Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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Clean Your Hardwood Floors Without Harsh Chemicals!

I know y’all have heard me say it a thousand times but I seriously use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean everything in my house! Kitchen counters? Glass stovetops? Leftover food grime in fridges and microwaves? No problem! Bathroom tile? Toilet bowls? Mirrors and windows? Sure thing! Even caked on food in the baby’s high chair ain’t got nothing on my Thieves Cleaner!!!  During my recent  “New Year New You (and how Essential Oils and oil infused products can help!)” online class I mentioned that I even use my Thieves Cleaner to make my own hardwood Swiffer WetJet alternative and was asked to share my recipe. So I figured I’d share with you all as well!

As much as it kills my inner hippy to continue to use disposable Swiffer WetJet pads I haven’t found a good reusable alternative (see Update at bottom of post!).  With an old dog whose bladder sadly isn’t what it used to be I’m ashamed to admit how often I have to clean up accidents on my hardwood floors so I’m still on the hunt for a good, absorbent, washable mop and pad system that won’t break the bank (If anyone wants to gift me one of those fancy Norwex mops to review I wouldn’t say no!).  Until then, I’ll keep using my trusty Swiffer.  Until a couple months ago I just turned a blind eye and tried to pretend that what I didn’t know didn’t hurt me.  But we all know that’s faulty logic. So when my Swiffer Wood Floor Cleaner Refill ran out of juice I decided that I couldn’t ignore it any longer and went on over to Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and gave it a search.  I’d like to say that I was shocked but sadly I wasn’t.  It just confirmed what I already suspected.  The cleaner I’d been using to clean my hardwood floors for the last several years got an overall score of D! The biggest concern is a cleaning agent called Lauryl Pyrrolidone which has been shown to be toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects but an also cause severe skin burns and eye damage and/or allergic reactions! In addition, synthetic fragrance also warrants concern for skin irritation, allergies, asthma, and possible neurological or respiratory effects.  Other ingredients of moderate concern are Benzisothiazolinone, for skin irritation and allergies, as well as Acrylic Copolymer and Dimethyl Siloxanes and Silicones, for persistence in the environment and a lack of data on health effects.  And to think, I’d been cleaning my floors that my dogs and infant were rolling around on with this stuff???

So after joining Young Living and trying out their Thieves Cleaner for the first time I started researching all the different ways I could use it.  Naturally, replacing my hardwood floor cleaner was at the top of that list! Young Living took the guess work out of a lot of uses for their Household Cleaner with their DIY Cleaning Recipes (see image below).  They suggest mixing together 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 10 drops Pine essential oil and 1 cup of Olive Oil and applying to hardwood floors using a damp (not wet) mop.  While this sounds divine and would likely be an amazing alternative to popular pine scented floor cleaners, I was hoping for something I could use in my Swiffer WetJet for ease of application.  So my search continued…

DIY Cleaning with Thieves Household Cleaner

That’s when i  stumbled upon Don’t Mess With Mama’s 20 Ways to Clean Your Home with Thieves Household Cleaner. Her floor cleaner recipe seemed much more likely to approximate the consistency that I was looking for since I wanted it to be sprayable.  Check out her recipe below:

Thieves Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Thieves Cleaner Hardwood Floor Recipe:

  • 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil for a fresh scent (although I bet you could add or substitute with Pine for a delightful fragrance!)
  • 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) for a streak-free shine to your floors

You can also use this same recipe to clean windows, sills, mirrors, sticky residue and grime from nearly any surface!

So armed with a new recipe I was excited to try out I pulled out my empty Swiffer WetJet Wood Floor Cleaner container and got set to refill it with my new non-toxic alternative only to discover that it is damn near impossible to get that screw cap off!!!! Initially I was a bit deflated but thought surely I couldn’t let a common household cleaner defeat me so I set out to google a solution.  Turns out, it’s actually pretty easy to get these screw caps off! Here’s how:

  1. Bring approximately 2″ of water to boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Hold the Swiffer cleaner container with the cap submerged in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Carefully, using a towel or rubber gripper, turn cap to remove.  If it doesn’t come off easily, submerge again for another 30 seconds or so.
  4. You can carefully clip the little prongs on the inside of the cap to make the cap easier to remove if you so desire.  Or you can just repeat this simple procedure when it’s time to refill.

Once I got the cap off I simply poured my mixture in the container and recapped it, making sure to secure the cap so it doesn’t leak.  The recipe will fill your container approximately 2/3 of the way full.  Then you can use as normal.  I have been using this recipe now for several months and it cleans every bit as well as the brand-name cleaner and I haven’t had any problems with it spraying at all!

So there you have it, a non-toxic way to use your trusty Swiffer! Now to find a reusable cloth for it to alleviate my guilt over throwing away expensive disposable pads…  Have you used this recipe, or another non-toxic wood floor cleaner? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!

 

**Updated March 18, 2016:

After I wrote this blog post back in January, I started my hunt for a reusable option to alleviate my landfill guilt that I had by still continuing to throw away those WetJet pads every time I used my mop.  Now those who know me well know I absolutely love Amazon Prime (I’m too cheap to pay too much for shipping and Free is definitely my kind of price range) so naturally I headed on over to try to find a solution.  Reusable Swiffer Pads These Orowix Spray Mop Pads are what I found and ordered for only $8.99 for 6 reusable mop pads.  I’ve been using them now for a couple months and am overall pretty pleased with them.   You add the included Velcro strips to your Swiffer WetJet and the pads attach easily.  I was worried they might not stay on but I have yet to have one come off while mopping.  I’ve mopped my bathroom tile, the hardwood floors in my large open floor plan living/dining/kitchen area and cleaned up accidents that my old pooch hasn’t been able to hold in and so far there hasn’t been a job these can’t tackle! So if you’re like me and not ready to give up your old Swiffer WetJet add these to your Amazon shopping cart to get you by until it’s time to invest in that amazing Norwex mop system!

Here’s the link to the Orowix Reusable Mop Pads on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009MPA3AG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

Clean Your Hardwood Floors Without Harsh Chemicals! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Need last minute Holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank??? Here’s a DIY Holiday Gift Guide to help!

DIY Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is out shopping for the perfect holiday gifts! But who wants the headache and hassle of fighting for a parking spot at the mall, sorting through hanger after hanger, or stopping at every kiosk to find a gift for those hard to shop for people on your list? Not me.  I worked retail enough years that I refuse to go to the mall or other retail establishments during this time of year on principle alone.  The past couple years I’ve moved more towards DIY holiday gifts.  Not only are they often much more affordable alternatives to traditional gift ideas, nearly everyone loves that you put time and love into handcrafting items for homemade gifts! But where to even start? I’ve taken some of the guesswork out of it for you and scoured Pinterest looking for some of the best DIY essential oil holiday gift ideas and tried out most of them so you don’t have to experiment! I shared these recipes with my friends and they were a huge hit! Below you will find gift ideas for nearly everyone on your holiday list!

Essential Oils 102: A DIY Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts for Her

For Any Woman

Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar

1. Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar:

For presentation I packaged each of the following recipes in a 1 oz plastic container (I bought a 10 pack at the Dollar Tree).  I spray painted the lids with a sparkly red paint and got little sticker labels at Michael’s craft store to label each one.  I used a wide mouthed Mason jar and sprinkled a bit of fake “snow” in the bottom then put all three small containers down in the jar.  I hot glued Christmas ribbon around the lid of the jar.  I found cute “For Your Mistle Toes” FREE printable labels/tags from: http://www.anorganizedfamily.com/2012/12/for-your-mistle-toes.html

ForYourMistleToes

I printed the tag then “laminated” with packing tape, punched a hole in the corner, then tied onto the jar with curling ribbon for a finishing touch.  You could also package with nail clippers, pumice stone, or even cute Holiday socks!

1a. Peppermint Foot Soak:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Peppermint tea bags (I used Celestial Seasonings but you could use any brand of tea)
  • 1/8 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • Food Processor
  • 1 oz containers with lid

Directions:

Cup open your tea bags and combine all three ingredients in food processor.  Blend on high for about 1 minute until all ingredients are turned into a powder.  Pour into your containers. Makes about 8 oz.

To Use: Add 1 Tbsp to warm water to soak feet.

Source: http://4hatsandfrugal.com/2013/06/peppermint-foot-soak.html#comment-12705

1b. Peppermint Foot Scrub:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts (you could also use coarse sugar)
  • ½ cup warmed Coconut Oil (you could also use grapeseed, olive oil, or other carrier oil of your choice)
  • 10-15 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 oz containers with lid

Directions:

Mix ingredients together well in bowl to desired consistency (more or less Epsom Salts) and spoon into 1 oz containers.  Makes between 8-16 oz depending on how much salt you use.

Modified from source: http://blahblahmagazine.com.au/homemade-foot-scrub/

1c. Peppermint Foot Cream:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup raw Shea Butter
  • 2 oz Sweet Almond Oil (you could substitute jojoba or grapeseed oil if you are concerned about nut allergies)
  • 20 drops of Peppermint essential oil
    • Alternative oils: You could also use 20 drops of Lemon essential oil to make a “Lemon Custard Body Butter” or 20 drops of Lavender essential oil for a Calming Nighttime Cream!
  • Double boiler**
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer (stand up or hand would work)
  • 1 oz containers with lid (or larger 8 oz container if you do a body butter variation with alternative oils)

Directions:

Add Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Sweet Almond Oil to double boiler and heat until melted and stir.  Pour into mixing bowl, put in fridge and let cool until you can see your fingerprint in it (this could take anywhere from a few hours to overnight).  Add essential oils and use mixer to whip until it is light and fluffy like cake icing. Portion into containers. Makes about 8 oz.

**Don’t have a double boiler? No problem! Check out this homemade double boiler alternative from TipNut!

Source: http://unskinnyboppy.com/2014/09/diy-body-butter-using-essential-oils/

Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar Inspired by: http://www.thegunnysack.com/peppermint-pampering-gifts-in-jars-for-homemade-christmas-gifts/

 

Lemon Sugar Scrub

2. Lemon Sugar Scrub

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1  cup of Sugar
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil (can substitute EVOO, especially for acne-prone skin)
  • 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • 4 oz glass jar or decorative glass storage container

Directions:

Mix ingredients in mixing bowl and store in 4 oz glass jars (makes 2). Lemon Scrub can be used on both the body and face. It’s ideal for rough spots like feet, knees, elbows and hands. It’s also great for nail beds and cuticles.

As a body scrub: Apply to body, paying extra close attention to elbows, knees, feet and hands (nails and cuticles especially), and rub in circular motions for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse. Enjoy the silky softness of your impossibly smooth skin.

As a face scrub: The lemon and sugar scrub is also great for the face, but use with gentle circular motions. This scrub is ideal for people who suffer from breakouts and acne as all of the ingredients are highly beneficial to acne-prone skin. Lemon tightens pores and evens out the skin tone, sugar removes dead skin cells and cleans pores, olive oil heals acne scaring, and honey prevents future breakouts.  To use, apply to clean face in gentle, circular motions. Be cautious of using on open wounds, as lemon has a tendency to sting. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with cool water.

Source: Modified from several sources

You can even print FREE cute stickers using this link here: http://cincyshopper.com/diy-gifts-lemon-sugar-scrub-in-a-jar-with-free-printable-labels/

 

For the Bath Junkie

Lavender Bath Salts

3. Simple Bath Salts Recipe

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • ½ cup Baking Soda
  • 10 drops of Lavender, Stress Away or other essential oil/blend of your choice
  • Dried lavender buds (optional for use with Lavender eo) – I would include a small cotton muslin bag with the bath salts if I added dried lavender
  • Natural Food Coloring (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • 8 oz glass or metal storage container

Directions:

Mix ingredients together in mixing bowl and add to decorative 8 oz container or jar.  Optional, include a small wooden spoon and small cotton muslin bag to finish off your presentation.

Candy Cane Bath Salts

4. Candy Cane Bath Salts

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3 pounds Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil (original recipe creator used sweet almond oil)
  • 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4-5 drops red food coloring (natural is best)
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • Air-tight clear containers for storage – I found these cute “milk” bottles in a 6-pack at Michael’s for $9.99 and they always have 40-50% off coupons so these are really affordable!
  • Labels (optional – visit source website for free downloadable labels)

Directions:

Divide the Epsom salt evenly between two large mixing bowls. In a small bowl, combine carrier oil and peppermint essential oil. Pour half the oil mixture into each of the two bowls of Epsom salt. Mix with clean hands. Add the red food coloring to one of the two bowls of Epsom salt and mix using clean hands until color is distributed throughout. Layer the bath salts in the clear containers alternating between red and white until the container is full. Seal container, label and give to a very lucky recipient.

Note: The red food coloring will tint the bath water, but original recipe creator reports having had no issues with it staining her bath tub. If you’re worried, you can easily leave out the food coloring and still get the same muscle-relieving benefits.

Source: http://www.brokenplowblog.com/2012/12/04/handmade-holiday-candy-cane-bath-salts/

Lavender Bath Bombs

5. Lavender Bath Bomb

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup powdered citric acid (found with the baking or canning supplies in “most grocery stores” – although I can never find it.  I bought mine on Amazon)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil (more or less based on your preference)
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond oil
  • Blue and red natural food coloring (optional)
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Large glass bowl
  • 4 (4-ounce) silicone molds
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried lavender buds (optional)

Directions:

  1. If using, sprinkle the dried lavender buds into the bottom of the silicone molds (they’ll show up just at the tops of your finished bath bombs). Add the citric acid and baking soda to the glass bowl. Use a whisk to combine the mixture.
  2. Add the essential oil and almond oil to the mixture. Drop in about 4 to 5 drops each of the red and blue food coloring (if using). Use the spoon to combine the mixture very well.
  3. Add a few spritzes of water to moisten the mixture. Don’t use too much at once. Use the spoon to mix the ingredients well. The mixture should be the consistency of slightly wet sand, and should clump in your hand if you squeeze it.
  4. Use a spoon to transfer the mixture to the silicone molds. Pack it in very tightly, all the way to the top.
  5. Lay a few paper towels on a flat surface, carefully turn the mold over, and pop out the bath bombs.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and transfer the paper towels and bath bombs to the baking sheet.  Cover with a few more paper towels and allow to dry overnight.

Celia’s Note: This recipe was a bit like a science experiment.  I had two failed attempts and had to really tweak my third attempt to get the bath bombs pictured above.  Citric acid fizzes when exposed to water so make sure to really use the spray bottle sparingly.  Also, if its humid outside (and let’s face it, it’s ALWAYS humid in Alabama) it may affect your product as well.  I found another recipe that recommends baking the bath bombs to help dry them out.  Preheat oven to 170° and then turn OFF.  Put bath bombs in oven to dry for 45 minutes.  I still had to remove the bath bombs twice during this time to press them back down into their molds before they dried out.  Read all about my Lavender Bath Bombs: Pinterest Fail!

Source: http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1028461/diy-lavender-bath-bombs

For the New Mom

Diaper Bag Essentials

6. Diaper Bag Essentials

Mix and match the following recipes to create an on-the-go Diaper Bag Essentials gift bag for the new moms in your life! You could find a cute cosmetic bag just big enough to hold the items you choose so she can just throw the whole thing in the diaper bag and be ready for whatever comes her way! It’s a thoughtful gift idea she can use throughout the year! Also a great gift idea for the next Baby Shower you are invited to!

DIY Hand Sanitizer
6a. Thieves Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Pure Aloe Gel
  • ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
  • 6 drops Thieves essential oil blend
  • Distilled water – I had planned to use purified bottled water
  • small squeeze bottle – I used a cleaned recycled hand sanitizer bottle

Directions:

Start with filling your squeeze bottle with aloe, about ⅔ full. Next, add the Vitamin E.  Add 6 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and give it a shake. Lastly, add a little distilled water until it is to the consistency you like.

Read my original blog post Is your hand sanitizer drying out your hands? Here’s an alcohol free DIY Thieves Hand Sanitizer recipe!

Recipe Source: http://www.eatcraftparent.com/2014/06/non-toxic-hand-sanitizer-with-essential-oils/

Don’t want to DIY it but love the idea? Check out Young Living’s Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier!

Lavender Tea Tree Diaper Rash Cream

6b. Lavender Diaper Rash Ointment

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup organic, raw unrefined shea butter
  • 1/2 cup organic, raw coconut oil
  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    • Other optional oils to add are Roman Chamomile, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifola) for a bad diaper rash, or Gentle Baby essential oil blend
  • 1 tbsp. beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
  • For Disposable Diapers – 3 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional – you can use arrowroot or cornstarch if you prefer not to use zinc oxide)
  • For Cloth Diapers – 3 tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable glycerine or aloe vera gel (optional, for added nutrients and skin protection)
  • Double boiler**
  • Mixer (stand or handheld)

Directions:

In a double boiler, place the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in the top pan and bring to a boil. Leave in the pan long enough to melt all the shea butter and beeswax (5 minutes or less).

Remove from the heat and add essential oils.  Mix well and place in the refrigerator for a few hours – one to two. The cooling step is a very important part of the emulsifying process and cannot be skipped!

Once cooled (it will be harder), scoop into your mixer. A hand mixer should work just fine, too. Then, add the 3 tbsp. of zinc oxide  (or arrowroot or cornstarch) and the 2 tbsp. of optional vegetable glycerin and beat for 5 to 10 minutes. The beating lets oxygen circulate through the cream to fluff it up and thicken it.

It will look creamy and oily when you’re done, but after several hours it will thicken up A LOT. It’s just as thick as store bought ointment and way less toxic!

Celia’s note: I’m sad to say I’ve had several opportunities to use this recipe since I originally made it and it is WONDERFUL!!! I added Tea Tree oil to mine and it has done wonders to help alleviate discomfort and knock out diaper rashes on my little one in a day, maybe two if its really bad.   I now keep a jelly jar on the changing table and a small recycled Gerber baby food jar in my diaper bag (the image above the “Diaper Bag Essentials” heading is actually my diaper bag stash).  I’m about to transfer a jar into a plastic container to send to daycare because it works better than the store bought stuff! I will never run out of this stuff!!!

Source: http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/07/homemade-diaper-rash-cream-green-non-toxic.html

ouchie

6c. Ouchie Roll-On: For Life’s Little Scrapes and Bruises

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 20 drops of Lavender oil
  • 15 drops of Frankincense oil
    • Bonus: 30 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.  Apply directly to the affected area.

Read my original post Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises

Stain Remover on the Go

6d. Stain Remover On-the-Go

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 capful Thieves cleaner
  • Distilled water
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add 1 capful of Thieves cleaner to roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to slowly fill the roll-on the rest of the way with distilled water.  To use:  Rinse stain with cool water.  Gently shake roll-on and apply directly to stain.  Wash normally when you get home.

Source: I wish I knew… I found that picture above being shared over and over in Facebook groups I’m a member of and for the life of me I cannot find the original source.  If it is your image and/or recipe, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

Thieves Household Cleaner is not currently a part of the standard Premium Starter Kit as most of the suggested oils in these recipes are but you can add it to your order at signup if you are interested.  I promise, you won’t regret it! A little goes a long way and I use it to clean everything!!!  Kitchen counters, bathtub, shower curtains, high chairs… I even add it to my laundry! Or you can get started with the Thieves Premium Starter Kit that includes TWO of each of the following: 14.4 oz Thieves Household Cleaners, Foaming Hand Soaps, Thieves Sprays, and Thieves Waterless Hand Purifiers, plus a 15 ml bottle of Thieves essential oil blend, AromaBright Toothpaste, and Fresh Essence Mouthwash with a BONUS Stress Away essential oil blend and roller fitment for easy application.   That’s enough to share with your friends and family for more Holiday gift ideas!!!

 

Gifts for Him

For Any Man

Vapor Discs

7. Homemade “Vicks” Vapor Shower Discs

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Baking Soda (approximately 2-3 cups)
  • Water
  • 15-20 drops of R.C. essential oil blend
  • 15 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners
  • Mason jar or other cute packaging container – here are mine all wrapped up!

Vicks - wrapped

Directions:

Add Baking Soda to mixing bowl.  Slowly add water until you’ve made a thick paste.  Just a little water goes a long way.  You want it to be the consistency of putty.  Add essential oil blend.  Spoon the mixture into lined muffin tin and let sit for 12-18 hours until hardened.  (You could also bake them to speed up this process, approximately 20 minutes at 350° – but if you do this add the essential oils after the discs come out of the oven to avoid damaging the therapeutic properties of the oils).

To Use: Place one shower disc anywhere in the bottom of your tub and let the steam from your hot shower release the essential oils to create an invigorating shower experience.  Especially enjoyable during the changing of the seasons or anytime you might suffer from a stuffy nose or congestion to help open up the sinuses and breathe easier!

Modified from source:  http://beingfrugalbychoice.com/2012/03/homemade-vicks-vapor-shower-disks.html

This is practically the same recipe but with different oils as my Diaper Pail Deodorant Discs.  Super easy recipe to follow and so worth it (plus another gift idea for the new mom)! Check em out!

Icy-Hot Muscle Rub

8. “Icy Hot” Muscle Rub

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup Beeswax Pastilles (or grated beeswax)
  • 2 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp Ginger or Tumeric powder (Optional alternative: I bet Ginger essential oil would be an awesome addition!)
  • 15 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops Lavender essential oil
  • Double boiler**
  • Glass or metal containers to package

Directions:

Add coconut oil and beeswax to double boiler.  Bring water to a boil and stir until all beeswax is melted.  Add cayenne and ginger (or turmeric) powders and stir to distribute evenly throughout the mixture.  Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes but not long enough to harden.  Add essential oils and mix well.  Pour into decorate glass or metal storage containers.

Note: This will have an “icy hot” sort of feel to it.  Since peppermint oil is a “hot” oil and the recipe calls for cayenne pepper, have your friends or family do a patch test first to see how their skin will react to the rub.  You can always add less essential oil and/or cayenne or more coconut oil and beeswax (try to keep the same proportions to maintain consistency) if they have sensitive skin.

Modified from source: http://draxe.com/homemade-muscle-rub/

Ache Away

9. “Ache Away” Roll-On

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 10 drops each of PanAway essential oil blend, Peppermint, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.  Apply directly to the affected area.  Great for use on sore muscles, a crick in your neck or even a headache!

Note: Peppermint and PanAway are “hot” oils so have your friends or family member do a small patch test first to see how they react.  You can always add less essential oils or more carrier oil if they have sensitive skin.

 

For the Lumber Sexual

Black Spruce Beard Balm

(The image above is the recipe I made for my husband.  It is a modification of the recipe below because when I went to make it I realized I was out of Stress Away!!! It was a sad, sad day… However, I’m pleased to report that my husband LOVES this stuff!!! It’s a tried and true recipe for the bearded men in your life, approved by my not-so-crunchy baby daddy!)

10. Stress Away Beard Balm

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
  • 1 tsp Shea Butter
  • 1 tsp Jojoba  Oil or Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp Argan Oil
  • 4 drops Vitamin E Oil (or the oil from 2 Vitamin E capsules)
  • 2-3 drops of Stress Away or other essential oil blend
    • Customizable with other oils! Feel free to change it up by using other essential oils of your choosing.  Some suggestions are:
      • Northern Lights Black Spruce (pictured) smells amazing! Nice and woodsy, sure to please any outdoorsman!
      • Sandalwood and cinnamon oils combined to give a sexy spiced winter aroma
      • Eucalyptus or tea tree oil can be added to combat blemish prone skin
      • Peppermint oil can be used as an extra anti-itch ingredient
      • Geranium oil is fantastic to calm reddened or inflamed skin
  • Double boiler**
  • 2 oz tin or other storage container

Directions:

Melt beeswax, shea butter, and carrier oils in double boiler.  Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Add Vitamin E oil and Stress Away essential oil blend (or your choice of essential oils). Stir mixture well, pour into container and allow to solidify overnight.

Modified from source: http://www.beautybythegeeks.com/diy-beard-balm-for-men/

Check out http://www.jebiga.com/10-diy-beard-oil-recipes/ for more DIY Beard oils, balms, butters, and mustache waxes for the Lumber Sexual in your life!

 

For the Preppy Businessman

shaving cream image

11. Shaving Cream

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Shea Butter
  • ¼ cup Sweet Almond Oil (or jojoba or grapeseed if you are worried about nut allergies)
  • 2 tsp Vitamin E oil (about 2 capsules)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Baking Soda (you could substitute Arrowroot powder or Kaolin clay if your man has a baking soda sensitivity)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice
    • Stress Away would smell lovely and is a “Dude Approved” fragrance
    • Lavender would help soothe skin irritation
    • Peppermint would be a nice and uplifting way to get his morning started
    • Other options and combos may include: Sandalwood, Peppermint & Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Orange & Clove… the possibilities are endless!
  • Double boiler** (or microwave safe dish)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer (stand or hand)
  • Small airtight container or jar (I love the moustache ribbon in the source image above!)

Directions:

Place Coconut Oil and Shea Butter in double boiler (or microwave safe dish) and heat until melted.  Remove from heat and add Sweet Almond oil and essential oils of your choice. Stir until well blended.  Place in fridge until mixture is almost solid. Remove from fridge, add baking soda, and whip until light and fluffy.  Transfer to container or jar.

Recipe and Image Source:  http://www.couponsandfreebiesmom.com/2014/11/homemade-mens-shaving-cream.html#_a5y_p=2813726

Young Living also has Brand NEW Shutran Shave Cream for men and Mirah Shave Oil for women that they just added last month! (Note: at the time of this blog entry my website does not currently have these products listed but you can still purchase them at signup if you are interested).

 

For the Motor Head

Hand Degreaser

12. Hand Degreaser

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp Epsom Salts (I found that 2 Tbsp was too runny)
  • 4-6 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 2 oz glass bottle or salve jar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a 2 oz glass bottle or salve jar.  To use, shake bottle or mix ingredients, dump out a little on hands and rub together.

Modified from source: http://www.abundanthealth4u.com/v/vspfiles/downloadables/AbundantHealth_Holiday_Gift_Guide_2014.pdf

 

Gifts for the Whole Family

For Anyone

Orange Cedawood Lotion Bars

(A modification of the recipe below)

13. Lotion Bars:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of raw honey (optional)
  • 2 oz* Beeswax pastilles
  • 2 oz*  Shea Butter (or Cocoa Butter – would be nice for a subtle hint of chocolate, especially with Peppermint essential oil)
  • 2 oz* coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6-10 drops of essential oils of your choice
    • Lavender and/or Frankincense to soothe cracked and irritated skin.
    • Lemon for an energizing fresh citrus fragrance
    • Peppermint for an uplifting scent and holiday favorite
    • Other nice fragrance combinations: Orange & Cedarwood or Northern Lights Black Spruce for a manly fragrance; Abundance for a hint of Fall; Gold (Honey), Frankincense & Myrrh for a special Christmas blend
  • Double boiler
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners (paper or silicone)
  • Mason jar or other large jar to gift multiple bars to single person/family or small container or tin to gift one to a single person or as part of a gift basket

*Note: 1 oz is approximately 2 Tbsp

Directions:

In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax,  shea butter, and coconut oil until they become a smooth, uniform liquid.  Remove from heat and add the olive oil, honey, and essential oil drops. Mix well. In a muffin tin lined with muffin liners (reusable silicone works great!), ladle the mixture evenly between the lined cupcake wells. Allow to set (or harden) on the counter for 7 to 8 hours, or pop in the fridge to speed up the process.

Celia’s Note: I’ve found that my honey tends to settle out of the mixture when cooling.  It was less likely to happen when the bars cooled in the fridge but still settled some.  I just wipe with a damp paper towel to get the sticky off then allow to dry before packaging.

Modified from source: http://www.thankyourbody.com/orange-honey-lotion-bars/

 

raspberry-mint-lip-balm-1(Color optional)

14. Raspberry Mint Lip Balm (with SPF)

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil (sadly, this does not smell like raspberries but that does mean that it’s man friendly if you leave out the tint!)
  • 1 tsp beeswax
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 1/8 – 1/16 tsp Pink Mica (optional if you want a tinted lip balm) – I got mine on Amazon (Rose Red Mica Powder). They have a variety of color choices.
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • Double boiler**
  • Small tins or lib balm tubes for packaging

Directions:

Add Red Raspberry Seed oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil and Pink Mica (optional) to double boiler and heat until melted.  Stir well and remove from heat.  Let cool a moment then add Peppermint essential oil.  Stir until well mixed.  Pour into tin or lip balm tubes.

Note: Red Raspberry Seed oil has an approximate SPF of 28-50 so it will help protect your lips from the sun!

Recipe and Image Source: http://jenniraincloud.com/raspberry-mint-lip-balm-w-spf/

 

Winter Wellness Gift Basket

15. Winter Wellness Gift Basket Ideas:

Mix and Match the following gift ideas to create the perfect Winter Wellness gift basket for the whole family!

 

15a. Thieves Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

see recipe above under “Diaper Bag Essentials”

Breathe Easy15b. Breathe Easy Roll-On

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.   Apply to chest to help you breathe easier or to bridge of nose for more severe congestion.  Note: Be careful to avoid eyes as Peppermint is a “hot” oil and can burn or cause your eyes to water.

 

15c. Homemade “Vicks” Vapor Shower Discs

see recipe above “Gifts for Any Man”

Thieves Lozenges
15d. Thieves Lozenges

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ¾ cup of Raw (preferably local) Honey
  • 15 drops Thieves essential oil blend
  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Powdered sugar to coat
  • Pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Parchment paper or non-stick food mat
  • Knife or scissors
  • Glass jar or other storage container
  • Wax paper to make wrappers (optional)

Directions:

Bring honey to a boil and heat to 300° (use candy thermometer).  Let cool slightly and add Theives and Lemon essential oils.  Stir until combined. Once it has thickened slightly, place on parchment paper or no-stick food mat and roll into a long tube while it is still warm.  Cut into small pieces and coat lightly with powdered sugar (helps prevent them from sticking together).  I’ve also seen other sources suggest pouring into a small candy mold or rolling into little balls.  You can wrap individually using small pieces of wax paper (optional) or just package unwrapped in glass jar or storage container.

Source: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/481814860110843414/

 

Love this idea but not a candy maker? Young Living takes the guess work out of it and made them for you! Check out their Thieves Hard Lozenges!

 

Thieves Tea
15e. Bonus idea: Thieves Tea for Winter Wellness:

Include a 15 ml bottle of Thieves (+ optional Lemon essential oil) and Thieves Tea Recipe Card with your favorite Herbal Tea Sampler

Thieves Tea recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water or your favorite herbal tea
  • 1 drop Thieves essential oil blend
  • 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil (optional)
  • Raw honey (to taste)

Directions:

Heat water or brew tea as directed.  Add drops of essential oil(s) and honey to sweeten to taste.  Drink as often as necessary for immune support.  (Optional: Add 1 drop Frankincense oil and/or Peppermint oil for added support).

email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com for a printable recipe card pdf file

 

Thieves Diffuser
15f. Bonus idea:

A Dewdrop, Bamboo, or even Rainstone or Aria Diffuser with essential oils of your choice (Thieves, R.C., or Christmas Spirit are wonderful gift ideas for the holiday season) are always a welcome gift!

 Gifts for the Kids

Sensory Play-Doh

16. Sensory “Play-Doh”

Ingredients & Supplies (makes one batch):

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • Natural food coloring (your choice)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oils (depending on how strong you want your fragrance).  Oil and color pairing ideas below (but feel free to use your imagination!):
    • Lemon essential oil and yellow food coloring
    • Orange or Citrus Fresh essential oil and orange food coloring
    • Frankincense or Thieves essential oils and red food coloring
    • Peppermint essential oil and blue or green food coloring
    • Stress Away or Peace & Calming essential oil and green food coloring
    • Lavender or Valor essential oil and purple food coloring
  • Mixing bowl

Directions:

Stir together salt, flour, cream of tartar and oil in a big bowl. Add the boiling water and keep stirring until it forms a dough. When it’s mixed pretty thoroughly and has had a chance to cool a bit, add the essential oil and food coloring. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed into the dough. This takes a while, but keep working at it! And be careful, because it could still be really hot!

Note: ALL of the above ingredients are SAFE to ingest so if you have a youngster who still occasionally likes to eat play-doh, you can rest assured that while this play dough is definitely salty, it contains no harmful chemicals!

Celia’s note: The above recipe makes one BIG batch! I divided my batch into 6 smaller batches before adding my essential oils and food coloring. I used a couple drops each of food coloring and 2-3 drops of essential oil. My mom had also found me some Gerber plastic baby food containers (see pic) from one of her friends that were the perfect size for storing a little of the play-doh. I will tell you that after sitting for a week my dough got a little sticky but this is easily solved by adding a bit more flour. Also, my natural food coloring seemed to color shift over time. So be aware of these issues and maybe do a test batch before wrapping up. I probably wouldn’t make it too far ahead of time. I have no idea how long it would last (certainly not as long as store bought play-doh) but it’s easy to mix up a new batch if necessary!

Inspired by source:  http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/52159/lemon-essential-oil-playdough?utm_source=loveandmarriageblog.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange

Also check out http://loveandmarriageblog.com/10-essential-oils-playdough-recipes/  for even more sensory play dough ideas using essential oils (ß she even has a link to free printable play dough mats that you can include for the kiddos!)

Sensory Bath Crayons

17. Sensory Bath “Crayons”

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Glycerin Soap (I found mine at Michael’s but you can get some really nice soap options on Amazon)
  • Natural food coloring
  • Couple drops of Essential Oils of your choice. Oil and color pairing ideas below (but feel free to use your imagination!):
    • Lemon essential oil and yellow food coloring
    • Frankincense or Thieves essential oils and red food coloring
    • Peppermint essential oil and blue or green food coloring
    • Stress Away essential oil and green food coloring
    • Lavender essential oil and purple food coloring
  • A microwavable bowl
  • Silicone Mold(s) – you can find Jello brand molds in cute shapes and sizes that would work as well
  • Packaging materials of your choice – I found these clear plastic treat baggies at Michael’s in the cakes and candies section, they also had ones with cute little holiday pictures, and used curling ribbon to tie them off.

Directions:

Most of the Glycerin soap comes in a block that can be cut into little cubes, something like 1-2” square if yours doesn’t.  I would start with maybe 2 cubes in your microwavable bowl.  Heat for approximately 30 seconds until all the soap is melted.  Once melted, add a few drops of your natural food coloring and essential oils of choice (you can always add more if you desire a richer color or stronger scent.  Remember, richer colors are likely to show up better when coloring but a little essential oil goes a long way!) and stir until well mixed.  Pour into your silicone mold.  The size and shape of your mold will determine how many crayons you will get from each batch.  Repeat with desired color and fragrance combos.  Let cool for several hours (you can put in fridge to speed up this process) until your crayons are hardened.  Once completely cooled package in multi- or single color packages.   I packaged my crayons in a clear plastic bag tied with curling ribbon since the colors of the crayons were so pretty to begin with!

Modified from Source: http://www.bathactivitiesforkids.com/2013/03/homemade-bath-crayons.html

Monster Spray

18. “Go Away Monster (Sleepytime) Spray”

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 4 oz Distilled Water
  • 4 oz Unscented Witch Hazel
  • 16+ drops of Lavender essential oil
    • Bonus:  You could also include several drops of other “sleepytime” oils like Cedarwood, Peace & Calming, Gentle Baby, Valor, etc.
  • 8 oz glass spray bottle
  • A cute label (email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com for a high quality png of the image I made that you can print out on sticky paper)

Go AwayMonster Spray

Directions:

Mix ingredients in an 8 oz glass spray bottle.  Print a cute label on sticky paper and add to bottle. Shake well before using and spray around your child’s room at night, especially under the bed and in closets, to scare away the monsters and promote a restful night’s sleep!

 

 

 

 

 

Where to buy your Supplies:

PSK with Diffuser Choices

 Young Living essential oils:

I only use Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils because of their commitment to quality and Seed to Seal guarantee.   All the primary oils suggested in the recipes above are part of Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit. The PSK comes with 11 essential oils and blends:

  1. Lavender
  2. Lemon
  3. Frankincense
  4. Peppermint
  5. Copaiba
  6. DiGize blend – for tummy troubles
  7. Thieves blend – for wellness
  8. Purification blend – for all things stinky
  9. PanAway blend – for aches and pains
  10. R.C. blend – to breathe easier
  11. BONUS: Stress Away blend – the name says it all!

Plus, you get to build your dream kit by picking a diffuser of your choice (additional cost for some of the diffuser options), plus awesome samples, an attachable roller fitment so you can easily apply your favorite oil, and 10 sample bottles!

The baseline kit with the Dewdrop diffuser is a small investment of $160 but the retail value of everything you get above is over $330!!! That’s a savings of over $170! Say What!?! Plus, think of all the money you can save this year by making all your own DIY Holiday Gifts for everyone on your list! It’s a no brainer!  Send me a message or email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com to learn more about how you can order yours today and save an additional 24% off retail on all future orders or to ask ANY questions you may have about essential oils or DIY home, health, and beauty products!  Ready to order now? Visit my page How to Get Essential Oils at Wholesale Pricing to sign up today!

Carrier Oils:

I prefer Carrington Farms brand of Coconut Oil for cooking and DIY beauty products available at Costco.

For fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond, Red Raspberry and other carrier oils I have had really good luck with the Dr. Adorable brand of oils available for purchase on Amazon.

Beeswax and Butters:

Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon both have a good selection to choose from.  If you are an Amazon Prime member you will enjoy the free 2 day shipping, especially as the holidays rapidly approach!

Glycerin Soap:

Michael’s has clear Glycerin soap for approximately $9.99 per package (make sure to check out their website for coupons – they often have either 40 or 50% off a single item!).  You can also find some really nice soap options on Amazon if you want a more gentle formula or extra ingredients like goat’s milk, etc.

Natural Food Coloring:

I ordered mine on Amazon (India Tree Natural Decorating Colors) although natural food/health stores may have some.  I honestly didn’t look really hard.  I know Kroger does NOT have it.  I just bought a set with the primary colors and mixed my own secondary and tertiary colors myself.

Citric Acid:

Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon both have Citric Acid for a reasonable price.  I got mine at Amazon (Food Grade Citric Acid) because I had another order ready to process and I have free shipping through Prime.  But my next order will likely be from Mountain Rose Herbs (Citric Acid) because I have some other supplies I need to order.  It’s a little cheaper at MRH but you will have to pay shipping so unless you have a bunch of stuff to order it’s not really worth it in my opinion.

Glass Spray Bottles, Roller Bottles, and other Packaging:

I’ve found that Kroger often has the Mason or Bell canning and preserve jars (4 oz and 8 oz) for pretty cheap.  I’m sure WalMart would have them for a good price too if you shop there.  Target doesn’t have a very big selection although they do have a few canning supplies.  They were a bit more expensive as well.

Michael’s often has really cute supplies for packaging (plus, they always have coupons on their website).  I got several of my glass jars for this class there. Always check their discount aisle right as you check out.  I also shop at Michael’s for ribbon, tags, labels and stickers to use to put the finishing touches on my gifts.  You could be as rustic, vintage, modern, or fancy as you can imagine with just a few extra supplies!

Shop around for the best prices on roller bottles (make sure they have stainless steel rollers because citrus and other oils can break down plastic over time and you want to be able to reuse them) and spray bottles.  Quality and prices vary greatly so make sure to read reviews if you are shopping from a retailer not on this list.

  • If you are a Young Living wholesale member, there is a secret Facebook group ran by another YL member that has really excellent selection of products for a good price. She buys in bulk so her items are usually pretty inexpensive and always the best quality.  She also offers multiple item discounts to buyers as well.  PM me on Facebook and I’ll add you to this group.
  • Amazon always has a good selection and the benefits of free 2 day shipping with a Prime membership often make Amazon the best choice, especially this close to the holidays.
  • A lot of YL members swear by Glass Bottle Outlet although I’ve never shopped there.
  • Life Science Publishing (they are the publishing company that puts out the Essential Oil Desk/Pocket/Quick Reference Guides) also has some supplies.
  • Abundant Health is another popular supplier of essential oil references and supplies.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Need last minute Holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank??? Here’s a DIY Holiday Gift Guide to help! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Stinky Diaper Pail? There’s An Oil For That! Check Out These DIY Diaper Pail Deodorant Disks!

As you all are aware, I have a bright, bubbly, beautiful (almost) 8 month old daughter.  What that also means, is I’m up to my elbows in stinky diapers!  Even thought it’s not so crunchy, we decided that the best decision for our family was to use disposable diapers so we have a Diaper Genie in our daughter’s nursery.  The Diaper Genie comes with this little packet of carbon that is inserted into a little container in the lid of the diaper pail to help control odor.

Great idea! I loved that it helped control the odor without harsh chemicals.  But after 6 months or so, it was no longer up to the challenge of keeping the stink contained so I set out to find a refill…. Guess what? These things aren’t sold in stores. Not Babies R’Us, not Target, not Walgreens… not anywhere I could find.  Why? I can’t possibly say.  Seems like a failed execution strategy to me.  But I’ve got this great kit of essential oils and I thought for sure there is some way I can DIY something to work in place of the carbon insert so I headed on over to my trusted Pinterest to find a recipe.  As always, I wasn’t disappointed and found this gem of a recipe!

DIY Diaper Pail Deodorant Disks: 

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of Baking Soda
  • Distilled (or boiled) water
  • Essential oils of your choice – I chose Young Living’s Purification, a blend of Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavandin, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Myrtle specifically designed to help eliminate odors!
  • Muffin pan
  • Paper (or silicone) muffin cups

Directions:

Add a few drops of your desired essential oil to a small amount your distilled water (If you don’t have distilled you can boil tap water but make sure to wait for it to cool before adding your eo as heat can destroy the therapeutic properties of essential oil).  Mix the water with the baking soda and gradually add a little more at a time until you get a thick paste. I used 3/4 cup of water and it was TOO MUCH!!!  I actually added more baking soda and it was still too much. In hindsight, I’d probably start with 1/4 cup and add more until desired consistency (this is especially important if you use silicone muffin cups – since I used paper the excess water was able to seep through the paper – I removed from the tin and set on a paper towel to absorb the extra water).   Press a bit of the paste into lined muffin tin, about 1/4″ per disk.  Let dry 24 hours.  Remove from muffin cup.  Place in diaper pail.

I had an old Crystal Light lemonade container left over from when I rid my house of processed foods a year or so ago that I had been hanging on to but wasn’t sure why.  It was the perfect size for storing my deodorant disks! So I put a pretty label on it and set it up in the nursery so I have easy access to the disks in order to replace them once a month or so.

Use cloth? These deodorant disks can also be used for cloth diaper wet bags and BONUS you can crumble them up and throw them in the diaper wash after they start to lose their effectiveness.  The baking soda will help deodorize and soften your cloth diapers!

Source: Diapers, Dirt, Donuts, Doodling & Digital’s blog Stinky Diaper Pail? Make Your Own Deodorant Disks.

Have you made DIY diaper pail deodorant disks? Tell us about your experience below!

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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Thieves HouseHold Cleaner: DIY All-Purpose Wipes

Love this idea as a natural alternative to the Clorox Green Wipes I’ve used for years! I recently ditched them for my own DIY Thieves cleaner and DIY Natural Dust Repellent but miss the convenience of my wipes! Looking forward to my July Essential Rewards order because I’m biting the bullet and ordering the Thieves cleaner used in the recipe! Can’t wait to give this a try!!!

The Oil Posse

CW_ContainerWipes

This post is super exciting! It brings together the ease of quick clean-ups with the fresh scent of Thieves Household Cleaner.

It is quick and easy to make your own all-purpose wipes. Don’t worry we will walk you through the process.

CW_AllSuppliesSupplies Needed:

1 Container — we used an empty wipe (or baby wipe) container
1 Gallon Distilled Water
1 Bottle Thieves Household Cleaner
200 quality coffee filters

Instructions:

Fill container of your choice with approx. 4-6 cups of distilled water. We filled our empty wipe container about half full (see below).

CW_HalfWater

Now add 2-4 tablespoons of Thieves Household Cleaner. We added 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) and this is what it looked like (see below) but we may add just 2 Tbsp for the next batch. Place lid and give a gently swirl.

CW_THHCAdd

Now add coffee filters and mash down until covered with the cleaning mixture. Place on lid, turn…

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Poopsplosions! (and a DIY Stain Remover that actually works!)

As you all know I have an amazing, beautiful, well-behaved 5 month old that I just adore! What this also means is that I often find myself up to my elbows in baby poop! The first 3 months or so it seemed like she had a diaper blowout (which we lovingly call Poopsplosions!) at least once a day and I found myself wondering if I should buy stock in Spray’N Wash I was using it so frequently.  Because I don’t have a real laundry room (my washing machine and dryer are in the garage and there’s no real horizontal or hanging space to speak of out there – definitely on my list of things to add when we finally get around to remodeling the house!) my bathroom was taken over by piles of dirty laundry, Spray’N Wash spray bottles, and old toothbrushes.  I could literally have two outfits at a time draped over the side of my bathtub soaking in a chemical concoction in a desperate attempt to not ruin yet another outfit with a yellow/brown poop stain… I spent way too long in the detergent aisle trying to find the strongest stain remover money could buy and tried, in vain, to ignore the fact that if I took the time to actually review the ingredient list I would cringe.

When I started my blog and did the week long series on natural cleaning products I noticed that my beloved Resolve Spray’N Wash MAX Laundry Stain Remover Spray was running low and I could no longer ignore the impulse to find out just how toxic this product was. So off to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning I went to investigate and this is what I found on the ingredient list (Read at your own risk if you love your Spray’N Wash routine):

  • Sulfuric Acid – Sulfuric Acid is a known carcinogen that (in mist form) has been linked to cancer in humans. It is a skin irritant that can cause contact dermatitis and severe skin corrosion, burns and eye damage as well as a respiratory irritant that can trigger asthma attacks and even cause pulmonary edema.
  • Artificial Fragrance – Artificial fragrances can cause skin and lung irritation and in severe cases even nervous system damage, especially in small children.  In addition, it is not anaerobically biodegradable and can cause water toxicity.
  • Alcohol Ethoxylates (C12-16, 7EO) – There is limited data on the effects of Alcohol Ethoxylates specifically but what is known from the impurities this ingredient may contain (e.g., Ethylene Oxide and 1 4-Dioxane) is that there is some concern for asthma and respiratory irritation as well as skin irritation.  More severe reactions such as pulmonary edema, nervous system impairment, liver damage, and reproductive effects are also possible.  In addition, Alcohol Ethoxylates can be toxic to aquatic life.
  • Benzenesulfonic Acid, C10-16-Alkyl Derivative – While there is almost no data and limited cause for concern for health risks, Benzenesulfonic Acid is known to be toxic to aquatic life and is not anaerobically biodegradable.
  • Tetrasodium Iminodisuccinate – There is almost no data for Tetrasodium Iminodisuccinate but some to suggest that it is toxic to aquatic life.
  • Sodium Cumenesulfonate – Again there is limited data on Sodium Cumenesulfonate but it is suggested that it could be a skin irritant and toxic to aquatic life.
  • Surfactants – Surfactants are chemical compounds that are often used as detergents, to loosen dirt and grime, in cleaning products and could be a variety of different chemicals.  This is primarily a concern on ingredient labels due to nondisclosure of specific surfactants and some are safer than others…

The concern for health risk is obvious but why the concern for aquatic life? Doesn’t my washing machine just drain into the sewer or my septic tank? How does that affect the rivers and ecosystems that rely on them?

When you are done washing your load of laundry, that dirty, soapy water is drained out of your machine through the pipes and into whatever waste collection system you have in your home.  If you are particularly eco-conscious this may be a grey water collection system (but I’m guessing if that’s you then you aren’t using Spray’N Wash or other toxic laundry detergents already) but most likely it is a city sewer system or a septic tank if you live in a rural area.  In a sewer system the water is run through progressively larger and larger system of pipes until it reaches the treatment plant where the raw sewage (this includes waste water from your toilet as well as any grey water from your sink, bathtub, washer, etc.) is processed.  This is typically a three stage process.  The first stage, or primary treatment, is similar to what a septic tank does in that it allows the solids in the waste to settle to the bottom and the scum to rise to the surface.  The solids are then collected where they are either deposited into a landfill or incinerated.   In a septic tank the water in between the solids and scum layer is filtered out through an outflow pipe and is sent to a drain field where it is absorbed by the surrounding soil and becomes part of the groundwater. The primary treatment generally removes about half the solids before the sewage either moves on to secondary treatment or is chlorinated to kill the remaining bacteria.  The secondary treatment removes organic materials and nutrients from the water with the help of bacteria. After the bacteria have eaten the organic waste the water is then funneled to a pool where the bacteria then settle out.  The bacteria in the secondary treatment may remove up to 90 percent of solids and organic materials. The third and final process, or tertiary treatment, usually adds chemicals to remove the nitrogen and phosphorous from the sewer water and chlorine is added to help kill any remaining bacteria.  The remaining water, or effluent, is typically dumped into a nearby creek or river, although in some cases it may be recycled to be used in irrigation (again back into the ground water) or for industrial purposes.  In some cases, treated sewer water may even be recycled into drinking water.

But this waste water is not benign and can have a detrimental effect on the aquatic life and ecosystems that depend on the running water from these creeks and rivers.  The treated sewage water may still have trace chemicals that can suppress the immune systems of fish and other marine organisms which may allow for the onset of diseases.  Heavy metals, pesticides, persistent organochlorines, plastics, surfactants and aromatic hydrocarbons may even disrupt the endocrine systems of aquatic life resulting in malfunction of sexual and bone development.  While this may not result in immediate damage visible to the public, like the three-eyed fish in the Simpsons or a sea of dead floating fish, over time it can cause a disruption in typical fish behavior including normal swimming, schooling, and migration patterns that may have a detrimental effect on their survival. Larger fish and other organisms may eat vast quantities of smaller contaminated fish resulting in bioaccumulation that may be thousands of times larger than the original level of toxins absorbed.  In addition, organic materials leftover from the treatment process will be consumed by natural bacteria in the waterways which consume greater amounts of oxygen and can suffocate fish and other sea creatures as the water travels towards and into the ocean. This leftover organic material, in extreme cases, may even block out sunlight preventing growth of aquatic plants that are food for fish and other animals that are part of the aquatic ecosystem.

So, now that you know more than you wanted to about sewage treatment and the effect the chemicals in our grey water has on aquatic life are you ready to start researching the ingredients on the backs of all your cleaning, dishwashing, and laundry products? Are you ready to throw them all out and start fresh with natural, chemical-free, and non-toxic products? Great! Join me on my journey!

Once I was aware of how toxic the Spray’N Wash I had been using was and the risks to not only my family’s health but also to the local aquatic ecosystems I naturally wanted to find an alternative that was less harmful.  I had talked with several other moms in my wonderful Sugar Plums online support group and found that a few of them did use less toxic methods of stain removal.  One mama in particular shared her recipe with me (so i can’t take credit for this but I’m not sure she’d want me calling out her name in a public forum) and I have been more than pleased with the results!

The one ingredient that the recipe called for that I didn’t have on hand is Dawn.  I don’t know why all these DIY recipes call for Dawn in particular, often “blue Dawn” specifically.  Maybe because it is such a popular brand of dishwashing liquid?  But we have been using Kirkland Signature’s Environmentally Responsible Dishwashing Liquid (which in hindsight actually scores lower than blue Dawn on EWG, mostly due to poor ingredient disclosure, but does avoid SLS, phosphates, dyes, and artificial fragrance and claims to be a biodegradable cleaning agent made from plant-derived ingredients so I choose to continue to use it for these reasons, but do your research).

Also, don’t be fooled like I was into thinking that since this is a stain remover that it will be a spray… I don’t know what I was thinking (I guess I really wasn’t because a quick glance at the ingredient list should’ve told me that this would not spray) but I originally added all the ingredients to a recycled Spray’N Wash bottle which then proceeded to bloat and gave me a moment’s pause and concern that it might actually explode! I assume the bloat was a reaction between the hydrogen peroxide and the baking soda and thankfully it didn’t explode! lol But this is a GEL formula and once I switched over to a glass bottle I had much better luck.  Also, the baking soda may settle to the bottom if you go too long between uses and you may need to occasionally stir your mixture.

DIY Stain Removing Gel

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid (or your preferred brand – I iused Kirkalnd Signature Environmentally Responsible Dishwashing Liquid and I may even try Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap during future batches but I can’t vouch for it’s effectiveness yet)
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide

Directions:

Combine ingredients into glass storage container.  Allow ingredients to combine and settle for a moment before placing lid on container.  Will create a gel.

Directions For Use: Spoon out a bit of gel and scrub onto stain using an old toothbrush.  Allow gel mixture to sit on stain for at least 1 hour (or I’ve let sit for up to a day or two until I got around to doing laundry).  Wash  (We use Ecos Natural Laundry Detergent) and dry as normal.

I was super impressed with the results.  Here is a picture so you can see just how well this stain remover worked on one of our Poopsplosions:

DIY Stain Remover Gel (2)

 

I admit I had some concern that the hydrogen peroxide would cause my colors to fade but I’ve used it with success on a variety of bright colors and even black with no fading or bleaching at all.  In fact, this recipe works way better than my old Spray’N Wash MAX ever did.  I had the opportunity over the weekend after a massive Poopsplosion to use this on one of my daughter’s Aden & Anais swaddle blankets (I almost cried when I saw the aftermath) and it got out ALL of the stain! I was thrilled!

Do you have a favorite DIY Stain Remover? I’d love to hear about it! Share the recipe below to keep the conversation going!


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An All Natural Cleaner Experiment: Do My DIY Cleaners Measure up?

Part 6 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: An All Natural Cleaner Experiment

So I’ve been using my DIY Theives Cleaner for everything around the house lately! (Find my recipe here) So far it has worked beautifully for cleaning bathroom counters, the walls and outside of the toilet, kitchen counter tops, glass top stove, mirrors, and even glass.  Seriously, there isn’t much that this won’t clean! But after a recent online essential oils class I learned that Lemon essential oil is supposed to be able to remove crayon from walls.  While I have a child, she is only 4 1/2 months old as of the writing of this post and as of yet has not created artwork on any walls.  However, I do have one small wall next to the dog beds in the living room that has turned an unsightly shade of brown due to the amount of dirt that the dogs rub up against it daily. It’s in a dark corner and I generally just try my hardest to ignore it, which means it goes entirely too long between cleanings.  What this has afforded me, however, is an opportunity to really put my cleaners to the test.  After learning about the cleaning power of Lemon eo I wanted to see if it would tackle things other than crayon and figured dirty dog stains would be a good test.  But I also figured since this was a big enough surface area this would allow me to do a direct comparison of some of my other natural cleaning products.  Naturally I wanted to compare my DIY Thieves Cleaner and had a bit of Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner left that I hadn’t thrown out yet so thought I’d throw that in too.  I had also recently made an All Natural Dust Repellent that included vinegar and Lemon eo and thought “what the hell?” and decided to include that as well just out of curiosity.  The picture below (while embarrassing to show just how dirty this wall had become) provides you will a good visual of the before and after.

cleaner experiment 1

And the results are:

  • Lemon eo – By itself I was less than impressed with Lemon eo as a cleaner for dirty walls (it does a great job removing sticky gunk and I’m sure crayon) but was not as effective as I’d hoped.  It did clean a bit of the dirt off but it took 2 tries with 5-6 drops each on a microfiber cloth to even get it as clean as you see pictured above.  It did remove some dirt but really isn’t a cost effective solution.
  • DIY Dust Repellent – I was most surprised by how well this recipe cleaned the dirt off the wall since it was designed as a dust repellent and not a cleaner.  Especially because I didn’t remember until after I had used it to clean that it also contains a bit of olive oil (to shine your surfaces and help repel dust)… Bonus: Not only did it actually clean the dirt off the wall, it smelled great!!! This one was my favorite considering it was just as effective as the DIY Thieves Cleaner and the Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner.
  • DIY Thieves Cleaner – Cleaned every bit as well as, if not a bit better than, the Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner with none of the chemicals! I expected no less! This really is my go to all purpose cleaner now.  Seriously, this stuff cleans everything!!!
  • Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner – This cleaned the dirt and grime off pretty well but honestly seemed to struggle some with some of the harder to clean stains when compared to my DIY Thieves Cleaner

For the final part of my experiment I wanted to see how well the natural cleaners tackled old dried blood spots on my painted wall.  As any dog owner knows, dogs get injured from rough housing with one another and when they’ve got a spot on their ears or tail they love to shake which results in splattered blood spots all over your walls and furniture until the wound heals.  Since I have a pack the other dogs often “help” by cleaning the wound which can reopen the scabs and the process starts all over again.  Above my dirty wall was some remaining old dried blood splatter so I thought I’d give it a whirl!  I knew my DIY Thieves Cleaner was up for the challenge but wanted to really give the Natural Dust Repellent a go to see how the lemon and vinegar would work at cleaning this challenging task.

cleaner experiment 2

As you can see from the above picture, the results were every bit as good as I hoped for!!! The Dust Repellent removed all the old dried blood stains with only a little bit of scrubbing for some of the harder to remove spots.  I’m super pleased with how well this recipe worked for a task it wasn’t really designed for!  My hubby hates the smell of vinegar but the Lemon eo is way better at masking the scent than my Thieves it’s nice to have another cleaning recipe on hand. But honestly I’ll probably just add Lemon eo to my Thieves cleaner in future batches to get the most bang for my buck.  This also avoids the olive oil in the Natural Dust Repellent, which I will reserve for dusting!

 

Have you done any all natural cleaning experiments in your home? Share the results below to keep the conversation going!!!

 

Did you miss Parts 1-5 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally

Part 3: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally

Part 4: How To Keep The Dust Away: A DIY All Natural Dust Repellent 

Part 5: How To Deodorize Your Carpet Naturally + BONUS DIY Spot Cleaning Recipe!


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How To Deodorize Your Carpet Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) + BONUS DIY Spot Cleaning Recipe!

Part 5 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series – How To Deodorize Your Carpet Naturally + BONUS DIY Spot Cleaning Recipe!

I’ve mentioned before that I have 5 dogs… 5 mostly inside, spoiled, rotten dogs. In addition to breeding mutant size dust bunnies, having this many dogs in the house means my area rug gets dirty… really, really dirty.  And quite frankly, it smells like dog. Not only is there enough dog hair shed that I could stitch together a sixth dog, but dogs are gross and eat things they shouldn’t which frequently results in upset tummies and try as I might I cannot convince them to hoark it up on the hardwood where it would be much, much easier to clean.  Hence the inspiration for today’s post.

Several years ago I spent my tax return on a Dyson DC25 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner (that’s when I knew I was officially an “adult” spending my tax return on responsible things) because I knew that I would always be accompanied by a dog pack (back then it was only 3).  And I absolutely LOVE my vacuum cleaner.  But as anyone with a lot of dogs knows that even with the best vacuum cleaner starts to smell like dog eventually.  So when I was researching all natural cleaning tricks and recipes and stumbled upon Life As Mom’s All Natural Carpet Deodorizer I knew I had to give it a shot!  I was quite pleased with the results.  Not only did it freshen my carpet but made the house smell good while I cleaned and my vacuum smells much better too!   (For another bonus recipe head on over to Life As Mom’s original blog, linked below, to get an air freshener variation!)

carpet 2

All Natural Carpet Deodorizer

Ingredients:  

  • Glass jar with lid
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 10-20 drops of Lemon essential oil

Directions:

Combine Baking Soda and essential oil in glass jar.  Screw lid on and shake well to evenly distribute the oils.  Gently shake, liberally covering your carpet or area rug.  Let sit for 30 minutes or more before vacuuming up.

* The original recipe called for 1/2 cup Baking Soda and she said it would cover a 5×8′ area rug.  I doubled the recipe and honestly could have added a bit more to better cover my 8×12′ rug.

Source: http://lifeasmom.com/2013/09/all-natural-home-air-freshener-and-carpet-deodorizer.html

 

Shortly after I got my rug all cleaned and I was sitting back enjoying my hard work, one of my lovely dogs decided that they would hoark up the grass they had eaten earlier that day… Yummy! Historically we had just used Woolite Carpet Stain and Odor Remover, Pet + Oxygen (which I’m sad to say scored an F on EWG for containing surfactants, hexoxyethanol, acrylates copolymer, and artificial fragrance – yuck!) but since I had been keep with an all natural cleaning routine I figured I could find a better way to clean this spot up without the toxic chemicals.  After a brief search I stumbled upon The Prairie Homestead’s blog and recipe for an all natural carpet cleaner.  The author also had dogs with similarly disgusting behaviors so I thought it would be the best place to start.  It worked surprisingly well.  What I can tell you is though, make sure to start with LESS baking soda than I picture below.  I used way too much and it took several tries of spraying the vinegar:water solution to get it all out.  If you use too much, you’ll know because it will make a white spot on your carpet (which by all accounts is better than dog vomit but still irritating).

DIY Spot Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon essential oil (optional)
  • Distilled White Vinegar (DWV)
  • Water
  • Towel or rag

Directions:

  1. Combine Baking Soda and a couple drops of your Lemon essential oil (you can use some of what you mixed up for the carpet deodorizer) and shake well to distribute the oils.
  2. Sprinkle* Baking Soda mixture on spot and let sit for at least 1 hour to overnight.                                                                                                                          spot cleaner 1 *Sprinkle being the operative word – I used WAY too much in this pic! (you want just enough to absorb any liquid)
  3. Mix a 1:1 ratio of DWV to Water in a spray bottle.
  4. Generously spray Vinegar:Water mixture on Baking Soda allowing it to fizz                                                                                                                                     spot cleaner 2
  5. Cover the spot with your towel or rag and press to absorb moisture.   As the original author points out it is not advised that you scrub the carpet as this could damage the fibers.  I’ll be honest, I scrubbed it… a lot! It didn’t seem to damage my carpet. But proceed with caution.
  6. Repeat if necessary (or if you didn’t heed my wisdom and used too much Baking Soda, repeat the spray mixture until it stops fizzing.  I promise you will eventually get all the Baking Soda out!)

Source: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2010/10/frugal-natural-carpet-cleaner.html

 

Have you tried either of the above recipes or do you have another preferred all natural method of cleaning your carpet? I’d love to hear it! Comment below to keep the conversation going!

 

Did you miss Parts 1-4 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally

Part 3: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally

Part 4: How To Keep The Dust Away: A DIY All Natural Dust Repellent