Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Learning to Live Simply and Naturally...One Day at a Time

So this post is just as much for me as it is for anyone else! I made all these new things and realized I need to keep a record of where I got all my info so the next time I need to make it, I won't have to search the internet again trying to remember which recipe I used for which thing! So far I've made homemade shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap (same as body wash), face wash, deodorant, all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent (which I had already been making for quite a while now), insect repellent, glass cleaner, and toilet bowl cleaner. So many things, I know I'm going to forget what I did! So I'm going to try to list everything on here including any tips or tricks I learned while making them, for my own reference, and for anyone who wants to try as well. :o)

  • Homemade Non-toxic Liquid Soap

    • This one was the easiest liquid soap recipe I found. It is also extremely cheap and works great! The site I used is:  http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/homemade-non-toxic-liquid-hand-soap-2
    • I did exactly what she did and mine came out more on the watery side, which I think is great because it would probably be awesome in those foam pump dispensers (which I don't have, so the regular ones work fine, too). It still cleans fine, and smells really good! Just a bit runny. If you wanted it to be thicker, you could just add more soap or use less water in the next batch. But my goal is to save as much money as possible so I really didn't think that was necessary. I used a 4 oz bar of natural glycerin soap that I got for $2.09 at The Healthy Rhino in Littleton. So, I made mine for less than this girl did, and I think this stuff is actually even cheaper than the really harsh, horrible name brand soaps! Whoo hoo! Success. :o)

  • Homemade Deodorant
    • Also very easy and in my opinion (and Derrick's) works far better than any other deodorant I've ever used! And without the aluminum, what a plus!!! It is not an antiperspirant so it won't keep you from sweating. I never thought about it before but, why would I want to prevent my body from being able to sweat anyway? It's a normal and necessary function. The awesome thing about this recipe is that the baking soda not only absorbs the odor, but it also absorbs a great deal of moisture. So I actually feel much drier using this than I ever have before with "antiperspirants" that really didn't do what they promised.  http://www.squidoo.com/homemade-deodorant-recipes
    • The only thing I did differently is I didn't have arrowroot powder/flour so I just doubled the baking soda. I also read you can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot, which I may try next time! Coconut oil melts at 74 degrees so if it's a warm day you may want to store this in the fridge. Otherwise it's fine to leave out. The great thing about this is you only need a pea-sized amount so it lasts a super long time! And I put a few drops of lavender oil in mine, smells awesome. I think next time I'm going to try a little peppermint instead, though, just to change it up. :o)

  • Homemade Shampoo & Conditioner
    • This one takes a bit more of an adventurous spirit but it's worth it. :o) It is so cheap, better for your hair, and works really well. C'mon, give it a try! And please, if you have any ideas on how to make it thicker, please share. Cornstarch didn't really help. I put lavender oil in the shampoo, but you don't need it. Also we use a squirt bottle and spray bottle to reduce waste, as both are very watery. Don't let that keep you from trying it! Things don't have to "lather" to be effective...that is a common misconception!
    • http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-shampoo/
    • http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-conditioner/

  • Homemade Facewash
    • I got this recipe right off the baking soda box. It's just 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Works very well, though it is a tiny bit drying so I recommend going easy and just using it in the most oily spots on your face. I didn't find it nearly as drying as some commercial products though, so maybe it won't bother most people. And follow it up with a good natural lotion. I buy the big 4 lb. Arm & Hammer box in the laundry section at Walmart. I think it's $2.14. That is great and super cheap! And you really can do ANYTHING with baking soda, besides baked goods! :o)

  • Homemade All Purpose/Glass/Toilet Bowl Cleaners
    • Distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are also great products to have on hand that are really cheap. This one uses a combination of baking soda and vinegar. It works, but I am going to keep searching for a cleaner recipe that I LOVE. I did read about one that uses oranges and vinegar....I really want to try that! When I do I'll update this. :o)
    • All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
    • Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Only use the black and white newspapers, not the colored ones. Don't clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying. Be sure to follow the recipe, because using too strong a solution of vinegar will etch the glass and eventually cloud it. 
    • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.
  • Homemade Insect Repellent
    • I haven't tested this one more than once yet...but plan to do it again tonight! Easy. Just get peppermint oil! I read that mosquitos HATE it so I just put a drop on my wrists and rubbed them together. You can put another drop on your ankles, too, but I didn't. I saw a few mosquitos come towards me, then fly wildly away. I think they really did get freaked out! I only got one bite after being out for a few hours. Derrick, too, and usually he gets a ton. Anyway, it's worth a try, it certainly smells better than Off! Also, Derrick suggested putting 1-2 drops in a spray bottle of water and spraying that all over. I haven't yet but when I do I'll post my results. :o)
  • Homemade Laundry Detergent
    • I've been using this for a while for Chloe's diapers and I recently just switched over to using it for all our laundry because it cleans so well! Three ingredients, all equal parts: Borax, Washing Soda (different than baking soda), and Oxyclean. All three can be found in the laundry section. The only one that's a bit pricey is the Oxyclean. The other two are cheap! And it really does clean much better than any other detergent I've used. I use a little scoop (about 2 tbsp) for a diaper load, but I could probably use less for clothes that aren't as dirty. 
There ya have it! My list will be growing as time goes on. :o) And if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for me, please comment!!! Thanks!!!