written by: Beth Janicek•edited by: Tania Cowling•updated: 3/29/2010
Infant hair care isn't complicated, so why are there so many chemicals in store-bought baby shampoos? With plenty of homemade baby shampoo recipes to choose from, our basic recipe and step-by-step directions help you create simple, natural, and pure baby shampoo in no time at all.
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It doesn't take much time or effort to make your own baby shampoo. The return on the time you do invest will give you gratification (for trying a fun DIY project) and peace of mind, knowing that you're keeping your baby's skin safe from long-name chemicals from the store-bought brands. You may also be interested in instructions for other homemade baby care products or learning how to make organic homemade soap for yourself. (For very simple hair care for yourself, you can even wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar.)
The following homemade baby shampoo recipe provides a very basic formula for making a mild, pleasant-smelling shampoo for your infant. You'll be surprised how easy and affordable it is to turn basic ingredients into a baby shampoo that works just as well as the store-bought kind.
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Baby Shampoo Basics
Baby shampoo isn't anything fancy--or rather, it doesn't need to be. All your baby needs to get clean is a mild cleanser (often just regular soap, diluted in clean water), with perhaps a bit of a light moisturizer to keep the baby's skin soft and smooth. Some people claim that adults shouldn't use baby shampoo because it's made at a different pH level, but in reality, the pH levels of your shower water quickly overpower any pH differences in your shampoo, so baby shampoo is perfectly safe (and gentle, and simple) for children and adults alike.
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Starter Recipe: Ingredients
To make your own baby shampoo at home, you'll need:
Distilled water: It's guaranteed to be free of minerals. Even filtered water has some mineral content, so distilled is best.
Flaked or grated castile soap: This simple, traditional olive oil-based soap has been made the same way for hundreds of years.
Essential oils: Available in hundreds of scents, these add a light pleasing smell and lightly moisturize the skin. Lavender is a common choice for baby shampoo because of its mild scent and gentle properties. Rose and orange oil are other popular choices.
The amount of each ingredient depends, of course, on how much baby shampoo you want to make. A general rule of thumb is:
6 parts water + 1 part soap + several drops essential oils
So if you want to make a 16 ounce (2 cup) bottle of baby shampoo, you'd use 1.5 cups distilled water, 1/4 cup soap flakes, and 2 or so drops of essential oil.
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Basic Baby Shampoo Step-By-Step
In a pot on the stove, bring the distilled water to a boil, then let it cool for a bit (8 or 9 minutes).
Add in soap, and stir until fully dissolved and evenly dispersed.
Add in essential oil, and again stir until well mixed.
Let cool as you see fit, then transfer (funnel recommended) to a clean squeeze bottle.
With these simple steps, you can vary the oils and scents however you like. Almost any combination will leave your baby soft, smooth, clean, and comfy. The first time you try a new combination, make sure to test a dab on your baby's wrist first, to make sure they don't have a surprise reaction to a particular combination. But once you're sure of that, there's no end to the homemade baby shampoo recipes you can imagine.