A guide to the most common ingredients used in DIY body care & cleaning recipes

So you’re inspired by my recipes but your head is spinning trying to work out what ingredients you need to get started, right?

Let me help you and give you a bit of a guide…

Bear in mind that if I was to include every single ingredient used in my recipes, your shopping list would have over 100 items on it. It’s also impossible for me to tell you exact quantities because it depends on whether your focus is on cleaning, body and skin care or both, and if you’re making full/half batches, one of every recipe or just a select few.

A great tip, if you’re new to DIY, is to pick two or three recipes you really want to try and tackling them first. I often hear of people getting all excited and buying everything to make everything and then, making nothing! That will not happen, do you hear me?

First, create a list of all ingredients.

Then write down quantities required and tally it up.

Over time, you’ll accumulate the ingredients that you use most often and it’ll become easier to add to that supply, and replenish when they run low. 

As a guide, I’ve noted down the most common ingredients you’ll need for each recipe category, and a few recipe examples. For detailed info on each ingredient, follow this link.

Common Ingredients in Body and Skin Care Recipes

Aloe vera gel – Hand Sanitising gel and Post Sun Cooling mist

Beeswax – Simple Beeswax CandlesBeeswax Wraps and Face Lotion

Bentonite clay – Sensitive Deodorant and Pit Detox

Carrier oil – Moisturising LotionZinc Cream and Whipped Magnesium Cream. Read more about choosing carrier oils here

Castile soap – Foaming Soap and Creamy Body Wash

Citric acid – Fizzy Bath Drops and Bath Salts

Coconut oil (the kind that you can pick up at the supermarket that solidifies in the cool weather) – Make-Up Remover, Healing Balm and Coconut & Lime Body Scrub

Epsom salt – Bath Soak and Foot Scrub

Magnesium chloride flakes – Magnesium Oil, Gel and Spray Deodorant

Shea butter – Whipped Body Butter, Lip Balm, and Baby Booty Balm

Sodium bicarbonate (aka bicarb) – DeodorantSkin Scrub and Bath Salts

Witch hazel – Spray Deodorant and Toner

Zinc oxide (make sure it’s non-nano) – Baby Booty Balm, Sunscreen and Zinc Cream

Common Ingredients in Cleaning Recipes

Borax – Washing Powder and Laundry Liquid. Sometimes controversial – read here for my thoughts and why I still use it

Castile soap – Cleaning Paste and Stain Paste

Citric acid – Cleaning Fizzies and Dishwasher Tablets

Coconut soap Washing Powder

Hydrogen peroxide – Stain Solution

Salt – Washing Powder and Fabric Softener

Sodium bicarbonate – Toilet and Shower Cleaner and Stain Paste

Sodium carbonate – WashingPowder and Stain Solution

Sodium percarbonate Dishcloth Deep Clean

Common Ingredients in Kids’ Recipes

These ingredients are handy if you’re making recipes from Make & Play.

Arrowroot flour – Goop

BeeswaxDoughnut Moisturising Bars

Castile soap – Wobbly Jelly Soap

Citric acid – Colour Explosion Bath Bombs

Melt & pour soap base – Treasure Soap

Olive Oil – Watermelon Sugar Scrub Cubes

Self-raising flour – Puffy Paint

Shea butter – Mess-Around Make-Up

White clay – Water Colour Paint

As for essential oils…

I recommend sourcing top quality, pure and potent essential oils. Click here for Essential Oils Inspiration.

Krissy Ballinger

author and passionate advocate for natural living

Krissy envisions a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humanity and the environment. Her mission is to gently guide individuals toward this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she dedicates her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 100,000 copies of her recipe books, including the award-winning “Naturally Inspired – Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning,” “Make & Play – Natural DIY Recipes for Kids,” and “The Lifestyle Edit.”


  1. Hello,
    Somewhere recently on your website I noted you had a list of some of your suppliers and now I can’t find it. I do have your Naturally Inspired book but not sure where to start buying my ingredients from. Hopefully you can help. Many thanks.

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