Friday, December 7, 2012

I feel like a natural woman

This post is in honor of my sweet friend Sarah who had asked for my natural cleaning solutions.  I'm not an expert in this field by any means, but I'm slowly on a path!  Since having small kiddos in the house, I have felt pulled to everything being more natural.  Here is what I have tried, liked, and some not so liked.

House Cleaning:

Natural Febreze:  Mix 5-10 drops of favorite essential oils (Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree, whatever you like) with 1/2 c of water.  And spray just like you would with febreze.  I know Tea Tree and Lavender have disinfecting properties, and I love the house smelling more like nature, and less like chemicals!

Dishwasher Detergent:  This  (find the dishwasher detergent on this list...this is also a very comprehensive list of cleaners) is what I've used.  I can't say I'm a huge fan, because I tend to have residue on my dishes.  I tend to swap this cleaner and an eco-friendly detergent.  I will say just use 1 tablespoon of this...don't fill up the whole cup in your dishwasher.  That's a tip I found from reading the bottles of conventional detergent also.  Most of the time, you don't need to fill up the whole cup.  This can save you a lot of $$, especially if you buy the more expensive kinds!

Rinsing Agent:  I just use plain white vinegar instead of Jet-dry.

Wood Polisher:  Mix olive oil with lemon juice and water.  I usually do equal parts, but you can adjust to your liking.  

Toilet cleaner:  Sprinkle in borax and clean with toilet brush.  

Carpet deodorizer:  Simply sprinkle on baking soda, let sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuum up.  If you want to get fancy, mix your baking soda with some essential oils and do the same thing.

Laundry Detergent:  This  liquid laundry detergent is what I want to try, but have not made yet.  My laundry tip which has made my life so much easier, is I throw the colors and whites in together, put in 1/2 c of vinegar and colors don't bleed and it makes sorting so much easier!  I still sort our delicates into colors/whites, but for everyday clothes, it all goes in together.  

General cleaner/abrasive:  I'll use plain baking soda to scrub.  Vinegar can be used for glass cleaners, etc.  Baking soda and vinegar are really all you need to clean so much in your house!  Cheap and natural.  Yea!

Natural toiletries:

Lotion:  Straight coconut oil.  It is solid at about 75 degrees, so I just rub it in my hands to liquefy.  It's nice to know there aren't any scary ingredients lurking.  Coconut oil, straight up!  FYI:  For the best coconut smell, buy the least refined kind.  The more refined can be used for higher temperatures in cooking.  We love coconut oil in this house!

Makeup:  I am pretty simple when it comes to makeup.  I love Bare Minerals and Everyday Minerals.  

Makeup Setter:  I think a makeup setter really helps when using mineral makeup.  This is what I am going to make for it.  Cheap and simple ingredients.

Eye Cream:  This is what I'm going to make.  I had been using straight coconut oil until I found this.  Seriously, eye cream is so expensive!  But with not always getting the most sleep (love those little people we live with, even though they are sleep stealers!), I think eye cream is a great benefit.  So, this is the best of both worlds...eye cream, done naturally and cheap.  :)

Face Wash:  I've been using the Oil Cleansing Method for over 2 years now and love it.  Simple, moisturizing, and you control the ingredients.  I currently use extra virgin olive oil and castor oil.  

Face Scrub:  I hate hate hate blackheads, and more than that I HATE, HATE, HATE my blackheads.  This milk/nutmeg scrub is a scrub I like.  

Moisturizer:  I want to try making this.  My face really doesn't get that dry.  I think the Oil Cleansing Method is a big reason for that.  

Toothpaste:  My dear friend Amy shared her recipe and I have combined it with a little coconut oil when I read this recipe.  Jason told me he actually prefers the homemade toothpaste.  I'll admit that it takes a little bit to get used to the baking soda, but I do like it and it feels like my teeth get cleaner.  

Shampoo/Conditioner:  I tried to love the no-poo method.  I did.  I really did.  And there were parts I hair held curls better, I loved using simple ingredients.  But I seemed to develop a buildup I couldn't get rid of.  So the combo I've found that I like (for the time being) is these shampoo bars.  They smell super-yummy and I love that I'm not using chemicals that strip my hair.  

So, there are what I like to use.  I'm sure there are many more that are amazing out there (and if so, I'd love to be informed!) but this is what makes our life a little simpler, more natural, and more economical.  


the carlson's said...

AWESOME Brandy! Thank you...I use a lot of vinegar and dish soap for cleaning...looks like I will go out and buy some baking soda, lemon juice. Where do you get lavendar oil? Also, where do you get borax? or better yet, what is borax??

brandy said...

You can get lavender oil lots of you have a close Whole Foods? Or you can always buy it online. And borax is a natural mineral, great for cleaning (obviously!) You can find it at Walmart...just look in the laundry detergent aisle. Some people add it to the laundry for a natural stain fighter. I buy 20 mule team brand. Good luck!