Thursday, July 31, 2014

10 Ways to DIY

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at making your own products for your home or personal care? Now is your chance in a casual environment with others who want the same thing. 

The next Awareness Challenge is upon us. We'll be focusing on recipes to do it yourself (DIY). When you stumble upon this post, even after the challenge ends, you can still make a commitment to start the ten days tomorrow. Pull in a friend to do it with you, too. 

Every day for ten days, we'll focus on doing something for home care or body care. You may have already done all ten of the suggestions or on your best day, simply thought the idea sounded great to your wallet and the scent of it easy on the lungs. Whether you're a pro or a novice, come join us on Facebook! Or, again, do this challenge on your own time. You're welcome to come back and leave your feedback. 

As taken from my post in February, Bath Time Done Right: 
"Almost four years ago, I was made aware of how much I should be considering my own body care wellness... and I started looking at ingredients of consumables. It was an easy decision when it came to my little one because I wanted to protect his new skin from as many harmful elements as possible and preserve his youth."
If you're new to the scene of natural products, I would like to share with you two things: 

1) Start slow - replace one product at a time (take baby steps);
2) Keep learning.  

For those that are reading this challenge thinking this isn't right for me or it just seems overwhelming, I encourage you to simply *Try One* of the recipes or suggestions. You never know, you may surprise yourself. If your efforts turn out better than you expected, please come back and leave a comment. You may inspire someone else to give it a go. 

Let's get started!

Day 1 - Make your own all-purpose cleaner and-or clogged drain remover.

Whole Food Mom on a Budget shares her recipe here. The recipe uses common household ingredients and 1 essential oil. My personal recommendation for EOs to keep in the home for the use of DIY home and body care products are: tea tree, lavender, lemon, and peppermint oils. 

Additional recipe from A Happy Healthnut repurposing lemon peels here
Recipes to Nourish shares her 'anti-mold spray' here

Additional vinegar uses via the Old Farmers' Almanac here
If you own granite counter tops, you will not be able to use vinegar, baking soda, or lemon but you can make this recipe

I was going to challenge you to make your own 'drain-o' but I've read mixed reviews on adding piping hot water to your drains after baking soda and vinegar. Sure, you can simply use the last two ingredients and run your hot water to flush it out. But, you can also google a recipe that you'd feel comfortable with and give it a try. If you find one that works and has no negative repercussions, I'd love a comment on here about which one you found. Thanks!

Day 2 - Make your own lip care product.  

Have you ever wanted to make your own lip care products? I know I have. For now, I have relied on products from local artisans who disclose their list of ingredients. 

Handcrafted Honeybee is a business that makes DIY kits but she also shares recipes that you can DIY without having to buy pre-made... Check out this chocolate orange flavored lip gloss and give it a whirl! 

Bonus: Three other lip balm favorites from Food Your Body Will Thank You For. If you don't want to do a lip gloss and prefer to replace your chapsticks, why don't you give Liz's recipes a try for this challenge? 

Day 3 - Make your own tub and tile cleaner and-or degreaser.

Girl Meets Nourishment shared her Tub & Tile recipe for my Spring Into Natural Cleaning collaborative post back in March and I felt it was a good fit for this challenge too. Along with a couple common household items and an EO, you can make this recipe adding in some castile liquid soap. What's your favorite scent of castile soap? I typically have lavender, peppermint, and unscented in my home. Grab her recipe here

Naturally Mindful shares a 3-ingredient in effectively and gently removing grease from your cooking spaces. Grab her recipe here

Day 4 - Make your own natural exfoliant.

When it comes to natural exfoliants, most people reach for a sugar and an oil (I do!) but Jar O' Honey suggests using raw honey in place of the oil. Check out her recipe here

Bonus recipe from Jar O' Honey is a lavender salt foot scrub as seen here.

Bonus recipe from Naturally Mindful in using coffee and other gentle ingredients, you can make a full body scrub which will help remove dead skin cells with lots of other benefits! Get her recipe here.

Day 5 - Make your own produce wash.

Jar O' Honey keeps it as basic as it can get. Two ingredients and one of them is water. Check out this simple and effective fruit and veggie wash here

Day 6 - Make your own natural deodorant and-or toothpaste.

Recipes to Nourish keeps it simple with this DIY deodorant!! Do you have this one ingredient in your home? I bet you do! I've heard people using the green counterparts and that they're just as effective. I wouldn't recommend using it right after shaving -- yowch! 

Would you like to attempt making your own toothpaste? You can with this recipe but you'll need activated charcoal which usually can only be found at a health food store or online for most folks. This one you may need to skip until you've got all of your supplies. Learn why avoiding the big commercial (consumer favorite) brands are not ideal with Kelli here.  

Bonus: For the adventurous types, try Naturally Mindful's DIY deodorant. You'll need a few extra ingredients and a scale but the few extra steps may be worth it! Here's another recipe featuring coconut oil as the base with Delicious Obsessions. 

Day 7 - Make your own grout and tile cleaner. 

Grab a recipe for your floors and other natural recipes for your home here. The common ingredient in these recipes is baking soda. 

Day 8 - Make your own laundry products and-or hand wipes. 

Jessica from Delicious Obsessions has got you covered! She has a gamut of non-toxic laundry safe and effective fabric softener recipes here. Choose at least one! 

Red and Honey shared this recipe on my spring collaborative post so if you like sewing, you could make your dryer sheets and hand wipes! Grab the hand wipes recipe here. She also provides some tips on stain removers.

For further reading pleasure, peruse my list of laundry alternatives here which includes a safe whitening (aka bleach) recipe. 

Day 9 -  Make your own wood polisher and-or carpet treatment.

Learning and Yearning shared her wood polish recipe for my Spring into Natural Cleaning collaborative post (here) and I haven't seen many others so I'm sharing hers again. This one uses two ingredients, one I'm pretty sure most of you have in your home. The other ingredient, well, you can go find out here

Naturally Mindful shares her go-to natural carpet cleaning solution here

Also join Whole Food Mom on a Budget for another recipe for steam cleaning your carpets using an all natural recipe featuring vinegar and tea tree oil. 

Day 10 - Make your own "no-poo" and-or conditioner / rinse. 

Have you tried going no-poo? If you don't consider yourself that hardcore then I encourage you to try some natural shampoo brands. I'm still experimenting with the natural shampoo brands so I don't have any recommendations (yet), but I went no-poo (no chemicals) in December 2012. 

Read about my experiences here. Since I cannot recommend a natural shampoo brand yet, I can in fact share my go-to DIY no-poo from Natural Living Mama. Click here and scroll to #6 for the recipe. Amanda's recipe is a good start. I always add unsweetened coconut milk to my own recipe for extra nourishment. 

Even if buying natural shampoo products is still out of your comfort zone, I want the challenge of the day to open your mind to not only what you're putting IN your body but what you're putting ON your body. Consumer awareness is on full alert. Ya dig?

Now onto the conditioning rinse. There are several varieties out there. Food Your Body Will Thank You For recommends ACV with an EO. If you don't have any EOs, you can simply use the ACV in water (also discussed on #6 of the no-poo recipe here). I also use lemon juice in water and as a separate rinse from the ACV. I find this combination works very well for my hair and lifestyle.

Other Helpful Resources

You may find a plethora of other DIY recipes from the queen of frugality who turned me onto really giving DIY a go a few years ago and it's none other than Natural & Frugal: Raising 6 Kids. 

If you're aren't familiar with the consumer advocate resource, Women's Voices, I encourage you to peruse their list of DIY recipes. They have videos to accompany their selections. You can grab them here and here. Here is the top 15 chemical trespassers

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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  1. Awesome list Jessica, I particularly like the veggie wash post, I'll try her recipe and technique because as with most people my problem with storing veggies is spoilage. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. This is a wonderful list! I make my own shower cleaner and foaming hand soap - it's a great way to save!