Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homemade Crunchy Stuff

 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.

My shower is marble with clear glass doors.  Hate, hate, hate those clear glass panels.  They're a pain in the arse to clean.  Then I found a recipe (have no idea where) for a daily shower cleaner (green bottle above).  3 parts rubbing alcohol, 1 part water and about 10 drops of jet d r y.  I mist the shower walls down while they're still wet, let them sit while I dry myself off then squeegee the walls down before I get out.  Takes all of 30 seconds. Then I spray the shower floor every fews days.  I don't rinse it or wipe it down.  I also keep a bottle of bleach-water mixture (white bottle) to spray the mildew when it decides to rear it's ugly head.  I haven't had to "clean" my shower in months.  Seriously. (I think the original recipe called for 2 parts alcohol but I decided more had to be better cause that's how I roll.)

Then we move on to the no-poo.   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.

Moving on to toothpaste.  Not sure how this one is going to work out for my really sensitive teeth so more will be revealed later. This powder recipe is from Crunchy Betty who I believe got it from someone else. It's baking soda, salt and ground cloves.  It tastes delicious.  When this is gone and my peppermint oil is here (I always keep peppermint oil cause it makes everything better) I'm going to try CB's recipe 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?


Corey said...

This is REALLY timely. Because I am suddenly skin irritated by all kinds of scented things and my doctor said to stop using them plus one of my kids has eczema anyway so I should never have been using them anyhow. Today I went looking at Mrs.'s cleaning products and holy hell, they are expensive. I thought, I will just give up cleaning. (Not like that takes much convincing.) You just saved my family from filth.

matryoshka said...

I keep buying the green cleaners, but this will be less expensive. Glad you put in the note about the front loading washer because i have one and wasn't sure if it woudl work....

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

But I like my clothes to smell all clean and chemical-ish! I have been marketed to all my life and I love the smell of bounce!

Well, I don't know if this counts but your stove top burner covers and drip pans can go in the dishwasher. You don't have to use oven cleaner on them.

Oh wait, I do have one. To clean your microwave boil water in there for a minute and let it sit. Then you will be able to wipe all the oogedy stuff right off. Just water- really!

Andy and Kiara said...

Love all these ideas! We've been doing the green and natural route for a long time, but now I'm trying to do a few more home-made products, and hopefully save more money, too.

The main homemade thing I make right now is whipped body & hair butter. Only cocoa butter, shea butter, & coconut oil (all organic/unrefined), whipped up light and fluffy so it's easy to scoop out and use. No more lotions and moisturizers with chemicals and preservatives for us! We get the ingredients from Mt. Rose Herbs. The whole family uses it neck to toes, and I also use it in our adopted sweeties' hair.

Looking forward to more recipes! :)

Andy and Kiara said...

I commented last night about our whipped body and hair butter, and Lisa said it's okay to share more. (Thanks, Lisa!)

We are selling our whipped body and hair butters right now as an adoption fundraiser.

If you'd like to try some, you can have a free tub if you blog, twitter, or FB about our fundraiser and I'll send you some!

Check out our family blog if you'd like to learn more. (or click on my pic to see my profile and link.)

Thanks! :)

BT said...

I am thrilled to have links to some of your recipes. We've made our own laundry detergent and cleaning products for ages (strong environmental motive AND I'm glad it's cheaper as well). Recently a friend taught me to make homemade lotion. It was super fun and super easy and it lasts a long time. It works way better than the stuff I'd been buying, and it's got only safe stuff in it-- you could eat it safely! I am going to try your no-poo and dishwasher detergent. Thanks!

Annie said...

For about ten years I have brushed my teeth with just plain baking powder out of the box, and my dentist always comments on "how well" I brush my teeth and the hygienist on how I leave her nothing to do. I cannot use regular toothpaste now without gagging.

Do you put your homemade detergent in the detergent "thing" in the top of the washer? Or in with the clothes?

baggage said...

We do the homemade laundry soap, and I love it! I want to try the peppermint soap now!!!! I love peppermint too.