I am chagrined to have to report that the effort of making our own household cleaners, soaps and such…is totally worth the effort. I am mildly pissed that I could have been doing this for years, saving up enough money to buy that purple Lamborghini I saw. I am also more annoyed that I am actually improving, at least mentally, without all the chemicals floating through the atmosphere of my home. So what have I implemented?
I made the laundry soap. Easy, and even a half recipe is going to last us a long time, so it’s not something I’ll have to do often. The clothes feel softer, there’s no static cling even without using dryer sheets and I suspect that the clothes themselves will last longer if they’re not being cleaned with sawdust and chemicals. Towels washed in this soap are more absorbent and soft without the weird waxy feel of dryer sheets. Stain removal is the one thing we still need to learn, but other than that, this one gets a big check mark and a commitment to continue doing it.
I made the kitchen cleaner. Okay, it’s equal parts white vinegar and water. Not a lot of mixing, just pour them into the spray bottle. I use it for every surface and it gets stuff clean. Might take a little elbow grease, but all in all, very easy to use and it does not actually leave things smelling like salad dressing–in fact, it removes all odors. Another check mark, another thing I can continue to do.
I made dishwasher soap. I also use white vinegar as the rinse aid. Other than the fact that my dishwasher is old and doesn’t get things clean the way it should, the products themselves work as advertised–and the amount needed for the powder is only a tablespoon, which doesn’t even fill the soap dispenser in the machine. ANOTHER check mark, another item I will keep making.
Shampoo. Ummmmmm. Not so successful with this one, still working it out. It may take time while my hair adjusts to actually making the oil it’s supposed to, instead of madly trying to replace what all the store-bought hair products strip off. So my hair is soft, very soft, but not so shiny. Work in progress and when I find the correct recipe or organic product (because right now, I’m washing with Dr. Bonner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Liquid Castile Soap), I’ll let you know.
Body soap. Bought a bar of organic sandalwood for me…and Beloved has been using it, to discover that for whatever reason, he doesn’t take as long to dry off with this soap as his soap for 2000 parts. (no brand names, LOL) When this particular bar of soap is gone, we have a three milk (including goat) soap bar that we bought at the Farmer’s Market to use next. I will probably never make our bathing soap, there’s just too many options for organic, homemade out there.
(Side note: the use of castile soap to wash my dishes and my hair has had a most unexpected side effect: all of my jewelry sparkles like it was just cleaned at the store. I haven’t scrubbed it or done anything other than get it wet (and soapy) while washing other things. Just saying)
So it was worth the extremely lower cost of stocking up on the various supplies to make our household cleaners and beauty products and I will continue to make them because frankly, it’s EASY to make them. And I know what’s in them and don’t have to worry about chemicals and such.
Other changes…we went to the Warrenton Farmer’s Market yesterday. Our friend, Todd (chef at Black Bear Bistro) met us there and introduced us around, showed us which places to shop at particularly and then pointed out the places we will probably want to shop–he has to buy in bulk, so prefers to get most of his produce from a man who has less types of items but more of each item. We came home with produce, ohmydeargods, bread and meat. The prices are VERY comparable to Wegman’s or Trader Joe’s–and it’s local and organic, which you know means that it wins in the choosing game.
I had a tomato and basil sandwich on some of the bread we bought as my final meal last night. I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely amazing and terrific it was. I’m looking forward to my fried green tomatoes! We bought stuff for juicing which will probably make our feeble attempts last week look sick… Our plan is to go each week, at least through Thanksgiving, when it closes–and hopefully, we can limit ourselves a little better than we did this week. There’s a certain impetus to actually eating it all when you’ve paid dear enough for it, as well as knowing that it’s fresh, organic and just plain awesome. Eating the tomatoes won’t be a problem for me…I bought red (and ripe) ones, a yellow one and the aforementioned green ones. Got carrots, kale, banana peppers, sweet bell peppers (in several colors), cucumbers, and the basil. Didn’t get apples as we have a peck at home, but probably will in a couple of weeks since they keep in the fridge pretty well. Did get some pork sausage links which we’ll use as protein adjuncts to some eggs for first or second meal (first meal is really supposed to be juice and protein powder).
Taking it easy this morning as I am a speaker at the International Day of Prayer for Peace in Manassas this afternoon. Made three kinds of hummus–one for us and two to take–to share in the after service potluck. Have carrots and baby pita pockets for dipping. Thinking about wearing the new dress I got–went to the thrift store on Wednesday, when everything is 25% off, to get clothes that more accurately reflect my current situation. Got yoga pants and tank tops, another light jacket similar to the ones I wear, and this pretty green and white dress. The parameters were that the clothes be comfortable, able to worn around the house (which means showering and getting dressed, every day!) but still able to go out in public in them (as opposed to my robe or pjs that I’ve been wearing). I think I succeeded.
I still ache, am having pains as usual–it’s weird, my brain feels well, almost normal (haha) but even though I know I’d like to be doing things, my body is still not up to it. But the mental clarity is welcome. Endurance will come eventually. I am already more active than I was a month ago. Oh I still have my “sit and do nothing” days because I’m very responsive to the barometric pressure changes…but hopefully this is a precursor to having something resembling a life again.