With the holiday season upon us, many of us are wondering how to responsibly gift to our loved ones. These DIY cleaning and grooming product recipes are a great starting place for gift options that are heartfelt and don’t promote consumerism. We originally talked about this in our Napa Valley Register article, but you can find plenty of other DIY gift recipes elsewhere.

Always-In-Demand Laundry Detergent

2 (4oz) bars castile soap in recyclable paper

2 lbs baking soda

2 (3.6 lb) boxes Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender is a popular option)

Finely grate the castile soap. A Cuisinart does the job quickly and well.

Combine all ingredients. You might want to wear a mask to avoid inhaling the dust.

Add 1/4C per load of laundry.

Dishwasher Powder Recipe

4C washing soda

1C citric acid ( I get mine at Napa Fermentation Supplies)

Mix and keep in a glass jar. I re-use a half gallon glass jar and the powder pours out beautifully.

Add distilled vinegar in the rinse aid compartment to add shine to glassware.

Window and Glass Cleaner

1C distilled vinegar

1C rubbing alcohol

3 drops dish washing liqiud

Re use an empty spray bottle

Kitchen and Bath Cleaning Spray

1 part ammonia (lemon ammonia adds a more pleasant scent)

1 part distilled vinegar

1 part rubbing alcohol

Re use an empty spray bottle

Hand and Body Lotion

1/4C coconut oil

1/8C shea butter

1/8C cocoa butter

2-4 T sweet almond oil

5-10 drops essential oils of your choice

Warm the coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter in a double boiler until melted. Blend in the sweet almond oil and essential oils.

Keep the lotion in a wide mouthed jar.  It will solidify somewhat when cool- like a dense hand cream.


1/4 C warmed coconut oil

6T baking soda

Stir until it forms a paste.  Add 1-2t. xylitol along with a couple of drops of peppermint or clove oil.

Store in a small, wide mouthed jar.