Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Basic Household Cleaner

I tried the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide anywhere spray cleaner and just wasn't pleased. It smelled bad and it didn't shine. I expect my house to shine! Well, when I actually get around to cleaning it I expect it to shine. Most of the time I would be happy with a dull gleam. But, the previously mentioned cleaner just wasn't cutting it.

So, asking around, I came across a new idea. Baking soda and dish soap. Now, I realize that dish soap isn't usually all natural. However, I think it's certainly less chemical laden than most of the strong bathroom cleaners out there. At least it's not going to burn my lungs while I clean. So, I feel like it's a safer alternative. Eventually I will try a more natural version of the soap, maybe even a castille soap. At the moment I just have a name brand original dish soap on hand so that's what I used.

I mixed about 2 TBL of baking soda with enough dish soap to make a toothpaste consistency. I then dropped in about 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 10-12 or so drops of lemon essential oil. Both of those oils are known to have antibacterial properties. And, I personally, love the clean smell they leave when combined!

I tried this in the bathroom first since that is the "make it or break it" room for me. I smeared a dime-nickel size blob onto the surface I wanted to clean. I then rubbed it around with a clean wet cloth. Then I rinsed it with another wet rag and dried it with a towel. Guess what?! My bathroom, including the tub and shower became shiny, clean and nice smelling with very little effort (compared to straight baking soda or even some commercial cleaners). My chrome is shiny too. I did the inside of the toilet and the floors with commercial cleaners. (I am still working on a good floor cleaner for the bathroom.)

So, all in all, I would say SUCCESS! It's quick and easy to make, fairly inexpensive, chemically safer, and it works. So there you have it! Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


With all the business of life I hadn't realized that I didn't ever do an update on a few items. So here's the update after months of trial and error.

OCM- I use 3 TBL of olive oil and 1TBL of castor oil. I really like it. My skin is the clearest it's been in a long time. I haven't had an acne outbreak (a bad one anyway) for several months. It gets my make up off and it's relaxing and inexpensive. My skin is feeling a bit dry this winter so I will need to investigate some natural moisturizers. I tried using just a small bit of oil rubbed into my skin and it caused a breakout so, I won't be doing that again! But the OCM and I are very good friends now!

Poo free- I am using 1/2 TBL of baking soda dissolved in 1/2 Cup of hot water. I rinse with 3 TBL of apple cider vinegar mixed into 1 Cup of hot water with a few drops of teatree essential oil mixed in. I love it. I feel like my head has finally detoxed all the chemicals and is starting to make it's own oils again. My hair is clean and it doesn't smell like vinegar or teatree oil after I rinse will. I only wash my hair every other day due to the dry weather here in Colorado and my hair's natural dryness. I admit, I do still use over the counter mousse for styling so an assignment for the new year will be to find a way to make or buy a more natural version without breaking the bank!

Household cleaner- I threw that out! It just didn't work up to my standards however, a friend recently told me about a new recipe to try so that is on the list for the coming year as well.

Laundry Soap- Love it! I use Fels Naptha, Borax and water (see recipe in the links section). Truthfully, it may not work as well as good ol' "Tide" but it works well. I have not added essential oils since our family has sensitive skin. This has become a regular household item in our house.

Lip Balm- Love it! I think it's time to make another batch. I think I will invest in purchasing a bulk amount of lip balm containers since I gave all mine away last time I made the lip balm. :) This time I think I will also experiment with some essential oils. I put this lip balm on right before bed and it really does keep my lips from chapping in this very dry climate!

Bread- Still going strong on the bread making front! We'll never go back to store bought. It's too easy and too inexpensive to make our own and the taste is unsurpassed by anything we could buy off the shelf!

This year- My goals for this year are to try a new recipe for household cleaner, find a more natural hair styling product and also try making bathtime salt scrubs. I will also hopefully be trying a few more natural remedies for common sicknesses in our family. I will try to keep you updated on any experiments and how they turn out.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Homemade Lip Balm

I made homemade lip balm today! It was fun and easy and fairly inexpensive. I figured out that it will probably cost me a little over fifty cents per chap stick tube. That's not bad for all natural, safe lip balm. This is the recipe I used. The ingredients are as follows:

45 grams Sweet Almond Oil
15 grams of Regular Cocoa Butter
10 grams Coconut Oil
10 grams Lanolin (I used liquid lanolin)
20 grams of Beeswax (grated)
1.5 grams Honey, liquid
Vitamin E oil
Any Essential oil frangrance that you prefer

Weigh all ingredients. Melt in double boiler or microwave until all items are melted. (I used a bowl over a pan of boiling water) The beeswax will take longer to melt that the other ingredients. Add honey after all other ingredients are liquefied. I also added three dropper fulls of Vitamin E oil before melting ingredients. I added 10 drops of lemon essential oil (you can pick whatever oil you want, or none) after removing from heat. Pour into containers. This recipe will fill a lot of tubes- probably about 14. I only had 6 so I used various household containers to hold the rest.

I would say that it took me about an hour to do this batch, as I get more used to it I'm sure it wouldn't take quite as long. I have already put some on my lips and I like it. It is smooth and tasteless. It smells nice but not really strong. There are many recipes out there to experiment with and I may just do that someday. Note: These lip balms do NOT have sunscreen in them. However, they also don't have harsh chemicals, parabens, petro oils etc. All ingredients are safe for consumption! I do believe this is something I will be continuing to make and use for a long time!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ice Cream in a Bag

Yesterday we made ice cream. We don't have a fancy ice cream maker but I've got three good little shakers.

2 TBL Sugar
1 Cup of Half and Half
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Cup coarse salt (I used Ice Cream salt)
1 gallon size storage bag (I doubled mine)
1 quart size storage bag
Plenty of ice
Toppings of your choice

Combine the sugar, Half and Half, and vanilla in small bag. Fill the gallon bag half full of ice. Pour the salt over the ice. Seal the small bag and put it inside the large bag with the ice. Seal the large bag and shake, shake, shake! It only takes about 5 minutes until you get the consistency of frozen yogurt(see top pic). Each recipe makes one large serving. (See secong pic above)

I will say there seemed to be sort of a strange after taste. Maybe you could experiment with different extracts such as peppermint or lemon etc. Or, you might even be able to add chocolate or strawberry syrup to the half and half before you shake and it might make chocolate - I don't know, I've never tried it but if you do let me know! It was a lot of fun, yummy and a nice cool treat on a hot day! Enjoy!

This is where I found the recipe and instructions

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Laundry Soap

Well, I finally did it. I made my own laundry soap. It was very easy. Here is the recipe I used:

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (I used Ivory soap instead)
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (I used 1/2 cup)(Approx. 640 loads).

I used that soap for a load that contained a highly soiled and somewhat smelly dishrag. When that wash was over I checked that rag and was greatly disappointed. It was not clean and it didn't smell better. There was also a pair of undies that my littlest munchkin had wet in and they still smelled bad too. So, I repeated the ingredients only this time I used Fels Naptha. However, I did not empty the 5 gallon bucket of the Ivory mixture. I just emptied enough to add the concentrated mixture of Fels Naptha, Borax and Washing Soda. I melted/dissolved all the ingredients in boiling water before adding it. So, I think I ended up with a double strength of Borax and Washing Soda. I am currently using about 1/2 cup in each load and very pleased. So, my final thought is this - I think I will try again. This time I will use Fels Naptha, 1/2 Cup Borax and 1 Washing Soda and make sure it all dissolves before I add the extra water. It will be a very long time before I get to making another batch since the original batch will last a while however, when I get to it I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Household Cleaner

I have continued to use the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide cleaner and I like it. I feel like my counters, stove, sinks are getting clean. I have learned that to make my bathroom sink sparkle I have to wash with the cleaner and then rinse with water and wipe with a dry cloth. I still haven't completely decided what to do with the toilet. I do use the cleaner on the outside of the toilet and the seat. I still like to use my Clorox wand inside my toilet. It's easy and I know it's cleaning and I don't have to stick my hand in the water. However, on the rim and the underside of the ring (where most of the yuck is) I still haven't' decided. I did however find that using Borax in my tub works great! It's easy to use and very inexpensive and it contains no harsh chemicals. The only thing I am still wondering about is the grout in the shower between the tiles. So far it's okay but I think once in a while I'll have to use something that really gets into the grout.

Here's a couple notes about the shampoo free:
I really like not using shampoo and the baking soda/water mixture seems to work well. My hair feel clean. The problem is the rinse. I am still using the apple cider vinegar with honey and tea tree oil but I think maybe it's causing some buildup from the honey. So, I think I have decided to use regular shampoo one every week or two weeks. And as a side note- if you use the apple cider vinegar be aware that if it gets in your eyes it really stings! And since I usually tip my hair upside down to get the back of my scalp I have also learned that it burns when it gets up your nose. Just FYI.

Up next: Laundry soap. I've got all the ingredients and I'm almost out of my store bought stuff. I just need a five gallon bucket with a lid! So, as soon as I get that I will begin. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them here or contact me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Update

Hello all. I had to take a week break to get through the end of school. I have had some people asking me, "How's it going now?". It has been a couple of weeks since my first experiment - The Oil Cleansing Method.

I think I will NEVER go back to using over the counter facial cleansers. I LOVE the OCM! Now, I know it has no anti-aging qualities, so to speak, and none of the "miracle" face lift ingredients that certain products are claiming these days. But, it is natural. It is cheap! It is working. My skin is still feeling clean and it's not overly dry. I still have blemishes but I'm not totally sure how long it takes for my skin to get used to the new cleansing method. The blemishes I do have are smaller than usual and they seem to go away sooner than they used to. The Oil Cleansing Method is relaxing and effective.

The household cleaner:
Well, I'm still not totally sure what I think about it. I like it for the kitchen counter, the stove, the sink, the bathroom counter and sink and even the floor. I added some essential oils and it really cut down on the bad smell of the vinegar. I'm not sure I like it for the bathtub or the inside of the toilet. I haven't tried any alternatives, i.e. baking soda, to scrub the bathtub but I will and I'll let you know how it goes. The toilet has some staining that does not come off well with the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. It might be clean but stains are not an option for me in the bathroom.

Shampoo free:
Still working on this. I like the baking soda and water wash. I still use the apple cider vinegar, water and honey for a rinse. I think I've been adding too much honey though since it seems my hair is feeling like it's not getting completely clean. I also added tea tree oil and I like that. I think it helps with the itching. So, now my recipe is 3TBL apple cider vinegar, 1TBL honey and 1 cup of water. I haven't experimented with my daughter's hair again. I also have used regular shampoo and conditioner once. I think I might do that once every couple of weeks.

I am not sure what I'm going to be experimenting with next.It may be a week or so before I make my next thing but I will update you via facebook when it happens. Some things that I am really excited about are: laundry soap, deoderant, lip balm and perfume. If you have any suggestions please let me know. The idea is find something that is natural, cost effective and fairly simple.