Speaking about green and sustainable living….
I never thought I will go that way, but so far I really like it, and I’m planning to do much more. Since I started making body lotions I’ve read dozens of websites and articles about how toxic are the ingredients that cosmetic companies use in their produce. Body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, body washes…, you name it… it’s everywhere. Many of those ingredients are carcinogens, and not only… Many are not even listed on the labels.
“Most cosmetics and personal care products on store shelves today contain five major categories of toxic ingredients. These are: frank carcinogens (cancer causing); precursors of or “hidden” carcinogens; endocrine or hormonally disruptive; penetration enhancers; and allergens.” (Major Risk From Cosmetics & Personal Care Produce)
These days I make my own facial cleansers, body lotions, body scrubs and I practice the “no poo” method of washing my hair. I’m totally satisfied and I’m planning to do the same with our daughter. After I read an article that cancer-causing chemicals were discovered in Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo I laughed (yes, I did… ups). If you look at the labels of almost any (baby or not) body lotion, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste or even deodorants you’ll see a few ingredients that are on the list of carcinogens. It doesn’t have to be J&J… and that fact is known for years. In 2009 L’Oreal was listed as one of 100 most sustainable companies and Burts Bees wasn’t. Where the first one uses chemicals in their personal care produce and they do tests on animals and the second one does not. Oh well, it doesn’t do tests on animals but I saw a few ingredients on their labels that shouldn’t be there, but still… .
It’s all about the money and we all go for it.
Many people just don’t care. I didn’t. I used to buy without using my brain… only eyes and nose, and listening to what commercials would say and show.
Today I think first, and it’s obvious to me that PAYING for something that’s toxic and putting it on my body it’s suicidal and simply stupid.
Yes, I still use commercial body wash and deodorant (without aluminum) but it’s not going to be for too much longer. I’m planning to switch to glycerin based soaps and homemade deodorants.
The same is with all kinds of household cleansers. I don’t remember when I bought them for the last time. A year ago…?! For most of the time I use vinegar (link will take you to 131 uses for Vinegar) and baking soda (40 uses for baking soda) and essential oils.
A few months ago I started making my own laundry detergent…, and this post was planned to be only about it…
There is plenty of tutorials online how to make your own “almost everything”. The most useful place to look for is Pinterest, I think. This is mine homemade beauty products board and it’s growing :) Feel free to follow me or let me know about great tutorial for homemade stuff so I can add it to my boards.
Anyway, this is my recipe for homemade laundry detergent:
1/3 bar of soap, (The most typical type of soap to use is Fels Naptha. It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry aisle. The other options for soap are Ivory or another brand called, Zote. Any of these will work)
½ cup washing soda (I’ve heard that’s easy to get at pool supplies store or in Wal-Mart. I make my own.)
½ cup borax powder (20 Mule Team)
and a small bucket, about 2 gallon size
I found my soap in Home Depot ($0.99 per soap)
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.
Add 6 cups of water and heat it until the soap melts.
Add the washing soda and the borax and stir it until it is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Add 4 cups of hot water to your bucket. Now add your soap mixture. Stir it well. Add 1 gallon and 6 cups of hot water. Stir now and then until the mixture cools down. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will become a gel.
Use 1/2 cup per load.
From my experience I know that this detergent won’t clean heave stains. It’s not a bleach. The way I deal with it is simple. Before I wash or even right after the stain appear (after my daughter spill something on her cloths) I treat it with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Give it a quick wash in hands (for bigger and more stubborn stains I use some kind of brush) and wash it as usual with the rest of the clothes. It works great so far.
For whites I use natural bleach – lemons or lemon juice. For my face cloths and kitchen towels I normally fill a pot with water and add thinly sliced fresh lemon.
Bring the water with lemons to a boil. Turn off heat, add my towels and clothes, and let it to soak for an hour or even longer.
For some it might look like it’s a pain in the ass to mess with all that stuff and I totally get it. It’s actually not that hard or time taking. If you get to a routine it’s really easy.
I know that green and sustainable living is much more, but Rome wasn’t built in a day… . We do what we can afford these days hoping that in the future we will be able to do much more in our life to make it more green and sustainable.