Simply Homemade

I used to think homemade stuff reeked of cheap. I used to think homemade products were not as efficient as store bought. I used to think nothing homemade could be better than any known brand.

I was wrong.

I guess it takes maturity and a broader knowledge to realize nothing in homemade products will be harmful to the point of toxicity. Branded stuff on the other hand… In the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with homemade products, from skin care to cleaners.

GUADALOUPE’S SEAL OF APPROVAL

Guadaloupe is the lady who comes to my house and makes it shine. She’s efficient and thorough. She’s a bit set in her ways and likes certain brands to clean. Last week, she found I had not replaced my usual Green Works All Purpose cleaner. Instead, she found this:

ImageThis is my new all purpose cleaner, in a recycled Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and an old Febreeze pump. I read the recipe on Wellness Mama‘s website and decided to give a try. It’s very simple: washing soda, borax, essential oils and filtered water.

Guadaloupe looked very skeptical when she took my bottle but she didn’t have a choice. “Even for the bathrooms?” she asked. “Yep,” I said. When she finished, she made a point to tell me she approved my new all purpose cleaner.

“It cleans well,” she said, “and it smells good.”

If Guadaloupe approves, I should market the stuff.

Head over to the Wellness Mama for more homemade cleaning ideas.

Image 1SKIN CARE

I don’t have any particular skin problem (does aging count?). But I do find I have a few black heads on my nose and I need super hydrating cream because my skin gets dry easily. I read about the oil cleansing method and decided I’d give it a try. I found the ingredients at Whole Foods – castor oil and coconut oil. I followed Health Starts In The Kitchen‘s recipe and though it wasn’t easy to get the two oils to blend, I finally got one batch thoroughly mixed. I added some peppermint essential oil to help with the smell of castor oil, which is quite pronounced.

I use a cotton pad to gently spread the oil on my face, making sure my hair is all pulled back from my face with a headband. I don’t want any oil in my hair, especially if it doesn’t need washing. I wait a minute or two and I turn on the water as hot as I can. I wet a facecloth and bend my face into it but don’t let the cloth touch my skin yet. The heat steams my face a little, I wait 30 seconds, then I wipe off the oil.

My skin feels clean though so far, I believe it looks as good as before. I take comfort in knowing I am not cleaning my face with a load of chemicals.

WEED KILLER

Monsanto has its whole business revolving around one product:  Round Up. They create seeds able to withstand its herbicide, manipulate genetics of grains and spay the chemical on fields by plane.

I want nothing to do with Round Up.

Unfortunately, I want nothing to do with weeds also. I hit the net to find a natural recipe and found one that is effective. Vinegar, salt, dish soap. I tested its efficiency last fall.

IMG_2060

Before

IMG_2059

After

Quite effective, I’d say.

KOMBUCHA

Homemade kombucha is a fickle enterprise. Kombucha is a probiotic beverage made out of fermented tea. It’s delicious and the flavors and limitless. It’s also IMG_2318quite pricey to buy it at the store.

I bought my first dehydrated SCOBY two years ago from Cultures For Health and followed the instructions to rehydrate the SCOBY (stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast). I killed it.

I bought another last year and killed it again.

Third time is supposed to be the charm, and it was. Last month, I was able to successfully rehydrate my SCOBY and made my first ever batch of kombucha. I could have stopped there and drank it plain, but I got excited and decided to go through a second fermentation to add flavor – ginger in particular.

My kombucha tasted yummy but it did not get fizzy. What a disappointment! But have no fear, I bravely brewed two new batches and they are quietly fermenting away on my mantle.

I will not give up until I get my own brewed Kombucha. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have make any homemade products? Please share!


10 Comments

  1. You are ambitious…and smart. I have multiple chemical sensitivities so I try to buy all natural cleaning products. I’ll have to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. I liked your recipes and will give several of them a try! Thanks for not using Roundup – dreadful stuff.

    • writinghealthy

      Hi Ashantay, you bet I don’t want to use Round Up. I swear, that’s what must be killing the bees.

  3. writinghealthy

    Thanks PJ! The recipes I found were simple. On top of being easy, they cost pennies to make. And clean well!

  4. I use slightly diluted vinegar and old newspapers to clean windows. I’m going to suggest to my husband he use your weedkiller this spring. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Tuere Morton

    Wow! What great products. It’s too bad most of us don’t take the time to discover more natural ways to leave less of a footprint on the planet. Thanks for sharing :)

    • writinghealthy

      Thanks for stopping by, Tuere. It takes so little time, and so little money to do these recipes, I wish I could go back in time and give myself a serious talk. :)

  6. I’m so going to try that cleanser, Carole. Thanks, Guadalupe for the seal of approval test run!

    When I remember, I use what should be a weekly skin regimen, a simple recipe I learned a few years ago. 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp almond oil. blend well, apply to face and neck. You will need a very warm face cloth to remove the mixture, but honey has anti-bacterial properties, and almond oil is a soothing moisturizer.

    I heard another (on Dr Oz?) less than a year ago, involving… yogurt and cumin? Wish I’d tried it b4 the simple recipe left my head.

  7. Definitely charging into new territory, Carole. I’ve used vinegar mixed with water to clean, but I don’t love the smell. Must try this one. And I love using plain coconut oil for everything. Takes off makeup like a charm! Some terrific things to try. :)

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