Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Healthy Child, Healthy World

I picked up this book by Christopher Gavigan from our local Library(the website is Although I am not into the fear aspect of it all, I do support being good stewards of the Earth that God has entrusted to us, His children. Anyway, the timing couldn’t have been better as last week I suffered from a toxic reaction to the household cleaners that I was attempting to declutter. I accidentally mixed chemicals which could have been fatal (thankfully my kids were not around). I spent 3 hours with the worst headache of my life (evidentally toxic reactions kill brain cells), and vomiting induced by the excruciating head pain.

Not only that, but we are trying to pay off some debt and I am always looking for a way to save some money. Homemade cleaners can save me hundreds of dollars a year.

So, I was a prime canidate for switching to green and homemade cleaners that Healthy Child, Healthy World promotes. Plus, Did you know that cancer causing chemicals, among other unwanted side affects, can be found in the average cleaning supplies?

So, I am gradually making the switch. Here are the basics, in case anyone is interested in being gentler and cheaper while they clean J

Fruit and Veggie Cleaner- one part vinegar to 3 parts water

Glass cleaner- 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water

Basic Vinegar Rinse- To finish the job. Fill a squirt bottle with equal amounts white distilled vinegar and water. Add 15- 20 drops of pure peppermint or tea tree oil (note that some botanicals can be toxic if ingested). Shake to mix. Great for Floors, walls, windows, and for removing soap scum.

I love the Basic Vinegar Rinse! I used tea tree oil that I found at Target. Which I had purchased to use in a baby wipes recipe for my cloth diapers (which, by the way is saving us some major dough as well). It worked wonders on my windows and shutters. It also did well to clean the bathtub (which I first scrubbed with a borax and water paste). It also did great on my kitchen cabinets (even the grimey shelves). Plus, the tea tree oil makes it smell so woodsy and pleasant that I don’t think I will ever use windex again. (can you guess what made me sick last week??? Yep, the evil windex LOL. I feel like such a dope.)

All Purpose Cleaner (from Healthy Child, Healthy World)

½ tsp washing soda
½ tsp liquid Castile Soap
2 cups hot water
16 oz spray bottle

Mix ingredients in spray bottle and shake gently. Use on counters, cupboards,, or any surface. For tough dirt, leave on for a few minutes before wiping off. Washing soda can be substituted with 2and ½ tsp of Borax. I found the Arm and Hammer Washing soda at a local grocer (Ingles).

Homemade Soft Scrubber (Healthy Child, Healthy World)

½ Cup Baking Soda
Liquid Soap or Detergent
5-10 drops essential oil (like lavender or tea tree with natural antibacterial properties)

Place baking soda in a bowl. Slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring constantly, until consistency resembles frosting. Add essential oil, if desired. Scoop creamy mixture onto a sponge, scrub the surface, then rinse.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner use

Hydrogen Peroxide
Tea Tree Oil
1 part vinegar and 2 parts water

Floor Cleaner

¼ cup vegetable oil- based soap
½ cup distilled vinegar
2 gallons hot water

For wood floors, substitute a teaspoon of glycerin instead of vinegar.

Polish Floors with Linseed Oil, available at home improvement stores.

Sprinkle Baking Soda on Floors and Vacuum to Freshen carpets.

Laundry Detergent (from the family

1/3 bar fels naptha or laundry soap
½ cup washing soda
½ cup Borax
Small, at least 2 gallon, bucket

Grate Soap and put it in saucepan. Add six cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Poor 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus six cups of water and stir. Let the mixture gel for 24 hours. Use ½ cup of the detergent per each load of laundry.

I am out of laundry detergent and plan on making this recipe for the first time today. I am very excited as it only costs one cent per load! I hope it works well for us. I will post a review soon.

Green Cabinet

All-Purpose nontoxic cleaner
Baking Soda
Castile Soap(like Dr. Bronners)
Dishwashing Detergent (non-toxic)
Distilled White Vinegar
Essential Oils (I like tea tree and lavender)
Hydrogen Peroxide
Natural Dishwashing soap
Vegetable Oil Based Mopping Liquid

= $25 or less

My Old Cabinet

20+ items like bleach, ammonia, harsh cleaners, oven cleaners, toilet cleaners, etc…

= over $100

Compare the contents of a cabinet full of conventional commercial and toxic cleaners with the greener, healthier cabinet. One-quarter the price, half the volume. Twice the peace of mind. You do the math.


brite said...

This is just what I needed...I'm going to link to you on my blog because I know there are a lot of people who would love all these recipes. :)

Shelly said...

Oh, thanks! I am glad you can use them.

Terri :o) said...

This is good stuff. Some of them I already do.

Did you know that peppermint oil repels ants? I bought some because we had a major carpenter ant infestation. I put a couple of drops around and it smelled so good. To make a long story short, no ants. I also put a couple of drops on a cotton ball and keep it in my cupboards. No more bugs! Thought you would like that one since I just know how much you love bugs!

Aunt Terri

Sarah :) said...

Oh boy!!!! I just found out about make-your-own laundry detergent, thanks to the Duggar's book (the family with 18 kids in Arkansas). But please tell me, where did you get Fels Naptha soap? I'm glad to know Ingles has washing soda, because Wal-mart is useless for everything but Borax. And I will definitely be looking at those other recipes too... thanks!

Shelly said...

I actually used the Colgate laundry soap bar- it is called "Octagon". I found it at Bi-Lo. And I remember seeing the episode on the Duggars Television program when they made laundry detergent. They probably save $100 a month by making there own! I am posting my detergent making experience tonight :)

Shelly said...

Thanks, Aunt T, I am going to try the peppermint oil- the book also said Borax kills pest but not to use it in areas that kids could reach.