Friday, December 4, 2009

Natural Toiletries

So, I'm forever on a quest to find natural, homemade ways to do away with store-bought, toxic, chemical-ridden household supplies.  Cleaning supplies and toiletries are at the top of my list.  Recently I've begun making some home-made toiletries that are super easy, and super cheap!  And dare I say, even BETTER than the store bought stuff.  I love sharing this stuff, and I love it when I have converts.  So, if you become a convert, please do share. 

1) Toothpaste:  I've been using baking soda.  Yep.  That's it.  I keep a jar of it on my bathroom counter because I use it for most of my homemade cleaning supplies, and also for shampoo for my husband (I'll get to that later).  I wet my toothbrush, then dip it in the baking soda, and voila!  Brusha brusha, and you've got yourself a nice, natural, whitening, halitosis-ending toothpaste!  (I think this must have been the way they did it in the olden days, before Tom of Maine was around).  I'll admit, the taste takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not that bad.  And I like knowing I'm not putting anything unknown into my mouth, or ingesting it....especially that mind-altering stuff, fluoride.

2) Deodorant:  OK, this one is fun!  I recently read someone's recipe for deodorant, and made some myself.  It's 1:1 ratio of distilled water (I used tap) and hydrogen peroxide.  Plus about seven drops of Lavender Essential Oil (EO), and seven drops of Tea Tree Oil (TTO).  The Lavender and TTO have antibacterial properties, so they are good to use on those stinky pits.  Depending on the amount of liquid you are making, you'd want to adjust your drops of EOs up or down.  They make it smell lovely.  I put the ingredients in a spray bottle, and spray it on in the mornings. 

Buuuut....I've been using the above recipe for a couple days, and I'm pretty stinky by the end of the day. So, I'll be changing my recipe to the concoction I mixed up tonight:

1/4 cup baking soda (that glorious thing I use in EVERYTHING.  Ok, maybe not, but close.)
1/4 cup cornstarch
about 4 tablespoons coconut oil (maybe more, maybe less.  Just adjust to the consistency you like)
Tea Tree and Lavender EOs

 For those of you who don't know of the wonders of coconut oil, maybe I'll devote a blog to that someday soon, but in the meantime, here's a little factoid:  it has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, in my house right now, it's solid stuff.  I had to heat it up to get it liquid to make my concoction.

I put it in a small mason jar, and have it on my counter to rub on my pitsos tomorrow morning.  I'm really excited.  (Is that weird?)  I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm just excited to not be putting another mind-altering substance into my body.....aluminum

3) Lotion:  Coconut Oil.  Yep.  That's it! (again).  I've ditched the Lubriderm that I've been addicted to for over a decade, and tried this wonderful thing called Coconut Oil.  I've been using it on my face as a facial moisturizer for a while (and loving it!), and I decided to start on my whole body.  I filled a little jar I bought at Wal-mart for $1.97 with some coconut oil, and I keep it in the shower.  I oil myself up after each shower, and feel soooo silky smooth.  Plus, there's the added benefit of smelling all tropical.  Like I just stepped off the plane from Hawaii.  Yum.  It also helps heal scars, and is good for mitigating eczema.  It can be used as a personal lubricant (that's natural, and won't burn!), for yeast infections (is this TMI?), and even is used by some for weight loss!  I know it sounds crazy, and very counter-intuitive, but it's true. 

4) Anti-dandruff:  Apple Cider Vinegar.  I've been doing this one for a few months.  Every time I start getting itchy scalp, I douse my head in some ACV, sleep with it on for one night, and the next morning the flakes are gone, the itching has ceased, and I'm back to normal.  It's such a cheap, easy way to fix this issue that I do not enjoy having.

5) Shampoo and Conditioner:  Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  So this is not one I'm doing myself, but I've gotten my hubby to do it.  I fill up a plastic katsup bottle type thing I got at Wal-mart for $.97 with 2 tablespoons Baking Soda and 2 cups water.  Shake it up, and pour it on. Hubby works it into his scalp.  Then he rinses with the other ketchup bottle filled with ACV.  One tip I've heard about is to not put the ACV directly on your scalp (unless you are doing the anti-dandruff thing mentioned above, and are going to wash your hair in the morning).  It will make your scalp produce more oils, and you'll be a grease-ball all day.  So, just rinse your hair with it.  I'm no expert, and this homemade toiletry still needs some work and figuring out, but I thought I'd mention it, in case anyone wants to go "poo free". 

If all of this sounds daunting to you, I completely understand.  My husband and I talked for MONTHS about making our own cleaning supplies.  We just felt like it was a big step.  We also weren't sure it would work, and we kinda didn't know how to do it (well, we had recipes, but they required collecting empty bottles and such, so it was too much work).  Once we decided to take that huge leap, and mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar to make our all-purpose cleaner (Whew!  Glad that's over!), we realized it is waaay easier than putting it on the shopping list, searching for it at the store, and bringing it home.  Not only is is time-saving, but most of our homemade cleaners cost pennies compared to the dollars that we spent on commercial ones.  The same is true with our homemade toiletries.  So, I just want to say, "YOU CAN DO IT!"  If this sounds at all fun or exciting to start making your own stuff, I encourage you to set aside 20 minutes to sit down, read the directions, find your empty containers, and get yourself set-up to do it.  I think you'll be glad you did.  We sure were.