I make a lot of my own household/beauty products and I often have folks ask me for recipes. So this blog series is a little self-serving. I'd love to have all my stuff together in one place so that when people ask, I can just email them the link instead of scrambling all over the house to find all my recipes!
I don't like all the unnecessary chemicals we add to products. And they have had the opposite effect of what's advertised: thanks to all those "great" antibacterial products, now we have MRSA. Our nation is plagued by a million health problems, thanks to the additives and crazy sodium-levels in our foods, and we continue to put chemicals that we know cause cancer into cleaning products, beauty products, and our food. Awesome. The American Academy of Pediatrics finally admitted all children under two should be eating organic fruits & veggies. We're hurting ourselves and putting our heads in the sand about why.
I also don't like how many of our big companies make their profits off of abusing or oppressing others, both domestically and internationally. I absolutely don't want to give them my money if I know about abuses in the system ESPECIALLY if the companies are aware of the abuses and are doing NOTHING about it. Ugh.
All that being said, we are a small-budget family. My husband's a pastor and has a part-time job and I have a part-time job in order for us to be able to pay for our simple life. We don't have the budget for extravagant purchases and I have to be choosy about how I buy organic, because as much as I would love to do all my grocery shopping at EarthFare, we simply cannot afford it.
But here's what happens: making your own cleaning products is a bazillion times cheaper than buying it. Even if you are a coupon queen. So that loosens my budget to buy the more expensive fair-trade or organic items. It evens out, which is very helpful! And honestly, I pray that God will show my heart how to spend our resources. I would rather buy fair-trade coffee or chocolate so that I'm not participating in slavery than get a new shirt. That is the honest truth. God will change your heart to make it more like his if you ask him to.
So here's the Cassell way to be part of the Homemade Fair-Trade Parade! This will be a series of posts, but we'll start with the basics:
I use a vinegar-based cleaner. When I first switched to it, I really noticed the vinegar smell. I don't anymore. In fact, now I can't even hardly walk down the cleaning supply aisle at the grocery store without getting a headache because the chemical-cleaner smells have gotten so offensive to me!
Here's my tried & true recipe:
1/2 cup lemon-vinegar (I throw a bunch of lemon peels into a giant mason jar filled with vinegar. After two weeks, it's lemon-vinegar and the harsh vinegar scent is gone!)
2 Tbl Borax (buy a box in the laundry-detergent aisle)
Drops of essential oil of your choosing (I use tea tree & lavender - 10 drops each)
I put my vinegar in a measuring cup and add the borax to it and swish it around a bit, then pour it into my spray bottle. Then I fill the bottle the rest of the way with hot water and add the essential oils. If I feel like it, I add lemon juice.
Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. It takes less time to make it than it does to walk down the cleaning aisle in the grocery store.
Plus, it is SUPER cheap and I can wipe down all the surfaces in my kitchen without worrying that I'm leaving dangerous chemicals behind that will end up in our food! If I'm cleaning up raw chicken or something, I make sure to use a cloth that's been soaked in super-hot water.
I've also used this recipe: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/07/2-simple-glass-cleaners-for-sparkling-windows-and-mirrors.html. I really love her website. She has tons of great homemade recipes!
And this really happened: just before our home study, my mother-in-law offered to wash my windows for me. I handed her some Windex that I had left over from before I started making my own stuff. She got to cleaning...and I had to ask her to stop! I couldn't handle the chemical smell that was taking over my house! Headache city! And I couldn't believe that I used to use that stuff all the time! Ugh - it's just awful!
I've made my own laundry detergent for years, but I just recently switched the way I make it. It's the pretty much the same recipe only I keep it in this condensed, easier (I think) version! Here is the link:
My laundry gets CLEAN, folks. It has no smell. If you really want the smell, you can buy some wool dryer balls and use essential oil to scent them. That will give your clothes a light scent. I don't do it only because I feel like I spend enough time doing laundry and don't want to take the extra 10 seconds it would take to scent my dryer balls. ha!
Here's my version:
Fill a bucket with really hot water. Add a squirt of Dawn soap, 2 Tbl Borax (she says use 1/2 cup baking soda, but it left a film on my wood floors), and 20 drops of tea tree and lavender essential oils.
This is a good heavy-duty cleaner for cleaning baseboards and stuff, too.
Have a recipe to share? Share away! If I get a bunch (or just some really good ones), I'll post them!