About Toni South

I am a mom who has become a fanatic about handmade bath and beauty products after much research into the toxic chemicals that I was surrounding myself with. I am striving to educate others as I learn myself. I'm an experimenter, learner and teacher!
Author Archive | Toni South

DIY Simple Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

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There are about a million different laundry detergent recipes out there so this should be nothing new if you are a forager of inexpensive DIY household recipes. This is my version, and I just made 3 batches this morning because it’s laundry day. It’s super easy, eco-friendly and inexpensive. You can even order the ingredients online and create the mix in less than an hour and get on with your life!

SUPPLIES:DSC_0205

Grater – I set aside a cheap grater that I just keep in my laundry closet and only use for this purpose. You are only going to be grating soap with it though, so you can even just use your regular kitchen grater and rinse the soap off well when you are done!

Gloves – (Optional) I grated part of my fingernail into my laundry detergent this morning. Luckily it wasn’t part of my finger so gloves are a good idea if you are uncoordinated like me!

Container – An old laundry box would be a good re-purposed container. I use the larger plastic container in the photo to create my detergent and put a smaller amount  in the white container pictured (an old Oxy-clean container) on top of my washer for easy access.

3 BASIC INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)

Washing soda works as a water softener, grease and stain remover. Apparently you can make your own from baking soda if you are having trouble finding it in stores.

 

1 Cup Borax (sodium borate)

Borax is a mineral similar to baking soda but stronger, with a higher pH. It’s antifungal, antibacterial, can dissolve dirt and remove odors.

 

1 Bar of Castile Soap

Castile soap is a mild soap made from plant oils.

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint is my personal favorite because it’s eco-friendly and also smells great.

 

*Large Batches – I like to make large batches of this all at once using all the soap I have on hand. For instance, today I had 3 bars of soap so I grated all three bars of soap and added 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of Borax.

 

** Finding Ingredients – You can usually find all these ingredients near the laundry section. I was in Walmart a few days ago, and I found Washing Soda and Borax on the same isle as fabric softener and in the same area as baking soda, Oxy-clean and other laundry additives. The castile soap was in the bath/beauty section of the store. They did have a laundry soap – Zote, in the laundry section, but I was looking for a more eco-friendly option.

DIRECTIONS:

Grate the soap as finely as possible and add in the Borax and Washing Soda. Mix well. The soap will sink to the bottom of your container so just shake up the container before using.

Use 1 TBSP of laundry detergent per load. This detergent works great on baby clothes, gentle clothes, and is just fine for HE washers!

 

HE WASHERS:

This detergent is low suds so it works great in high efficiency washing machines. I have actually noticed less build-up in my HE washing machine since switching to non-commercial detergent.

 

BABIES/SENSITIVE SKIN:

This detergent is extremely mild, and you could even use the unscented Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap to keep this even more mild. The nice thing about this detergent is that it actually works for the whole family so there is no need for separate detergents.

 

COST: Approximately $.20 load ($42.37 FOR 6 BATCHES)

I like to figure out cost based on all the ingredients you have to buy even if you don’t use up all of them since it’s not like you can order half a box of Borax. So, I’ll use Amazon’s prices for simplicity.

If you purchase through the links above on Amazon, you get 6 bars of Dr. Bronner’s soap, 55 oz of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 76 oz of Borax for $42.37. This qualifies for free shipping so be sure to choose that option because Amazon will automatically choose standard shipping for you. Just click the free Super Saver Shipping option (5-8 days).

I love Amazon because for supplies like this because it’s no more expensive than going to the local super-store, and typically you’ll receive the items in less than a week. I’m not crazy about supporting big businesses, but for my laundry detergent I’d be buying those ingredients at Walmart otherwise so I prefer Amazon and not wasting half a day in Wally-world.

These ingredients will give you enough to make 6 batches of laundry detergent. You’ll have Borax left over (which you can use for a multitude of household recipes!) I would just go ahead and use the entire box of Washing Soda (close to 7 cups) and all 6 bars of soap, and just measure out 6 cups of Borax.

There are 16 tablespoons in 1 cup. Each batch of laundry detergent yields 2.5-3 cups so six batches will give you 15 cups conservatively. Six batches = 240 loads (15cups X 16TBPS per cup) That comes out to $.18 per load, and I just rounded up to $.20.

 

TIME NEEDED: LESS THAN 1 HOUR

Buy the ingredients on Amazon in less than 5 minutes. Grating soap and mixing ingredients takes about 30 minutes. I grated 3 bars of soap and mixed up 3 batches of detergent this morning in about 20 minutes but if you ordered enough for 6 batches, you’d probably spend close to an hour including order time, grating time and mixing up the ingredients.

OTHER RESOURCES:

The Easiest, Most Economical, Most Eco-friendly 1 Ingredient Detergent – Soapnuts

Wellness Mama’s Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent

Crunchy Betty’s Laundry Detergent Recipe

Eco-nuts - Great eco-friendly laundry detergent if you don’t want to make your own.

 

How about you? Do you make your own laundry detergent? Let me know in the comments any tips or special ingredients you use in your homemade laundry detergent!

 Laundry Detergent 2

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Cold Cream Creations

Cold CreamI typically use the oil cleansing method for removing makeup in the evening and in the morning I usually clean my face with soothing lavender and oats. When I saw a recipe for cold cream though, I had to try it out because just seeing the words “cold cream” made me think of my sweet grandmother because she always had Ponds Cold Cream in her bathroom.

Here are the ingredients in Ponds Cold Cream: Mineral Oil, Water, Ceresin, Beeswax, Triethanolamine, Ceteth-20, Fragrance, Behenic Acid, Montan Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Dmdm Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

I’ll be digging into some of the common cosmetic ingredients here in the near future so we can all become educated on what those unpronounceable chemicals are. In the meantime, just know that you can definitely very easily create a similar product that isn’t full of chemicals!

My recipe is based on one from the book, Natural Beauty at Home which has a lot of great DIY recipes.

OLIVE OIL COLD CREAM INGREDIENTS:

1/8 tsp borax powder

1/4 cup distilled water

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBSP beeswax

1 tsp rose water

2 drops Rose Essential Oil (optional)

2 drops Neroli Essential Oil (optional)

6 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

Place beeswax and olive oil in a double boiler or makeshift double boiler. I like to simply place them in a Pyrex glass measuring cup in a pot that contains about 1-2 inches of water. Warm over medium heat until beeswax has completely melted.

Take your distilled water and borax and bring to a boil in a separate container. As soon as the water reaches boiling, take it off the heat and stir it well to be sure the borax is completely melted. Using a hand mixer blend the beeswax/oil and slowly pour the water/borax mixture in while blending. This will immediately thicken the mix. Blend well then add in the rose water and essential oils. I waited to add those final ingredients until the mixture reached room temperature and just re-blended everything.

The result is a wonderful smelling cold cream with no toxic chemicals or preservatives. Since this mix contains water and no preservatives, it will last longer if you keep it in the refrigerator.

ADDITIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS:

You could use different carrier oils like grapeseed, sweet almond, avocado or castor oil instead of the olive oil. Another great option would be to add some fresh ingredients into a small amount. You could take a tablespoon of cold cream and mix in freshly mashed avocado, banana, strawberry or kiwi for an extra cleaning boost. You wouldn’t want to add a fresh ingredient to the entire batch though because fresh ingredients spoil quickly.

Simply massage a small amount into skin and rinse with warm water and a washcloth. This makes a great makeup remover. I like to follow up with aloe vera gel juice as a toner which also helps remove any remaining oil or makeup leaving your face clean and refreshed.

Use your leftover Borax to create your own laundry detergent or make your own Gak!

 

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Make Your Own Luxurious Lotion Bars

Valentines Lotion Bars

What are Lotion Bars?

Lotion bars are a perfect concoction if you are looking for an easy project that’s one step up from making salt and sugar scrubs. If you aren’t familiar with these wonderful creations, they are simply a hard version of lotion. They contain beeswax which makes them solid and also helps hold the moisture on your skin. If you are vegan, you can replace the beeswax with soy, candelilla or carnuba wax.

Lotion bars are a perfect transportable lotion option, and though they are hard, they quickly liquefy when rubbed between your hands. I like to keep a lotion bar in my purse, and some in a dish by my sink. If you make them correctly, they are very moisturizing but not oily. You can use them on cuticles, hands, body and even as a lip balm. Plus they can be made in lots of cute shapes, and you can add whatever scents you like to them.

One thing to note about lotion bars is that they will melt in warm temperatures. The melting point depends on the ingredients, but basically if you leave them in your car or carry them around on a hot day, they will melt. They will still be completely usable, but could be messy.

 

lotion barDIY LOTION BARS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 part Beeswax
  • 1 part Coconut Oil
  • 1 part Shea Butter OR 3/4 part Cocoa Butter
  • Double Boiler or Makeshift Double Boiler – A pot and Pyrex measuring cup is perfect

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

  • Essential Oils (Add after heating)

The recipe above allows you to make whatever size batch you would like. For instance, you could make a reasonable size batch with 1/3 cup each of beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. That’s going to give you 1 cup/8 fluid oz of product.

double boilerINSTRUCTIONS

First, pull out the molds that you are going to use and have them ready because you will have to move quickly once your mixture is melted. Cake pans, muffin tins, silicone molds, candy molds, and even small bowls are all just perfect for lotion bars. Basically whatever you have around the house that can withstand hot liquid. Don’t use plastic containers though; stick with metal, silicone or glass.

Place all three ingredients in your Pyrex glass and heat over medium/medium high heat until the mixture is completely melted. Shea butter is temperamental and can have a gritty texture if you heat it too quickly.

Once your mixture is completely melted pull it off the heat, wipe down the water from the outside of your glass so you don’t accidentally get water in your bars. Then add essential oils (see below for ideas) and pour into your molds.

Let the molds sit or pop in the freezer for a few minutes. Pop the bars out of their molds and try them out. If they are too hard, throw them back in the double boiler and add a little coconut oil. If they are too soft, add more beeswax. Then just re-melt completely and add more essential oil.

moldFRAGRANCE

You can add essential oil before you pour into molds or add it individually in each little mold and stir with a toothpick. You don’t want to add the essential oils into the mixture while it’s still on the stove or they will just evaporate and you will change the structure of the oils by heating. 10-20 drops of essential oil per 1/2 cup of mixture is a good starting point.

If you use cocoa butter in your recipe (which is what I use in my lotion bars), you will end up with bars that smell like cocoa butter (chocolaty) so you will want to leave out fragrance or be sure to add fragrance that is strong enough to be detected with the cocoa. My lotion bars have a light lavender smell. I also like to make them with peppermint, rose, neroli, and ylang ylang essential oils. Those fragrances all go together well.

VARIATIONS

You can also replace the different ingredients with other butters and waxes, but the recipe is going to change a little depending on how firm the butters and waxes are. Coconut oil is solid at room temp so if you replace it with a different oil, you will end up with oily bars that may not solidify. I made some lip lotion bars today by adding a little sweet almond oil in addition to the coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax. They are solid bars, but the sweet almond oil leaves your lips glossy.

DIRECTIONS:

Rub the bar between your hands to warm and liquefy, then rub into your skin.

Your skin will be left feeling moisturized but not oily.

PACKAGING

I package my lotion bars in small plastic bags (because I have a few hundred of those on hand). Once I go through those, I’ll probably package them in a small tin. For your personal bars, a glass jar makes a great container for these or a small glass bowl with a few in it will scent your bathroom nicely.

You can easily re-purpose glass containers of your own, but you will want to replace the lids. I like to re-use spaghetti sauce jars, pickle jars and other similar containers. Just wash the container then boil in water to sterilize. Be sure the container is completely dry before putting any other products in it.

 

MORE GREAT RECIPES AND INSTRUCTIONS ON DIY LOTION BARS

How to Make Lotion Bars

Nutty Butt Butter: Your Little Cellulite Secret

Moisturizing Bath Candy (Similar to lotion bars but for the bathtub!)

MadeOn Skin Care Products Make your own hard lotion kits and watch the great instructional video about halfway down the page.

Soapnuts Recipes

 

Check out my current lotion bars for sale or make your own and tell me about it in the comments!

 

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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How to Make Your Own Salt & Sugar Scrubs

regenerating salt scrubAs I mentioned in my post What’s the Big Deal with Bath Salts?, we have been sold the idea that we can only get awesome beauty benefits with store bought products. The real truth is that there are many bath and beauty products we can make ourselves with very simple ingredients.

Salt and sugar scrubs are no exception. They are one of the easiest beauty products to make yourself and you can probably throw some together with items in your kitchen right now! Salt or sugar scrubs make a great easy handmade gift. Simply buy some canning jars and create handmade labels and you have an easy luxurious gift.

I think of these scrubs as the ultimate in luxurious home body treatments. I once got an all over salt scrub at a local spa and it was a phenomenal experience. Now I can do them myself at home anytime I like.

How Salt & Sugar Scrubs Work

Basically the salt or sugar is exfoliating and whatever oil you include is moisturizing. Salt is rougher so it makes a wonderful foot scrub or scalp scrub. I use Epsom salt as a base for my salt foot scrubs because of it’s wonderful beneficial properties. Sugar is finer so it works well as a body scrub, and any sugar will do. I stay away from processed sugars in my food, but I use them regularly in my sugar scrubs. You can also mix salt and sugars together for a nice scrub with different textures.

Facial Scrubs

Your face is very sensitive, so be careful using scrubs on this delicate area. You could definitely use a sugar scrub on your face but rub gently and be sure the carrier oil and essential oils are all safe for use on your face. Stay away from any broken skin.

Carrier Oils

There are many great carrier oils out there. Extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oil are probably the least expensive and easiest to find, but both have a distinctive smell. I like to use grapeseed in my foot scrubs because it contains antioxidants. Grapeseed is a great shaving oil as well because it’s not too thick.

Jojoba is my favorite face or body oil because it’s the closest to our own body’s oil so it absorbs very easily into your skin. Jojoba is more expensive than some of the other carrier oils, so I like to use it mainly in my face oils.

Sweet almond oil is also a great body or face oil that doesn’t leave an oily feeling behind. Since it is a nut byproduct, it can activate allergies. Sweet almond is great for baby massage oil, but I discontinued using it in baby products for fear of activating allergies.

Coconut oil also makes a fantastic body oil, but it is solid at room temperature. Simply put the coconut oil in a bowl of warm water or put it in a double boiler on very low heat to get it into a liquid form before adding to your scrubs. Coconut oil is what I primarily use as a hair oil and body moisturizer. I use it in scrubs to add depth and texture.

There are several other great carrier oils that can be used in salt or sugar scrubs. Avocado, apricot kernel, macadamia nut, sunflower, safflower, palm and hazelnut are a few other commonly used oils.

Essential Oils in Your Scrubs

Essential oils are a wonderful addition to your scrubs because they mask the scent of the carrier oils and they add a nice aroma. Many essential oils can be irritating to your skin, so do a little homework and start with small amounts.

Lavender is a good essential oil that is safe for most people. I’d definitely recommend it as a staple in your essential oil collection. I like to use peppermint in many of my handmade products. Peppermint has a nice fragrance and gives your skin a tingly feeling. It’s invigorating! Rosemary is another nice invigorating oil.

There are also some wonderful citrus scents (such as lime, lemon, sweet orange, orange, bergamot, grapefruit) that are not expensive and add a nice smell to handmade scrubs. Please be careful with citrus oils though, because they do cause your skin to be photosensitive (overly sensitive to the sun). I love citrus oils, but often use them in foot scrubs or hand scrubs rather than body scrubs for that reason.

 

purifying sugar scrubDIY SUGAR OR SALT SCRUBS

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of Salt or Sugar

4 TBSP of Carrier Oil (See above suggestions)

 

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:

Essential Oil (10-20 drops)

Ground Dried Flowers (Approximately 1 tsp – messy but nice) – I like to match up my flowers with my essential oils

Coffee or Cocoa Powder (1tsp) – This can get a little messy but both coffee and cocoa powder are a great additive in scrubs, and they add a nice smell.

Colors/Dyes - Many store-bought scrubs contain artificial dyes which I stay away from. I use natural dyes for my products whether for personal use or to sell. I love using fine Himalayan pink salt in my salt scrubs for the texture as well as the pink color. I also use approximately 1/2 tsp beet root powder in my Christmas and Valentine’s Day salt/sugar scrubs to add color.

Honey – Honey is a great additive in homemade scrubs. It’s wonderfully soothing to skin and highly antibacterial.

Extracts – Extracts are a good way to add scent without breaking the bank. Vanilla essential oil is quite pricey so I like to make brown sugar vanilla scrub with a mixture of vanilla essential oil as well as vanilla extract.

 

 

*NOTE: Water is alive, so if you get water into your scrubs, you are creating a breeding ground for bacteria. You can also use fresh flowers and fresh juices if you are using your scrubs immediately, but any fresh ingredients will rot so keep that in mind.

 

DIRECTIONS:

Smooth onto feet or body in a circular motion, focusing on rough areas. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Your skin will be left feeling soft and moisturized. Your tub will be left slippery so be sure to clean it out well!

PACKAGING:

I purchase most of my containers from Sunburst Bottle. Most companies that sell glass bottles require large minimum purchases, but Sunburst does not. Their shipping prices for me (from West to East coast of US) are very high (sometimes shipping is as much or more than my orders), but even with the added cost of shipping their prices still beat anywhere local.

You can easily re-purpose glass containers of your own, but you will want to replace the lids. I like to re-use spaghetti sauce jars, pickle jars and other similar containers. Just wash the container then boil in water to sterilize. Be sure the container is completely dry before putting any other products in it.

Check out my current sugar scrubs and salt scrubs for sale or make your own and tell me about it in the comments!

 

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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