Thursday, January 17, 2013

Admitting the truth about my homemade cleaning products:

For a couple of years now, I've been trying to learn how to make my own cleaning products.  I've written a bit in earlier posts, including my attempts with shampoo, which I finally gave up after I grew tired of having stringy, greasy, limp hair.  Sometimes, it's hard to admit failure.  Instead I refill my shampoo bottles at the co-op and call it good.

I've been making scouring powder for general cleaning, and it works ok, but the texture is strange.  I will keep working on the recipe.  Last summer, I started making my own automatic dish detergent, and it was working as well as my store-bought eco-friendly detergent until a few months ago.  Lately, every load of dishes comes out half clean.  Sometimes, in fact, there are clumps of grit or dirt that seem to be added during the wash.  I don't know where it's coming from!  I'm getting tired of pre-washing and re-washing half of every load of dishes.  I even bought a product for cleaning out all mineral deposits in the washer, and it looks good as new, but the dishes are still not coming out clean.  While I am committed to finding a way around bringing all of the extra containers home and using chemicals, and to saving money, my enthusiasm is waning. I want clean, sparkling dishes.

My liquid dish soap is also less than satisfying.  It works for getting dry or sticky food off, but oil or butter just redistributes.  I'm missing some ingredient that will cut through grease.

In the meantime, I have learned how to make my own lip balm and deodorant, and I've been refilling spent plastic roll-up dispensers.  The lip balm is great, although I still like Burt's Bees best.  My deodorant is a bit sticky.  My husband won't use it because it goes on like soft butter.  I sort of dab it on, rather than smearing. I need to tweak that recipe next time, too.

When I finally find or create recipes that I am happy with, I'll post them, or links to them.  Lip balm is easy, and if you do a search, you can find a recipe to play with.  My helpful hint: I melt everything in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time or on "thaw" setting until it's melted.  Then I whisk it and pour it into containers and it is done.  Most recipes recommend a double-boiler system, but I've done fine with the microwave.

If you have found a recipe for cleaning products that really works for you, please share it!