Thursday, June 7, 2012

...on Au Naturel Cleaners

I've really taken an interest in making my own home cleaner, body soap, laundry detergent, facial cleanser, etc. I've been using Pinterest as a resource to find a lot of these recipes, and wanted to share them!  It's also much easier for me to have all of these recipes in one location.

I can't remember where I found the home cleaner recipe, but it's probably the simplest recipe ever:

Homemade All-purpose Cleaner
1 part water
1 part white vinegar
orange peels for scent

When you've got your water/vinegar mixture ready, put orange and/or lemon peels in the mixture to soak.  You can buy a big bag of oranges, and as you eat them throughout the week, dump the peels into your container.  The citrus oils are also considered to have cleaning properties, but I really like it for the smell.

Why do I choose to use homemade house cleaner?  For several reasons:

1) I don't like the idea of harsh, synthetic chemicals running rampant in my home.  That's a personal point of view that my husband and I share after doing research on how chemicals are causing physical harm to humans.  He and I are "au naturel" kind of people.
2) I feel an extra sense of pride when I clean with homemade cleaner.  I didn't go out to a store and pick up a bottle... I MADE IT!
3) Because the cleaner is not harsh chemicals, the smell doesn't sting my nostrils, doesn't trigger migraines, and doesn't linger for long after I clean.
4) It cleans just as well as any store-bought cleaner and is very inexpensive.

Homemade Laundry Soap
1 (4lb) box Borax "All Natural Laundry Booster"
1 (3lb) box Arm&Hammer Washing Soda
2 (2lb) boxes Arm&Hammer Baking Soda
2 (14oz) bars of Zote Soap or Fels Naptha

All of these ingredients can be found in your local grocery store in the laundry aisle (or baking aisle for baking soda).  You will need to use a cheese grater, also called a "Knuckle Buster" here in the south, and grate the 2 bars of soap.  Then, mix all of your ingredients together in a container that can be kept dry and water-proof.  You will need only about 1/8 cup per load!  Some folks have used much less, like 2TBspn per load of laundry... I guess it depends on your personal preferences and how much water your washing machine uses.

**If you want to make it scented, add approximately 1 TBspn of your essential oils to the grated soap before mixing with the other ingredients.**

Use in conjunction with one of the stain removers that I have listed below:

Homemade Non-Bleach Stain Remover
2 parts hot water
1 part Hydrogen Peroxide
1 part Washing soda  (Arm and Hammer brand, similar to baking soda)

Mix ingredients together and allow clothes to soak for 30 minutes or so.  The longer the soak, the more effective it will be!

**Use within 4-6 hours of mixing the ingredients together**

Homemade Stain-Remover Pre-Wash
#1 - Vinegar
Use plain white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle to soak your stained clothes before you wash.  You can spray it in the armpits, on spots, etc.  You can also add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar, along with your normal laundry detergent to help remove stains.

#2 - Lemons
You can add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice to your normal laundry detergent to help remove stains.  If you want a pre-wash soak, boil 2 lemons in a large pot of water.  Use the lemon-water to soak your laundry for an hour before you wash with your regular laundry detergent.

I just found this recipe the other day:

Brown Sugar and Lemon Face and Body Scrub
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sea salt
2 Tbspn coconut oil
1 Tbspn honey
2 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbspn of your favorite essential oil (Ex: eucalyptus, spearmint, lavender, jasmine)

Mix all ingredients together - it should form a paste.  Rub lightly into skin to exfoliate and rinse with warm water.  Apply a moisturizer afterward if you so choose.

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