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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My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)!

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you may remember my previous post on my Quest for the Holy Grail of DIY Deodorants.  Turns out, what I thought was the holy grail failed to live up to my expectations in the long-run.  It was great in the beginning but then the unthinkable happened, I was approached at work and informed that there had been a complaint about my body odor.  Seriously, the most embarassing thing to have ever happened to me in my adult life.  Try as I might, I still to this day cannot figure out who would have been close enough to actually smell me.  But I digress.  Either way, a change had to be made so I headed to some of my crunchy granola online groups to see if anyone had any suggestions.

In one of my previous deo posts I shared about my failed attempt at using Milk of Magnesia as a deodorant alternative.  You may be wondering how on Earth MoM would work to decrease body stank.  The active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture thereby preventing odor from this buildup.  When I turned to my support group for answers, several of the women pointed out that they had also had failed attempts until they learned the magic trick.  See, MoM works best when it has dehydrated a bit.  Someone, somewhere along the way discovered that the thicker, creamier paste that started to crust around the top of their MoM container was more effective than the liquid itself.  Who knew?  The trick they suggested was actually pouring it out onto a baking sheet and letting it dehydrate for 24 hours or so to let it thicken up. (More information about this trick from Buddhaful Brit) So, I thought “What the hell? I’ll give it a shot!” But I was a bit skeptical that MoM by itself would be effective enough.  I wanted to make sure it had some drying power and that it smelled good too.  So I set to researching options.

Since I have a sensitivity to baking soda I considered adding Arrowroot powder.  This would be effective I’m sure but I’d heard a lot of people say that they had good luck with corn starch.  I had a container of J&J Natural baby powder that is basically just corn starch with some Vitamin E and Aloe added.  I don’t use baby powder on my child so it was never going to get used and I thought it might make a suitable alternative and that the added Vitamin E and Aloe might help soothe the skin as well.

But I wasn’t done yet.  Y’all know me, I had to throw in some essential oils! I had good luck using Rosemary neat so figured I’d add it to my recipe and I had been learning about the deodorizing benefits of Geranium and Cypress essential oils in my aromatherapy class so I set to researching different oils and selected 5 to add to my recipe.  These are the ones I chose:

Geranium – Geranium not only has a pleasing fragrance, it also has properties that help combat odor-causing bacteria on the body.  Geranium essential oil is wonderful to add to your collection for a number of skin conditions as it helps cleanse oily skin and soothes dry, cracked or irritated skin.

Rosemary – Another great oil that provides a refreshing and cooling sensation to your deodorant blend while helping to protect against odor causing bacteria.

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps provide a nice, earthy balance to this blend while also preventing body odor.

Lavender – Like Geranium, Lavender has a lovely fragrance and many deodorizing, skin-soothing, and healing properties that make it a wonderful oil to add to your homemade deodorant and skin care recipes.

Cypress – Cypress helps reduce excessive sweating and prevents body odor.  It has a somewhat woody fragrance that pairs well with Geranium and is suitable for men or women.

 

Other oils I researched that you may want to add to your homemade deodorants:

Lemon – Often added to homemade deodorants and body washes, along with other citrus oils (like Bergamot), due to its refreshing aroma.  It’s cleansing properties help prevent odor causing bacteria growth.  Citrus oils pair well with Geranium. *Note: Many citrus oils can cause photosensitivity so be mindful if you are sunbathing as you don’t want to burn your pits. Grapefruit is a wonderful alternative as it does not cause photosensitivity but still contains many of the same properties as Lemon and Bergamot essential oil.

Tea Tree – A beneficial oil to keep in your oily first aid kit as well because of its ability to help cleanse wounds, promote healing, and prevent the harboring of bacteria which can cause odor and infection.

Lemongrass – Another oil well renowned for its ability to help prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria.  This oil has a strong but refreshing fragrance that provides a nice complement to many of the other oils listed or can be used on its own.   Note: Lemongrass is a “hot” oil so make sure not to use this oil “neat” on the skin. 

Patchouli – An acquired fragrance but Patchouli is a strong smelling oil that has long been famed for its ability to help reduce and masque the scent of unpleasant body odor.

**Feel free to research other oils that have antibacterial, antifungal or astringent properties as any of these would make great additions to your homemade deodorant blends!  I really like the Essential Oils Pocket and Desk Reference Guides by Life Science Publishing as well as Dr. Scott Johnson’s Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy for references and resources when researching essential oils and their properties.

I’m pleased to report that my experiment was a TREMENDOUS Success!  I have been using it for awhile, long enough to completely run out of my first batch and I also shared a sample with a very athletic friend of mine who has been on the quest for the holy grail of deodorant for a long time as well.  We have both put this recipe to the test! It has not only stood up to the challenge that she has presented it while hiking and rock climbing but it has stood up to the heat and humidity of 100º+ heat index of Alabama summers! I do cleanse with baby wipes and reapply my deodorant after my lunch time walks in the heat of the summer but when it was cooler outside this wasn’t necessary.  And I’m super stoked that no one has complained again! I even walk with my co-workers and have had feedback that my office smells lovely from client’s that have come in for afternoon sessions.

So, without further ado, here it is:

deo2

DIY Milk of Magnesia Deodorant

(for sensitive skin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of plain, unflavored Milk of Magnesia
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch (I like the J&J cornstarch baby powder with Aloe and Vit E added)
  • 5 drops each of: Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress essential oils

Instructions:

1.       Pour entire bottle of Milk of Magnesia out into a baking sheet (with sides) and allow to dehydrate, usually 24-36 hours, until it forms a creamy paste.  If you live in a humid environment, it may take a little longer.  If it starts to harden or crack around the edges just a tad it’s perfect! When you mix it all together it will be like the consistency of cream cheese icing that has started to melt.

2.       Add in ¼ cup of Cornstarch and mix well (before you allow your mixture to dehydrate).  While you can skip this step, I chose to add the Cornstarch to help absorb some of the liquid from sweating and to keep my pits drier.  If you swore by an antiperspirant but don’t want to use aluminum, you probably want to add something like Cornstarch or Arrowroot to help provide a sense of dryness to your homemade deodorant.  This is an especially good alternative if you are sensitive to Baking Soda in homemade deodorant recipes.

3.       After your mixture has dehydrated and is ready, add 5 drops each of your essential oils.  I like Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress.  Stir until your oils are mixed well throughout your mixture.  You do not want to add the oils before you let your mixture set out because they will evaporate and lose their potency.

4.       Transfer to a small glass jar.  I found this recipe made a bit more than I could fit in my 4 oz jelly jar but I like this size for ease of application.  I now transfer the remainder to a 2 oz tin that I carry with me to work or when traveling.

Instructions for Use:

1.       Apply underarms using your fingers (I find this works better than using a cotton round) and allow to dry while you are getting ready.

2.       If you are especially prone to body odor, make sure you shower or scrub your pits with your soap/body wash of choice before applying.  You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to help balance the pH of your pits.  I spray a bit on a cotton round and apply under my arms.  Allow to dry before applying your homemade deodorant.  I haven’t had to use this method since I started using this deodorant recipe, however!

 

So, there you have it! Did you make this recipe? What did you think?  I love to hear feedback from my readers! Please comment below to share your results or other homemade natural deodorant recipes!

 

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and 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.

 

My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Yellow Jackets are my Nemesis… But, “there an oil for that!”

Been ages since I wrote anything, I’m sorry for that. Sadly I’ve overcommitted myself with my full-time job, aromatherapy class, oily biz and commitments at home to my hubby and daughter. But I learned something new today so thought I’d pop on and share this little tidbit with you, my lovely readers!


Who here HATES Yellow Jackets as much as I do!?! 😱🐝 These little demons are my nemesis when mowing grass. Got me 3 times before I could get away this morning. 😭😭😭 But I learned something new today, Purification essential oil blend is AMAZING at taking the sting out. A drop, neat, on each location and I was ready to get back to taking on the yard jungle! ❤️🌱🍋💧

So next time you or your little* gets stung by something, grab the Purification! You won’t be sorry!

*Make sure to dilute appropriately when applying essential oils to children.

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor.  Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and 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.

Yellow Jackets are my Nemesis… But, “there an oil for that!” was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Acne Prone Skin? Check out my new Zit Zapper and Facial Serum recipes!

I’ve struggled with acne since going off hormonal birth control a couple years ago and it’s wreaked havoc on my self-esteem.  Since then I’ve been on the quest for the perfect skin care regimen to help keep my acne under control.  In fact, searching for the perfect facial cleanser was what led me down the crunchy rabbit hole and I’ve been all in ever since! Over the years I have tried many different natural approaches to skin care including Oil Cleansing (OCM), cleaning my face with honey, African black soap, castile soap, and water only.  Most cleansing methods strip my face of its natural oil and while this may sound like a good thing it’s really not.  See, if you strip the skin of its natural, protective oils then it over produces sebum to compensate which can clog pores even more.  So these days I tend to use water only to clean my face, a Lemon Sugar Scrub to exfoliate every week or so, my Melrose and Witch Hazel astringent (find that recipe here in my blog post When You Vacation with an OIL Addict!) and a spot treatment for those particularly obnoxious pimples.  Historically I’ve just used Tea Tree oil as my spot treatment and while it works well on day to day pimples it doesn’t tackle the tough ones as much as I’d like.  I had used Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick in the past and was pretty happy with it overall.  I’d always wanted to make my own DIY version and had finally built up my oil collection enough I thought I’d give it a go.  So let’s check out the ingredients in the Burt’s Bees roll-on and why they are good for acne.

Doctor Burt’s Herbal Blemish Stick ingredients:

SD Alcohol 40-B – This is basically denatured alcohol.  It bothers me that this is the first ingredient on the list because that means that it is the ingredient of highest concentration in the product. There’s nothing really wrong with this ingredient but honestly it doesn’t really add much to the recipe either.  I tend to avoid alcohol because it has a drying effect on the skin and can strip the skin of it’s natural oils.

Calendula extract – Calendula is more commonly known as Marigold.  It is often used in skin care products because of it’s ability to calm the skin.  Calendula may help reduce redness and helps cleanse the skin of pore clogging gunk and reduce acne breakouts.

Borage extract – Borage, or Starflower, is an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region.  It’s remarkably effective at soothing irritated or damaged skin and can help calm skin by reducing swelling and redness.  Borage is high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is a fatty acid that is beneficial in maintaining healthy skin.  Borage oil or extract are excellent ingredients to add to DIY skin care recipes help reduce the appearance of acne scarring or redness and irritation from skin conditions like rosacea or eczema.

Yarrow extract – Yarrow is actually a common weed that grows native in the Northern Hemisphere.  It is an ancient herbal medicine, often referred to as Soldier’s herb and Nosebleed grass, known to staunch bleeding and reduce pain.  It’s also renowned for it’s ability to bring down a fever and help clear the sinuses! As far as skin care is concerned, yarrow is great for oily skin to help balance the oil, draw out blackheads, and tighten your pores! Do yourself a favor and google the medicinal uses of Yarrow.  Its an amazing herb to add to your herbal first aid kit!

Parsley extract – Parsley extract is excellent for helping cleanse and purify the skin which helps reduce acne breakouts.  In addition, parsley also contains high amounts of Vitamin C, chlorophyll and Vitamin K which are good for reducing dark circles and puffiness under your eyes.

Willowbark extract – Willow bark is usually harvested from white willow trees and is highly valued as a skin care ingredient because it is a natural source of salicylic acid (yup, the same stuff that is in over the counter acne products like Neutragena’s acne line, Clearasil, and Clean & Clear!).  In addition to helping reduce breakouts, willow bark extract also helps promote youthful, radiant skin by minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It also contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals and promote skin rejuvenation!

Lemon oil – Lemon essential oil helps balance overactive oil glands in the skin and encourages exfoliation of dead skin cells, both of which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

Fennel oil – Fennel essential oil encourages skin cell repair and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It helps balance oil production without over drying the skin.

Water – used to dilute the mixture.  However, water can also promote the growth of bacteria in DIY products so I tend to not use it, or use distilled water if I do add to my products.

Tea Tree oil – Tea tree oil has been my go to for acne spot treatment for years.  It is renowned for it’s ability to not only dry out pimples but reduce acne breakouts when used regularly.

Juniper oil – Juniper essential oil helps cleanse and promotes healing by stimulate blood circulation.  It helps remove toxins and purifies the skin.  Overuse can increase redness, however.

Eucalyptus oil – Eucalyptus essential oil helps cleanse the skin and unclog pores.  In addition, it helps reduce inflammation that may result from acne breakouts.

Zit Zapper

Zit Zapper: A spot treatment for Acne-Prone Skin

Combine the following ingredients in a 3 ml roll-on:

  • 5 drops Tea Tree
  • 5 drops Lemon
  • 5 drops Lavender (I added Lavender because of it’s ability to help calm and soothe irritated skin, especially since I didn’t have an calendula extract in my recipe.  In addition, Lavender essential oil also helps regulate oil production and promotes healing.  I tend to pick at my acne so it’s always nice to add healing oils to my skincare regimen.)
  • 4 drops Ginger (I chose to add Ginger because it removes toxins and stimulates circulation.  In addition, it promotes a youthful, radiant complexion by helping rejuvenate the skin and improving skin’s elasticity.)
  • 3 drops Fennel
  • 3 drops Juniper 
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus Globulus (because this is the Eucalyptus I had on hand, but Eucalyptus Radiata might actually be a better choice because it tends to be lighter and more gentle than Globulus, making it the preferred chemotype for skincare)
  • top off with White Willow Bark extract (I bought mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)

Next time I might actually make my own Calendula and Borage extract to add as well.  If I do that I’ll probably use a larger, 4 or 5 ml, roll on.  Both Calendula and Borage (as well as White Willow Bark) can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs if you are interested in making it your own.  Extracts aren’t difficult to make at all.  Check out Humblebee and Me’s post below for a recipe that includes Calendula extract and Borage oil.

*Note: This is a strong mixture and is only intended to be used as a spot treatment, not all over your face.  If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first.  You may want to reduce the amount of essential oils or dilute with something like Calendula extract or Borage oil. 

Inspired by Burt’s Bee’s Herbal Blemish Stick and Humblebee and Me’s Indigo Acne Blaster

New & Improved Facial Serum

Perhaps you’ve been following me for awhile and remember my DIY Facial Serum from back in August of last year.  I still stand by that facial serum as a good starting point for anyone wanting to make their own skin care products.  It’s wonderfully moisturizing and I used it for months.  However, as my daughter started eating more solids and decreased the amount of breastmilk she was demanding day to day my hormones started returning back to “normal” (which is anything but) and my face started breaking out like a teenager’s again (sad face). My DIY Facial Serum uses fractionated coconut oil as a base which feels lovely on the skin but does have a high comedogenic rating (meaning it can cause acne breakouts).  Coconut oil rates a 4, meaning it has a “fairly high” chance of clogging pores.  So naturally I wanted to reduce anything that would contribute to my breakouts.  For awhile I switched to jojoba oil, which has a comedogenic rating of 2, or “moderately low” chance.  I was pretty pleased with this combo for awhile.

Recently, however, I was hearing a lot of buzz about Rosehip Seed Oil for skincare.  Rosehip seed oil is chalk full of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help hydrate the skin, relieves dry, itchy skin, reduces dark circles and minimizes the appearance of scaring.  Plus, it’s lightweight and non greasy, making it an ideal carrier oil for facial serums. And it has an even lower comedogenic rating that jojoba (1 = “low”) so I figured I’d give it a shot.

See how other carrier oils measure up with regards to comedogenic ratings here from Beneficial Botanicals.

I’d also been really curious about a new-to-me essential oil blend, White Angelica.  White Angelica is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Bergamot, Myrrh, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang, Spruce, Hyssop, Melissa, and Rose in a Sweet Almond oil carrier.  While there are tons of amazing uses for White Angelica, including emotional healing, meditation, and Raindrop massage, all of these oils have amazing skin care properties and many are quite expensive (and as a result not members of my growing collection yet).  Let’s look at each of these oils individually.

Bergamot – Bergamot is a tropical citrus fruit with a lovely fragrance.  It is well known for it’s cleansing and immune enhancing properties.  In addition, it helps reduce the appearance of scars or age spots on the skin resulting in a more even skin tone.

Myrrh – Myrrh comes from a dried resin extracted from the Commiphora myrrha tree, which is in the same family as the Frankincense tree.  It has a long history of medicinal use, highly valued for its wound healing properties, as well as an ingredient in incense and holy oil for ritual and religious ceremonies.  As far as skin care benefits, Myrrh promotes healing and helps soothe minor skin irritations like chapped or cracked skin and acne.  It helps sustain healthy looking skin and promotes a more youthful, radiant appearance by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Geranium – Geranium essential oil has a long history as a beneficial ingredient in skin care.  Even the ancient Egyptians used Geranium oil to help promote beautiful, radiant skin.  It helps defy the effects of aging by improving muscle tone and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  In addition, Geranium essential oil helps reduce inflammation and has been used to help soothe acne and other skin irritations by promoting cell growth and healing.

Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood – Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood is renowned for it’s healing properties.  It helps cleanse and protect the skin from infection resulting from acne, sores, or other wounds and is often added to skin care and beauty products for it’s ability to help tighten skin tone and minimize the appearance of scars and age spots.

Rosewood – Rosewood oil is extracted from the Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree indigenous to Peru and Brazil.  It is a member of the Laurel family of plants like bay, camphor, cassia, and cinnamon.  Rosewood oil has a warm, woodsy yet spicy, floral fragrance that has been used in the perfume industry since the 1900’s.  In addition to it’s alluring fragrance, Rosewood oil helps fight the signs of aging by regenerating skin cell growth and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps balance sebum production thereby helping to reduce acne breakouts.

Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang is steam distilled from the signature yellow flowers of the ylang ylang tree native to the South Pacific Islands.  As you may imagine, it has a delicate yet romantic floral fragrance.  In addition, Ylang Ylang essential oil has amazing skin benefits.  It helps promote the appearance of healthy skin and hair by balancing sebum production, soothing skin irritations, cleansing the skin and promotes healing, and reducing redness and inflammation.

Spruce – Spruce essential oil is distilled from the needles of the Spruce tree and helps cleanse and purify the skin thereby helping to maintain the appearance of healthy looking skin.

Hyssop – Hyssop is a sacred oil referenced in many ancient texts, including the Bible, for it’s restorative health benefits.  Hyssop not only helps support healthy respiratory and digestive systems but also to help relieve pain and promote a sense of calm.  As for skin care benefits, Hyssop essential oil helps soothe skin irritations and reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.

Melissa – Melissa, or more commonly known as Lemon Balm, is a plant in the mint family.  The essential oil is distilled from the tiny buds and seeds of the plant.  It takes somewhere between 3 and 7 tons of plant material to yield 1 pound of essential oil which makes it one of the more pricey oils.  It is a gentle oil known for it’s ability to help soothe irritation and rejuvenate the skin.

and last but not least, Rose – Rose, ah how I covet thee…  Rose essential oil is probably the most expensive essential oil that Young Living sells because of the sheer volume of rose petals required to make a small 5 ml bottle.  But it is highly prized for many reasons, the least of which is its ability to moisturize, calm and soothe red or irritated skin.   Research suggests that it may also help reduce acne breakouts and regenerate skin cell growth!  It’s a must-have for anti-aging DIY beauty products!

So, even though I can’t afford to add oils like Myrrh, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Melissa, or Rose to my collection just yet, I’m thrilled to have them in a nice affordable (only $28 Wholesale) little blend like White Angelica! So naturally, I wanted to find a way to incorporate this into my New & Improved DIY Facial Serum! Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

New & Improved DIY Facial Serum

Combine the following in a 2 oz container:

 

So there you have it! My new favorite skin care recipes! Have you tried these recipes or have other recipes you would like to share? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below.

 

Want more information on natural ways to help rid your skin of acne? Check out this post by Thank Your Skin on How To Get Rid of Acne: The Ultimate Guide: 21 Easy Things You Can Do Today To Get Rid of Acne Fast and Naturally! I have to admit, I learned a few things I will be incorporating into my diet and skincare regimen! They also do some pretty awesome product reviews over there to help you find the best skincare products and makeup for acne-prone skin! So head on over and show them some oily love! 😉

 

I only use Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils because of their commitment to quality and Seed to Seal guarantee.

*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.

Acne Prone Skin? Check out my new Zit Zapper and Facial Serum recipes! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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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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My New Oily Storage Solution!

Oily Storage

I’m officially a full-blown Oily Addict and had finally run out of room in my awesome, handmade Native Andes Essential Oil Bag (<– Check out her link to buy yours and support Fair Trade for a family in Quito, Ecuador) that you see below.  I had been following posts on my oily groups about how people were storing their essential oils. There are all sorts of amazing ways you can store Naturally Oilyyour oils from store bought cabinets, spice racks, to DIY masterpieces.  But the idea that really resonated with me was using nail polish racks to store your essential oils.  There are some really inexpensive plexi counter top racks, big and small, some tiered, some that spin like a Lazy Susan and a whole plethora of wall racks in various shapes, sizes, and designs.  Several months ago I ran across this really beautiful Tree of Life nail polish rack on Amazon and just knew I had to have it! But I’ll admit, it’s not cheap.  So I was super jazzed when I got some birthday cash from my aunt that allowed me the luxury to splurge a little on myself.  So I placed my order on my birthday, New Year’s Eve, and by Monday, January 4 my oil rack had arrived! My hubby loves me so even though he was exhausted from staying up with the baby the night before, he graciously hung my new oil rack for me that evening.  I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep until I got all my oils placed on my new rack.  Then came the age old debate: to organize by color or alphabetically? I love the visual appeal of organizing Young Living oils by label color (and rainbows just make me happy!) plus by now I’ve been using YL oils long enough to know what color each of my oil labels are and can find them quickly.  I settled on setting aside my most used oils and PSK oils for easy access then divided the rest by size and color.  I must say, I’m quite pleased with how pretty it turned out once all my oils were placed.  And truthfully, I was a little surprised by just how many oils I had accumulated when I saw them all out together like this!  I probably could’ve justified the 6 tier rack instead of the 5!

How do you store your essential oils?  I love seeing other people’s storage solutions and eventually I’ll outgrow this rack and need additional options! Share your oily storage solutions below!

 

My New Oily Storage Solution! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures