Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Personal Challenge 2011

In the last few weeks I made the sudden, impulsive decision to go au natural with my cleaning and body products. I soon found myself spending hours gathering recipes and testing a few out. It didn't take me too long before I realized I would need to set definite boundaries on this project or it would carry me (and my wallet) away completely! My overall goal is to replace as many household products as possible by the end of the year.My main objectives are to:

  1. Reduce household expenditures
  2. Switch out commercial products for more natural, child safe alternatives
  3. Try to use edible ingredients where possible
 Once I had my goals set, I began to look at what products I currently used. They seemed to easily fit into two categories: Home and Body. This is the list I came up with for each category.

  • Laundry detergent
  • Glass cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • All-purpose antibacterial cleaner
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Heavy-duty scrubbing cleaner
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Conditioner
  • Hair remover
  • Toothpaste
   I didn't include fabric softener on my list because I have already replaced it with distilled vinegar. I use roughly 1/4c in a downy ball and toss it in the wash. My mom likes to use a ball of aluminum foil in her dryer to eliminate static. I don't use it because static isn't an issue in our disgustingly humid house, but it works great for Mom.

Once I saw everything I used, I figured there were several things that could possibly be replaced with a single item. After paring down my needs and surfing the web (do people say that anymore?) for recipes, I came up with a master list. With 4 months left in the year, I'm hoping to try and perfect two products per month. I did this primarily to slow myself down. If I had my way, I'd be in the kitchen concocting all of these at once!

THE MASTER LIST (I have updated this list as I've found replacements)
  • Laundry soap
  • All-purpose cleaner and scrubbing solution
  • Dish soap (I opted for original Dawn. It's such a strong surfactant that it has multiple uses)
  • Glass cleaner
  • Deodorant
  •  Face wash/scrub ( my "hair wash" does the job, plus a little brown rice flour when I'm feeling feisty)
  • Shampoo/body wash (for body wash, we now use Kirk's Castile bar soap.)
  • Hair conditioner (don't need it! See shampoo post [coming soon!].)
  • Toothpaste
  • Hair remover (yes, I mean wax. I found a recipe and I'm just crazy enough to try it!)

 I have no idea if any of my homemade replacements will become a permanent household item, but it's sure going to be fun to experiment!


  1. So you got me all pumped up to see what you've come up with... :) I was filling in the blanks for you, but I don't know all the replacement answers.

    Here's what I came up with:

    Laundry detergent - ?
    Glass cleaner - white vinegar
    Dish soap - ?
    All-purpose antibacterial cleaner - white vinegar is a great disinfectant. Or you can use a little bit of clorox w/ water. Like 1 tsp. to 1 quart, I think. My mom could tell you.
    Toilet cleaner - white vinegar again!
    Heavy-duty scrubbing cleaner - baking soda. Omg, this does a better job than Comet.

    I want to hear what you come up with!

  2. Thanks Maria! Yep, you guessed it, most of the cleaners (and even a hair wash) are based around vinegar and baking soda. I found a few recipes that mix it up (pun intended) with some fun ingredients and are supposed to work even better than straight vinegar! Unfortunately, I just cleaned most of my house testing the vinegar mix, so I have to wait until things get dirty again to try out something else. That shouldn't take too long around here!