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Monday, June 3, 2024

50+ DIY Household Items That Anyone Can Make

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

50+ DIY Household Items That Anyone Can Make

Making your own DIY household items not only helps save money but also lets you customize products to your specific needs and preferences. As high inflation continues and people look to cut costs, the popularity of making everyday items at home has surged.

And making household items doesn't just save you money. By using natural ingredients and repurposed materials, you can avoid harsh chemicals and reduce your environment footprint, making you healthier and happier. What's not to love?

In this article, I'll cover everything from basic necessities like cleaning and personal care products to unique, functional creations such as oil lamps and mini washing machines. For each item, I included a link to a tutorial where you can get detailed instructions, so be sure to bookmark this page.

All right, let's get on to the list. Here are over 50 DIY household items that anyone can make if they put their mind to it.

Activated Charcoal

Creating activated charcoal at home starts with burning wood in a low-oxygen environment to make charcoal, which is then ground into powder.

This powder is activated using a chemical like calcium chloride or a natural acid such as lemon juice, soaked for a day, thoroughly rinsed, and dried for storage. This process requires careful handling and attention to detail, but it's doable if you're patient.

Air Freshener

Making your own natural air freshener is straightforward and involves using a spray bottle, water, essential oils, and witch hazel or vegetable glycerin.

You can choose from a variety of essential oils depending on your preferences and desired therapeutic benefits. The process is simple: just mix the ingredients in the spray bottle and use as needed to freshen up your space.

All-Purpose Cleaner

All-purpose cleaner is surprisingly easy to make. All you need is white vinegar, baking soda, and a few drops of tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil for their antimicrobial properties.

Mix these ingredients in a spray bottle, fill with water, and shake well. This cleaner is great for sinks and counters, and it doesn't have all the chemicals in store-bought products.

Anti-Itch Salve

This herbal salve is made from a jewelweed infusion with optional plantain for added benefits. The plant material is cooked with a carrier oil over low heat to extract the beneficial properties.

Once the infusion is ready, it's strained and mixed with beeswax to form the salve. It's fairly easy to prepare and takes about 8 hours in a slow cooker.


This homemade “aspirin” is made from willow bark. You start by harvesting the inner bark from small branches during spring when it peels off easily. For immediate use, you can chew a small piece directly.

To prepare a tea, boil the bark and let it steep, or to make a tincture, soak the bark in alcohol for several months. This remedy is much gentler on the stomach than synthetic aspirin.


To make your own bandage, use sterile or a very clean fabric such as linen or a cotton t-shirt. Depending on the wound, you might choose different wrapping techniques to secure the dressing and control bleeding. The process focuses on using accessible materials and ensuring cleanliness to prevent infection.

Bug Spray

To make a natural bug spray, start by boiling water and adding fresh herbs like mint and citronella. After the mixture cools and the herbs are strained, mix the infused water with witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, or vodka. This homemade bug spray is easy to make and doesn't rely on unhealthy chemicals like Deet.


Making candles at home involves measuring wax, melting it in a double boiler, and adding scented oil. Once the wax is melted, you secure the wick to your container using a wick sticker or hot glue, and pour in the wax. Then you just let the wax cool and harden and trim the wick. You'll need several supplies to make these, but it's worth it.

Carpet Cleaner

To make your own carpet cleaner, you just heat water and some pieces of soap in a large pot until the soap melts. After removing from heat, you stir in borax and washing soda until they dissolve, then mix in more water. This cleaner can be used for spot cleaning or with a scrub brush for larger areas.


Making charcoal involves heating wood in a container with limited oxygen to prevent it from burning. This process, done in a fire pit using a metal container with vent holes at the top, drives off moisture and gases, leaving behind pure carbon. The process requires careful monitoring of the gas jets to ensure the wood is carbonizing without catching fire.


For a DIY cooler, you need a container like a cardboard box that you insulate with materials such as foil and bubble wrap. For enhanced cooling, you can line the box with a plastic liner and fill gaps with foam for better insulation. The lid needs proper insulation too, ensuring it fits snugly to maintain the cool temperature inside.

Cough Syrup

This homemade cough syrup is made from raw honey and lemon juice. All you do is heat the honey slightly for better mixing, add the lemon juice, stir it up, and store the mixture in a bottle. It's best for mild coughs, such as those from allergies, and it's a healthy alternative to store-bought syrups.


This deodorant recipe combines baking soda and arrowroot powder for odor control, mixed with shea butter for easy application. If you want, you can add essential oils to improve the for scent. The process involves blending the dry ingredients with shea butter to form a crumbly mixture, then whipping it into a smooth paste.

Dish Detergent

This recipe is for dishwasher detergent tablets. You combine baking soda, washing soda, and salt in a bowl, then add lemon juice to create a fizzing mixture. After that, pack the mixture into mini ice cube trays and leave it to dry. Once they're dry, you'll have some cheap, eco-friendly dish detergent.

Dish Soap

For this one, you'll need to buy or make some castile soap first. Grate the castile soap and dissolve it in warm water on the stove. After it's fully dissolved, add some liquid castile soap and essential oils for fragrance. Although it's mean for cleaning dishes, this soap can also be used for various household cleaning tasks.

Disinfectant Spray

For this, you can create alcohol-based disinfectants using ingredients like isopropyl alcohol mixed with water and essential oils. Or you can use vodka, vinegar, and peppermint oil for a naturally scented disinfectant. The result is a spray that kills germs and smells great.

Dryer Sheets

Making homemade dryer sheets involves soaking squares of fabric in a solution of white vinegar and essential oils, then you store the squares in a glass container. When used in the dryer, these sheets add a pleasant scent to your clothes, and the vinegar helps soften them as well.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is great for your health for many reasons. Making it involves simmering dried elderberries with water, ginger, and a cinnamon stick, then straining the mixture and mixing in some raw honey for sweetness. The process is simple and the syrup can be stored for a long time if vodka or brandy is added.


To make your own fertilizer, you'll need organic materials like banana peels, coffee grounds, or eggshells, which provide essential nutrients to plants. There are many types of fertilizer you can make, and they involve making nutrient-rich solutions or directly incorporating organic matter into the soil.

Fire Starters

There are several types of fire starters you can make with materials like wax-dipped cotton pads, waxed cardboard, and twisted newspaper. Other methods include using egg cartons filled with combustible materials like dryer lint or sawdust and soaked in wax, or simpler options like rolling toilet paper rolls with dryer lint and wax paper.

Floor Cleaner

This DIY floor cleaner combines ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils. These ingredients are great for cleaning and disinfecting but also safe for various types of floors, including hardwood and tile.

The recipe is simple. You just add each ingredient to a gallon of warm water, mix thoroughly, and use the solution for mopping.

Furniture Polish

To make your own furniture polish, mix together some lemon juice, olive oil, and white vinegar. This mixture cleans wood furniture by leveraging the stain-lifting properties of citric acid and the natural conditioning qualities of olive oil. Apply it with a microfiber cloth and work it into the wood along the grain, then wipe it off when you're done.

Garden Pest Deterrent

My favorite garden pest deterrent is this hot pepper and garlic spray. To make it, you'll need to blend garlic and hot peppers into a paste, then mix it with water and liquid soap. After that, you heat it up and let it steep overnight. Finally, you strain the liquid and pour it into a spray bottle. This spray keeps garden pests away and is safe for the environment.

Glass Cleaner

The DIY window cleaner is made with water, cornstarch, white vinegar, isopropyl alcohol (or vodka as a safer choice), and essential oils. This blend is particularly effective for cleaning glass without leaving streaks, thanks to cornstarch which disrupts the water's bonding on the glass.

Hand Sanitizer

To make hand sanitizer, you'll need isopropyl alcohol (91% concentration) and pure aloe vera gel. The resulting mixture is a gel with about 63% alcohol content, which is perfect for sanitizing hands. You can also add essential oils for fragrance and antibacterial properties.

Healing Salve

The primary ingredient in this healing salve is jewelweed. To make it, crush jewelweed leaves and stems and pack them into a mason jar. Cover the plant material with oil and heat it in a water bath to infuse.

After it cools off, strain the oil through cheesecloth, add beeswax, and heat until melted. Finally, pour the mixture into a container and allow it to set. This salve is great for bug bites or poison ivy rashes.

Insect Repellent

This natural insect repellent requires 50 ml each of witch hazel hydrosol and distilled water with several drops of essential oils such citronella, lemongrass, lavender, or peppermint. Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. This repellent keeps bugs away and is also good for those with sensitive skin.

Laundry Detergent

To make liquid laundry detergent, you'll need to grate soap into a bucket, add hot water, and stir it up until the soap is dissolved. You can also add borax for extra cleaning power. After you're done mixing, let the solution settle for 24 hours, then dilute it with more water before using it.

Lip Balm

This homemade lip balm is made from shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax. Melt and mix the ingredients, then add some essential oils for scent. Finally, pour the mixture into small containers and let them cool and set.


This homemade lipstick recipe is similar to the lip balm recipe. Melt some shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax together. Once they've melted, remove from heat and mix in color additives. Use a dropper to transfer the mixture into containers, allowing them to cool and set. With this recipe, you can make the lipstick have any color or scent you like.


To make your own lotion, you'll need to heat some water and oils with an emulsifier to blend them smoothly. Once mixed and cooled, add a preservative to extend the lotion's shelf life. This method not only saves money but also lets you customize the lotion with your favorite scents.

Mosquito Trap

There are several ways to make a mosquito trap. You can put banana peels, sugar, vinegar, and water in an empty soda bottle and hang it up to attract and drown mosquitoes. You can also combine yeast, brown sugar, and water in a cut soda bottle to emit carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes into the trap where they drown.


The DIY mouthwash recipe combines peppermint hydrosol (or filtered water) with 3% hydrogen peroxide, raw unfiltered honey, and some peppermint essential oil (which is optional). The resulting mixture cleans the mouth and freshens breath instantly.


This is one of our most popular tutorials. To make it, you'll infuse oils with dried comfrey, elder leaves, and calendula flowers over low heat, then blend the infusion with beeswax, honey, and essential oils. This salve, known for its healing properties, is great for treating minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Oil Lamp

To make an oil lamp, you'll need a mason jar, water, olive oil, and a floating wick. Start by filling the jar with water, then add a layer of olive oil and place the floating wick on top. This lamp is very easy to make and great for emergency lighting.

Oven Cleaner

This oven cleaner is made from dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar. You combine the ingredients to form a paste, then apply the paste to the inside of your oven and let it sit for a few hours. Scrubbing may be needed for tougher spots, but it works wonders.


To make your own perfume, start by blending base essential oils like vanilla and cedarwood, then add middle tones such as rose and lavender, and top it off with top notes like bergamot.

Combine these oils in an opaque bottle, let them meld for a few days, add some alcohol (like spiced rum), and let the mixture mature in a cool, dark place for at least a month.


This tutorial isn't for a regular planter, but for a self-watering planter. To make it, you need a bucket, a long and a short PVC pipe, and an old T-shirt. The process involves cutting and placing PVC pipes and the T-shirt inside the bucket to create a self-watering mechanism that keeps the soil moist all the time, which is great for people who occasionally forget to water their plants.


This DIY poultice is meant for cuts and scrapes. It requires plant-based ingredients like plantain, dandelion, jewelweed, and onions. The plants are crushed or mixed with water to form a paste, which is then applied directly to the skin. The tutorial covers both hot and cold poultice methods.


This one is really easy to make. Just dry out some flowers and herbs and mix them with spices like cinnamon and cloves, then add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance. This way you can create a custom, natural scent for your home using ingredients you've grown or collected yourself.

Shampoo and Conditioner

You can make an all-natural shampoo by mixing water, castile soap, jojoba oil, and essential oils in a glass container or old shampoo bottle. Then, you just shake up the bottle and stir the contents. Making the conditioner is a little more complicated as you have to melt and mix cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and essential oils.

Shaving Cream

To make homemade shaving cream, melt some coconut oil and shea butter together, then let the mixture cool until it's slightly solid. Whip it with some aloe vera gel and essential oils (like lavender or sweet orange) to create a smooth shaving cream that leaves your skin soft and moisturized.


Soap-making can be a bit complicated, and you have to be careful—especially with the lye. This recipe involves collecting and sifting wood ash, leaching lye from the ash, and mixing the lye with hot fat.

This method, called saponification, is an old technique where the ratio of fat to lye is critical for producing a stable soap. You also have to add fragrances or exfoliants before pouring the mixture into molds and allowing it to cure.

Solar Dehydrator

Dehydration is a great way to store healthy fruits and vegetables for the long-term. While you could by an expensive dehydrator, a solar dehydrator is a cheaper and time-tested option.

You can make one by constructing a frame from plywood and 2x4s then adding a clear window or plastic top to allow sunlight in. You'll also need to make a heat-absorbent shelf and a drying screen from stretched cloth.

Stain Remover

This DIY stain remover combines Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide in a 1:2 ratio, mixed in a dark spray bottle to protect the solution from light. It can remove all types of stains including set-in grease stains.


This homemade sunscreen recipes uses coconut oil, beeswax, and zinc oxide to create a protective barrier against the sun. It's enhanced with red raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil, and essential oils for additional skin benefits. You'll need a double boiler to heat and mix the ingredients.

Toilet Paper

Although you could always use newspaper as toilet paper in an emergency, it doesn't work very well and it's not very soft. Instead, you can shred and soak recycled paper to create a pulp, which is then spread, pressed, and dried on fabric squares.

The process requires simple tools like a bucket and a drill with a paint mixer. The result is a paper that's soft and absorbent.


This guide provides several recipes for making homemade toothpaste using ingredients like coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils. Each variant offers benefits such as antibacterial properties and the ability to customize flavors and textures.

Washing Machine

For this, you'll need a 5-gallon bucket and a toilet plunger to create a simple, effective, human-powered washing device. You need to drill holes in the plunger for better water flow and a hole in the lid of the bucket for the plunger handle. This setup is useful for situations like camping, power outages, or small living spaces.

Water Filter

This tutorial is for a multi-layer filter inside a plastic bottle. You cut off the bottom of the bottle then layer materials such as fine cloth, charcoal, fine sand, coarse sand, and gravel inside it. This DIY filter will remove most contaminants, but you'll still want to boil the water or leave it in the sunlight all day to kill any remaining microbes.


With these recipes, you don't actually make WD-40, but rather alternatives made from things like Vaseline, cooking oil, water, and even oil with acetone for deeper penetration and rust dissolution.

White Vinegar

Making homemade white vinegar is a two-step fermentation process. First, you ferment sugars into alcohol using yeast. This alcohol is then converted into acetic acid using aceto bacteria, which forms the base of vinegar. This method involves some complexities like distilling alcohol, which is regulated in many places, so make sure you don't break any local laws.

Wound Cream

This homemade healing salve is made from natural ingredients like calendula, lavender, coconut oil, olive oil, and essential oils. It's also enhanced with honey for its soothing properties. To make it, you have to infuse the oils with herbs, then strain the oil and mix in beeswax to form the salve. It's meant for treating minor skin irritations like scrapes and burns.

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