8 Palm-Oil Free Products to Make at Home

Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither was anyone's palm-oil free pantry. 

Eliminating conflict palm-oil from your home takes time, research, and a lot of patience. As you work your way through the ethical arena, you may become frustrated by the overabundance of some products (lip balms, bar soaps) and the almost nonexistence of others (detergent, liquid soap). Depending on your location and resources, the only option available might be to make your own. But don't worry! We found 8 easy palm-oil free recipes for you to reference, written by people who swear by the 'do-it-yourself lifestyle'. 

So, wherever you are in the world right now, sit back and watch your conflict-free collection grow:

"Dish Soap"

Ethical blogger Saba swears by using gram flour, also known as chickpea flour, as a zero-waste dish soap. Oh yes, washing with soapless solids is for real. It's along the same line of thinking as cleansing grains. Saba also attests that adding baking soda will allow the mix to become more multi-purpose: acting as a toothpaste, body wash, and toilet bowl cleaner. This method is affordable (considering so little is needed), but may take some getting used to if you're faithful to liquid dish soap

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Not all multi-purpose sprays, wipes, and concentrates are crafted the same. But a great deal of them do contain decyl glucoside, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate, and more; often times derived from unsustainable palm-oil. This all-natural cleanser is non-toxic, simple (only three ingredients), and uses the power of good old fashioned vinegar to make it all happen.

Laundry Detergent

Detergent is pretty tough to investigate. Many companies will be vague about their ingredients, citing only the use of 'fatty acids', which could mean so many things. Though, we do know that more than likely these brands use coconut oil, palm oil, or a mix of the two. Unearth Malee makes a palm-oil free detergent if you're interested, otherwise you can try making your own. That recipe calls for a bar of soap; Purring Buddha is probably the best palm-oil free & vegan recommendation we can give!


There are definitely palm-oil free tooth soaps and pastes out there but if you don't live where these are widely sold, then you may feel compelled to make your own variety. It's a little daunting and I would absolutely recommend consulting a dentist first, but many folks in the granola blogging community seem to favor it. This blog post actually contains four DIY recipes worth investigating. Visit our toothpaste guide here.


Our palm-oil free deodorant guide really only suits those living in North America. Whether you have very sensitive skin or simply can't find ethical deo in your town, check out this baking soda free recipe by Shalom Mama. It can easily be made vegan, just make sure you swap the beeswax for candelilla wax


It is really frustrating trying to find vegan sunblock that is also palm-oil free. Don't wait on the industry to do the right thing; make your own from one of these three sunscreen recipes via Treehugger. I've never tried making the waterproof bars, let alone veganizing them, but they might be worth a try with some candelilla wax instead of beeswax. Let us know below if you give it a shot!

Hand Sanitizer

The sustainability team for GOJO Industries, the makers of Purell, verified in a phone interview (earlier this year) that they unfortunately use untraceable palm-oil in the form of glycerin. This is a big disappointment as many public soap dispensers are GOJO owned (look for the label next time) and Purell is basically synonymous with hand sanitizer world-wide. Thankfully, you can easily avoid the industry giant (until they make a big change), by making your own.

Please note: Many bottles of mainstream witch hazel contain palm-oil in the form of glycerin. The Homestead Company seems to be a safe bet. Moreover, Vitamin E oil can be derived from palm-oil, so make sure your source comes from another source, like sunflowers, instead.

Avoid Vitamin E gel capsules—though sunflower derived, they often contain gelatin or glycerin. Shoot for a bottled liquid that utilizes a safe carrier like olive oil—this Now Foods liquid is one of the least convoluted available in stores. 


Most liquid foundations are saddled with palm-oil derivatives, such as stearic acid, glycerin, retinyl palmitate, caprylyl glycol, etc. While there may be little hope in the 'full-coverage' department, this balm recipe seems to be great for evening out skin tone and masking redness. Not sold? This before and after is pretty compelling, showing coverage that is sheer, subtle, and 'just-enough' for everyday wear. 

And of course, if you're in need of palm-oil free food recipes, check out our archives here. 

What do you think? Willing to give any of these DIY products a try?

Palm OilContributor