Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to Rid your Home of TOXIC Cleaning Supplies!

So my last post about getting rid of toxic toiletry items has been the most popular post on my tiny little blog.

I think it's something that is very important to many of us, and we need all the help we can get!!

So now I'll talk about getting rid of the toxins that are in our everyday cleaning supplies.

This is also pretty new to me.

I used to be a couponer...and I still LOVE the idea of it, but just haven't found the time to be as consistent as I need to be since I had my second daughter....3 years ago ;)

But while I was couponing and creating my own mini "stockpile," I stocked up on a few cleaning supplies. 

I had extra bottles of laundry detergent, air fresheners, bleach sprays, 409 sprays, sanitizing and cleaning wipes, and dish soap.

It was so reassuring to walk out to my garage and grab my extra bottle of Lysol when the one in the house ran out.

But my priorities are shifting.

I still VERY MUCH care about cost and saving money. 

But the health of my family is far more important.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have not done extensive research into all the individual ingredients in our cleaning products.  I DO know and understand that everything we breath in and touch can have a very real affect on our health.

And since I started using Young Living Essential Oils in October (read about how to get them here, we use Young Living exclusively), I have started to look at everything so differently.

I think more about the foods we eat.

I think more about the soaps we use (hence the previous post).

I think more about what I clean my counters and my kids' TOYS with.

I think more about what we DRINK!

I think more about almost everything really.

How does it affect us?

Is this harmful to us?

My conclusion is that much of it is.

To read more about how our everyday TOXIC products can harm our family, read these articles here and here.

So soon after we started using YL's Essential Oils, I purchased their Thieves Household Cleaner!

I love it!

It has all the cleansing power of our Thieves Essential Oil blend which is extremely effective in killing airborne bacteria.

This stuff can clean anything.

  • Windows
  • Floors
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Sinks!

Really.  You don't need to by any other cleaner.  


The cleaner is concentrated, so you just get an empty spray bottle and dilute it with water.

There are dilution suggestions on the bottle...I usually use one capful of Thieves  Household Cleaner and fill my large plastic spray bottle 2/3 full.

If you are needing more degreasing power, then you can use less water, or more Thieves Cleaner.

Thieves is so effective at killing bacteria, virus, infection, and boosting the immune system, that YL has an entire Thieves product line.

There is a Thieves Oral Care line as well as personal care products like hand purifier, spray, and wipes!


Just in case you're not wanting to buy this super convenient bottle of cleaner (which you can get through me),  I'll list some really simple recipes to make some DIY cleaners.

Here is what you'll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda (different than baking soda)
  • Borax
  • Fels Naptha Bar Soap
  • Distilled Vinegar
  • Castile Soap (Dr. Bronners or made from a bar like I did)
  • Young Living Essential Oils 

Let's get started.

Sink/bathtub cleaner (scouring powder replacement)
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Shake this up in a jar.


Disinfecting Spray
  • 16oz. Water
  • 30 drops Essential Oil - Lemon, Thieves, Melaleuca, or Oregano (your house will smell like a pizzeria if you use oregano...but it's a great disinfectant!)
  • 2-3TBSP Castile Soap if desired

The essential oils and water will disinfect, but to add some cleaning power, you can include the castile soap.

Just combine it all in a spray bottle!

Multi-purpose Cleaner
When I say multi-pupose...I mean you can pretty much just use this for anything.

  • 6oz Water
  • 6oz Vinegar
  • 30 drops Essential Oils - again, Lemon, Thieves, Melealuca, Oregano, or even Orange!

Mix this in a spray bottle!


Window and Mirror Cleaner
  • 6oz Water
  • 6oz Vinegar
  • 15 drops Essential Oils - I'd use a citrus oil for this

This is what my mom used to use on her windows (without the essential oils) and we'd wipe them with newspapers!

I keep forgetting to save my papers for that purpose because they really do work well!!!  No streaks!

Dish Soap
I will be trying this one soon, but haven't personally used it yet!

  • 1/2 Cup Castile Soap
  • 1/8 Cup Water
  • 6 drops Essential Oils - Lemon, Orange, or Thieves would be great

Mix in an old liquid dish soap container!


Can't wait to try it for myself next week!

This is an alternative option that you'll have the ingredients for already if using bars of Castile Soap.

Dishwasher Detergent
I used a homemade powdered dishwasher detergent for a long time that had washing soda, baking soda, borax, and citric acid in it.  It worked temporarily and then stopped.  I tried several different variations and recipes and couldn't get my dishes clean! 

I read that it can clog some dishwashers.  That could be what was happening, I'm not sure.  But I went back to store bought detergent.

Now I have the option of just putting a capful of Thieves Household Cleaner in there!  


But I am about to try out this recipe and see if my dishwasher can handle it!

  • 1/2 Cup Castile Soap
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1Tbsp Vinegar
  • 2 drops Essential Oils - Lemon, Orange, Thieves

Rinse Aid
  • Vinegar!

I keep my rinse aid compartment filled with vinegar and usually splash 1/4 Cup extra into the bottom of the dishwasher before running it!

Oven Cleaner
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar

Remove any loose food that has fallen in the oven.

Sprinkle with Baking Soda

Sprinkle vinegar on top.

Close oven and turn it on to 150 for 20 minutes, then allow to cool.

Clean it up!!

Laundry Detergent
I've been making this for years now and love it!

  • 1 Bar Fels Naphtha Bar Soap-grated (You can also use Ivory or Zote but I can't stand the smell of Zote!)
  • 3 Cups Borax
  • 2 Cups Washing Soda
  • 1/3 Cup Baking Soda (optional)
**You can also add 1 cup of OxyClean, but I am afraid that will irritate sensitive skin in our household!

Mix these together and store in airtight container.

Use 1-2Tbsp per load!

Scented Laundry Crystals
  • 1 Cup Epsom Salts
  • 10-20 Drops Essential Oils of your choice

Mix this together and add 3Tbsp to each load with your detergent.


Mix this entire recipe with your container of homemade laundry detergent!!

Laundry Stain Remover
  • Fels Naptha Soap

I keep an extra bar of this in my laundry room for stains.  As I'm loading the laundry, if I notice a stain, I wet it down with the washer's water and rub the bar of soap into it.  Let it sit until you've loaded everything else and then toss it in as normal.


If this is a more stubborn stain, try this technique:

Sprinkle Borax or Washing Soda onto the stain.
Then spray the stain with your window cleaner (equal parts water and vinegar).
Rub into the stain (use a toothbrush if necessary) and let it sit before washing as normal.

Fabric Softener
This one is probably the easiest.

  • Vinegar.

I store a bottle of plain ol' vinegar above the washer and put 1/4 cup into the fabric softener dispenser with each load.  Fill to the line with water.

It really does soften clothes....and no, they don't smell like vinegar!!!

You can add essential oils if you want it to smell better, but I like how fresh they come out!

Carpet Deoderizer.
Check out my blog post concerning this one here.

All you need is
  • Baking Soda
  • Essential Oils!

Air Freshener

  • 4oz Distilled Water
  • 1/2Tsp Epsom Salts
  • 10 Drops Essential Oils - SO many to choose from, but my favorite is Purification

Mix the essential oils with the salts.  Allow the salt to absorb the oils and then fill with water.

Store in a glass spray bottle and shake before spraying.

Carpet Stain Remover
  • 1Tbsp Vinegar
  • 2Tbsp Baking soda
  • 2 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

Mix the ingredients to form a paste and apply to the stain.  Work it in with a toothbrush if necessary.

Allow this to dry thoroughly, then vacuum it up!

If the stain is set in, repeat the process.


That's alot!

I did do a little research for this one, because like I said - I only use Thieves Household Cleaner for almost every cleaning job in my home!!

So it's definitely a product I recommend.

Contact me for ordering info at!!

See, with very few ingredients, you can arm yourself with the ability to clean your home in a way that is safe, gentle, and NON toxic, yet effective!!!

I can't tell you how empowering it is to clean my counter tops with a cleaner that I know won't harm us if it comes in contact with our food.

And I can mop my floor with a cleaner that won't hurt my son when he crawls on it!

And I can wash my clothes in a detergent that won't irritate their sensitive skin or affect them in the many other ways that traditional detergent can!

You don't need much to start, so get on it!!

Make sure to read my post about getting rid of toxic toiletry products in your home!!

 Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I simply make decisions on how to care for and improve the health of my own family.  None of the statements on my blog have been evaluated by the FDA and any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Friday, March 21, 2014

How to Rid Your Home of Toxic Toiletry Products!

So, if you're anything like me, you have not always known about toxic chemicals.

To me, the term "toxic" reminded me only of the green ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I really didn't understand what was in the products AND foods I was using on a daily basis for myself, my husband, and my children.

To be completely honest, I STILL don't understand!  I haven't done vast amounts of research...yet.

I am learning, and learning quickly, that just about everything that I've used in the past should be given a second look to see if there are harmful ingredients included.

Now, if you're anything like me you also cannot AFFORD to purchase all natural organic toiletry products!!!  I really wish I could just buy up the entire skincare and haircare line from Young Living.  But with 3 kids at home and 1 still waiting for us in Congo, I needed a different solution.

So I've looked at many DIY websites and blogs, and also talked to other friends who have been on their natural/healthy journey a bit longer than I have.  

I have several places that I've used recipes from, so I'll try and consolidate them all here for you!  Save this post for future reference, and that way when you're ready to trade in your favorite moisturizer for something natural and non-toxic, you can look at the options that I've listed!

This post will only contain toiletry products....mainly for the hair, skin, and body.

I will also work on a post helping you to clean out some of your household sprays, cleaners, and air fresheners for a more healthy and non-toxic alternative!

Let's start out by listing some basics that you'll need to have on hand. 

This might seem lengthy.  But with these, you'll be able to whip up a lot of different products for your family and you'll have them on hand for many other uses as well.

update:  I already forgot that I didn't include Eye Makeup Remover!  That is now listed.

  • Organic cold pressed UNREFINED Coconut Oil
  • Organic UNREFINED Shea Butter
  • Unrefined Beeswax
  • Organic Almond Oil and/or Olive Oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Baking Soda
  • Sea Salt
  • Sugar
  • Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Castile Soap (Already made or made from a bar like I do)
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Young Living Essential Oils (the Everyday Collection in the Starter Kit is a start, but SO many others will be useful!!)
    •  update - I recently purchased Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap in "Baby Mild Unscented" and I see a stark difference between the store bought and the homemade liquid.  Dr. Bronner's is MUCH sudsier and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean...but also a little drier than the liquid made from a grated bar.  I like both, but that's the difference I've noted!

Products that we've purchased instead of made:
Ok.  If you have the above ingredients on hand, you'll pretty much have NO need to purchase any other toiletry products at the drug store.

Let's get started!

Shampoo and Conditioner
To make your own, you'll need:

Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vineger
Essential Oils

I have been going the "no-poo" route for a couple years now.

All you need for "shampoo" is baking soda and water.
I "condition" with diluted Apple Cider Vinegar with a few drops of Rosemary Essential oil added in for my scalp.  Melaleuca is great for the scalp as well. 

You can follow detailed instructions in an article that I wrote here.

Another option for homemade shampoo is here.

My Husband:  He has actually been using the kids' Young Living Shampoo with great results but we'll be switching to big boy shampoo next month ;) 

We are ordering Young Living's Vanilla Copaiba Shampoo for him!

He does not require conditioner.

Kids: They use the KidScentz shampoo.  It smells great, but not too frilly because it is only scented with essential oils.  We love it!
The girls really do not need conditioner after using the shampoo.

Dry Scalp Treatment:

Coconut Oil

Before your shower, part your hair and apply tiny amounts of coconut oil.  Just enough to stay on the scalp, not the hair.

Gently massage it into the scalp until it melts (if it's not yet melted).

Continue parting the hair until you've covered all areas that are dry.

You can do this when you get out of the shower as well!  Be careful not to get too much IN your hair.  That will make it greasy.

Dry Hair Treatment:

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 drops Essential Oil of your choice

Melt coconut oil in warm water or the microwave until liquid and warm.
Add essential oil

Using a cotton ball, apply the oil to the roots and then massage into the rest of the hair.
Wrap your hair in a warm towel and sleep on it. 

Wash as normal in the morning.
You may need to wash and rinse a little more than usual.

For a QUICK dry hair treatment, apply some melted coconut oil to wet hair in the shower.  It will be easier to rinse out if you aren't applying it to dry hair.

Shampoo and rinse and rinse as usual.

Body Wash:

Update - I failed to add WATER as an ingredient!
It's now fixed :)
To make your own, you'll need:
2/3 Cup Liquid Castile Soap
1/3 Cup Purified or Distilled Water (you can adjust this for however thick/thin/diluted you prefer your body wash)
1Tsp Vitamin E Oil
1Tbsp Almond Oil or Olive Oil (optional)
10 drops Essential Oils

It's pretty simple, just mix it together and you have your own body wash!

We like to use oils like Lavender for this.

If you're just switching from drug store body wash, you'll have to learn that homemade body wash does not lather nearly as much.  But it is still cleansing!!!

We use this for the kids as well! 

You can also add some raw honey to make it super luxurious!!!

Shaving Cream:

Coconut Oil

Thaaaat's pretty much it.

You can whip some up with an electric mixer until it has the consistency of frosting and then keep it in the shower...although it may become liquid as it gets warm.  But smother some on your legs before shaving!  

Be sure to really rinse your razor after...or swish it in a cup of warm water.


Young Living's Orange Blossom Facial Wash is a great option.

It's soap free so it doesn't strip natural oils from your face!

I haven't actually used a face "wash" for quite some time.  

I like to use scrubs.

Face Scrub:
This can also be used as a hand and body scrub!!!

2 parts Sugar
1 part  Coconut or Almond Oil
Essential Oils of your choice (10-20 drops will work if you're starting with 1 Cup of Sugar)

Eye Makeup Remover:
Coconut Oil

Just take a tiny bit...really, a very small amount of coconut oil and gently rub it over your closed eyelid and eyelashes.

Rub it underneath as well, and gently wipe away with a warm washcloth, or just a tissue!

It honestly works better than any of my makeup removers for my mascara!

Hand Soap:
We are using Thieves Foaming Hand Soap from Young Living, but when we run out, I'm refilling the containers with this recipe:

2-3 Tbsp Liquid Castile Soap
5-10 drops Thieves Essential Oil
3-4 drops Vitamin E oil (optional)
Filtered water

Just carefully pour the first 3 ingredients into your foaming soap dispenser and then fill with water! 

Facial Moisturizer:

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
6-10 drops of Essential Oils of your choice

In a small glass jar, mix the coconut oil and essential oils together. 


For a really nice texture, whip the coconut oil first with an electric mixer, then add the oils and store in the jar.

Right now, mine has Frankincense and Lavender in it!

After washing your face, apply a very small amount to your face with your fingers. 

Be sure to start slowly.  A little bit of coconut oil goes a long way as it melts!

This may take a little longer to soak into the skin than your normal moisturizer. But that's probably because it doesn't have a base of WATER!  Check your lotions...many times, the first ingredient is.  These that we're making are more concentrated.

As long as I give mine several minutes to sink in, I have no problem applying my makeup after.  And it IS NOT greasy!


Take a look at these tutorials that I've already made for Whipped Body Butter and Lotion Bars.

Both are wonderful and super moisturizing.  

You'll need:

Coconut Oil
Shea Butter
Beeswax (for the bars)
Essential Oils of your choice

Either one is fabulous and great for dry skin!  I have found that since I've stopped using normal bottled lotion, my skin isn't as parched after a shower!  Might be because I'm not using my old body wash either ;)
As with the facial moisturizer, you'll need to allow time for it to soak into your skin.  It will feel greasy at first, but don't worry!  It'll soak in!

We use these the whipped body butter on all the kiddos!

The lotion bars are so convenient because they melt as you rub on the skin.  

We love both!


Wellness Mama also helped me with this one.

6 Tbsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp baking soda
4 Tbsp corn starch
10-20 drops of Essential Oils of your choice

For my deodorant, I used Orange essential oil.  It smells sooooo good!

For my husband's, I added Idaho Blue Spruce and Idaho Balsam Fir.

It smells like a lumberjack!  It actually had a tiny bit of my orange left in it, so it really smells yummy!

This recipe is enough to fill 2 normal sized empty deodorant containers.

***Update*** After using this deodorant for a couple weeks, I realized I have a sensitivity to the baking soda.  It's normal to go through a "detox" after using anti-perspirant for so many years, but I had severe skin irritation.  So if you find that your underarms are really irritated with no relief, you may have a sensitivity as well.  I have since switched to straight essential oil!  I put a drop of Purification under each arm every day and that does the trick :)  Kills the odor causing bacteria! 

Hair Spray:

1 Cup filtered water
4 Tsp sugar
5-10 drops essential oils of your choice

We haven't done this one yet either, but I know people who have!

It's SO simple.

Heat up the water on the stove to boiling.

Add your sugar and stir it until it's dissolved.

Let it cool, and add your essential oils.

Put it in a glass spray bottle!  


Liquid Hand Sanitizer:

Filtered Water
1/4 Tsp Epsom salts
20 drops Thieves Essential Oil
2oz glass spray bottle

This is how I make mine.

I mix the essential oil with the Epsom salts in a glass spray bottle and fill it with water!


There's other recipes for hand sanitizer that have a texture more like your traditional sanitizer.  You can read one here.

But I don't have aloe vera gel yet, so I uses what I have!

The kiddos use Young Living's KidScents Slique toothpaste...that stuff is YUMMY!

Here's what Chris and I use:

1/4 Cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Stevia 
15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

We've changed this recipe up a couple times.  Feel free to adapt it to your liking!

Just mix the baking soda really well with the coconut oil.  You can use a fork if the coconut oil is real firm.

Then mix in the Stevia and add your oils!

You can definitely use other essential oils in this...we just like minty toothpaste!

We put ours in an empty baby food jar.  You can scrape some out using your toothbrush, or use a tiny spoon or knife to get it out.

I LOVE this stuff.  My teeth feel SO much smoother after brushing than when I was using other brands of toothpaste!


We haven't made this one yet.  But I'm ordering the zinc oxide so that we can!
I love Wellness Mama's blog and this is her recipe.

You'll need:
almond oil
coconut oil
zinc oxide
essential oils
Vitamin E Oil (optional)
Shea Butter (optional)

Head on over to her blog for instructions!
Diaper Rash Cream

4 Tbsp coconut oil
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil or Gently Baby Essential Oil

We've had great results using this diaper rash cream!!!

You can have this mixed ahead of time to keep in the diaper bag, or like me...if you haven't gotten to doing that yet, you can put a 1/4 tsp coconut oil in the palm of your hand, put 1-2 drops of Lavender (or Gentle Baby) on top and mix it with a finger from your other hand until it's melted.  Then use that finger to apply it to baby's bum!


I THINK that about covers most everything that we threw out of our medicine cabinets!!

As I make more tutorials or change recipes, I'll be sure to update this post.

To purchase any products from Young Living, contact me or read this post.  It tells you how to sign up for yourself to receive 24% off retail prices!

UPDATE:  Be sure to read my new post about getting rid of your toxic cleaning supplies!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I simply make decisions on how to care for and improve the health of my own family.  None of the statements on my blog have been evaluated by the FDA and any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This post also contains affiliate links to the company which I have personally used and recommend.  If you purchase through these links, I will receive a commission, however the cost to you remains the same!

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