Part of our journey toward sustainability has involved being more aware of household cleaners and scents in general. Before the Mad Farmer and I got married, I used scent free laundry detergent, soap and lotion. I am not opposed to scents; I just wasn’t a fan of the super scented stuff. I did have a little guilty pleasure in candles, but eventually even that became too smelly. The Mad Farmer used scented laundry detergent and scented soap. Slowly, over the years, we have managed to minimize the amount of scented stuff we use. The commercially scented stuff is just over the top – and not pleasant to my nose.
However, dishes still need to be washed, laundry still needs to get done, and cleaning house still needs to happen. What to do? Scour the internet for homegrown methods for housekeeping, of course.
I started our personal care journey by making some soap, which went pretty well. However, I didn’t continue to make it. I also tried making our deodorant, that didn’t go as well. Every recipe I tried, the baking soda was too harsh for my skin – so that was a no go. We finally settled on using Apple Cider Vinegar, which works pretty well. I have found a recipe that uses vodka and white vinegar that I have yet to try – here is the link: https://wholelifestylenutrition.com/natural-solutions/all-natural-deodorant-recipe/
I was interested in using as few chemicals as possible for housekeeping, so I started my search once again on the internet for dish soap. Most of the recipes I found called for white vinegar and castile soap. The problem with this mixture is: white vinegar desaponifies the soap. That is not helpful. Finally, I found a recipe for dish soap on The Hippy Homemaker that I LOVE! I have been making it for the last 5 years. I use about 10 drops of lemon or thieves essential oil. Here is the link: https://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/diy-dish-soap-that-actually-works-its-simple-no-melting-and-no-waiting/ What I love about this recipe is that I can make multiple batches of it at a time, and I just use a recycled soap bottle – that is 5 years of not buying plastic containers of liquid dish soap – how cool is that! I have tried a few recipes for dishwashing powder. Unfortunately, thus far I haven’t found one that works as well as I would like.
The same cleanser I use for the dish soap, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, I also use to clean the bathrooms and do the laundry – who doesn’t love a good multi-tasker when it comes to cleaning! Here’s a great link to Lisa Bronner talking about Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds: https://www.lisabronner.com/sal-suds-or-castile-soap-which-one-should-you-use/ There is a pine scent to Sal Suds, and while it isn’t overpowering, it is noticeable.
I hope you find some of these links helpful in your journey to more sustainable housekeeping and personal care. I look forward to sharing what we have tried and liked (or maybe was a miss), as we continue trying to simplify and live more intentionally.