I’m a fan of natural or at least getting natural… I have replaced all commercial cleaning products in my home with natural products that I make in my tiny kitchen. So many of the products we use everyday to clean our homes and our bodies contain unrecognizable and unpronounceable chemicals.
Sometimes we feel purchased cleaning products work better but in reality a chemical free product can do the job as well and not fill our homes and bodies with chemicals and harmful vapors. When I started making my own cleaning products I was surprised at how well they work and I love the fresh natural scent they leave behind. No chemical scents or vapors in this house!
Every day we see articles on the internet about how our food industry crams chemicals, sugars of all sorts, artificial flavorings and colorings, unhealthy fillers and mega grams of sodium into their products yet are able to label them as “healthy”. It has only been in the last few generations that this has been the case.
Our grandparents ate and cleaned their homes and bodies naturally and organically. Now we ask our bodies to cope with a barrage of chemicals on an everyday basis. No wonder Americans have one of the highest percentages of heart disease, obesity, food allergies and chronic health conditions in the world. Our nations politically powerful and unscrupulous food and chemical industries are slowly killing us.
I could rant on and on about our lame food industry but I will spare you. The last couple of generations are so used to purchasing packaged processed foods that we think we don’t have the skills or we are to busy to take the time to make a meal from scratch. But simply by making more of our families meals from scratch with whole foods will help to keep our bodies a little freer of unwanted chemicals and unhealthy ingredients.
I subscribe to several wonderful blogs about how to live sustainably and healthier by people that know a lot more about it and have been living that way longer than I have. It is a learning process. But to start you off I would like to share with you some valuable cleaning product recipes I found on a couple of them.
Here is what “Apartment Therapy” has to say regarding cleaning product basics.
If you’re starting a DIY green cleaners pantry, the following are the top ingredients you’ll want to have on hand. Following is cleaning recipes that combine some of these ingredients for every surface in your home.
Baking Soda-cleans, deodorizes, scours
Distilled White Vinegar– cuts grease and soap scum, dissolves mineral deposits, inhibits mold, freshens; reportedly kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses
Hydrogen peroxide-kills mold spores and is a clean substitute for Clorox
Borax – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects
Castile Soup, such as Dr. Bronner’s-cleans
Essential oils, like tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, thyme and/or lemongrass oil- freshens, disinfects (get your premium essential oils at my website at www.doTerra.com/lindagilmour)
Fresh herbs, citrus, or citrus peels-heavenly scents
Olive or vegetable oil-emulsifier
Kosher salt – scours, disinfects
Equipment or Tools
Measuring cups and spoons
• TUB AND TILE CLEANER
In a jar or spray bottle, combine 1 2/3 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based liquid soap. Add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Shake before using. Apply with a cloth or sponge and rinse well.
• SCOURING POWDER:
Combine 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup kosher salt in a jar. Sprinkle on area to be cleaned, wipe with a sponge, and rinse.
• TOILET BOWL CLEANER:
Mix 1/4 cup borax or baking soda and 1 cup vinegar in the toilet. Let it sit for 15 minutes (or longer, if necessary), scrub, and flush.
• GLASS CLEANER:
Combine 1/4 cup vinegar and 4 cups warm water in a spray bottle. Use to clean glass or mirrors with a dry cloth or piece of newspaper.
• DRAIN CLEANER:
Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into drain followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let it sit and fizz for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot or boiling water. May need to repeat or leave baking soda and vinegar in overnight.
• FLOOR SANITIZER:
In a bucket, mix 1/2 cup borax with 2 gallons hot water. Apply with a mop or sponge. Rinsing is not necessary.
• SOAP SCUM REMOVER:
Sprinkle on baking soda, scrub with a cloth or sponge, and rinse. Vinegar or kosher salt also work.
• CALCIUM OR LIME REMOVER:
For calcium or lime deposits on a chrome faucet, soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
• MOLD OR MILDEW REMOVER:
Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup vinegar to make a paste. Scrub with a brush or sponge and rinse with water. For tough mold, let it sit for an hour before rinsing with water.
• Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and/or cleaning power. Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, tea tree, and thyme are among the essential oils considered to be antiseptic and antibacterial.
• Using a label or permanent marker, write recipes directly on jars and bottles for future reference.
Re-edited from a post originally published as a Home Hack 2010-02-08 – AB
From “Organic Authority” comes these organic shampoo and conditioner recipes.
Put an old shampoo bottle to good recycled use by mixing the following ingredients together for your very own shampoo.
1 cup pure liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
1 cup green tea (brewed for 30 minutes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
Use as is, or depending upon your hair type, add an herbal infusion to replace the green tea in the above recipe. Use a handful of fresh herbs or a spoonful of dried herbs and a cup of boiling water to prepare the infusion, steeping for 30 minutes. Here are some suggestions for different hair types (and predicaments):
for dark hair: sage leaves
for greasy hair: yarrow
for fair hair: marigold flowers
for dandruff: a mixture of nettle leaves and burdock roots
Use a simple vinegar rinse as a conditioner 2-3 times a week, and not only will you be truly surprised at the results – both shiny and detangled locks – you’ll wonder how you ever bought into the whole high-priced, toxic conditioner notion in the first place.
2.5 cups of hot water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 sprig of rosemary
1 bag of your favorite herbal tea, for fragrance
To make your vinegar rinse, place the water in a container of your choice (old conditioner bottle). Then, add the rest of the ingredients. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Use about 3/4 of a cup of the rinse each time you condition, shaking up the bottle prior to using.
From “Natural Living Mamma” comes this all natural recipe for deodorant
Lemon Fresh Deodorant
4 Tbs. extra virgin coconut oil – softened
2 Tbs. baking soda
2 Tbs. arrowroot (or GMO free cornstarch)
5-10 drops of lemon essential oil – (www.mydoterra.com/lindagilmour)
In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and arrowroot. Add in the coconut oil and lemon essential oil. Mix well with spoon. Transfer the mixture into an old deodorant container or jar. Place in the refrigerator to harden for 30 minutes.
Use as you would normally use deodorant. I find that very light strokes works best as the coconut oil does warm up with your body temperature.
Tip: If you live some place warm or it’s summer time, I recommend storing deodorant in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Since coconut oil melts at anything higher than 76 degrees, it can leak out of your deodorant tub in warm weather. If you are storing in a jar then there is no concern.
Another natural Shampoo recipe that is also suitable as a shower “gel” comes from “Natural Living Mamma”
This recipe works wonderfully for any hair and skin type. You can customize the essential oils to your preference
1 C Dr. Bonner’s Liquid Castille Soap (I use the fragrance free one)
1 C Glycerine
1 Tbsp Almond or Jojoba oil (Jojoba is more moisturizing and I prefer it in the winter)
15-20 drops of Essential Oils (remember to check out my essential oil site: www.doTerra.com/lindagilmour where you will find a wide variety of premium quality essential oils)
Combine ingredients in a recycled shampoo bottle, shake well, and use like any other shampoo or body wash.
This shampoo can be stored in the shower and is good for a year.
Linda’s note: As time goes on I will be publishing more natural recipes for your body, your home and your pets.
See you next time,