I have been using castile soap around my home for about 10 years now. I loved it then and I love it now. I use it straight up for all kinds of cleaning and I also use it as a base for several of my favorite green cleaner recipes. I like that the same product I use to scrub my toilet and wipe down my walls is the same product I use to clean my carpets and wash the dishes. I also use it in the bath, on my hair, in the garden, and on my food even. How is that for simple and easy?! The best part though is that a single bottle lasts and lasts making it a great value for the money. Here are some of my favorite ways that I have used castile soap in my home.
Uses for Castile Soap
Laundry – Use 1/4 cup for top-loading machines or an 1/8 cup for front loaders.
Dishes – Great for hand washing dishes and for dishwashers.
Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash – Add a teaspoon to a spray bottle full of water and spray as needed. No need to buy veggie wash products in the store.
All Purpose Cleaner – Add water and perhaps some essential oils and you have a great all purpose cleaner to clean just about any surface in the house.
Soft Scrub – Add to baking soda and you have a great abrasive paste with which to scrub sinks, toilets, and tubs.
Carpet Cleaner – Add a tablespoon or two to the water container of your carpet cleaner and skip the conventional carpet cleaning detergents. Castile soap works just as well and it makes your whole home smell divine if you use a scented variety like peppermint. I also have a natural carpet cleaner recipe if you want to give that a try.
Washing wool – Use castile soap to wash and lanolize wool diaper covers and longies for cloth diapers.
Garden Pest Control – Mix 1 tablespoon of peppermint castile soap with a 1/2 gallon of water. Spray the solution on plants being eaten by insects.
Shampoo – Use a small amount of the liquid and let it lather in your hands. Apply to your hair as you would regular shampoo.
Body Wash – Add a small amount to a loofah or bath sponge and scrub a dub. Also great for a baby’s bath water!
Shaving Lubricant – Mix with a bit of water and rub onto your legs/arms/face and shave as usual. Makes your skin all slippery so that shaving is a cinch.
Dental Care – Okay, so I have not personally used castile soap for this as I have an aversion to any kind of soap in my mouth but I have heard others swear by it. A drop of Peppermint, tea-tree, or citrus on the toothbrush or a drop or two inside a rinse cup for a rinse is usually how I hear it recommended.
How do you use castile soap??
Baby powder, baby lotion, baby oil, diaper cream…think about all the products marketed to moms of infants. Many times moms come to believe they absolutely need to have on these on hand. We need them at home, we need them in the diaper bag, we need little travel sized versions stuffed among the diaper cake at our baby shower. It is a huge money making racket for unnecessary products. Unfortunate really because that money is needed elsewhere in most budgets. Even worse though is the fact that these products may not be the safest things to be slathering all over your baby’s skin. In fact, they may be downright toxic.
Online this week I saw a tidbit about a company I have talked about oodles of times previous. According to this news site the FDA suspended the license of Johnson & Johnson for one of their plants. Now surely they have not been permitted to be selling unsafe products for babies right? Actually yes. This article highlights a problem found in 15 batches of baby powder.
Kamlesh B Shende, FDA joint commissioner (drugs), said: “There were unacceptable levels of ethylene oxide, which is a trigger for cancer. Ethylene oxide was being used to bring down microbial load in the powder by sterilisation. But it was found that there was ethylene oxide residue in the talcum powder, which is primarily used on infants. In light of this, we have suspended the licence.”
I cannot find many other sites reporting on this so I can investigate the validity of the claims but this is not a new issue. I already wrote about a some unsavory things found in baby shampoo and bubble bath. You probably already know how bad talc is and talc is in most baby powders. Our government is attempting to make these consumer products a bit safer but they are super slow and they don’t go far enough. Not even remotely far enough. We as consumers have to boycott chemical cocktails disguised as baby products.
You don’t even actually need baby powder. If your baby’s skin is too moist then let them go diaper free for awhile or try cloth diapers, which keep them dryer than paper diapers wrapped in plastic. You can also make your own baby powder.
Homemade Baby Powder Recipe
1 1/2 cups Arrowroot Powder
1/2 cup powdered rose petals or powdered chammomile flowers (organic)
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup white clay, powdered (can also use rice powder)
10-15 drops lavender or chammomile essential oil (optional)
Sift all ingredients together into a mixing bowl, add the essential oils and mix well. Transfer to a shaker style container for easy use. I like this stainless steel powdered sugar, cocoa shaker. Alternatively you might also use a sprouting lid and a mason jar.
You and your baby can do without most of the conventional baby powders. Either avoid them altogether or try the DIY route. To the health of your family!
Are you going to be welcoming a new baby soon or know someone that will be? Well, having a baby shower is one of the most fun things about being pregnant, at least it was for me. I generally didn’t enjoy being pregnant but I certainly loved the anticipation and getting to share my excitement with those closest to me. Baby showers are just a wee bit magical don’t you think?
The folks at Once Upon a Treehouse have shared some baby shower tips with me and I am passing them along to you…along with the opportunity to win one of their fabulous handmade dolls. Can you believe that my little girl never much cared for dolls? I played with them until I was 14ish years old so that was a tough pill for me to swallow. In fact I still get a warm gooey feeling when I look at dolls and I especially love handmade dolls.
Baby Shower Tips
Comments in italics are mine…
* Select the theme and color scheme based around the nursery decor – If you are unsure of the nursery decor, I suggest a “natural” color scheme and theme such as outdoors, forest, jungle, etc. It works for both sexes.
*Ask guests to bring along a copy of their favorite childhood book, and they can even inscribe a special message for baby to be – For me that would have to be The Pokey Little Puppy!
* For a shower activity do a group craft and have the guests create something for the new nursery walls or decorate onesies and burp cloths – Cloth diapers on a line would be adorable too
* Have a station with an iPad/phone to take a short video of each guest and their special message for the new parents and baby
* Display seasonal planted flowers or herbs in spray-painted pots for centerpieces that double as the party favors – You might even have your guests do the planting as a fun activity if the weather permits
* Have a few quick and easy games like, have each guest cut a piece of ribbon the length they think will best fit around the honoree’s belly, and the closest one without going over wins
* Instead of spending time on watching the honoree open gifts, ask guests to bring the gifts unwrapped or in a gift bag and have a large table or area where they can be displayed – Love the idea of no gift wrapping!
* A small box filled with a few miniature cupcakes of different flavors is a favor everyone will love! – A waste free favor/gift idea as well :)
I recently asked the followers on my Natural Family Living Facebook page for some insight into what essential oils they use and what they use them for? I wanted to see what some common uses were and if any creative and new-to-me ideas popped up. I was so impressed with the range of answers that I have decided to share the info here. There are so many every day, practical uses for essentials oils it blows my mind! The power of plants indeed!
My question was “What’s the last essential oil you used? What did you use it for?”
Some of the answers…
Peppermint for headache
Lavender for homemade baby wipes
Rosemary for homemade dish soap
Lavender for a stuffed nose / head cold
Melaleuca in the nostrils to prevent a cold
Sweet orange mixed in baking soda to freshen carpets
Lavender to help mom and child sleep
Tea tree for cleaning
Lavender for a cooking burn
Lavender for seasonal allergies
Clove oil for a toothache
Roman chamomile for relaxation
Tea tree oil for acne
Eucalyptus for cleaning
Peppermint for homemade toothpaste
Lemon to fill a diffuser
Oregano oil to combat a cold
Geranium in the steam room at the gym
Peppermint for lotion and scenting sheets
Eucalyptus for clearing sinuses
Lavender for teething
Eucalyptus in the bath for aches and pains
Rosemary and tea tree for an all purpose spray cleaner
Rosemary and black pepper for muscle aches
Clove oil with vinegar mopping the floor
Thieves for a cold sore and to freshen breathe
Rose hip seed in moisturizer for an anti- aging omega boost
Peppermint in my homemade all purpose cleaner
Patchouli for the wash
Thieves oil on the feet before bed to combat a fever
Lavender to relax in the tub
Lemon for cleaning
Thieves and eucalyptus for a chest cold
Lavender for homemade body butter
Eucalyptus and coconut oil on feet at night to helping with coughing
Teat tree in the cloth diaper bin
Wild orange in the diffuser for calming
Orange to keep the cat off the bed
Peppermint and tea tree to soak cloth diapers in after a rinse, but before the wash
Peppermint for nausea
Lavender in the dryer, instead of using dryer sheets
Thieves for disinfecting after illness
Tea tree for athletes foot
Orange oil to make hand soap
Peppermint and eucalyptus in a rock fountain to freshen air
Orange for homemade cleaning supplies
Tamanu for skin rash/eczema
Tea tree oil to prevent bed bugs
What oils have you used lately???
Learn more about essential oils!