In the quest to de-chemicalize our house, I have turned to the power of the internet to get some tips and recipes for making my own hand soap, body wash and other cleaning products.
It's amazing what you can find out there in Pinterest-land and beyond.
After I used up the last bit of the Softsoap brand I purchased (yes I'm
While it worked well and smelled fantastic, it was thinner than I was used to and so I decided to tweak it a bit to get more of that thickness I'm used to in my soaps.
I added in a trick I learned from another pinner about using raw, unfiltered honey to thicken up castile soap for body wash. I made this recipe for my husband for Christmas. He is a huge peppermint scented Dr. Bronner's soap fan, so I used the liquid castile soap and some peppermint and thieves essential oils to make it awesome.
I grabbed one of my jam jars, purchased a mason jar soap dispenser from Target, and got to work. Here is what I came up with:
- 1 cup water (distilled or regular if you go through it as fast as we do)
- 1 oz of castile soap (or 6 tsp)
- 1/3 cup of raw unfiltered honey
Add the water to your jar, pour in the castile soap and then soften the honey in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds. Stir into jar. Put on the dispenser. Go.
It's that easy. And that affordable. Again, you can do it without the honey, but it not only thickens it up a bit, but it leaves my hands super soft.
There are a ton of different ways to use Dr. Bronner's castile soap and there are so many different scents to choose from. If not using peppermint, which I do because of the hubs and because my Costco sells it for $10, I usually go for the baby/unscented version so I can use my essential oils to scent it the way I want.
Dr. Bronner's daughter has a blog where she shared how she uses the various products around her house. There are also printable "cheat sheets" you can use that give dilution amounts and methods for using.
I've also fell in love with Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds, which is a step beyond castile soap for heavier duty cleaning. You can use it in the dishwasher, sink, washing machine and so much more. Since it's quite a bit more on Amazon, I would recommend buying it from the Dr. Bronner's site and spending the $35 required for free shipping.
For you Pine Sol lovers, you can feel good about putting down that chemical-laden bottle and using this. It smells of the most amazing pine forest -- the real kind! I feel like I'm walking in the woods every time I use it -- which is helpful with the drudgery of doing dishes.
All in all, I have been pleasantly surprised with the ease that I have been able to transition to more natural cleaning and beauty products. As I run out of each product, I have been able to find a DIY natural replacement. When I do it this way, it's a lot less work than trying to replace an entire cabinet full of stuff.
Not only has this emptied out my cabinets of cleaning products with chemicals, but it has joined my trusty arsenal of Norwex products. If you don't know about Norwex, you are missing out! These revolutionary cleaning products are non-toxic and mostly work with water to clean your entire house and more. Their microfiber clothes work like voodoo magic to clean the grossest messes completely, including chicken juice (you have to see their bacteria test) and even hard to pick up items like coffee grounds. I highly recommend adding them in to your arsenal. Even better, if you have littles in your home, they can use all the products without worry of them being exposed to harmful ingredients. My good friend, Launa, can sort you out and answer all of your questions.
So, basically, if you are thinking about making some changes in your household to natural products, you won't be sorry! Your skin, countertops, clothes, and dishes will thank you!
*I'm still learning, but if you'd like to follow my "Going Natural" board in Pinterest, come on over!