Foaming Shampoo/Face Wash

So, it has been a while since I have posted anything. Working full-time and taking 18 credit hours in school is not conducive to keeping up with my blogging, but I made this shampoo today and wanted to share it. You will need a bottle with a foam pump – you can purchase one, or you can reuse one, which is what I did. I bought some Yes to Carrots baby shampoo a while back that had a foam pump on it so once I ran out of that, I rinsed the bottle, peeled the labels off, and now have a handy bottle with a pump for my shampoo. Here’s the ingredient list and the proportions that I used:

  • 2/3 to 1 cup of water (distilled, spring, whatever works – most people will say distilled, but I used spring water)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (I have the lavender scent)
  • 20-25 drops of tea tree oil

Baking soda, magic soap, water, olive oil, and tea tree oil

The first thing I did was heat up 2/3 cup of water and dissolved the baking soda. Once the baking soda was dissolved, I removed it from the heat and added the olive oil. I mixed this up, poured in the Castile soap and tea tree oil, and mixed it again using a spatula. Using a funnel, I poured this all into my empty foam bottle, filled it to the top with water for a total of about 1 cup of water, and voila!

The foam is really thick and works wonderfully!

I don’t have too many pictures of the process because it was quick and simple, but it smells wonderful and the foam is thick! I have really long hair and I don’t use any conditioner – I simply coat it with a little bit of Argan oil and let it air dry. I use the Organix brand and would love to find a brand that is more natural so any recommendations on that would be great.

You can switch up the variety of Dr. Bronner’s you use if you don’t like lavender, and you can use a different essential oil. I have a little bit of acne on my face and scalp so the tea tree oil helps out with that. I used this on my face and it feels awesome! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

Homemade Cough Remedy

I am largely free of commercial medication. I don’t like pills or feeling medicated, but I don’t get sick much so this is never a problem. When my allergies act up I tend to get a small, chesty cough. I haven’t actively looked for anything to fix this but I stumbled upon a pin the other day that looked promising.

The recipe comes from the blog, Good Food Matters. Since I have no expertise in this area, I didn’t stray from the recipe except to make a double batch. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons local honey

Local honey, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper.

When I found the recipe I was delighted that I had ALL of the ingredients. Local honey is preferred due to its pollen content – I try to eat the stuff every single day. Here in Austin we have delicious wildflower honeys! An organic apple cider vinegar is preferred, but I had cheap stuff for my hair rinse and that’s what I used.

I used a small glass jar with an airtight lid.

I am not sure what size the container is, but I made a double batch of the above listed ingredients. This jar fit that with room to spare and I mixed it all up in here, as well.

Ginger and cayenne pepper.

First I put the ground ginger and cayenne pepper into the container. At this point I have only put enough for one batch. After I mixed it all up I decided it was so delicious I would just fill the jar up.

ACV, water, and dry ingredients.

Stir the apple cider vinegar and water in with the dry ingredients and mix well. Mine did not dissolve all the way, but I don’t think that is necessary. The next step is to add the honey and stir well, or shake vigorously.

Sweet and spicy, all-natural cough remedy.

The blog’s author says to take 1 teaspoon as needed for a cough. I had a bit of a cough today and took some with much success! The true test will be the next time my boyfriend gets sick, so I will update then. In the meantime, this is great to kick that allergy or summer cold cough!

Stain Remover: Hydrogen Peroxide & Original Dawn

I have seen a few different pins about how great this combo is for removing stains. Well, my carpet has quite a few that I was short of burning out, so I decided to mix it up and give it a try. I found the recipe for this at Modern Day Moms, and I love it!

It has two simple ingredients: 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part Dawn liquid soap. I made 30 ounces so I used 20 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 10 ounces of Dawn.

I have labeled my bottle so I will just reuse this one over and over. I got the spray bottle at Wal-Mart (ugh, sorry) for less than a $1.00 and the peroxide & soap are both about $1.00 a piece. Needless to say, this was really cheap to make. NOW, to see if it works!

This is a small spot on my carpet that most likely is ash. It could be dirt. Who knows? Anyway, it’s a small spot and we’ll see if this blue spray can knock it out.

I sprayed enough to cover the area and I let it sit for a few minutes. I suggest letting it sit longer if the stain has been there a while, and possible spraying it again to really get the cleaning action. It may not magically disappear, but I decided to scrub it with a sponge. A brush would probably have been better, but I didn’t have one.

What?! WHAT?! Seriously, I am amazed. Okay, so let’s see what it does on big spots. I have small and big, and I don’t believe how great it worked.

Now, this is a big spot. Again, this is probably ashes, but there is no telling. It’s horribly embarrassing, but I am glad I get to test out this spray. So let’s see after a spray and a scrub if I can get rid of this eyesore.

Okay, so it didn’t completely go away on the first scrub, but this is INCREDIBLE. I know once I spray it one more time and scrub it with a brush, it will be good to go. I am super impressed. I haven’t tried it on anything else yet, but I may give it a shot in my bathtub for soap scum, or my shower for dirty grout. It smells wonderful! I definitely recommend giving this a shot in place of your regular stain remover.

Hand Soap made from Bar Soap

In an effort to save some money, I have decided to start making household products that I usually have to buy a couple of times a month – laundry detergent, body wash, whatever I can find to make! Hand soap is something I like to keep around the house, but it’s expensive. I found a nifty pin on how to make your own hand soap out of a bar of soap and decided that I would accept the challenge.

The blog that I found the idea for this on, Frugally Green, doesn’t appear to work for me anymore, but I added the link anyway in case it’s back up soon! The recipe calls for grating up 1 bar of Dove soap (any variety of Dove will work for this; she also has a recipe for making it with other types of soap that do not have moisturizers) which is equal to about 2 cups. Since finishing this particular batch I have found another set of directions for making this bar soap into liquid body wash, and it also has a nifty idea to microwave the soap. I will be trying that soon. 🙂 In the meantime, I hand grated my soap.

It is a little bit time consuming, but it’s mindless work while watching television. Idle hands are the Devil’s playground. 😉 I love this particular scent of Dove. It is the Go Fresh! Revive, and it smells like pomegranate & lemon verbena – to me, it smells like Heaven. I have the body spray & deodorant. I have also used the liquid body wash (and shampoo/conditioner), but they are super expensive and I am going to try my hand at making my own shampoo. Anyway!

Once you’ve grated all of the soap, you will melt it down in water. The hand soap recipe called for 6 cups of water. I read through the comments and a lot of people mentioned having different consistencies depending on whether they had hard water or not. I used distilled water in mine, just in case.

The process just takes some time. It melts on medium heat and it will start to foam a bit. The higher the temp and the longer you allow it to melt, the smoother your soap will be. If you have an immersion blender, you can blend it when it’s done. Be prepared for a few suds! I tried a hand mixer and had moderate success, but no pictures of that! Sorry!

I funneled mine into a 1 gallon milk jug, though there is hardly that much. Then I used it in my regular soap dispensers! It is truthfully a little thin, so I may try it with a little less water next time, or I may try it without the distilled water to see if it makes a difference. For now, though, I am enjoying the smell of pomegranate & lemon verbena all over my apartment!

Reusing Old Candle Jars

I have no problem admitting that I am a packrat. I love to hold onto “useful” things, such as old pieces of fabric, glass jars, or frames that could be re-purposed. Those books I read as a child? Yep, I’ve still got ’em. Clothes that don’t fit? If I love the fabric enough, it’s stuffed in a bag waiting for the perfect use. My newest obsession is saving glass – jars that were once full of syrupy fruit and jars with leftover candle wax in them. In the past, I have always thrown them away. What was I going to do with a waxy candle jar? And then came this handy blog from Yellow Brick Home.

She has much better pictures of the actual process, but I had a fun experience and will provide tips as I go here. I had a couple of large candle jars that will make excellent apothecary jars and some small jars that make excellent rocks glasses.

As you can see, I did not get pictures of an actual “before”, but I’m pretty sure we all know what used candle jars look like – a thin layer of wax holding the wick in place and it just never burns! All you have to do is pour boiling water into the candle and let it cool. Most of them came up on the first try. I let them cool overnight, but it’s not really necessary to wait that long.

Notice the jars with red wax aren’t clean – I had to use quite a bit of water as they didn’t burn down very well and they didn’t come up as easily. The author of the blog had soy candles, and these are just regular Glade candles so I’m not sure if that makes a difference in melting temps. I am too lazy to look that up, but I was able to remedy the situation just fine.

I just poured the boiling water into the jars, removed the pan from the heat, and set the jars inside of the water. Within a few hours the red wax had all risen to the top and I was able to cut into it with a knife and remove it. Notice they are all wax-free! Just wash them very well, scrub any remaining wax or paper off, and I would recommend sterilizing them regardless of what you’re using them for.

True to my nature, I saved the pieces of wax in a container and I’m storing them for future use. I am so excited that I was able to reuse these things! Now I don’t feel bad buying candles and I can start making containers for my bathroom, kitchen, and craft supplies. It’s a win-win! Check out the blog at Yellow Brick Home for better instructions and pictures – and let her know how much you appreciate this because it’s such a money-saver.

– Miranda