The pandemic has dramatically changed our grocery shopping experience as we know it. We’ve bid goodbye to our spontaneous runs. No more buying sachets and supplies that will only serve us for one day. And if we run out of home essentials? Well, we’ll have to deal with what we have in our homes until someone is brave enough to go out again.
In that regard, I want to share with you some of the DIY hacks I know for home essentials. I learned about these as I started transitioning to a low-waste lifestyle, but found them particularly useful especially during these times.
1. Cleaning spray
I’m sure I’m not the only one on a cleaning spree during the quarantine. Thankfully, cleaning sprays are among the easiest things to DIY. This recipe from Clean Mama makes a super affordable alternative to your regular cleaning spray. Plus, it’s non-toxic and it smells good — perfect to use when you don’t want to be sniffing bleach while working from home. Use this on your kitchen counters and doorknobs; it’s especially important to have your house sanitised during this time!
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- 15 drops essential oil (I recommend using lavender, lemon, or any citrus oil)
- Glass spray bottle
- In a glass spray bottle, mix in all the ingredients.
- Shake the bottle.
- Spray and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Wipe with a clean cloth.
Note: Don’t use this cleaning spray on granite or marble, as the vinegar may destroy the surface.
2. Toilet bombs
Cleaning the bathroom is probably the worst chore ever! But when I discovered toilet bombs, it’s become a little bearable… even exciting, to be honest! Toilet bombs have become my newest addition to my home essentials for cleaning. This recipe by Mom4Real is super easy and quick!
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¼ citric acid
- 1 tbsp dish liquid
- Ice cube tray
- In a bowl, mix the baking soda and citric acid.
- Add in the dish liquid.
- Mix thoroughly and pour into your ice cube tray.
- Leave overnight.
- Whenever your toilet needs a deep cleaning, throw in a toilet bomb!
Note: Alternatively, you can pour baking soda and vinegar directly into the toilet bowl. This will unclog the toilet and remove most stains. Make sure to pour slowly, as the reaction of the baking soda and the vinegar might create a mess in your bathroom.
3. Window cleaner
Our windows are especially important right now, because we need all the sunlight we can get! Keep your windows sparkly clean with this all-natural window cleaner. This recipe is from no other than Martha Stewart herself!
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup hot water
- Mix hot water and vinegar.
- Soak a sponge in the mixture, and clean the windows.
- Rinse the windows with tap water.
- Dry using a clean cloth immediately.
Note: If your windows are extra grimy, clean them with soapy water before using the vinegar mixture.
Now is the perfect time to experiment with DIY home essentials because… you’re not going anywhere, anyway. Might as well try this homemade deodorant from Simple Green Smoothies and see if your skin agrees with it. Mine sadly didn’t, but who knows — this recipe might be your saving grace!
- ½ cup baking soda
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 5 tbsps coconut oil
- 20 drops grapefruit essential oil
- Mix baking soda and cornstarch thoroughly.
- Add coconut oil and essential oils.
- Pour into an airtight container.
- Refrigerate and use up to six months.
If you’re someone who can’t stand going without mouthwash, check out this recipe from Oh, The Things We’ll Make! While this recipe was created by a dentist, I’d still advise you to consult your own dentist over the phone before using this.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xylitol
- 1 cup distilled water
- Optional: Peppermint essential oil
- Mix all of the ingredients together.
- Shake until the baking soda and salt dissolve.
- Swish in your mouth for about two minutes.
6. Insect repellant
The rainy season has arrived. Along with it comes mosquitoes. Keep yourself safe from insect bites with this homemade insect repellent! Wellness Mama shares that this recipe was used during the Black Plague to avoid catching the disease. Whether that is true or not, this one apparently works in this period. Plus, you probably already have all these ingredients in your kitchen.
- 4 tbsps apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsps water`
- 10 drops essential oil of your choice
- Mix the apple cider vinegar and water.
- Add the essential oil.
- Seal in a glass spray container.
- Spray on yourself.
7. Vegetable broth
Food is always a home essential. Now, more than ever, we have to maximise even our food scraps! Instead of throwing your veggie scraps into the compost pit, save them for a homemade vegetable broth! You can use it for quick soups or sauces. Check out this recipe by Minimalist Baker.
- At least one cup vegetable scraps
- 1 tbsp oil
- 10 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 pcs bay leaves
- 5 tbsp tomato paste
- In a large pot, sauté garlic.
- Add the water, veggie scraps, and bay leaves.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add tomato paste.
- Cook for at least 30 minutes more.
- Let cool before straining into another pot.
- Once cooled completely, store in a glass jar.
- Refrigerate for up to a month.
Who knew these home essentials were so simple to make? Of course, we advise you to take these recipes with a grain of salt. They have mostly worked well with me, but I can’t speak for everyone. During this quarantine, however, I’m sure most of us need as much improvising knowledge as we can get.
Let us know if you’re trying any of these! Take a pic of your DIY home essentials and tag us on Instagram at @tripzillaph. Stay healthy!