts
Natural bath bomb
DIY Fairy Floss Sugar Scrub

DIY Bath Salts

DIY Bath Bomb Biodegradable glitter

DIY Fairy Floss Sugar Scrub

Some of the amazing things they have made in their creative “Unicorns, Cupcakes and Bath Bombs – Fun DIY gifts to make people smile” ebook. Head to their site to find out more.

For more information about Blooming Mandala visit their directory listing