Product Combinations for Minimalists

English: Machines of coconut oil factory Gwan ...

English: Machines of coconut oil factory Gwan Hien Nederlands: Foto. Machines in de “Olie-fabriek Gwan Hien”, Tjiamis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When I find a product that has many purposes I do a little dance.  The closer I come to becoming a minimalist, the more I like this idea.  The more uses each product has that you buy, the better because it saves you money,, space, time, and worry.  Here are some products, combinations, and uses that take me from chaos to peace in a heartbeat.


Olive Oil or Coconut oil
*Clean cast iron pans
*Face and body moisturizer
*Facial cleanser
*Mix with baking soda and Bergamot oil for deodorant
*Mix with baking soda and Peppermint oil for toothpaste
*Mix with sugar and Peppermint oil for foot scrub


I use olive oil or coconut oil in the kitchen for salads, to saute vegetables, rice, or TVP, to clean my cast iron pan, and to keep my kitchen cabinets as well as my dining room set beautiful. For beauty I use them for hair conditioner, skin and facial moisturizer, bath oil, and in combination with baking soda for deodorant (with bergamot oil) for deodorant and skin exfoliant. It’s also used with baking soda (and peppermint oil) for toothpaste and as a foot scrub. I keep these in wide-mouthed, shallow mason jars that I dip into with a clean spoon each use to keep them from being contaminated.


Baking Soda
*Facial scrub (splash face with water then scrub)
*Mix with oils for deodorant
*Mix with oils for toothpaste
*Scrub sinks, counters, and tub/shower
*Natural air deodorizer
*Add to bath


I use the aluminum-free kind. Used in the bath to soothe skin, in deodorant, to exfoliate skin, and toothpaste, it is also used to clean sinks, floors and counters throughout my house to keep things shiny.


Lemon Juice
*Natural drinks(added to water or fruit juice)
*Skin exfoliant
*Cuticle remover
Lemon juice is used in my kitchen for baking, salad dressings, lemonade or other drinks, and for cleaning (often diluted with water). For beauty I use it as an alternative to my baking soda/oil deodorant by keeping a small spray bottle of it in my refrigerator, in combination with an oil for skin to exfoliate and balance oils, and I use it for cuticle remover. If my hair is too oily I spray some through my hair to refresh it before the next wash. (Warning: if you put it in hair right before you go out into the sun it may lighten your hair permanently. If you don’t want that effect, use it indoors only)


Essential Oils
*Add to water for body spray
*Add to bath for scent
*Room deodorizer
*Add to toothpaste recipes
*Add to deodorant recipes
*Use for congestion
*Add to carrier oil for massage


I use Bergamot, Lemon-Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lavendar. I mix these in different combinations for scent. When combined with water in a spray bottle they function as room deodorizer as well as body mist depending on the combinations you choose. I also add these to baking soda/oil combinations for toothpaste, deodorant, and facial/body scrub. You can also use these with carrier oils such as sesame, olive, or almond oils for massage oil or body oil.
Lemon-Eucalyptus is good for congestion. Mix a couple drops 1:1 with a carrier oil and dab under nose or diffuse in the room. None of these are absolutely necessary but they keep me on the path of becoming a minimalist.


*Use for recreation
*Make rice bags
*Make quilt squares
*Make toys/animals for kids/pets
*Cover jars for gifts


When clothing wears out or becomes something you can’t use you can re-use it by cutting into strips to make rugs, squares or triangles for quilts, or rectangles for rice bags that you can heat or freeze and use for a painful body part to soothe. You can also make old wool sweaters into felted purses. Used clothing can be used to make cloth toys for children as long as you make sure that there are no buttons etc that they can put in their mouths or choke on.
I have to admit that most of what I get rid of is still pretty good clothing so I set it out by our dumpster at night for the homeless that come around. It’s always gone by morning with good feelings in the space left behind.


*Free books
*Free music
*List making
*Contact information


Many minimalists don’t believe that a smartphone fits into becoming a minimalist but I find mine has so many uses that it never gets tossed out. I read free books or chosen magazines on my Kindle app, make notes with Color note, download free music, listen to a book on my Audible app, post on my blogs by using voice to publish on WordPress and Blogger, take pictures of our family and post them to secure site for extended family viewing, keep track of friends over the miles on social media, listen to NPR news or BBC, watch movies, make a grocery or to do list, email, text, or talk to work, family, or friends all at my fingertips in a package that size of a half deck of cards. I don’t keep any notebooks, magazines, paper books, DVD’s, CD’s, catalogs, or any such animal around to clutter the place. Works for me.


What products do you have multiple uses for?


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5 thoughts on “Product Combinations for Minimalists

  1. I use much of the same things you do. Baking soda, vinegar, lemons, all for cleaning or as beauty products. Hydrogen peroxide is used a lot here to remove stains especially blood or other organic spills on clothing and to clean upholstery. Baking soda can be used to wash dishes and polish silver quickly. I use coconut oil both in the kitchen and on my skin.

    I also use apple cider vinegar, I drink a small amount in water each morning to cleanse my system but also use it on bug bites (bee or mosquito) to remove the sting/itching.

    I never wanted a smart phone, but now that I have it I can’t imagine going back. I too have a kindle app on the phone which eliminated the decision of whether or not to buy a kindle. I use internet radio on the phone, keep notes for myself, and can even write a blog post or respond to comments using the phone.

    My clothes are either repurposed into other items if most of the fabric is still good or cut up into rags for cleaning. It’s rare when I have clothes to donate as I wear them until they nearly fall apart. Once something isn’t in decent enough condition to be worn out in public it becomes work clothes for me to paint in.

    I think the most mutli-functional items I have are in the kitchen. The slow cooker is used to store dry foods, the serving bowls get used to hold fresh produce until they are needed. And my cutting board, which is very old, I use one side for small painting or crafting projects and the other for food. It works for me.

  2. I’m in a very similar boat. I use coconut oil almost exclusively. I do like to use olive oil when I make a salt scrub with sea salt (I buy it in bulk), oil, and essential oil – my favorite is sandalwood when I can afford it. Patchouli sometimes too. I also use coconut oil for make up removal. Love these posts! Makes me feel like much less of a weirdo to know there are other people who get excited about multi-purpose stuff too. :-)

  3. I did resist the smart phone too – but was gifted an unwanted one by a friend before I last moved. I wasn’t sure how I would have survived without it – all the emails in one place. And the calendar – without a book. And photos! Wow, so multitasking! I’m slowly getting into coconut oil, though it getting ‘hard’ can be a little frustrating at times. I’m not 100% with essential oils, but use eucalypt in my vinegar/water spray for cleaning (hate the vinegar neat smell). I also haev rose/lavender as a deodoriser – a little too sweet, but it’s all a learning. I have rose water that wasn’t otherwise being used, so you know… Clothing, well I could learn from you…

    • Thanks for reading. It’s a journey and it is never perfect. Great idea with the eucalyptus and vinegar! I will have to try that. Using what you have is good even if it isn’t what you had in mind at least you get to learn what you don’t want as well as what you do want for next time.

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