Friday, August 27, 2010

Getting rid of unnecessary chemicals

Right now, I'm sitting in front of the computer while Little Bit naps and I'm sipping some Nursing Mother's Tea with some honey.  I've been wound up the past few weeks (hence the lack of updates) and I'm consciously trying to slow down my life and my mind.

It's been nearly 2 months and I'm still on the no 'poo wagon.  I did use regular shampoo and conditioner twice when I went out of town and forgot to pack my baking soda and vinegar but other than that, it's going great.  My hair has tons of body and never feels slimy.  I still have issues with oil but it's been very hot and humid lately.

This is the temperature my car registered while in the shade!
That's 42.2 C for you metric folks.

Ditching shampoo for baking soda really got me to looking at the ingredients of the products I use in my house.  You wouldn't believe the artificial chemicals, detergents, surfactants and the petroleum products that go into products you touch every day.  I also have terrible allergies and asthma so strong scents and chemicals make me sneeze and wheeze.  But one of the best things about making your own products?  IT'S DIRT CHEAP!

I browsed the web for recipes for homemade cleaning products and was happily surprised to find so many options.  I tried a few out and here's what worked out best for me:

For cleaning counters, showers, tubs, toilets (and most everything else) - baking soda to scrub and vinegar/peroxide to disinfect.  For the baking soda, I use a glass jar with a few holes punched in the lid so I've got a shaker.  For the vinegar/peroxide, I made a weak solution mixed with water.

Pretty much all I use to clean.

Deodorizing/disinfecting the air - I use a mixture of water, lemon juice, baking soda, tea tree oil and lavender oil to spray carpets, furniture, drapes and the air.  This comes in very handy for the nursery and those dirty diapers.  I re-purposed and old Febreeze bottle after scrubbing it clean.

Oh yeah, and it smells great!

Washing clothes - I've made my own liquid laundry soap before but I had fallen out of the habit.  I made a fresh batch of powdered laundry soap with Fels Naptha, Borax and Sodium Carbonate (NOT baking soda).  It smells good, gets all our clothes clean, and does a wonderful job on diapers as well.  I made a batch for my sister and she said that it does a better job of getting the sweat/funk out of her workout clothes than her store-bought detergent.

The yellow stuff is the powdered Fels Naptha.

Softening clothes - I put vinegar with a 2 drops of essential oil in the rinse cycle.  (No pictures for this one - pretty basic.)  The clothes come out clean, soft and have a very, very light scent.  

I'm also researching making my own soap with lye.  D is even making me a soap mold!

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