Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Purpose Cleaner

Here is the recipe for my new favorite all purpose cleaner

24 oz rosemary infused water (you can choose any herb you wish)
3 oz white vinegar
2 oz dawn dish detergent or castille soap

mix in a spray bottle and use generally

* To make your herb infusion, take your fresh herbs of choice, bruise them to help release their oils and stuff them into a mason jar to 1/2 full (or more if you have it).  Pour boiling water over it and allow to steep for at least an hour.  A note of caution - jars that are not made for home canning are thinner and can easily rupture, so either use the canning jars or just put the herbs in the pot.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shampoo Review

This shampoo formula needs a little work.  It did lather nicely after the second day, I guess the mix had to have time to sit and mix for a few hours.  The problem I'm having is not with the lathering or rinsing, and by the way, it rinses out really fast, but it leaves my hair a little dry.  Now, I have purposely not put any conditioners or creams on my hair after the shampoo so that I could get a good 3 days of use for an assessment, but I'm going to have to figure out a conditioner or rinse or some sort.  More digging to do, but this shampoo experiment was way better than the one from a few months ago.

I will figure this out!

The Big Deodorant Review

Okay, first of all, thank you Stacie for reminding me to review the deodorant!

I tried 6 things to replace my chemical laden deodorant and they were:
  1. powdering a clean pit with baking soda
  2. spritzing a clean pit with rubbing alcohol
  3. Powdering a clean pit with baking soda after spritzing it with the alcohol
  4. Spritzing a clean pit with a mix of 1/2 and 1/2 rubbing alcohol and body splash
  5. powdering a clean pit with baby powder after spritzing with alcohol
  6. the solid crystal deodorant
And the winner was:  (drumroll please)

#6 - the solid crystal deodorant

Here is why:

All 6 of the options actually did really well, to be honest.  I really didn't think they would, but they did.  All of the options took care of the stink and #4 would actually emit a bit of the perfume scent.  But during this experiment I realized that I have really sensitive pits.  I actually had discovered this a couple of years ago, but at that time I just switched to Dove deodorant because of all of the moisturizers, and that took care of it, so I had to rediscover this again.  So to give you pros:
  1. easy, no odor
  2. easy, no odor
  3. easy, no odor
  4. easy, no odor, light fragrance emitted
  5. easy, no odor, light baby powder scent emitted
  6. easy, no odor, easily portable, non irritating, no residue or powder to get on clothing
Now cons:
  1. scouring effect on pit if you forget to rinse before you wash
  2. irritating after a shave
  3. combo of the two above problems
  4. no real cons here, the body splash has aloe to stop irritation
  5. also no real cons, the powder took care of the irritation
  6. none, well maybe initial cost for the stick (about $5)
I went with the crystal stick after reading many reviews on it, and realizing that it would not cake under my pits with activity, there was no residue or powder to get onto my clothing, it kept my pits drier feeling for longer and the whole dry solid portability factor versus taking a liquid or powdered item that may spill (if you knew my kids you would get it!)

So, I forked over the $5, but it takes a lot longer to use up the solid crystal than the regualar stick Dove which was 3.60.  So, I'm happy, and I'll come back to it again one day and let you just how long it took to use it up.

I'm also still doing the shampoo, and by the way, the low sudsing thing is a non issue after the mix has time to sit and blend, because then it suds like crazy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Eco and Bio Friendly Waves of Change at my House

That may have been the longest title for a blog post ever on this blog!

I have been on a quest in the past couple of months, I really want to go more eco-friendly and biologically friendly in my home and with my personal care items.  Why?  Well, several reasons, but I'll only divulge a few here, otherwise this whole post with be tremendously long -
  1. We have well water in my home and the well is on my property, so I want the things that go down my drain to be eco/bio friendly and nontoxic
  2. I have been reading up on what many of the crazy chemical ingredients in things do in our body, most of them are carcinogens, some of them are unknown (which may be a bit more scary), so I would like to get rid of them in my older body, but also prevent them from building up in my children's young bodies
  3. It can actually be cheaper to go clean and green if you homemake your formulas versus buying the conventional synthetic cheap brands over the counter
  4. My youngest son has problems with asthma sometimes, so I would like to decrease the pollutants and VOC's in my indoor air.
So that's enough.

I have a couple of books, one came from the library "Easy Green Living" by Renee Loux is a great reference tool about different products to go greener in your life.  The better book is "Better Basics for the Home" by Annie Berthold-Bond.  I got that one for free from some stuff my dad had.  Another interesting one I got from him was "1001 Chemicals in Everyday Products" by Grace Lewis.  Using these 3 together has really been an eye opener for what is in different household products, plus ways to make my own natural nontoxic alternatives.


My first experiment is the basic shampoo formula:
  • 10oz water (I have a reverse osmosis unit, so that's where mine comes from)
  • 2 oz castille soap (I keep Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild on hand)
  • 1 tsp glycerin
Mix and store in a jar or bottle, whatever suits your fancy

So, I used it tonight, and I will say it doesn't give your hair that slippery feel while you wash, which is different, but not a big deal.  It also doesn't get as bubbly as shampoo, which is fine with me because it also doesn't leave a residue.  I did not use conditioner (although the book gives a recipe for one) because I wanted to test the shampoo formula first.  So, I let my hair naturally dry, and as of right now, it feels about the same as it does after a shampoo with a little bottle conditioner or one of those shampoo/conditioner combos.  I wonder if it's because the natural stuff didn't strip my hair of all of it's natural protection.

I will use it without the conditioner for a few more days and come back with the results.

If you are considering go more natural formula in your home and body care, here is a short list of the most common ingredients in most of the formulas:
  • castille soap
  • glycerin
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • aloe vera gel
  • alcohol (she calls for a lot of vodka in the book)
  • essential oils (there are listed in the book as optional, but lavender and tea tree are the most common)
  • borax
I actually already had most of this stuff anyway, I just purchased the glycerin (1.49 for a 4oz bottle at Harris Teeter)

I can't wait to see how the next formula I try works out!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baking Soda Deodorant

I was recently reading up on heavy metals (that our bodies do not need) in different everyday products and what alternatives are available.  One of the biggies for me was aluminum.  I learned that aluminum is linked to alzheimer's.  This is not a big deal to some, but my grandmother had alzheimers, and it is not pleasant at all.  So what is aluminum in anyway?
  • Deodorant
  • Baking Powder
  • Some cosmetics
  • Maalox
  • Rolaids
  • Canned foods (it's what the can is made of)
  • Many cooking utensils, pans, etc.
My, my.  Well, a girl can't tackle everything at once, so I started with the ones I have the most contact with - deodorant and baking powder.  It's easy to find aluminum-free baking powder, and it's just as cheap as the other.  Check one off my list.  Two - deodorant.  Now that one is a little more tricky.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to stink! 

So, I was doing a little research, and I thought about the homemade deodorant recipe posted here by one of my comerades, but until I have the materials, I just wanted something easy.  I came across 2 things:  isopropyl alcohol and baking soda.  For the isopropyl alcohol, just simply fill a small spray bottle with it, then spritz your pits a couple of times a day.  The alcohol kills the bacteria since that's what causes BO anyway, but allows you to sweat, which is one of the ways the body detoxifies itself.  For the baking soda, the instructions said to put some in a small tupperware style container, take a large facial powder brush and treat the baking soda just as you would facial powder - dip, tap, brush on delicately.  Done.  So, this is the one I tried today.  It was not hot, so even though I perspired, I was not drenched.  However, I did run/walk intervals for about 2 miles today.  And you know what - NO STINK!  I was impressed. 

So, I will try this for a few days and just see if it holds up, and I'll let you know.  I may still try the alchol one too, or maybe some combination like a 'spritz, dry, powder' routine.  I'll get back to you on that one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yard Sale Finds

I do love yard sales, at least most of the time.  This past Saturday there were several that looked pretty interesting in our local paper, so, Saturday morning, I was up early, paper in one hand, coffee in the other an headed out the door on my adventure.

Word to the wise, if you have GPS, use it for yard sales!  I was taken directly to where I wanted to go each time even in our local 'turn and twist' neighborhood.  When I saw an unadvertised yard sale, I was able to make a quick stop, then when I was done, my GPS had me back on track to my destination.  I did make a few excellent deals:

  • A comb binding machine for $5 (not the $35 version, but the 330 page $250 version)
  • A multi function, leather desk chair for $20 ( about $200 or more new) with just a few small scuffs on the botton corners (nothing a little shoe polish won't fix)
  • A cast iron bundt pan, in good useable condition
  • plus a few odd and end items, but these were my biggies
Early Fall is big yard saling time, so go prepared and ready to bargain hunt - and oh yeah, take a list!