I have a natural inclination towards all things homemade and “green” which has really blossomed since I’ve become an adult, and
even more recently, started a family. I enjoying trying new recipes and finding substitutes for staples around the house.
The easiest way to make cleaning products and toiletries more natural and much cheaper is to pull from your kitchen. Who
needs Comet when you have baking soda? Spa products are easy to make with a few simple staples. You will save money, save
space, and save the world! by spending a little time making these things at home.
There is so much information to be shared, I’m going to split it into a series of posts. I’ll add the other links here as I go along:
BAKING SODA Most commonly used as a leavening agent, its other properties make it most useful for cleaning. It is mildly abrasive, odor-absorbing, antiseptic, and a weak disinfectant.
VINEGAR Coming in all shapes and sizes, the one I use in the bathroom is plain white vinegar. It kills bacteria and mold, and its acidic nature powers through mineral deposits (scum). For personal care, I use Apple Cider Vinegar; it is much closer to healthy skin pH level (5.5) than white vinegar (about 2.4)
CLEANING YOUR BATHROOM
This is not a new notion, but cleaning does not have to be nearly as complicated (not to mention caustic) as it has become. I clean most everything with Baking Soda and Vinegar.
All-Purpose Bathroom Spray This is great for basic, not-to-gunky cleaning. It leaves the bathroom smelling fresh rather than like a chemistry lab.
- Pour white vinegar and water (50/50) into a spray bottle.
That is basically it! I use this on everything from the mirrors and windows, to the tub and floor. I just spray and wipe, starting from top to bottom. I use microfiber cloths, you can get them at the Dollar Store, but anything that won’t leave fibers will do. I tend to squeegee the shower doors. Actually, I tend to let my daughter squeegee the shower doors ;o)
To take your basic vinegar/water mix up a notch, mix in your favorite essential oils. Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Lemon are known to be highly anti-bacterial. Sometimes I grab herbs from the garden (mint, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender) and steep a tea to use instead of plain water. Of course, if you don’t have fresh herbs at your disposal, you can use your favorite herbal tea to make a scented spray.
Baking Soda Scrub When I have more of a mess going on (toothpaste, hairspray, mystery spills) I sprinkle baking soda on my surfaces and wipe up with a damp cloth or sponge. For soap-scummy areas, I sprinkle with baking soda, spray with vinegar, and then scrub…I feel like the fizzing cleans deeper, but that might just be me!
I have also read you can clean drains with some combination of Baking Soda and Vinegar, but I have never tried it, so I will leave that for you guys to experiment with!
Natural skin care is something I’ve been into for at least a decade and a half, and in that time I have tried many things, and found many thing just don’t do squat. Even though I still try other things (it’s just my nature) these two products have always treated me right.
Bath Soak You can find this one on the back of your Arm and Hammer box.
From the site – “For a relaxing ending to a long day, add ½ cup of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. Your skin will feel silky smooth.”
Foot Soak I do this much more often than a full on bath soak, but same principle. You can also soak your feet in vinegar for a more intense de-funk. Stephen does it straight.
Face Wash This will leave you with soft, exfoliated, glowy skin. This is especially good for acne prone skin; the baking soda rids you of excess skin flakes and blackheads, while the vinegar balances the skin’s pH. This is gentle enough to do daily. You can bump up the vinegar concentration, but if your skin starts to get dry, you’ve gone to far!
- In a jar, mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar with 8 part water.
- Pour some baking soda in another jar to keep by your sink.
Mix 1 tsp baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Rub onto face in a circular motion. Rinse. Use a cotton round to apply the ACV mix to face. Let sit a few minutes and then rinse. Moisturize if needed.
Hair Wash/Conditioner Baking Soda and Vinegar can make a great addition to your current hair care routine. Add a few shakes of Baking Soda to a squirt of shampoo deep cleans and rids hair of product buildup. A final rinse of Apple Cider Vinegar and cool water conditions by sealing the hair cuticle. I actually forewent commercial shampoo some time ago and wash my hair with baking soda:
- In a bottle with a squirt nozzle (like for hair dye, or tie dye), mix 1 tsp baking soda with 1 cup water
- In another squirt bottle, mix 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 cup water.
This is an excellent way to save water as you can apply the baking soda mix before you get in the shower. Squirt the baking soda mix onto your roots, using the nozzle to get to your scalp. You don’t need a lot, just enough to get the roots saturated. You are not trying to cover all of your hair unless you have gunk on it. Usually the rinse process will sufficiently clean the rest of your hair. Vigorously massage it in with your finger tips, but don’t use your nails! You want to get the grime and any excess flakes without scratching up your scalp, which leads to irritation and more flakes. After a few minutes, rinse while still massaging. Squeeze the excess water from your hair and squirt the ACV mix onto your scalp and hair. Let sit while you finish your shower, and then rinse with the coolest water you can stand.
These ratios are just starting points…some scalps will need more or less concentration to look best. When you rinse the baking soda out, if it feels slippery, it should be right. When your hair is dry, if it feels oily or looks limp, you may need more baking soda, but it’s possible you need less vinegar.
*FUN FACT* The ACV really helps with dandruff. For an extra anti-bacterial boost you could add a few drops of tea tree oil to the rinse.
Tooth Powder We regularly brush our teeth with baking soda. It’s salty, but it’s worth it! It is mildly abrasive which helps with surface stains (coffee and wine, anyone?) and leaves your mouth feeling really fresh. The simplest way to do it is grab a bowl of baking soda and dip in a wet toothbrush, and brush. If you want to get fancy, you can add in a few drops of peppermint oil, powdered cinnamon, or dried citrus zest.
Peppermint Lime Tooth Powder
1 cup Baking Soda
Zest of 1 Lime, dried
10-20 drops peppermint essential oil (to taste)
Put everything in a lidded container and shake really well to disperse flavorings. Brush!
*NOTE* While doing extra research for this article, I came across this post saying that cinnamon can cause inflammation and sensitivity in some mouths, so if you add cinnamon and your mouth doesn’t like it, make new stuff!
Well, that should be enough to get you started, let me know how it works for you!