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I homeschool and have a health ministry for friends, family, and health lovers world-wide. I'm totally into all-natural and avoid chemicals, food additives, etc. even in my cosmetics. I am working toward eating Vegan, Organic, and raw as much as possible (my family too). I'm married, and have two small kids and two grown step kids. Optimal Health - God's Way ".....and the fruit thereof shall be for meat (FOOD), and the leaf for MEDICINE." Ezekiel 47:12 KJV

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Household Cleaning and Personal Care Home-Made Recipes

All-Purpose Household Cleaner and Veggie/Fruit wash
(32 oz. spray bottle replaces (Veggie Wash, Air Freshener, Fabric Refresher, Hand Sanitizer, Fantastic, 409, Soft Scrub, Tub and Tile Cleaner, Clorox, Bathroom Cleaner, etc.:
Cost - $0.20
· Filtered water - 31 1/2 oz
· Seventh Generation Dish Soap - 1/2 oz
· Tea Tree Essential Oil - 10 drops
· Lemon Essential Oil - 20 drops

Glass Cleaner: Vinegar/Water 50/50 mix
(32 oz. spray bottle replaces Windex):
Cost - $0.27
· Distilled White Vinegar - 16 oz
· Filtered Water - 16 oz
· Now Lemon Essential Oil - 10 drops (optional)

Use with a micro-fiber cloth. Try moistening the cloth with water alone for mirrors or glass tables if they are not too dirty (it works on mine).

Laundry Detergent (penny per load):
I made a few changes to the online recipe below. I used Dr Bronner's Organic Baby Mild Soap bar (unscented) instead of Fels Naptha to avoid synthetic frangrance and some other unpleasant ingredients. I also did not boil the water. I just put some really hot water in a basin inside my laundry room sink and let the soap soften. Once it was soft, I scrubbed it with a brush until it melted into the water. I then added the other two ingredients. So far so good!

Living on a Dime: Homemade Laundry Detergent
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Laundry Soap, grated
6 cups water
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

Heat 6 cups water and soap in a large pan until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Mix and heat until dissolved. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat. (It will have the consistency of honey.*) In a 3 or 5 gallon bucket, add 1 quart of hot water, then add the soap mixture. Mix. Add enough cold water to make a 2 gallon mixture. Mix until well blended. Let sit 24 hours. The soap will gel*. Use 1/2 cup for each load.
Makes 2 gallons. (Approximately $ .40 per gallon)
*If the detergent doesn't gel or reach honey consistency it will still work.

Stir before each use as this soap does separate. Detergent can be stored in a liquid detergent bottle. Just shake it up each time you use it.
This detergent will not suds up in the washer, but it is still getting your clothes clean.
If you have extra hard water the soap may not clean as well. Add 1/2 cup borax or washing soda to the load and that may help.
If you do not like this laundry soap, you can still use the Fels Naptha bar for spot cleaning and to rub on stains. The Borax and Washing Soda are great to add to your regular detergent for extra cleaning.

Fabric Softener:

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar to the laundry tub along with the detergent (it actually softens items and the scent does not remain). Pour a few drops of lemon essential oil and water into fabric softener cup of laundry tub for a great scent (you’ll love walking into your laundry room during the rinse cycle)!

Dishwasher Detergent and Rinse-aid:
Mix equal parts Borax and Washing Soda (available at most grocery stores). Use 1-2 Tablespoons in detergent compartment. I keep mine in a plastic covered container wtih a little scooper inside. Use Vinegar in rinse-aid compartment.

Wrinkle Remover:
Mix about 1/4 cup Ecover Fabric Softener with filtered water to get a full spray bottle – (lasts a long time)

Hair Detangler:
Mix some hair conditioner with filtered water in a hair spray bottle (experiment with the quantity)

Hand Sanitizer:
Put the home-made All-Purpose Cleaner into 2 oz spray bottle and go

Baby Wipes:
Copied from - http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/5-diap/43-diaper-rash.htm
Various Natural wipes solutions
You can make your own baby wipes to help in your campaign against Ugly Baby Butt, too. A wet cloth is basic -- almost too easy, huh? Here are a few recipes for wipes you can try:
Wipies One
3 cups of distilled water
1/8 cup olive oil
4-6 drops tea tree oil
6-8 drops lavender oil

Combine these in a sealable container and shake vigorously; add 1 tablespoon of your favorite baby wash or soap, and mix with a spoon until combined.

Baby Wipes Solution
Add 2 drops of tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil to 1-2 cups of distilled water.

Anti-Fungal Baby Wipes
1/2 cup distilled water
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
1 Tablespoon calendula oil (Remember the coconut oil recipe a few paragraphs back? That would work here.)
1 drop lavender essential oil
1 drop tea tree essential oil

Use a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour in all the ingredients, cover the jar and shake to blend. Place your wipes in a container, and pour on enough solution to moisten them. Store any extra solution in the fridge. It should stay fresh for a long time, especially if you use distilled water. The essential oils discourage yeast growth, which means you shouldn't have too much trouble with these wipes getting moldy.

The wipes themselves:
Once you have your solution mixed up, choose your wipes. A roll of paper towels (recycled is very cool) cut in half with a bread knife gives you a lot of wipes. Tearing them in half as needed works, too. Or you can cut up a towel and finish the edges or use flannel or other cotton fabric. And what about those blue shop towels? Or inexpensive wash cloths?

As for storage, use a zipper baggie for travel or a small plastic storage container with a lid for home. Shoot -- be subversive and recycle a commercial baby wipes container for your homemade wipes!

Note from Miriam on Baby Wipes:
I use Viva paper towels (50-roll only) and an old Publix wipes round plastic container. My husband cuts the rolls in half and pulls out the cardboard cone inside. Pour 1 ¼ cup of solution into container, place cut roll inside and pour another cup of solution to saturate. I make enough to put in baby’s wipes warmer and for wipes travel container. I don’t really use the round container for much other than saturating wipes. Cut up lots of rolls at one time so that you have them handy to use with extra refrigerated solution.

Diaper Rash Ointment:
Copied from - http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/5-diap/43-diaper-rash.htm
So your baby has a rash
What if your angel bum still develops a diaper rash? How radical is this: If you have breast milk handy, apply that to your baby’s bum. My daughter had a rash that cleared up in a day with breast milk.

Making your own ointments is easy and not as labor intensive as you might think. Many of the ingredients can be found in better grocery stores or health food stores.

This recipe was given to me through an e-mail list by a fabulous toiletry maker by the name of Shucky, aka Sylvia LaReverend:

Calendula-Comfrey Diaper Ointment
1 lb. coconut oil (in the oil aisle; do try to buy the organic kind)
2 good handfuls calendula petals (health food section; don’t let the per pound price put you off; the petals are not heavy)
Comfrey leaves (don’t use on a pregnant woman)

Melt the coconut oil in a stainless steel pan. Add the herbs. Cook the herbs on low heat for about 30 minutes; the petals should be crispy, not burnt. Filter the ointment into jars. Use as needed.

Try an oatmeal bath. Grind up oatmeal in your coffee grinder for a pleasant soak in the tub. Another way to get the benefits of oatmeal without the mess is to put some regular oatmeal (not baby oatmeal) in a small cotton bag and let it soak in the tub with your baby. Squeeze water through it every so often.

Ointments and balms
Try olive oil or shea butter on your baby’s bum. These are thicker emollients. Olive oil is readily available in any store; buy the higher grade virgin oil to get the most benefit. Shea butter can be found in the health food section with other body butters like cocoa and mango.

You don’t have to use the zinc oxide ointments on your baby’s bum. Yes, they do create a barrier, but they also dry into a powdery residue and can make cloth diapers smell like fish. Petroleum also makes a good barrier, but it is comedogenic (clogs pores).

Notes on the cleaning recipes:

The two recipes I make for cleaning the house are 100% natural, non-toxic and work amazingly well. Your house will gleam and smell great! My 6 year-old daughter actually made this comment while I was spraying the All-Purpose cleaner right next to her, "Mommy, that smells yummy!" Plus they are actually healthy to use and have respiratory benefits. You'll love the cheap prices too!

You can get the 32 oz spay bottles for a $1 at Dollar General by 27/50 behind McDonald's. Wal-Mart also carries cute little colored spray bottles (maybe 10 oz.) that you can coordinate with your kitchen decor and leave on the counter for all-day cleaning and veggie/fruit wash. Mine is green. It's a lot easier to hold for the all-day touch-ups.

I keep multiple bottles in the kitchen and bathrooms for easy access. The Vinegar/Water combo is great on glass, mirrors, faucets, counter tops, floors, tubs, etc. Vinegar is also anti-bacterial and a whitener for stains (great for nasty microwave stains). I mainly use it for glass/mirrors and floors that are sticky from juice or milk spills because I enjoy the scent of the All-Purpose Household Cleaner better and end up using it for everything else (also cheaper). For glass cleaning I suggest you dust the glass first and try cleaning it with a cloth moistened with filtered water. If it’s too dirty or for inside the shower doors, then use the combo.

I use the All-Purpose cleaner as a veggie/fruit wash, for wiping kitchen counters, sink and stove several times throughout the day, and for all of the above (except glass/mirrors). I also use it to wash the kids' hands (hand sanitizer) and to freshen bedspreads and pillows (freshener like Febreeze). If you need extra scrubbing power on your tubs or showers, try throwing in some baking soda or Borax after spraying the All Purpose Cleaner.

You can get the ingredients on www.vitacost.com (free s/h on orders over $49) or at Health Hut. My calculation of $0.20 is based on cheap prices from internet ordering. Use this code to get $10 OFF your FIRST ORDER from Vitacost:

I chose the particular oils because:
- Tea Tree oil is the best anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic, deodorizer, reduces mold, and a skin healer. Tea tree oil and vinegar together can kill mold.
- Lemon oil is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-toxic, a natural deodorizer, degreaser, and insect repellant. It also smells great, and I add to other things as desired (unscented baby wash/shampoo, body wash, hand wash, etc). At Christmas time we can try using cinnamon or peppermint oils instead of lemon for a holiday mood.

For floors I don't even use a bucket of water. I spray the Vinegar/Water cleaner bottle directly on the floor and use a long-handled, flat-head swivel mop that comes with a microfiber attachable cloth that is machine-washable. Rinsing is not necessary. I learned this technique from Zero Rez (professional floor cleaning company that cleans and disinfects carpets without any chemicals). Since vinegar is anti-bacterial, etc. you are actually disinfecting your floors. This is so easy and saves so much time.

The Scrubbing Bubbles disposable pads for the toilet bowl work great, but I would love to figure out how to make those too. Supposedly they are safe, but you never know.

If you have any major work to do on your showers and tubs due to mold stains (this is a common problem in Florida), I will recommend a one-time only drastic cleaning that I am allergic to and avoid at all cost. You can try bleach or Tilex when your kids are not home, you are wearing a mask and gloves, and all doors and windows are open. It's best if you leave after spraying it so it can soak in for a little while (about 1 hr.) When you come back and rinse it, leave again for a little while to let the fumes disappear without you being around to breathe them in. Once this is done, you will never have to do it again if you maintain the cleaning. Whenever a little bit of mold pops again, you can dab a tiny drop from a Clorox Pen and rinse it after a few minutes (no kids around). If the mold comes back and it’s too much for the Clorox Pen, re-caulk your shower. Caulk does not resist mold after a while and needs to be replaced.

I took a natural home cleaning class at Clermont Herb Shoppe; they complimented these creations and ideas. Most of the new stuff I learned was on the different features of essential oils and received confirmation on the lemon and tea tree oil making a good team.

There are natural recipes for almost anything on the internet. If you find one that you like, run the ingredients through www.cosmeticsdatabase.com for hazard rating scores. If they get scores between 0-2, go ahead and try it. If you get good results, let me know.

- Miriam

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