Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DIY Recipe of the Week {Chemical Free Home}

What's in your cabinets?  

I've been slowly removing items from my home which cause dis-ease to me and my family.  This started in the months following my diagnosis with Stage 4 Endometriosis in September of 2015. Being a chronic, non-curable, inflammatory disease I started making changes with the food that I was consuming and bringing into my home for my family.  I knew, that in spite of the chemotherapy treatment that I underwent post surgery, that I needed to return to my roots and how I was raised if I was going to be successful at living the rest of my life with Endometriosis and not be in constant pain.  I chose to turn to healing herbs, teas and tinctures to heal my body in conjunction with adopting a mostly fish eating vegetarian lifestyle while undergoing treatment and I swear, even with as bad as my side effects were, I believe that they would have been worse had I not done those things.

This was all fine and good, but with the additional research that I did regarding what contributes to Endometriosis, I felt that I needed to switch out the cleaning supplies in my home.  I appreciated what ease a chemical spray so strong that I needed to vent the bathroom windows in frigid temperatures just so I wouldn't pass out while cleaning could accomplish at eradicating the soap scum and hard water on my bathtub.  The thing is - I'd like to safely breath and not cough, have my nose run with snot, my eyes water and have my hands flake from the toxic chemical exposure.  I don't know why I got use to thinking this was ok.  For me, for my family.

Did you know that 26 seconds after exposure that chemicals are found in measurable amounts in the human body?    

Did you know that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health studied 2,983 ingredients in our products at home—and found 884 toxic ingredients?  

Why am I passionate about getting the yuck out of my home?  Because I don't want to be in constant pain because my Endo is flaring up.  I know, it's pretty selfish, but it's the catalyst for change in my home.  For me, essential oils are another rug on my Healthy Living Ladder.  It's something that I'm choosing to do to help my family.  

Where did I start?  With our laundry detergent.  

Now, I have to share a little story with you.  I once worked for a laundry detergent company.  I ran their shipping department and it was my first job after graduating from college...with a degree in poetry and photography.  BUT, a study had just come out that those with a liberal arts degree were in high demand because of their ability to multitask and think outside of the box.  Poetry and photography, folks, I landed a job in logistics with that. Anyway, I could not go past the shipping dock into the manufacturing area because of the chemicals. I would get horrendous headaches, my eyes would water, and my throat would burn.  It was horrible. But, I gladly took all the free detergent and fabric softener they  would give away because I was a struggling young mother.  And the less I had to spend on laundry care need, the more I could put towards other expenditures.  

Didn't think twice about that until about six months ago when I used the very last dryer sheet from that job, and hadn't worked at over 11 years ago.  Now what?  I knew that I wasn't going to buy dryer sheets or fabric softener.  I had just switch our laundry detergent.  I wasn't going to use chemical free detergent and chemical laden softener. 

I decided to get wool dryer balls.  Those worked great until winter hit and then holy static cling!  I needed something that would help with that.  

DIY Fabric Softener 

*I use an glass gallon jug to store mine under the utility sink 

  • 12 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 80 drops of Essential Oils (I like Citrus Fresh™, but you can use any essential oil that has great cleaning properties)  - I use and recommend this brand.

  1. Put all of the ingredients in your jar, close the lid really tight, and shake, shake, shake!  
  2. Shake again before each use to make sure that the essential oils are disbursed thoroughly.  
SHAKE!  See all that essential oil on top?  Shake the bottle before you use. 

I use 1/2 cup and pour it into my fabric softener dispenser in my washer, and OH MY GOODNESS - it smells amazing.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Wow!  That's a lot of essential oils!"  You are right, it is.  But, I'm also making close to a gallon of fabric softener.  You can totally cut the recipe and make it more adaptable for your needs.  When I first did this recipe, it was made and stored in a quart sized canning jar.  So, start small (cut the recipe).  See if you like it, and then if you do, go big!

Why it works   

White vinegar - contains potassium and sodium, which softens hard water and can dissolve mineral build up.
Rubbing alcohol - dissolves dirt and oil really well
Citrus Fresh™ Essential Oil - containing Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, Mandarin, Grapefruit and Spearmint, it is my go-to when making my own home cleaning products.  It has a lovely fresh scent.   

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