I used to run a shop with homemade, natural cleaning and cosmetic supplies. It did quite well and the items worked SUPER well, but honestly? Schlepping items isn’t my thing. I found myself wanting to give it away to friends, family, and strangers in financially hard times.
Either I or one of my family members use these items in our home or have and liked them on a longer-term basis.
Here are my eco-thrift items. I hope they may bless you and others in your life! These help(ed) me save so much money over the years while helping me save time that simple baking soda and vinegar requires of me for scrubbing. With 4 kids, homeschooling, making everything from scratch, and studying for my Nutritious Movement certification, I need time eco-thrift with time savings in mind, too!
If anyone has a tried and true recipe for hand dishwasher soap, please pass it on to me. I have yet to find an effective, natural recipe (Bronner’s straight is not effective for us), so we are Subscribe & Saving on Mrs. Meyer’s.
Liquid Dishwasher Soap – I ONLY use a tablespoon of this, which only fills the detergent holder about half way. I prefer a liquid dishwasher detergent
Powdered Dishwasher Soap
~ I can’t remember what website I found this on anymore, but if you recognize where it is from, please let me know!
I kept a terracotta hunk in the glass jar for this to keep it from clumping/hardening.~
2 cups borax
1 pound baking soda, one box
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup dendritic salt
1/2 cup citric acid
40 drops citrus essential oil
Put all in glass container, mix, making sure to blend lumps in well. To use, put a tablespoon or so into each cup of the dishwasher. Use white vinegar in rinse dispenser. May also use like Comet to scrub counters. (Makes 3 pounds.)
All-Purpose Cleaning Spray – this is amazing. I spray, let sit on just about everything for a 30-90 seconds, and simply wipe clean. Very rarely do counters or the stove need a scrubbing!
Serious Oven Cleaning Formula
~It’s messy, but very effective and much safer than using the “self cleaning” feature.~
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup washing soda or borax
1 pound baking soda
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup white vinegar
10 drops thyme essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
Combine first three ingredients in glass bowl. Add just enough water to make paste.
Remove oven racks and preheat oven to 250F for 15 minutes, then turn off and leave door open. Carefully spread paste on oven walls with a sponge or cloth and allow to set for 20-30 minutes.
Combine vinegar and essential oils in spray bottle and shake well. Spray on oven walls and wipe clean. Rinse well.
Note: If you have a lot of baked on grease or food splatter, you may want to use steel wool to scrub those areas. Use a bit of extra salt if necessary.
1/2 cup liquid Dr Bronner’s
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
30 -40 drops essential oil, optional
Heat soap and 3 cups water in a stock pot until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and borax. Mix and heat until dissolved. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Mix 2 cups of hot water into soap mixture. Add 1/2 gallon and 3 cups cold water into soap mixture, mixing well. Add essential oil, if desired. Pour into clean jugs. Set 24 hours.
Use 1-2 tablespoons laundry soap per load. Do not use with chlorine bleach.
Powder version: In food processor, blend to fine powder the grated soap, washing soda and borax. Add essential oil if desired. Store in glass container. Use tablespoon of powder per load. (Makes 1 liquid gallon.)
3/4 cup Castile soap
3 ounces glycerin
6 tablespoons borax
20 drops peppermint, or tea tree oil
6 cups water
Put 6 cups water into half gallon jug. Add borax first and shake gently. Add remaining ingredients and shake gently. Carefully fill jug with remaining water. (Makes gallon.)
2 cups baking soda
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
2 teaspoons dendritic salt, optional
In large bowl, add baking soda and then essential oils. Mix well. Add dendritic salt, if desired. Put in clean cheese shaker. To use, shake evenly onto carpet. For basic maintenance, allow to set for 20-30 minutes, then vacuum. For flea treatment, let set for several hours, then vacuum. Empty contents of vacuum into outdoor trash immediately.
Windshield Washer Fluid
~We only use this in warmer months, as it will freeze in the winter. This is not a “save” area, but an ecological one only.~
1 ounce liquid castile soap
1 cup vodka
water, to fill
In a gallon jug, mix all ingredients. Fill windshield washer fluid dispenser in car as needed.
Natural Insecticide – I use this indoors when ants invade, in places that diatomaceous earth isn’t practical, like the kitchen counter near the sink.
Beeswax Candles – I have made votives and tapers. The tapers have worked beautifully for cord burning at my last two homebirths!
Outer Body Care
The first four recipes here are from Rosemary Gladstar.
1 cup oats, finely ground
2 cups white clay
1/4 cup almond flour, finely ground
1/8 cup lavender, finely ground
1/8 cups roses, finely ground
1/8 cup poppy seeds
Combine all, store in glass container. To use, mix 1-2 tablespoons grains with just enough water to form paste. Gently massage into face, rinse with warm water.
Facial Steam Blend
1 part sage
3 parts comfrey leaf
2 parts calendula
1 part raspberry leaf
1 part rosemary
Mix together, store in glass container. To use, bring 2-3 quarts water to boil. Add handful of herb mix, simmer with lid on for several minutes. Remove from heat, facial steam with towel over head for 5-8 minutes.
6 part lemon balm
4 part chamomile
1 part rosemary
3 part calendula
4 part roses
1 part lemon peel
1 part sage
3 part comfrey leaf
apple cider vinegar, to cover
rose water, or witch hazel extract
Place all herbs in wide-mouth jar. Add vinegar, make sure to leave 1-2 inches above herbs. Cover tightly, let sit in warm spot for 3 weeks. Strain, reserve liquid. To each cup of herbal liquid, add 1 cup rose water of witch hazel extract. Add drop or two of essential oil, if desired. Re-bottle, with no need to refrigerate. Will stay preserved indefinitely.
~this was one of my biggest sellers!~
2/3 cup water, OR rose water or orange flower water
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
vitamins A, and/or E as desired
3/4 cup apricot oil, almond or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup coconut oil, or cocoa butter
1/4 teaspoon lanolin
1 ounce beeswax
1 drop tea tree oil, if desired
2 drops sage essential oil
4 drops lavender essential oil
In double boiler, over low hear, combine oils (except essential oils). Heat just to melt. Pour oils into blender and let cool to room temperature. Should become thick, creamy, semi-solid, and cream colored. When cooled, turn blender to highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the waters mixture into the center vortex. When most of water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to blender and watch cream. When blender coughs and chokes, cream looks like thick white butter-cream frosting, turn off blender. With a long iced-tea spoon, dig into bottom of blender, lifting up excess beeswax mixture from under blades. Add remainder of waters and beat by hand, but do not over-mix! Cream thickens as it sets.
Pour into cream or lotion jars. Store in cool place.
To use, take a drop on fingertip and massage in. Temporary feeling of oiliness will disappear.
* Never use aloe or aloe-based creams on staph or strep infections, as it will promote the infection.
Hydrating Shampoo (It’s the first one here. I also add chamomile, lavender and bergamot essential oils)
1 teaspoon vodka
2 teaspoons glycerin
6 drops tea tree oil
8 drops lavender essential oil, or grapefruit essential oil
1/2 cup chamomile
1 cup horsetail, a.k.a. shavegrass
4 cups olive oil
vitamin E oil
1 1.2 teaspoons citronella essential oil, or lemon grass essential oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons comfrey leaves
2 tablespoons lavender buds
1 tablespoon calendula flowers
1 tablespoons plantain leaves
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup beeswax, grated
1 tablespoon lanolin
Infuse all herbs in olive oil for 3-6 weeks. Strain.
Add 1⁄4 cup grated beeswax per 1 cup of oil, heat just until melted. If
not sensitive to wool, add 1 tablespoon lanolin to warmed oil as well. Can be used for cuts, scrapes, burns, diaper rash, sore nipples, itchy skin, razor burn, try on any skin problem.
Inner Body Care
Calm Tincture – scroll down to the info on BeCalm