How long do DIY natural products last?

It’s really easy nowadays to find DIY natural product recipes online so you can ditch the toxic, store-bought stuff. What’s not so easy is figuring out how long these products will actually last before going bad. In this post, I am going to attempt to answer the question how long do all-natural DIY products last for home cleaning and personal care needs?

You’ll find out what is the average shelf life of a natural DIY product. I’ll also give you some tips to make your DIY products for home cleaning and personal care last longer.

Watch the video or read on below…

The problem with DIY natural products

The issue with making our own house cleaning and personal care products is we don’t include preservatives. In fact, avoiding preservatives is usually one of the reasons we start making our own products!

By not having any preservatives in our DIY natural products, they become susceptible to mold and bacteria growth. Some ingredients in the recipe may also eventually become rancid, break down and lose their effectiveness.

What goes bad and what can help

Certain ingredients tend to go bad more quickly or frequently than others. These include:

  • Fruit (e.g. lemon), yogurt and eggs.
  • Water – remember, water breeds life and that includes bacteria and mold!
  • Preparations with hydrogen peroxide.

Although not preservatives, certain natural ingredients can help extend the shelf life of your DIY products. There are typically anti-microbial agents and antioxidants, such as:

  • Borax
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Alcohol
  • Essential oils
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Citric or ascorbic acid
  • Salt or sugar
  • Vinegar

So how long do your DIY natural products really last

My rule of thumb, which I determined based on my research and own personal experience, is 2 – 4 weeks for recipes that include water and up to 3 – 6 months for other recipes.

Shelf life will also depend on how big of a batch you make, how often you use it and how much you use each time.

Tips for extending the life of your DIY natural products

This is a list of my favourite tips for making your DIY natural products last as long as possible.

  • Make small batches so your products don’t sit on a shelf too long and have time to go bad before you run out. The best way to extend the shelf life of your products is by making shelf life a non-issue to begin with!
  • Clean and sterilize the containers you will be using very well so you don’t find yourself with bacteria right from the start.
  • Use distilled or boiled water.
  • Keep products refrigerated as heat can affect shelf life.
  • Store your DIY natural products in dark, amber bottles as sunlight can create oxidation.
  • Wash hands to avoid contaminating your products, especially when it comes to face and body creams or scrubs.
  • Use oils that have a longer shelf life, such as jojoba and fractionated coconut oil.

And finally, my FAVOURITE tip of all… Pick recipes that call for minimal preparation and ingredients so you can whip them up at a moment’s notice.

I hope this was helpful 🙂 Feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments below.

M.