Archive | Household products RSS feed for this section

Gum Healing Toothpaste

3 Mar

Sad but true fact – I have gingivitis ( a fancy way to say gum disease – I think I prefer gingivitis it almost sounds botanical).

I have slightly sore red, swollen gums, that I rarely ever notice. I have probably had it for a long time, but on a recent trip to the Dentist I had the FEAR put into me.

Bone loss, loose teeth, bye bye teeth……

Nooo

This sent me scurrying for natural cures for my gingivitis, my very expensive dentist told me to floss, floss, floss & to use an electric toothbrush (just in case you were wondering what I paid $220 for).

Now I already brush & floss, so that didn’t seem to be the smoking gun I needed to get rid of the gingivitis.

So as per usual & probably just like you I headed to the internet for answers.

What I found is that coconut oil, baking soda, clove oil & oregano oil are all powerful anti-bacterial agents. So I decided to make Gingivitis busting toothpaste to use with my new fangled electric toothbrush.

And I am happy to report that my teeth are looking whiter & my gums are nice & tight & pink looking, the gingivitis has been sent packing ๐Ÿ™‚

A word of warning though, this is not the best tasting toothpaste & the clove oil does seem to numb my mouth a little – but it works!

IMG_0272Gingivitis Busting Toothpaste a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 2 T bicarb soda
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 t stevia powder – to take the bite out of the bicarb
  • 10 drops clove oil
  • 5 drops oregano oil

Mix all ingredients in a container. If its too sour add more stevia powder to sweeten.

If you have really bad gingivitis add as much oregano & clove oils as you can stand as these are the smoking guns of this toothpaste.

Be sure to brush the gums & base of the teeth really well to get the oils & bicarb soda in where its needed.

Wishing you healthy gums

 

 

DIY Natural dish washing detergent

26 Sep

I am a Mama trying to Go Natural.

I am by no means a perfect Mama & I fail (a lot) at the whole “going natural” thing.

diy-dish-washing-powder

One area that has been weighing on my mind lately is “the washing of our dishes” you see I am kind of addicted (yes, I said addicted!) to my bright green store brought (very, very un-natural) dish washing liquid.

It bubbles, it froths, it smells so clean, it cuts through grease & leaves my dishes gleaming. But it is made from ingredients that are known endocrine disruptors & possible carcinogens.

And we are eating & drinking it’s residue off our cups, plates & cutlery. Well no more!!

After much research & trialling several different home made detergent variations I have found our new “more natural” way to wash the dishes.

Does it smell as good as my store brought dishwashing liquid – YES. Does it cut through grease the same – NO. Does it froth & bubble the same – Sadly NO.

BUT, although it takes a little more effort to wash the dishes it is a small price to pay for the health of my family.

So my addiction to the lovely bright green detergent has been broken.

Now I know a lot of recipes that are floating around the internet call for washing soda & borax in them & seemingly these products make for nice, clean shiny dishes. But on the side of my packet of electric washing soda it says “wear gloves when using”. Now ย I don’t wear gloves when washing our dishes nor when eating off them!. I think that any product that calls for the usage of gloves should not be ingested in any form – that is just my personal opinion. I know that many claim that borax is fine to use, but the Environmental Working Group claim that it is an endocrine disruptor amongst other nasty things, so I just don’t feel 100% comfortable using it. If I am going to be ok with using a hormone disrupting product- I will stick with my bright green dish washing liquid!

So my dish washing powder does not use either borax or washing soda & as a result may not work as good as other recipes – but it is healthier & that is the object of the exercise after all.

Dish Washing Powder a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 1 Plain bar of ย Soap (I use sunlight soap here in Australia, I hear it is on a par with Dr Bronners)
  • 2/3 cup Bicarb soda
  • 3 Tablespoons Salt
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops Lemon oil

I have a thermomix style machine that just eats bars of soap. So I place all the ingredients in my thermomix & blend for 30seconds on power 10 & viola you have yummy smelling dish washing detergent, that is the consistency of laundry powder. Keep it in airtight sealed jar & try not to introduce any moisture to it or you will end up with damp, clumpy soap mush.

This soap powder can be made in any blender or food processor (you just might want to pre-chop your soap bar) or at a pinch you could grate your soap bar & mix in with the other ingredients, I just don’t think it will melt into the water the same.

dish-washing-powder

How to Use

I am lucky to live in a home with a double sink so I fill one sink with hot water & 1 teaspoon of our dishwashing powder – to wash the dishes in & the other with some water with a dash of white vinegar – to rinse my clean dishes in. I find this helps to remove that greasy feel that you get from using natural soap. If I have a burnt pot (who me ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) then I add 1/2 a teaspoon of powder direct to the pot & scour it to get it clean. If there are quite a few dishes to wash sometimes I have to let the washing water out & re-fill the sink, so that there is enough soap power to get them all clean.

How do you wash your dishes, what are your green cleaning recipes, I would love to hear them.

Mama-going-natural-signature

Furniture Restoration with homemade Chalk Paint DIY

26 Aug

SO this is what I have been doing, when I should be doing blog posts…….

coffee-table-finished-2

coffee-table-finished

Chalk painting – everything in sight, picture frames, trays, desks, tables, chairs you name it, I want to chalk paint it.

You see I am a “list girl”, yes – one of those people! Everyday I have a list of to do’s, must do’s, would like to do’s – you know the drill.

But consistently my list keeps getting hijacked by my numerous DIY chalk paint projects – because it is just SO much fun. Taking something ugly, broken, scarred that nobody wants & turning it into something beautiful is just so fulfilling – especially for the girl who has never owned a hammer & used to be “allergic” to the hardware store.

Finding bargains at my local Recycle & Re-use center for a few dollars & turning them into character-laden pieces filled with love (& on the odd occasion a few tears & curse words!) is so much better than buying mass-manufactured furniture from a store. Everytime I see my coffee table I brim with pride – I did that!! Me, the girl that can’t hang a picture hook.

So get out there & find something ugly & unloved & give it a new lease of life, Not only will the environment thank you, but I promise you will get warm fuzzy’s everytime you see your creation.

before-words

Chalk Paint a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 2 cups latex paint – I use ultra-cheap (poor quality) paint & it still works great!
  • 5 T plaster of paris
  • 3 T water

Place your water & plaster of paris in a container & whisk or beat with a stick blender until its smooth, like pancake batter (no lumps). Add your paint in slowly 1/2 a cup at a time & beat till smooth.

The beauty of this paint is that you can be a DIY don’t-er like me & still make something truly beautiful & unique with a minimum amount of effort.

Some folks say you don’t need to sand & that chalk paint can be painted onto any surface, shiny, varnished etc. I always scuff my surfaces up with some really coarse sand paper first, not enough to remove the previous surface but enough to give the chalk paint a little something to adhere to. I also like to wash my pieces with sugar soap to ensure that all grease & grime has been removed.

during-sanding

Then I paint & paint & paint, the chalk paint dries really fast – sometimes in as little as an hour, so you can normally coat your pieces 2 to 3 times in a day. Some surfaces I give three coats, some get five or six, it depends on how dinged & scratched the surface is, as the more layers of paint I put on, the more improved the surface gets.

During-painting

I normally try to allow my pieces two days to completely dry out before I start sanding them, I sand the paint back till I get a smooth finish (or until my arms get sore!) & distress my pieces here & there as I go.

Once they are all sanded smooth, I then add any painting, transfers or artwork I want & leave for 24 hours to completely dry before waxing with a good quality carnuba wax & buffing to get a high shine.

before-chair

finished-chair

It really is that easy & if I can do it – you can do it ๐Ÿ™‚

Mama-going-natural-signature

Soap Nuts in your wash

11 Jun

washing line

I have recently swapped to washing my clothes with Soap Nuts & I am loving them!!

These magic nuts (which are actually the dried berry of a tree) are amazing, with very little effort you can boot all of the nasty chemicals from your wash & still have lovely clean, fresh clothes.

They require slightly more effort than your normal washing powder (if you wash in cold water – like I do) but it is well worth it.

I use about 6 – 8 nuts in my wash bag & find that they generally last me about 4 – 5 washes. Most websites that sell the nuts will tell you that they can be used for 5 – 7 washes until the saponin runs out, I have not found that to be the case. So while it may not be the cheapest alternative it is definitely a healthy, green alternative to the chemical cocktail that I used to use.

But the best part about the Soap Nuts is that my laundry comes out super clean & fresh smelling (as in no smells!) & the waste water from the washing machine can be used as a natural insecticide & bug repellant for our plants & garden. This is fantastic for us often drought stricken Queenslanders & a great way to minimise our waste & environmental foot print. So a win for us & the environment ๐Ÿ™‚

Soap-Nuts

So how do I use my Soap Nuts to get the best I can out of them in cold water washes?

I place about 6 – 8 nuts in my wash bag & place my wash bag in a glass of hot water to get them to start activating. I do this before I sort my laundry so that they can soak in the water for a good 5 minutes while I am hunting down dirty towels, missing socks etc. I pour the hot water & the wash bag into my laundry load & set my washing machine to agitate for about 10 minutes & then soak for a minimum of half an hour before it re-continues the agitating phase. This allows the saponins to be further released from the nuts & seems to make the clothes come out cleaner. If you can’t set your machine to soak, then manually pause it & re-start it after an adequate soaking period. I also add a good dash of white vinegar to the rinse to freshen, deoderise & soften the clothes.

One important thing to remember is to not overload your washing machine, do medium sized loads so that there is ample room for agitation which is a vital part of ensuring your clothes come out clean.

So why don’t I make the liquid from the Soap Nuts that everyone talks about?

  1. Because it takes more effort, you have to boil up the liquid & then cool it & store it – this takes time & effort!
  2. The liquid has to be frozen or refrigerated & used within a few days (so this requires strategic laundry planning to ensure your not wasting your liquid letting it go rotten in the fridge).
  3. You use more Soap Nuts to create the liquid & more liquid is used per wash load so it ends up costing roughly 25% more per load.
  4. So more time + more effort + more planning + more expense = No for Mama Going Natural

towels

Soap Nuts 101

How do you tell if your Soap Nuts are still doing their job or if they need replacing?

Place your wash bag (filled with your soap nuts) in warm water, squeeze your wash bag a few times & if it becomes sudsy they are still good to use, if they are a little less sudsy than normal you may want to think about adding a few new soap nuts to the batch or retiring this batch of soap nuts & starting afresh.

What do you do with retired Soap Nuts?

I let mine dry out & then I grind them up in my food processor & make a paste that I add to water to clean the bath, sinks etc – waste not, want not ๐Ÿ™‚

I accidentally put my Soap Nuts through the dryer, whoops?

You too?? To check if you can still use your Soap Nuts let them soak in warm water for a few minutes & squeeze them to see if they still suds up, if they do – your fine to keep going. If they don’t – you might need to make some bathroom cleaning paste out of them, so all is not lost ๐Ÿ™‚

Best way to store un-used Soap Nuts?

In a dark cool place in an airtight container – moisture is the enemy of the Soap Nut

How to store your wash bag filled with Soap Nuts between loads?

I let my Soap Nuts dry out between loads, I open the drawstring wash bag & place the Soap Nuts on top & leave them on the laundry shelf to dry out. If you are a frequent washer you can store them in a glass of cold water, but this does keep them active & the resultant juice (because they are a fruit) can go rotten & rancid if not used up often.

If the Wash Bag is left in throughout the wash cycle do your clothes come out soapy?

Come on admit it, thats what you were thinking, right?

Me too, but no – they don’t come out soapy. If your rinse cycles use cold water the Soap Nuts will release very little saponin & the bit they do release just leaves your clothes soft, my air dried towels are no longer hard & scratchy boards, they are soft & fluffy without the added electricity expense of using the dryer – so its a win for me. The Soap Nuts also release no harmful or skin irritating agents so any residue is not harmful but could actually be beneficial as they have found Soap Nuts to be anti-fungal. You can also get away with just one rinse as your clothes are not covered in chemicals from the washing powder, so that means less use of natural resources.

Stain Removing???

I have a wee one, who is a dirt, food & paint magnet, the best stain remover I have found at this stage it to wet the stain cover it with bicarb soda, leave it to soak over night & then rub it with a warm water activated wash bag of Soap Nuts until all sudsy & wash in cold water. This is the best stain remover I have found so far, but I am open to any & all suggestions as I still have no idea how I will keep my daughters clothes not looking like they came from the rag bag without our dreaded “NapiSan” laundry soaker.

Any ideas???

Anyone???

Mama-going-natural-signature

 

This post is featured on Fight Back Fridays

Home Made Natural Toothpaste

12 Apr

Homemade toothpaste was my first attempt at going natural. I wanted to create a simple product that would be better for our health & our hip pocket as natural toothpaste can cost a small fortune.

Now I must warn you that this toothpaste will in no way, shape or form represent that nice shiny tube of toothpaste you are currently using, but on the upside, it is cheap to make, completely non toxic & will leave your teeth feeling smooth & pearly white ๐Ÿ™‚

toothpaste-1

Home Made Natural Toothpaste a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 2 T Bicarb soda
  • 4 drops stevia โ€“ it is almost unpalatable without this โ€“ but more power to you if you decide to omit it ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 4 drops Spearmint essential oil
  • 1 T Coconut oil

Take all of the ingredients & mix together till they form a firm paste, I make small batches, often & keep it in a jar in the bathroom which we just dip the bristles of our toothbrushes into.

The bicarb soda & coconut oil make this toothpaste great for stained teeth as both are purported to naturally remove stains & whiten teeth – so get ย ready for a big white smile ๐Ÿ˜‰

The stevia makes the toothpaste palatable & takes the edge off the nasty bicarb flavour, the spearmint gives nice fresh minty breath & the coconut oil leaves your teeth feeling glossy & gives it more of a paste feel. Youย can adjust the amount of stevia in your toothpaste, I suggest making it a little sweeter to begin with until you get used to the ย bitter bite of the bicarb soda!

You can also choose to make a spice flavoured toothpaste using clove & cinnamon oils, this would have the added bonus of the anti-bacterial properties of the spices or a sweet orange flavour for the kids if they donโ€™t go for the spearmint.

toothpaste-2

This toothpaste may take a little getting used to, as it is nowhere near as tasty as the commercial brands but on the upside you know exactly what you & your family are putting in your mouths!. There are no hidden nasties and you will never find your little ones eating the toothpaste ever again!

Mama-going-natural-signature

%d bloggers like this: