Thursday, March 26, 2009

Making Your Own EVERYTHING

A friend asked me a few days ago, "So, Laura, is there anything you're not making right now?" And the answer to that is pretty much no. Here's what's on the list:

Toothpaste: Thanks to "Seeking the Old Paths" for this awesome recipe. Super-simple, too. I tweaked it a bit -- equal parts coconut oil and baking soda, plus spearmint oil and tea tree oil for flavor, and xylitol (a non-nutritive sugar alcohol that the bacteria in your mouth can't use) for sweetness. I'm putting it in a little half-pint glass jar and just dipping my toothbrush into it. It's a little salty-tasting but I like the creaminess of the coconut oil. It's nice, and let me tell you, my teeth are insanely clean-feeling when I use it!

Shampoo and "conditioner": inspired by, who else, but Little House in the Suburbs. The shampoo is just soap and water, blended up with olive oil and some essential oils. The conditioner is a mix of apple cider vinegar and water in a squirt bottle. I'll let you know how these work when I run out of my regular stuff.

Basil-rosemary sugar scrub: another Little House recipe. Mine wound up being about 1/4 cup powdered herbs, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup olive oil, and 30 drops or so of tea tree oil. Can you tell I'm obsessed with the tea tree oil? I just found a great price for it online, too. Fab. Just used the scrub on my face and it feels amazingly smooth and not the least bit greasy. I'm already in love.

Anti-perspirant/deodorant: Yes, I'm totally serious. Yet another Little House concoction, made all the more brilliant by the fact that you put it in your old deodorant container. Luuuurrrve this idea -- cramming aluminum in my pores day after day kinda freaks me out, honestly, so I'm stoked about not having to use commercial deo anymore. It's just baking soda, cornstarch, anti-bac essential oils (geranium, tea tree, etc.), and some coconut oil. Easy-peasy.

Plus, I'm using coconut oil for face moisturizer (I have combination skin that's pretty blemish-prone, and it works beautifully for me), and making my own soap is on the horizon.

Man, I just love NOT having to buy stuff. Saving money, AND cutting chemicals out of my life at the same time? Yes, please!


Sarah Cosper said...

You will love making your own soap. I hope to start it again this fall when baby maggie is bigger. Maybe we can trade bars!

Laura said...

Ooh, Sarah, I would love to get a little tutorial from you! I'll teach you how to can, you teach me how to make soap. And then we'll start a hippie commune and... wait.

I made lye soap (pioneer style with lard) in junior high for a school project but I don't totally remember it.

Laura's Dad said...

Um, Laura, the lye soap you made in junior high was horrifying. Remember, we used ashes from the wood-stove, and shortening, and all that. Fascinating to make, but so harsh.







That is NOT the way to go!

Laura said...

Duh!! No way would I make it like that! Tell you what, though, it was a great stain remover.

Laura's Mom said...

And remember, because we put it through an old red t-shirt in a pop flat to set, it turned out looking like pink rice crispie treats? And some kid tried to take a bite out of it before we got the SOAP sign put on it? Good times.

Laura said...

Hahaha... they did look very weird.

Jeremy & Kristin Perrine said...

You're blog has been so helpful, Laura! And I'd love to jump on that soap-making tutorial too, Sarah!

Laura said...

Thanks Kristin! I'm glad that my wacky experimentation is beneficial to other people! :)

Christi Lee said...

A friend of mine has done a ton of research on aromatherapy and ESPECIALLY soap making. She has her own recipes for everything. We helped her make a bunch of bars of lye soap for a farmers market, but I don't remember the proportions... maybe I could get in touch with her if you'd like. We still have some left if you want to try 'em, but the essential oils lose their scent after a couple of years.

sherrieg said...

Thanks for the links, especially the deodorant one! I've tried a few recipes, but haven't come up with one I love yet.

As for soap, that's my thing! I have a cold process tutorial on my soap blog, here:
Maybe that will be helpful. Warning: making soap is completely addictive. :)

Laura said...

Christi, I for sure would love some of that soap if you can spare some.

Sherrie, thanks for the link and the comment! :)