It's a great feeling when you find a product that serves more than one purpose, and the good news is that there are plenty of these common household products sitting in your pantry or your laundry cupboard right now. They don't just serve two or three purposes, though - most of these products can be used in a number of ways around the house, in your beauty routine, and for natural health.
By understanding the ways in which you can use these household products you'll save on money, and you won't need to clutter your cupboards with extra products that you don't need.We've compiled a list of ten common household items that can do it all!
1) Lemon Juice. This superfood has a number of health and home cleaning uses. It is fabulous on the hair, skin, and nails for starters. You can use it to treat acne and hyper-pigmentation, to unclog your pores, to brighten nails and to treat dandruff. Drinking lemon juice can help to prevent kidney stones, and kill a sinus infection. A cup of warm water with lemon juice every morning helps to control blood pressure and high cholesterol, too. Lemons are helpful around the house, too - try this DIY ant spray. It isn't always easy to have lemons in the house, and you want to buy them when they're in season and less expensive. So what's the solution? Start freezing your lemons.
2) Coconut oil. Coconut oil has a wide range of health benefits. You can use it to relieve constipation, boost your metabolism and even treat yeast infections. When consumed in moderation coconut oil is great for heart health and weight loss, so try it as a replacement for coffee creamer and cook with it in place of butter. It is an amazing beauty product and can replace a number of more expensive items, so try using it as a makeup remover, body scrub, or moisturizer.
Coconut oil is great for using around the house, too. Try it as a natural wood polish, and even for getting chewing gum out of hair or carpet! Finally, if your pet is suffering from itchiness unrelated to fleas, try massaging a little coconut oil into its skin to alleviate any allergies and dryness causing the discomfort.
3) Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is fast becoming popular for its many health benefits and uses around the house. It's great for gut health: try this colon cleanse, or this fiery tonic thought to kill microbes, treat infections and lower blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar is also fabulous on our skin. It has a pH level close to that of our skin which soothes irritation, and a number of natural acids which gently remove dead skin cells and tighten pores. Spritz it on your face as a natural toner, or use it to soothe painful sunburn, and even to treat athlete's foot. Use it as a soak for brittle nails.
Try diluting the vinegar into a spray bottle for a DIY kitchen disinfectant, or use it as a safe and non-toxic weed-killer. See this article for more great tips using apple cider vinegar!
4) Listerine. Mouthwash is essential for good dental health, but you'll be surprised by number of ways you can use Listerine. A proven anti-bacterial, Listerine is great for a DIY deodorant and as a gargle to prevent coughs and throat infections. It'll kill the bacteria that cause smelly feet, and its anti-fungal properties can fight toenail fungus. Listerine can also treat both dandruff and head lice. Try using it as a household cleaner or running it through your washing machine - it is a powerful antiseptic and it smells fresh.
5) Hydrogen peroxide. When safely diluted and used with care, hydrogen peroxide is a very versatile product. Try this nail soak for whiter nails, or use it to reduce wax build-up in your ears. It can remove wine stains and clean stone counters or glass surfaces. It is also a great way to clean that gunky build-up from your make-up brushes, and to remove mould from shower curtains. See this article for more great uses of hydrogen peroxide.
6) Baking soda. Baking soda is a fabulous, cheap product to keep in the kitchen cupboard. Add it to water to soothe an upset tummy, or make a paste to remove splinters and ingrown hairs, and soothe bee stings. It is an effective natural deodorant and tooth whitener, a compress to soothe puffy eyes, and drinking it before a workout even helps to absorb lactic acid, reducing muscle soreness. Baking soda is a great natural shampoo, and it can promote healthy kidneys. Add it to your laundry as a natural stain remover and fabric softener. Finally, you can mix it with honey and lemon juice for a hand treatment that combats dryness, cracking and age spots.
7) White vinegar. Get rid of spiders with a diluted vinegar spray, or try this DIY natural ant repellent. You can disinfect your kitchen and clean out the microwave, and disinfect your wooden cutting boards which are known to soak up bacteria. White vinegar is also great for cleaning out the scale build-up in your kettle, and for freshening up your coffee maker.
8) Rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol (also known as ethyl alcohol or isopropyl) is a relatively cheap product that has been a staple in bathroom cabinets for hundreds of years. Rubbing alcohol is traditionally used as a disinfectant, but it has a number of benefits that you may never have considered. Use it to eliminate ticks and kill bed bugs and fruit flies. It is a powerful deodorant, so you can use it to kill foot odor (regular vodka works for this too, but save that for your cocktails...) and get food smells like garlic off your hands. It can treat sore muscles and heal cold sores, and is even a great way to clean your eyeglasses.
9) Castile soap. Soap has been used for thousands of years, but Castile soap is different in that it is made using vegetable oils instead of animal fat. It was first created in Castile (modern-day Spain) where there is an abundance of olive oil. It has excellent grease-grabbing properties, is biodegradable and non-toxic. Castile soap has a number of great uses around the house. Save the planet by making your own reusable kitchen wipes, and use Castile soap as a floor cleaner, laundry detergent, and toilet scrub. Protect your houseplants from bugs by spraying the leaves with a light Castile soap mixture, and use the same spray to deter ants.
10) Borax. Borax is a natural mineral also known as sodium borate, and it is found in a number of laundry products, hand soaps, and toothpastes. It is very cheap to buy from the grocery store (usually in the laundry section) or your local hardware store. Borax is commonly used to deter ants, cockroaches and other critters from your house. Try making this DIY ant trap. Borax is also great at soaking up unwanted smells in your house, and when combined with other natural scents like essential oils, can make a natural air freshener that smells great. Try this DIY cinnamon carpet freshener. Dissolve borax into your bath for a soak that will soften your skin and even cure some skin conditions.
These products are inexpensive and easily accessible from your local grocery store, so why not stock up? You'll be amazed at how versatile they are, and how much time and money you'll save. Most of them are chemical-free, too. What products do you swear by?