In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd post about the natural cleaning and body products I've been making and using. I first got into making natural products last August when I had my "I'm not a Dirty Hippie" party and got together with friends to make many of these for the first time. Most of the recipes are here, in my follow up post. And anon, my friend, I finally noticed that I've been misspelling deodOrant forever. It took me a while to pick up on it, but thanks for helping me out there.
Okay, first the body products: (The photos include both the ingredients and the finished product.)
Lotion (above): I used to think lotion would be super complicated to make, but it's no different from cooking. You melt some stuff and mix some stuff. That's about it. I've tried making a couple of different recipes now, one (Rosemary's Perfect Cream) from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and this Creamy Smooth Body and Hand Cream that I found at RecipeZaar (pictured above). I don't have a picture of Rosemary's Cream since I made it this past winter and have since used it up. I really liked it and used it as both a face lotion and body lotion. The body and hand cream shownÂ is very rich and goes on oily but soaks into the skin relatively quickly. I love it so far.
Deodorant: I LOVE Angry Chicken's deodorant! I've used it since last August and am still in love. It works perfectly for me. I finally used up the batch we made at the party and made a new batch this past weekend. I was excited to do this (ha! excited over deodorant!) because the first batch was too hard and I had to use a spoon to gouge out a piece then rub it between my fingers to warm and soften it before applying it. We missed Amy's note about adding vegetable glycerin to make it softer. This time I added a tablespoon of the glycerin and now I think it's perfect.
No Shampoo: I've also been doing the no shampoo thing since last August and love it. I was inspired by Angry Chicken (she talked about no shampoo in her deodorant post) and followed the link she mentioned for instructions. Basically I rub baking soda (about 1 tsp for my short hair) into my hair when wet, rinse it out, then follow with a rinse of diluted apple cider vinegar (1 Tbsp per cup). It smells vinegary for an hour or so, so if I'm going to go out or see people, I usually follow the vinegar rinse with more water or skip the vinegar rinse altogether. People probably think I'm weird enough. I haven't tried this on Maia yet as it's a struggle enough just to get her hair washed occasionally. I don't know if baking soda would mean more struggle or less.
Lip Balm: I'm still using the lip balm we made last August. I like it okay but it's a little grainy–maybe from the herbs we used. I'm looking forward to trying a new recipe soon, maybe this one at Not Martha.
Now for the home cleaning products:
Laundry Detergent: This might be my favorite recipe, just because it is SO cheap to make versus buy. Again, most of the recipes (including the laundry detergent) are here, in my follow up post to the natural products party. The ingredients are just washing soda, a bar of glycerin soap, borax, and water. The recipe makes a LOT, and I end up filling an assortment of recycled glass bottles (juice bottlesÂ like the one above workÂ great), containers that used to hold store-bought detergent, and old nalgene bottles.
Dishwashing Detergent: This is easy and quick to mix up whenever I'm running low. Just mix together equal amounts of washing soda and borax. Again, we've been using this since last August and are happy with it.
Dish Soap: I haven't actually made any liquid dish soap yet, but as soon as ours runs out, I plan to try this recipe. And I've started using my new dishcloth! I made a few mistakes, but it'll just be used for scrubbing dishes so I'm not upset about it. It was a good practice piece for a beginner like me.
Alice's Wonder Spray: This stuff is great! I found the recipe in a pamphlet my Mom sent me from her co-op and love it. There's not much I can't do with some wonder spray and my new stash of cleaning rags.
General Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaning: For just about everything else I use baking soda and/or distilled white vinegar. For sinks, I sprinkle on the baking soda, drizzle some vinegar over it, watch it fizz (Maia likes to watch this part!), then start scrubbing. Easy, cheap, and nontoxic — a combo I like.
Do you have any other recipes to share? I haven't tried making soap or toothpaste yet, but would like to one of these days. Also some sort of facial cleanser. I've been using Cetaphil since I was a teenager but am ready to try something different and more natural.
I was going to make a bad joke about getting off my soapbox now, but I'm no good at jokes, good or bad. So I'll just say Happy Earth Day!