This past 6 months has been the trying of "all things homemade". So far it's working out wonderfully well.
In the effort to be better to the environment, better to our bodies and save money I wanted to try some homemade products. OK...I'll be totally honest, this is in the wrong order. It's really to SAVE money, be better to our bodies and then better to the environment. And....truthfully I really wanted to be able to pronounce the ingredients in some of our daily product usage. I have been more than pleasantly surprised that I LOVE all the products below BETTER than the store bought products that I used before. They only take mere minutes to make and I don't have to shell out big bucks for things I can do simply at home. Once I got in the groove it has turned out to be so much easier than I ever expected.
Sheri made me get off my hiney and start making homemade laundry detergent and I LOVE it. I still have to add a cup of bleach to our whites every couple of weeks but that's no biggy. The stuff lasts f.o.r.e.v.e.r.
1 tablespoon for medium loads and 2 for large loads. And the price savings is huge. It cost me about $3.00 to make enough detergent for about 6 months. On the next batch I'm going to use Dr. Bonner's peppermint bar soap instead of Pels N aptha just to give it a try (mainly because I love peppermint). I put off doing this forever because most of the recipes called for a 5 gallon bucket and lots of water. I did not want to have to go out in the garage and refill a container of laundry detergent every few weeks nor did I want a 5 gallon bucket sitting in my laundry room. Then my next stall was that I did not have any idea how the dry soap would work with my front loading washing machine. Discovery: It works great!! Here's another recipe from SouleMama.
Sheri is also responsible for getting me off household cleaners. It took some convincing but we now use a spray bottle of vinegar-water and a sprinkling of baking soda to clean the fiberglass showers, sinks, toilets, dirty pans, etc., vinegar water also cleans our counter tops, windows, and mirrors as well. It works like a charm. To dust we use a warm damp (well wrung out) dusting cloth. It works better than furniture polish and the damp cloth works better than those electrostatic thingys at holding the dust. We just wash it out between rooms.
Sarah Beam (Big Mama's daughter and just for the record they are both as beautiful, witty, charming and entertaining in real life as they are on their blogs) convinced me on to no-poo. You're going to seriously think this is crazy but I've discovered that I love it and my perpetual dandruff has disappeared. My hair is so long and curly I haven't been able to do the homemade conditioner and am still looking for a good recipe. For the no-poo I boil my water (to get rid of chlorine, hard water stuff, etc.) for a few minutes then dissolve my baking soda in the boiling water. Put it on the counter to cool for a few minutes then pour in the bottle. A bottle typically lasts me about a month. The trick to making it work is to apply to dry hair and on the scalp only. My routine after applying is to gently scrub my scalp then wash my face while letting the no-poo sit on my hair for a minute. Then rinse. Easy peasy. The bottle on the right is apple cider vinegar-water which I use as a rinse about once every couple of weeks after conditioning. (I only use conditioner on the ends.) Too much ACV dries my hair out but if used prudently really makes it shine. Crunchy Betty writes about no-poo here and here. High on Health wrote "Would you shampoo your brain?" here.
here. I didn't know that peppermint kills bacteria. Double bonus for bad breath.
Now we're on to facial cleaners and moisturizers. No more. I've learned to do the Oil Cleansing Method and no longer have to buy either of those products anymore. I had serious reservations about this because I have mixed up skin. It's dry, oily, scaly, and acne prone. So I had some serious doubts. Was I ever surprised! Seriously loving this. Great for wrinkles, fine lines and my face feels delish. Gotta love that. CB did a post on it last week so rather than look up my recipe I'll point you in her direction at this post. I've gone with the castor, avocado and apricot kernel oils with a drop or two of lavender or tea tree oil. I do the OCM before I go to bed and only hot wash my face in the shower in the morning with no soap/cleaners. Works like a charm. Also, be sure and check out CB's facial masks, scrubs, lip balms, etc. She's got some great recipes.
That's enough for tonight. Coming soon.....homemade deodorant, dishwasher detergent, body wash, ginger ale and hair color. The hair color business could be interesting.
Does anybody have any homemade product recipes they'd like to share?