21 Must Have Items for Homemade Beauty + Cleaning

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Making homemade beauty items and homemade cleaning products can be confusing if you’re first getting started. The supplies alone can confuse you since for a lot of homemade beauty recipes the products needed can cross easily. The same can be said for homemade cleaning recipes. The products are different but the supplies used are the same a lot of the time. There might be small differences in the consistency of your finished product, a different scent or a different final result but all in all? The supplies stay the same. Recently, a reader here on Six Dollar Family asked me to post a list that included the items you would need to make your own homemade beauty products and your own homemade cleaning supplies. Since I thought it was an amazing idea? Here we are. This list is 21 items long and it does not include the products you would need to make homemade makeup or homemade bar soap. Those products are two entirely different ball fields and I haven’t delved enough into them yet to consider myself an “expert” on them. Give me time though.

Have you ever just wanted a list of the items you will need to make your own homemade beauty products or homemade cleaning supplies? Want no more! These 21 must have items for homemade beauty and cleaning is just what you're looking for!


Most of these products might seem expensive, but when you look at how little you actually use in a homemade products, you’ll see that it is actually more budget friendly to make your own products than it is to buy them. Sure, you have the occasional recipe that is more expensive to make but for someone like me who is sensitive to the chemicals found in everyday products, it is totally worth it even if the cost is a bit more. If I can control what goes into the products that touch my skin, I can control the chronic pain reaction that my body has to those seemingly harmless products found in what is on the store shelves.

Items needed for homemade beauty products

If you’re making your own homemade products to save money, you absolutely can. The vast majority of the recipes you will use, especially the majority of the ones here on Six Dollar Family, can be made for pennies on the dollar compared to their commercial counterparts. Yes, you might spend $12.00 to buy an essential oil but most of the time you’re only using that particular essential oil at a rate of 8-10 drops in a recipe making it incredibly budget friendly since you’ll get quite a few uses out of  that one $12.00 bottle. Keep in mind that a lot of these products will cross. Essential oils for instance are used in both.

Items needed for homemade cleaning products

Castile Soap – Both bar and liquid Castile soap are used in everything from homemade liquid hand soap to homemade dishwasher soap. If you’re looking to stock up on it, you’ll want to buy it in bar form for sure since it is typically much cheaper. You can save quite a bit of money on liquid castile soap of course by making your own homemade liquid castile soap. It drops the cost from an average of $16.00 for 32oz to $5.00 or so for a gallon.

Cocoa Butter – Cocoa butter is a common ingredient in body butters, lotions and other “creamy” types of products. You’ll want to make sure that you buy raw cocoa butter and not anything that has been processed since that will change how it reacts in your products. When buying it, it is cheaper to buy in bulk than to buy a pound at a time.

Shea Butter –  Shea butter, like cocoa butter is a common ingredient in those same products. It’s skin softening effect makes it perfect in lotions especially. While you can buy it by the single pound in tubs, I recommend buying unrefined shea butter in bulk chunks. You will get it cheaper by doing so and it seems to work better for me in my own products than the refined stuff.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is used in so many different homemade beauty recipes that it isn’t funny. Unfortunately, it is one of the most expensive products on this list, but the amount that you use in each recipe is small enough that it works out to be budget friendly in the end. I recommend that you buy organic coconut oil only so that you know the product you get is pure with no additives.

Fractionated Coconut Oil – Fractionated coconut oil is the same thing that you buy when you buy the solid version of coconut oil that I mentioned above. The difference is that fractionated coconut oil will not solidify once it cools. Solid coconut oil melts at around 76 degrees Fahrenheit but will re-solidify when it cools. For essential oil blends and other liquid products, you’ll want to buy fractionated coconut oil to have on hand.

Beeswax Pellets – Beeswax is used in most homemade creams and ointments to give it a solid texture. It’s also used in homemade beauty products like homemade deodorant and homemade lip gloss. For homemade beauty recipes, it is better to buy beeswax pellets over bars of beeswax since you typically only need a tablespoon or two for each batch.

Vitamin E Oil – Vitamin E oil is used not only for softening and nourishing skin, but also as a preservative in homemade products. Make sure that what you’re buying is 100% pure Vitamin E oil and not mixed with a carrier oil. Adding additional oils to your products could cause them to not turn out correctly.

Sweet Almond Oil – Sweet almond oil is a favorite for use as a carrier oil. Some recipes will call for fractionated coconut oil and others will call for sweet almond oil instead. The two are different in texture (fractionated tends to be more watery and sweet almond oil is an oil consistency) and in the benefits they offer.

Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is a common ingredient in homemade shampoo and other homemade hair products. It’s benefits are great for your hair so you’ll want to make sure that you have it on hand if you’re planning on making homemade hair products.

Mixer or stick blender – Having a separate hand mixer that you use for only your homemade products is a great way to keep things like wax from becoming an issue. For the majority of recipes you can use either a hand mixer or a stick blender. I personally prefer a stick blender for mine.

Plastic pipettes – Having a few plastic pipettes on hand will make filling small containers much easier. They’re cheap to buy so it doesn’t make much sense to risk creating a mess and losing ingredients instead of buying them.

Deodorant containers – If you plan on making homemade deodorant, you’ll need to get empty deodorant containers. They usually come in packs of 6 and aren’t too expensive. Luckily they can be reused when they’re empty so just be sure you don’t throw them away.

Small Round Containers – These small round containers with lids are fantastic for homemade lip glosses, eyeshadow and more. If you’re looking to make extra money from selling homemade products, these are also fantastic for creating sample sizes of your products for people to test.

Essential Oil Roller Bottles – Good to have if you’re making your own essential oil blends, having essential oil roller bottles on hand can be a lifesaver when you need to make a new blend. When you buy them, make sure you get a dark color such as brown or blue since light can cause your oils to lose their potency a lot quicker.

Spray Bottles – Having spray bottles on hand for your DIY cleaners is a must and since the vast majority of the recipes you will find include essential oils, you’ll want to make sure they’re dark colored bottles. These can be pricey to buy but they last for so many uses that it comes out to a fairly budget friendly price by the time that you’re done.

Essential Oil Drams – Essential oil drams are great if you want to test how you like a new blend or for using in a first aid kit with essential oils. They’re another product that is great for offering sample sizes of blends to potential customers too.  They come in 1 or 2 ML sizes. I prefer the 2 ML size since the smaller one really doesn’t give you much to work with.

Essential Oils – When you’re making homemade products, essential oils will play a huge part in them. They are used in everything from DIY first aid cream to floor cleaner and everything in between. The brand you choose doesn’t matter, just be sure that they are actually 100% oils and are not cut with something else. I personally prefer NOW Foods Brand essential oils. They’re budget friendly and the quality is the same as the more expensive ones. Common oils used in both beauty and cleaning recipes are tea tree oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, frankincense and eucalyptus oil.

White Vinegar –  Vinegar is cheap and is used in so many cleaning recipes. Buy a few gallons and keep it on hand for when you’re making cleaners.

Baking Soda –  Baking soda is another staple in most cleaning recipes. It’s cheap if you buy it by the pound but if you’re going to be using it a lot, you can buy baking soda in bulk to save even more money.

Washing Soda – Don’t confuse washing soda with baking soda. They are two different things. Washing soda is needed to make powdered laundry detergent and other products. It will save you more money to buy it in store for around $3.00 per box. 

Borax –  Borax is used in a lot of laundry detergent recipes and more. It runs around $4.00 per box in the store, but buying bags of borax in bulk will save you considerably over the in store cost. Just be sure you store it in an airtight container to prevent any pests from getting in and to keep it from getting all over the floor if the bag rips.

Mason Jars – Mason jars aren’t a requirement but they’re great for making things like reusable dryer sheets and other homemade creams. I make all of mine in different sized jars since they’re easy to seal and not as prone to pests.


So there you have it! I’m sure that there will be the occasional product that you’ll have to buy that isn’t on this list, but for the most part, these will be it. Now that you’ve got them, what are you going to do with them? Make your own products of course! Check these out! Don’t forget to pin the ones that you love so you can easily find them later!




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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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