It was probably about three years ago when I first watched the documentary Food Inc. and many others like it. I was in the throes of postpartum depression and quickly spiraling downward into adrenal fatigue. I had six-month-old twins and a two-year-old. It was one of the hardest times in my life. My husband and I used this new information and started overhauling our diet. As we continued to feel better just from what we were eating, we became more aware of other toxins in our lives and started looking into natural cleaning products.
I don’t remember exactly when I tried out my first homemade natural cleaning products or remedy, but with each new success, my motivation grew and now I can’t think of more than a few things we use in our home that are “traditional” so to speak. I’m a part of many natural parenting and crunchy mom Facebook groups and I’m always getting new ideas for things to try. I thought it would be fun to list the things I make versus the items that I do still choose to buy.And as an added bonus, I recently got the opportunity to receive a few items free from Country Herbals in exchange for my honest opinion of the natural cleaning products, and you’ll see that here, too!
Natural Cleaning Products
What I Make at Home:
- Face wash – I use this recipe. It’s been almost two years now since I switched. I absolutely love it.
- Bath soaks – There is no reason to use fragrant store-bought salts and “bath bombs.” I keep baking soda, Epsom salt, bentonite clay, and seaweed powder in glass jars on my bath ledge. I greatly enjoy my bath soaks
and always have what I need on hand for my own personal spa night.
- Toothpaste – I keep a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and coconut oil in a small mason jar with some peppermint essential oils. My husband even says he likes this toothpaste better than the store-bought stuff.
- Spray-in conditioner – I use apple cider vinegar, water, and essential oils.
- Laundry detergent – I use a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and washing soda. (Side note, I don’t use dryer sheets either and instead use wool dryer balls.)
- Hand soap – I use a 1:4 ratio of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and water. I add essential oils for scent and use a foaming pump.
- Shaving cream – I have been using coconut oil to shave for years. Recently, I got an all-natural goat’s milk soap bar from Country Herbals. I don’t use body wash, though. I clean with water only. I decided to give this bar a try in place of my coconut oil for shaving. Much to my surprise, it was AMAZING. So, no, maybe not the intended use, but this bar will last me a pretty long time and I will very likely be buying more when I need
it. It smells great, feels smooth, and gives me major peace of mind knowing the ingredients and their sources.
- All purpose cleaner – White distilled vinegar and water. It cleans everything.
- Citrus spray/wood cleaner – I saw this one on Pinterest. Soak all your leftover orange rinds in a jar of white vinegar for a week or so and combine with water for a great citrus cleaner. We use this on our wood table as well as to spot clean our hardwood floors.
What I Still Buy:
- Dishwasher soap – We tried many versions of homemade recipes and just couldn’t get on board. We use a paraben- and phthalates-free brand now instead. We do still use plain white vinegar in place of Jet Dry or other
- Shampoo – I made my own a couple of times. It worked okay but not great. I switched back to an all-natural brand I found discounted heavily on Amazon, and it’s been a lifesaver.
- Mouthwash – We use Listerine Naturals. It is dye- and fluoride-free. I’ve considered dabbling in a homemade version but I just haven’t committed yet.
- Body wash – Like I said before, I don’t use any. My husband does and opts to use Every Man Jack brand (as both his body wash and shampoo.)
- Lotion – I rarely use lotion, honestly. If needed I just grab a dab of coconut oil or vitamin E oil. I got lavender-scented body butter from Country Herbals, so I smoothed it on my legs after shaving one night. Ohhhhhh, man, it is to die for! Not only is the scent heavenly and makes for a wonderful bedtime smell, but my legs felt baby soft. I am definitely putting this on my list of things to buy from now on, too.
- Contact solution – There isn’t much to a contact solution to begin with, so I’m not worried about the toxins. I need my contacts to be clean or I get major headaches. There are blog posts out there that swear by homemade
versions for a fraction of the cost, but I just can’t do it.
- Toilet cleaner – I just use the Target brand. It doesn’t come in contact with my skin. It doesn’t have a harsh smell. We all have our limits, right? The toilet is my “I just don’t care” limit.
Natural living with natural cleaning products makes sense for my family. I enjoy it so it comes easy to me. This isn’t to say that it is easy overall, though. We’ve had a lot of practice and a lot of mishaps along the way. If natural living is something you are interested in, start small, use the tips above, and feel free to ask me questions. If not, no judgement. Do what makes sense for your family.
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