Eating cleaner foods from local and organic sources is fantastic.  But what are you doing beyond your kitchen?  Not only do I keep all processed foods out of my kitchen, but the same philosophy extends to my cleaning products.  I make all of my own hand soap, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.  P1040073I used to buy the expensive ‘all natural’ brands of products until I started researching more on what exactly was in those cleaning solutions.  The list of ingredients was still much too long.  The chemicals we spray around our home is frightening to me as we use industrial cleaning products without a second thought.  And now top brands are convincing us that we must spend $7 for a bottle of all purpose spray that won’t poison our children with the fumes.  But here is a crazy thought- why don’t we just make our own products?  Too hard. Not enough time. Don’t know how. I’m not that ‘crunchy’.  These are all common excuses.  And trust me, a few years ago I found EVERYTHING under the sun to do just to avoid making my own laundry detergent because I thought it was too hard.  And then I refused to let myself buy anymore and eventually the pile of laundry got large enough that for the safety of my small children I had to finally set about making my own detergent.  5 minutes later it was done.  And I felt like a fool having been so intimidated by the process.  But here’s the deal- we are convinced daily by advertisements that we as a society and we as parents, busy adults, students, etc don’t have the time to make our own cleaning products so we must rely on _______ brand to help us out.  The same applies to common processed foods.  The result is you are flushing money down the toilet when you could be reallocating that money to buying better quality foods, saving towards family vacations or simply whatever you need money for.  The point is- make your own cleaning products and save money all while greatly eliminating the chemicals you and your family breathe in.  We also tend to over sanitize our lives- heck even our flour is bleached- and finding hand soap that isn’t antibacterial is very hard to do.  Using natural ingredients that help keep the bad bugs away is much safer than spraying down your house with a bleach solution.

Shopping List:

Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap– there are many different scents, I mix our soaps and shampoos up all the time but love the almond scent for the bathroom, citrus for the kitchen, peppermint for shampoo for my kids (there is baby mild too for little ones), lavender or eucalyptus for laundry detergent.  Stock up when on sale.

Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap- You use this for detergent so this is when I use lavender or eucalyptus.  I have now found that a bar of Dr. Bronner’s will allow you to double detergent recipe. Stock up when on sale.  Any other bar soap works too but check the ingredient list!

Borax– do not buy on Amazon- usually my go to place for products but it is much cheaper at Target.  Don’t pay over $5.

Washing Soda- So far I can only find this a very random stores such as Coralville Hy-Vee.  I have not had luck at Target.  Don’t pay over  $5

White Vinegar- Buy big!

Lemon Juice– works great for stain removal.  I removed a rust stain using lemon juice and salt from a very expensive white dress.

Salt- great as an abrasive for scrubbing stains.  Salt also will remove red wine stains from clothes.  Not that I have ever spilled red wine on my shirt before….

Optional- I like tea tree oil in my all purpose cleaner- just a few drops- for it’s antifungal and antibacterial aspects. 

 

Hand Soap: 2-3 squirts Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, water, foaming hand soap container.  Fill the empty hand soap bottle with water until just full, add in a few squirts of Dr. Bronner's and you are good to go! 
Laundry Detergent: Grate one bar of Dr. Bronner's soap, mix with 2 cups borax, and 2 cups washing soda.  Use 1-2T per load.  
Fabric Softener: And 1/2 cup or just eyeball a pour of white vinegar to your load of laundry. 
All purpose cleaner: Mix together about 50% water and vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil (optional).  Smell of vinegar bother you?  Add in other essential oils or just give it time- vinegar smells better than nasty chemicals!

Contact me with any questions!