Friday, April 17, 2015

Hi, My Name is Kristin, and I'm a Bleach-aholic.

A lot of my posts are directed at food, exercise, weight loss and the like... but that's not all it will be! 

Here's a big topic:  CLEANING.

I always thought the DIY stuff was way over my head... I didn't have the energy, time, or money to really invest in making what I could easily purchase....or did I?  I didn't even know what it involved.  Just the thought of doing it made me tired.  Plus, no matter what.. I didn't want to give up my beloved bleach.

I *LOVE* BLEACH.  I'm slightly ashamed to admit it,  but I do.  I love the smell of it - it just smells like clean.  But it's easy to get carried away with bleach, something else I admit to doing. 

Did you know, the people who work in factories that package bleach have to wear loads of protective gear? Like goggles, gloves, face masks... That's kind of frightening.  What they're treating as toxic I'm freely (dare I say - cheerfully) pouring over every surface in my house.  Eeesh.

I've been on the organic, natural 'bandwagon' for a while when it comes to FOOD (well, I was on it partially, anyway - it took me a while to fully commit!)... but honestly didn't give what I use in the shower, to clean the house or in the laundry much of a second thought. 

But if you think about it, our skin is our largest organ.  Shouldn't it matter what I'm slathering all over it?  Whatever goes on my skin is absorbed into my body. And what about my lungs?  Surely breathing in chemical fumes every time I clean the bathroom or the floor can't be good, right? ....  Right.

The last few cleaners I've purchased were the Seventh Generation line - you know, the all-natural 'green' cleaners.  But they were getting expensive!  I came across coupons and sales, but still felt like I was spending an awful lot for what they did.

So... I decided to start researching how to clean naturally... and the answers kept coming up the same few ingredients:  white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and peroxide.  Over.... and over.... and over.  That seemed too simple.  There must be more... right?  Wrong.  You can easily clean your entire home with just those few ingredients!   And, at a fraction of the cost of those "green" store-bought cleaners!

I was sold.  I sat down with my husband and told him what I was thinking of doing, and all the reasons why.  I'll be honest - I expected him to roll his eyes with a "sure, honey - whatever you say" kind of response... (not that he normally does that, but come on - we're talking about cleaning.  It's not exactly exciting material.)  But to my pleasant surprise, he was totally on board and agreed that the fewer chemicals we use in our daily lives, the better.  Yippee!

So I made myself a list for what I'd need. 

My first "introductory" DIY Cleaning recipes are going to include:
-Homemade household cleaners
-Homemade garbage disposal cleaner
-Liquid laundry detergent (recipe courtesy of the Duggars, conveniently down-sized to normal family proportions by Ryanne)
-Homemade hand soap
-'Homemade' Dove body wash 
-DIY, all natural berry cleaner (and bonus: it helps them last longer, too!)

Trying to make this as cheap as possible, I made 2 lists - one for dollar store items, and everything else I'd try to purchase at Meijer (luckily, my favorite dollar store carries so many great and useful tools, and is less than a half mile away from Meijer!).

Here's what I purchased from the Dollar Tree (I love that place!):

(2) 64oz containers, with lids
(2) ice cube trays
(1) cheese grater (to grate soap)
(1) jar with lid (to store soap shavings in)

Then I went to Meijer for the rest of my supplies.  I purchased:

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
Fels Naptha laundry bar
Lemon Juice
Hydrogen Peroxide (with a spray nozzle - it cost way more than the regular bottle, but I plan to buy it once and just keep refilling it with the larger, cheaper bottles!)
White Vinegar
Large Bucket (to mix laundry detergent)
Glycerin (For soap making)
Bar soap (preferably Dr. Bronners)

*Note - to make your own soap, you'll need a large pot, preferably an old one you won't need to use for food anymore. Doesn't need to be anything fancy, if you don't have one look for one at the dollar store!  Luckily we had one on hand, it's now my soap-making pot!

Voila! This is my official 'starter' kit for making all kinds of things!!  
I've made a few items on the list and am working to make more...  So stay tuned to upcoming posts for recipes and how-to's for making your own products and cleaning your home the natural way!