Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I will be making next... mildew cleaner

This website gives several recipes (listed below) but I think I will try the tea tree oil one first... Can you tell I'm getting the itch for some spring cleaning :)?

Simple Homemade Mildew Cleaners

Natural homemade cleaners are much safer to work with and are just as effective as name brand versions.
The following are popular recipes for homemade mildew cleaners:
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray mixture in the shower stall or other non-porous surface and leave to dry for an hour. Rinse area with clean water and allow to air dry.
  • Bleach: Mix one-quarter cup of chlorine bleach with one-and-a-half cups of water and one-tablespoon borax in a spray bottle. Spray cleaner on mildew tile or wall and let sit for approximately 30 minutes, keeping the surface wet to keep the bleach solution active. After 30 minutes, wipe mildew from surface with a cloth, and then rinse area with clean water and allow to dry.
  • Vinegar: Straight vinegar is said to kill 82 percent of mildew. To make this homemade cleaner, pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, spray the mildew area and let sit. After a few minutes, rinse with clean water and dry with a cloth.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Combine two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray mildew areas. Do not rinse; simply allow to dry. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a long way. Also, the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but the scent will subside in less than a day and the product is non-toxic.
  • Other: Mix two teaspoons of Borax with one-half cup white vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply mixture on mildew and let sit for about 30 minutes. The Borax will scour the surface while the white vinegar combats the mildew. Rinse with clean water and allow area to dry thoroughly.

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First thoughts on making glass cleaner and wood cleaner

CLICK HERE for recipe/ingredients

Glass Cleaner Parts and Price:
(prices will vary depending on size and brand)
1 bottle rubbing alcohol = 
1 bottle vinegar= I already owned, but typically under $2.00
Water= $free.99Total Cost: approx $4.00 for all ingredients. 

Wood Cleaner Parts and Price
(prices will vary depending on size and brand)
1 bottle store brand olive oil=$3.00
1 bottle lemon juice= I already owned, but typically under $3.00

For both of these products you can use old cleaning containers that you already owned, but if you wanted to purchase new ones, you can price those HERE
The Process:
Ridiculously easy to make. Literally just mix the ingredients for each and you're ready to go!
None so far, I am continually shocked at how many uses vinegar has!

Inexpensive, especially since you probably own a majority of these ingredients, and easy to make. Also, seems like it will last a long time.
No comments yet, will try it out this weekend.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Final thoughts on baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse

2 1/2 weeks without shampoo and conditioner.
Nothing to write home to mom about, but it's clean!

My shower set up. The little white container holds my BS. I scoop a little bit into coffee mug, add a dash of honey and fill with warm water. Once done, I put a couple scoops of ACV, fill mug with water and use to rinse hair. The 2 containers are pre-made solutions I made for hubby's hair.

CLICK HERE to view the ingredients/instructions.

AND HERE to read my thoughts about making the product.

My Final Thoughts:
Cons- First con that comes to mind is the amount of patience it takes to make this work. Unlike some of the other products I have made, this one takes a lot of tweaking (per your hair type) before you get it right. Everything from the amount of baking soda and vinegar (and possibly honey) you need to use, to how you apply it will be different for everybody. Also, patience with the process. The trial and error on this one is, unfortunately, very visible to anyone who can see your hair. Whether it's greasy strands adjusting to going shampoo free, or white dandruffy looking flakes from using too much baking soda, or not washing it out properly, your hair is going to go through a lot. I have had a hard time dealing such noticeable adjustments. Another factor that was surprisingly hard to adjust to, was that there is no lather. I have become so accustomed to lather=clean that it's been a bit of a mind bender. Also, the texture of your hair changes with each trial and error. From brittle and rough if you use too much baking soda, to greasy and limp if you don't use enough. The Apple Cider Vinegar also coats your hair with a noticeable texture. Not necessarily bad, just different than how it feels with standard shampoo and conditioner.

Pros- Well, there's the big one: the fact that you are switching out chemicals that go into your hair and scalp with ingredients that can be consumed orally and are chemical free, but there are also some other pleasant surprises that accompany this switch. For one, however often you are washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner right now, you can pretty much half it. I would even go so far as to say you will be washing it a/b a  1/4 of what you are now if you make the switch. It's incredible. I typically wash my hair twice a week, but that's not without effort. I make it that long with ponytails and headbands. Since switching to BS/ACV rinse I think my hair could easily go 2 weeks without washing. Any time I have washed it during this past few weeks, it's been due to wanting to experiment, not necessity. My hair doesn't even think about looking oily or greasy... to that point that it's freaky. Literally, never in my life have I gone days between washes with no sign of limp greasy locks. I am curious to see how long I could push it. Like how long I could go before I see signs of grease in my hair. Before I do that though, I have to get the right combo down, and I still haven't yet.

Overall- I can't decide on this one. I mean it clearly works, I haven't used shampoo/conditioner in 2+ weeks and my hair looks perfectly clean. There is no doubt in my mind that we don't NEED shampoo or conditioner. On the other hand, this has been hard work. I'm not in love with how my hair feels. It looks normal enough, but it feels different... kinda like when your hair air dries after swimming. I'm thinking this means I'm still using too much baking soda, but I'm not certain. This may just be how your hair feels when you switch? The amount of time you can take between washes, and the fact that no chemicals are going into your scalp are pretty hard to beat. I have noticed more body to my hair, and it air dries in a/b 30 seconds without all the products weighing it down. I also like the thought that it's more "natural" in that I'm no longer stripping my hair's natural oils with shampoo and coating them with conditioner. I am also encouraged by the fact that many people swear they quit washing their hair all-together, no baking soda, no nothing, just water! If I could get to that point (and raise my kids like that!) I would be the happiest gal in the world! I just can't decide. I am planning on giving this 2 more weeks before I make a final decision. I will update here when I decide :)

Tips to make this work if you're going to try it:

  • Start at a time when you can be a little freer with your hair. Meaning, there's a good chance you're going to have some really bad hair days while learning this process... don't start this the week you're interviewing for jobs
  • If you don't have a proper comb, buy one. Combing your hair before "washing" will distribute your natural oils throughout your hair evenly, makes a big difference in how your wash turns out.
  • Be prepared for a "detox" period with your hair. If you are shampooing and conditioning every day, your hair is most likely over-producing oils right now to try to keep up with the daily stripping. Once you go "poo free" it will take your hair a bit to calm down and produce oils at a less hyper rate (meaning your gonna look a little greasy for a week or so). THIS ISN'T THE CASE FOR EVERYONE. Luckily, my hair never went through the detox, and there's a good chance yours wont either. If this does happen for you, try sprinkling a very small amount of cornstarch on your roots and combing through, that will help with the greasy appearance and to prolong b/ween washes.
  • Get your ingredients and mixing tools ready BEFORE you get in the shower to save precious hot water and your sanity. 
  • Fight the urge to wash as often as you were before. Even if you are "detoxing" wait as long as you can between washes, it's the only way to properly get through the detox, and for your hair to go back to it's natural function.
  • It's OK to experiment. As I said before, this is not "one way fits all." Some people prefer making a paste with the baking soda, while others pour it on in a very watery mix. Some people start at the back of their had working up, while other like to start at the top of their scalp. You may prefer to wash the mixture out immediately, while those with more oily hair will let it set. If you're prone to drier hair, add in some honey, if your hair is on the oily side, you may decide to nix to ACV all together. 
  • Use a blast of cold water on your hair at the end of the shower for added shine
  • And the most important: give it some time! I would urge anyone who is going to try it to give it a good 4-8 weeks before you make a definitive decision.

A little more info... (google "poo free hair" if you'd like more!)

I'm curious to see what the readers think about this one. Will you be trying this, why or why not? Do you know someone who has tried it, were they successful? Let me know what you think!!

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