DIY Non-Toxic Air Freshener

Love a yummy smelling house, but hate the toxic cloud that comes with store bough air fresheners?  Me too!   You're going to want to try out this super simple, frugal and natural air freshener recipe!  It's really inexpensive and only requires 2 ingredients!  Woohoo!

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DIY Non-Toxic Air Freshener

Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 30-40 drops Essential Oil (depending on the size of your bottle)
  • Water (distilled or filtered)
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Instructions:

Place your baking soda into a small bowl and add your essential oil.  Mix them together until well combined, the baking soda helps to keep the oil suspended in the water.  Then dump into your spray bottle (you may need a funnel to get it in there) and fill up your bottle with water.  Shake well and presto!  Homemade Non-Toxic Air Freshener!

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The best part about this recipe is you can have lots of fun with the scents.  Use different oil combinations to make your favourite scent and why not make different smells for different rooms?  Here's a few of my fave combinations:

  • Sweet Orange & Lemon - uplifting and works great in the kitchen
  • Peppermint & Rosemary -  great for focusing; perfect for the office or den
  • Lavender & Vanilla - so yummy and perfect for sleepy time; lovely in your bedroom to help you relax
  • Cinnamon, Tea Tree & Clove - deodorizing and antibacterial; super for bathrooms, closets & even gym bags

The combinations are endless with essential oils and you don't have to worry about a nasty spray that you have to keep locked away from the kids.  Have you made your own air freshener? What's your go-to scent?

DIY Homemade Handy-Wipes

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Ditch the hand-sanitizer and those old-fashioned lemony Handi-Wipes.  I've got a super simple, frugal and chemical-free way to clean those sticky fingers and loads of other messes! Yup, make your own wipes!  And it's way easier than you think.

DIY Homemade Handy-Wipes

Supplies:

1 tbsp

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap

2 drops Tea Tree Oil

1 drop Lavender Essential Oil

1/2 tbsp Sweet Almond Oil

1 Cup Water

Small Baby Wash Cloths

Water Tight Container

Instructions:

So pour all ingredients into a water tight container.  I used a square glass container with a lid.  Seal your container and shake until all your ingredients are well mixed and bubbly.  You'll notice that I didn't indicate how many wash cloths to use.  This really is dependent on the size of your container and the thickness of your cloths. I think I used about 20 or so, but I wasn't really counting.  Start by folding your cloths so that they fit into your container. Then stack one on top of the other until you can't possibly fit anymore in.  Now if your cloths on top are bone dry, you may need to add more of the wipe mixture.  Just simply mix up another batch and add just enough to the top to ensure the cloths are damp.

Then seal with your lid and leave on the counter.  These cloths work wonders for sticky hands and faces on kids and grown-ups.  Just keep them away from your eyes.  I have even wiped off my table, counters and stove top too. All you need is a little bucket or wet bag to store your used wipes before tossing them in the laundry.  And you can even throw a few in a Ziploc bag in your purse for your travel wipe needs!

The combination of soap and essential oils cleans beautifully and the little bit of almond oil helps keep your skin soft.  The tea tree oil is antibiotic, anti-fungal and antiseptic so it's perfect for all kinds of dirtiness. And since I already had a ton of wash cloths hanging around from our diapering days, these homemade Handy-Wipes cost next to nothing to make! Plus you'll be helping the environment and avoiding lots of nasty chemicals.

6 Surprising Sources of BPA

What the heck is BPA anyway?  Bisphenol A is a chemical found in hard plastics and plastic coatings. It's used to make all kinds of products including water bottles, baby bottles, DVDs & CDs, household electronics, medical devices, dental fillings and sealants and even eye glass lenses.  So what's the big deal?

Well, Bisphenol A is considered an endocrine disruptor, which means it interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action and elimination of your natural hormones , especially estrogen.  What does this mean?  For many years, BPA has been associated with cancer, insulin resistance, birth defects and can interfere with nervous and reproductive system development. There have also been many animal studies showing that even low doses of BPA can be toxic and produce effects such as damaged DNA, miscarriages, early puberty and the production of breast cancer and prostate cancer precursor cells.

So just avoid BPA then, right?!  Absolutely, but it can be trickier than you think.  Check out these shocking sources that you might not be aware of.

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6 Surprising Sources of BPA

  1. Canned Foods - Beans, tomatoes, juices, soups - yup all those canned goods in your cupboard are likely contaminated with BPA because of the lovely plastic liner. Best bets are to avoid canned goods all together or look for brands that don't use BPA.  Here's a good list from BPA Free Canned Food. Or why not just make your own soups, beans and juices?
  2. Pop Cans - luckily, I don't drink pop very often, but if you're someone who must always have a can of Coke in their hand, you might just think again.  Aside from all the artificial colours and sweeteners, BPA is found in almost all pop.
  3. Beer & Wine - I was pretty shocked when I found this out.  Wine brewed in epoxy-lined plastic vats may contain BPA, but aside from giving up wine all together you couldn't avoid it for sure. As far as beer goes, you guessed it - those cans contain BPA, so opt for bottles instead especially since BPA is highly-soluble in alcohol.
  4. Receipts - you know those nice little thermal paper receipts you get from every store and restaurant. Well, they contain BPA , and a pretty significant amount too!  The worst part is BPA is highly absorbed through your skin. This one was pretty frightening for me as I work part-time in a shop with one of those machines.  Thankfully, my boss insists on BPA-free receipt rolls! So skip the receipts next time you're out shopping.  Or if you work in the industry, talk to your boss and find out what's in those rolls you are handling all day.
  5. Toilet Paper - oh man this is nasty! So you're doing the right thing - buying recycled paper products, but guess what that green paper is made out of?  Recycled receipts! Yup, so not only are you wiping your private bits with BPA filled paper, but then once it's flushed it releases more BPA into our water and ground water. Ugh.
  6. Children's Toys - so most of us with kids have been aware of companies changing to BPA-Free bottles and soothers etc.  But what about the toys? All those plastic birthday & Christmas presents that go in their mouths and little hands likely contain BPA. Look for items that say BPA-free and thanks to the Internet, a quick Google search can point you in the right direction for safer toys. Check out this great list from Mommy Goes Green.

20 Amazing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

One of my favourite, multi-purpose items in my house is Tea Tree Oil.  And if you don't have a bottle in your cupboard, I highly recommend getting some ASAP.  This essential oil is not only great to diffuse in your home, but it has so many other amazing uses! It's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and the list goes on and on.

Don't think you would ever use it? After you see my top 20 list, you might think again!

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20 Amazing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

  1. Soothes and heals Sunburns - add 8-10 drops to some coconut oil and gently rub onto to your sunburn.
  2. Heals skin infections - bed sores, cysts, boils - apply a couple drops daily to the affected area.
  3. Treats Acne - rub a drop or 2 onto that nasty pimple and watch it disappear.
  4. Prevents Lice - add a few drops to your kids bath water or your shampoo to help keep those nasty bugs away.
  5. Removes Ticks - drop pure oil onto the tick, wait to minutes and remove.  Make sure to apply some oil to the puncture too.
  6. Antiseptic - use on small cuts or abrasions 
  7. Treats Ringworm
  8. Soothes Insect Bites
  9. Warts - soak a cotton ball with Tea Tree Oil and secure it with duct tape to the wart before bed. Remove in the morning and repeat nightly until the wart turns black.
  10. Toenail Fungus/ Athlete's Foot - apply daily for 1-2 months
  11. All-Purpose Cleaner - add 1-2 tsp of oil to a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.  Use to clean counters, yoga mats, desks, high chairs, car seats etc.
  12. Canker Sores - add 1-2 drops to a cotton swab and place on sore twice daily
  13. Dandruff - add 20-30 drops to any shampoo or add a few drops directly to scalp and massage after washing.
  14. Laundry Boost - add 1/2 tsp to washing machine when doing a load of towels or other mold prone fabrics.
  15. Ingrown Hairs
  16. Colds - add 10 drops of Tea Tree oil to a warm vapourizer and place in your room overnight.
  17. Skin Tags
  18. Insect Repellent - 15 drops added to a quart of water can work as an effective bug spray.
  19. Control Mold - add 2 tsp to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on problem areas and do not rinse.
  20. Pest Control - ants and other pests don't like Tea Tree Oil, so place a few drops at the point of entry or try wiping out kitchen cupboards with a Tea Tree Oil/water solution to keeps ants away.

 And remember, all essential oils can be quite potent. Undiluted Tea Tree Oil can cause itchiness, irritation, and redness on sensitive skin. So, if you have sensitive skin, it is always safer to dilute the oil in another base oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.

What's your favourite Tea Tree Oil use?

Disclaimer: Although I am passionate about natural health care, I am not a medical professional.  This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only.

All-Natural Bug Repellent #DIY

In just a few days we'll be packing up the kids and dogs and heading off the to great wilderness (read: campground 1hr away from home) to enjoy a little outdoor camping adventure.

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Among many other things, we will need a good amount of bug spray.  I can't stand the thought of putting DEET on my kiddos or dogs so I've come up with my own concoction that works and is completely natural!

All-Natural Bug Repellent

What You'll Need:

  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Witch Hazel
  • Citronella Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Clove Essential Oil

Directions:

This couldn't be easier.  Pour your water and Witch Hazel into your spray bottle.  Next it's time for the essential oils.  The best part is you can tweak the recipe depending on your preference.  Here's what I used: 25 drops of Citronella, 20 drops Lavender, 7 drops of Rosemary and 7 drops of Clove essential oils.  Add to your bottle and shake well.  And PRESTO!  All-Natural Bug Repellent!

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Both my husband and I tried this spray out over the weekend with great success.  It was easy to make and goes on great; nice and light and refreshing.  I sat out on the deck last night to test it and see if it did indeed repel the bugs.  I had been cleaning up the back yard and as the sun went down the mosquitoes came out.  After applying it to my arms and legs I was surprised how well it worked.  The mosquitoes came over to for a little nibble, but when they landed or got close they didn't seem to care for my scent anymore and left.

There will be more testing this weekend at the campground so stay tuned for an update. Remember, what works for me may not work for you, so mix up the recipe to suit your needs.  And don't forget to let me know if it worked for you or if you discovered an even better bug spray recipe!