ENVIRONMENT, Simple Switches

Liquid Handsoap #2!

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I wanted to try a non-foaming liquid soap this time using the same basic ingredients as the one I have been using – Castile soap, water, olive oil and essential oils.  I got a great pump attachment for a mason jar that’s been waiting to be put to good use.  I got it at Masonauve, a Canadian company in Ontario that sells lids and accessories to retrofit Mason/Bernardin jars. Many of us have a few already floating around our homes.

The solution for a regular pump dispenser needs to be thicker so that it won’t run down the pump. I did a bit of research and found that you could change the consistency by adding salt. Who knew?  I tried this and it does work! I didn’t add too much so it only slightly thickened it.

Essential oils aren’t necessary but they do add a nice natural fragrance and depending on the oil it can add some beneficial properties.  This time I thought bergamot oil might be a nice addition. I love the calming smell and it’s one that I have been reaching for a lot lately.  It speeds healing of scratches on skin and is great for reducing inflammation and soothing irritated skin.

  • 1 cup distilled or boiled water
  • 4 tbsp castile soap
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 15 (approx) drops essential oils

I find you can play around with amounts a bit. Start with fewer drops of oil and try it out. You can easily add more to your bottle.

ENVIRONMENT, ESSENTIAL OILS

Revamping My Cleaning Regime

So many cleaning products have passed through my door. Many have made me wonder why on earth someone thought it would be a good idea. Results never work out the way I wanted them too. Either it fell short of my cleaning expectation or some other physical side effect such as a sore throat or having to hold my breath so I don’t pass out. I’m extra sensitive to all those intense ingredients, perhaps more than your average person. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

There is a surge of healthier and environmentally friendly products in response to the demand for alternatives to keeping our spaces clean. In conjunction with that there are so many ways that you can make your own products. People are taking matters into their own hands and coming up with their own designs, tweaking and personalizing recipes. I started switching out my items by slowly replacing them with my own concoctions.

The most obvious one to go in this house was glass and counter cleaners. I buy a lot of vinegar these days! By adding essential oils you add extra cleaning properties plus it leaves the room filled with natural fragrance.

The All Purpose Mixture

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 – 20 drops of Essential Oils (some good ones for cleaning are Lime, Lemon, Orange, Onguard, Tea Tree)

Tables and counters: I use this on counter tops and for spot cleaning small messes on the floor. I mix it in a spray bottle and keep it handy.

Appliances: This is great for giving everything from your stove to your fridge, a quick wipe down. For a deeper clean and to dissolve tough food stains try adding baking soda or soap.

Floors: A micro-fiber mop with a solution attachment works great to do the floors. The same mixture can be used. The nice thing about this is you can sometimes get extra bottles. You can mix something different in each and swap the bottles depending on your need or mood.

ENVIRONMENT, Simple Switches

Making Hand-Soap

This goes on my list Simple Switches. There are benefits to making your own soap. I could take it a step further and make my own bars if I want to get even more environmentally friendly but at this time this is what I am willing to do. For years I have been purchasing large containers of soap and refilling our pumps. I bought one of a bottle I liked and just kept refilling.

  • Dr. Brommer’s unscented pure-Castile soap: 1 part (this works out to 2 tbsp)
  • Spring or distilled water – 10 parts (1 & 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Wild orange essential oil (or any other preference)
  • Good soap dispenser

It is that easy! A bottle of Brommer’s goes such a long way.  It is super concentrated and when diluting it myself I can play around with the ratio a bit. I also has so many other uses although I haven’t tried them yet.

In retrospect I would find a glass dispenser but I can’t bring myself to buy a new one when the plastic one that I am reusing is working fine. Until it breaks or something … a great replacement will be one of my mason jars with a replacement lid with a pump.  A note about the essential oils – they are not necessary but if you do appreciate the aroma or want to give it an extra boost during flu and cold season it’s a great way. I have found it does not bother my sensitivities.

The real reason I want to do this is because with my skin and the amount I wash my hands they have taken a beating. They’re dry and are prone to eczema breakouts. Plus the older I get the more worn my hands are starting to look. Mom was right. She always told me to look after my hands, always wear dish washing gloves and moisturize.

Many of the ready made ones in the stores are perfumed and irritated my skin. I considered searching and trying different brands but the cost and wastage (when products fail me) seemed impractical. Basic is best! Our last batch ran out and we had a small amount of what I used before left so I wanted to use it up. For a couple of weeks my hands were itchy and red and particularly dry. I developed dark spots and had a regiment of having to lather on some of my serious “wonder creams” throughout the day. I switched back to the Brommer’s a couple of days ago and do I really feel the difference!