So, when I started to tell you about my experience with the homemade “dirt” toothpaste, I ended up in a sort of philosophical discussion with myself. Today, I am just going to post links and tell you what I like about each of the things I have tried!
I started off with the laundry detergent. Here is the link to the one I have been using now for over a year. Being Creative to Keep My Sanity blog has the directions and lots of good comments you may want to read. It works great in my front loader, I do add the oxy clean, and I only use one TABLESPOON per load!! I do not miss having to buy laundry detergent/going without washing because we ran out…or stocking up A LOT because it was on sale and I had a coupon. In the past year for our ten+ people, I am on the third batch. We ran out of the second just a little before the one year mark. So, for a years worth of laundry, it cost us a little over $45.00 + the initial cost of the paint bucket for making and storing it in. I think that is AWESOME!! I also like that it is unscented for the most part, and our clothes seem cleaner.
As I have pinned more on Pinterest (find me here), I started realizing that I could make other stuff. So I took the plunge and ordered about $40.00 worth of supplies from Bulk Apothecary and Ebay and bought a few things from my local health food store. This was well worth the investment for me!
Frugally Sustainable got me thinking about the toothpaste with this blog post. I have not used Stevia, so I left that out. It is not sweet, at first it is weird, and I have to have my toothbrush really wet before I use it or my mouth gets REALLY dry. I have found that keeping it in babyfood jars with a demitasse spoon that will fit into the jar works well for us. We keep one in each bathroom. (Thanks, Jess, for all the babyfood jars!!) Some of my kids really like it. Others hate it. I am not forcing anyone to use it, so I am still buying some commercially made toothpaste. There are lots of different recipes out there, so search and find the one you like! My test came when I went back to the dentist…I did not tell them I was using homemade toothpaste. The woman who cleaned my teeth and the dentist said my teeth looked beautiful as usual! I feel like my teeth feel better. I will continue to use this.
One of the main reasons we started making the toothpaste and also deodorant, is because several people in my family really react to some of the ingredients in commercial products. I avoid soy, and that comes in many sneaky names, but we have been dealing with that for years. The real issue, lately, has been the triclosan that is in lotions to kill germs. My kids skin breaks out. Davids hands get raw. Who wants that for their family. We stopped using antiperspirant because of the aluminum, and started using just deodorant a while back. However, I realized that triclosan is one of the ingredients in many of the natural deodorants….ARGH!
Enter the homemade deodorant. We make it and also keep it in babyfood jars. It is very easy to make. My first attempt I put it in a taller jar. Since you have to scoop some out, when it got down too low, I could not reach my fingers in. So…make it in smaller portions and save yourself the hassle of finding something to scoop it out with!
You may wonder about now, “All this sounds like such a lot of work?! Why would I want to do this??” Honestly, once you have the ingredients, I have found that making them is great. If I run out, I don’t have to make a trip to the store, because I have the stuff on hand to make more. I don’t have to worry about clipping coupons to save money off of the crazy cost of deodorant, or stock up because it is on sale. For me, the act of making a product and knowing exactly what is in it and knowing how to pronounce the name of the ingredients really outweighs the time involved. (which is less than the time involved in making the trip to the store!)
Crunchy Betty has a great post about some more complicated deodorant here, and I think I will advance to this later, maybe. The comments on her blog give lots of great ideas, too. For now, though, I have been mixing a simple recipe of coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch. It is great! It smells nice, protects and even when we sweat a LOT, it keeps the odor at bay. I will not go back to commercial deodorant…this is just too easy.
*UPDATE* This summer we were in Oklahoma and Texas, and the homemade deodorant was not enough for me! So, I will say that occasionally there will be times that we will use the commercial stuff! Secret saved us (and everyone around us!)
So, now you know! This is my experience on using these products. I am not telling you to use them, or guaranteeing their effectiveness! If you have tried them, let me know! I would love to know your thoughts on these products as well!