If you ask my husband, or anyone else who knew me pre-kiddos, they would tell you that I used to be normal. I used to eat fast food. I used skin and hair care products with reckless abandon. I didn’t think twice about using cleaning products and detergents.
Once Munchkin arrived, I became more aware of what was in these products that I used on a daily basis. I realized that I didn’t want to expose my children to these things. There are a lot of scary things in the products we use daily. A lot of us believe that if it is on the shelves, then it must be safe, but that is so not the way it works. Unfortunately. Big companies, the government, they really don’t care that much about our safety. They just want to put more money in their already fat pockets. I know, very conspiracy theorist of me, but I have become way more cynical as I have gotten older.
Three years ago now, I started this journey towards the crunchy/natural side of life. It is a journey that is far from done. You can’t just make this change overnight. It would get mighty overwhelming if tried. It gets overwhelming even taking small steps at a time. There is always new information. So just when you think you have something figured out, some new piece of information comes along and throws everything into a whirlwind again. It can be a real pain in the ass trying to weed through all the information and decide what is correct and what applies to you and your family. Trying to decide what things need addressing now and what can wait is so hard. All of it is important. It is absolutely exhausting some days. (Of course that applies to any aspect of parenting. . . )
Anywho, I now make my own cleaners (household and personal) I scoured the web to find some good recipes. I thought I would share what recipes work for me.
General Cleaner: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 10 drops essential oil of your choice(I use a tea tree oil/lavender mix). Put it all in a spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way with warm water.
Bathroom Scrub : Mix Dr.Bronners liquid castile soap(I like the peppermint) with baking soda to make a paste.
Glass cleaner : Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Spray the glass and use newspaper to wipe clean for streak free glass.
Floor Cleaner : 1 part Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, 10 parts water. I mix it up in an empty gallon jug and use one of those Rubbermaid reusable mops with the microfiber pads.
I tried making my own dishwasher detergent, but didn’t have good luck. We kept getting a film on the dishes no matter what we tried. So, we went back to conventional dishwasher detergent. I am going to find something eco-friendly, just haven’t gotten that far yet.
I made some laundry detergent using 3 cups of Borax, 2 cups of Washing Soda, 2 cups of Baking Soda and 2 cups of grated Fels Naptha. Use 2 tablespoons per load. It works well on the clothes. Of course I learned after making it that Fels Naptha shouldn’t be used on cloth diapers because it can break down the PUL. . . Once I use up this batch, I will make it with a bar of Dr. Bronner’s instead.
I have also gone “no-poo”. Meaning I don’t use shampoo. Instead I use a baking soda and water mixture. I dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 1/2 cups of warm water and add a drop each of lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils and give it a good shake. For a rinse, I mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 1/2 cups of warm water and add the same essential oils. I found reusable ketchup/mustard bottles work really well. The mixtures last me for 3 washes. I usually make it through about 4 or 5 days before needing to wash my hair. Oh and I also rub a small amount of coconut oil through my ends while in the shower as well. I have a jar of coconut oil in the shower that I use for moisturizing and shaving. So once I am done moisturizing, I just run my fingers through my hair and that is enough. I have really fine hair though. For someone with thicker hair or curly hair, you might need more. My hair is clean, soft and manageable. I love it.
I make my own toothpaste too. I use 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 packet of stevia and 20 – 25 drops of peppermint essential oil. I mix it with a fork in an empty jelly jar and just dip my toothbrush in it. I’m the only one who uses it. Munchkin doesn’t like the taste and Hubby of course thinks I am crazy. It makes my teeth nice and clean and the sensitive spots I had, are now less sensitive.
The hardest part with all this is mixing everything up and that really isn’t that hard to do.