Lately I've been inspired by friends to look for homemade versions of some of the products that we use around the house (check out these recipes for homemade laundry detergent, shampoo and dishwasher detergent). These homemade versions are usually a lot more environmentally friendly and cheaper too! Here's a few of the things I've been "concocting" lately:
Homemade oatmeal milk bath (sort of like the Aveeno stuff)
1.5 cups instant skim milk powder
1 cup baking soda
Mix all ingredients together. Keep in a sealed container. Add about 1/3 cup (for kids' bath) to running bath water. Watch kids closely in the tub, as it will make the tub a bit slippery.
I found this recipe on the blog What a Sweet Life, but it was a little different. It included 6 cups of epsom salts and 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Since I don't like scented stuff, I omitted the lavender right away. I tried it with the epsom salts, but I think they bothered the kids' eyes. I noticed both the kids rubbing their eyes and when I asked Annika about it, she said that they hurt. Since her shampoo is tear-free, I figured it might be the stuff in the water, so I tried a version without the epsom salts (could've also been her soap...).
I don't ever take baths, but the kids do, so I've been adding this to their bath water lately. The oatmeal is great for soothing itchy skin (from mosquito bites, eczema, poison ivy, chicken pox, etc), and the milk and the baking soda are good for moisturizing. Since both kids have dry, sensitive skin, it seems to be beneficial for them. Make sure to apply lotion immediately after drying off, to lock in moisture.
Homemade daily shower cleaner
1 cup vinegar
Juice of half an orange
1 Tbsp dishwashing soap
Pour into a spray bottle and shake gently to mix.
~ from eHow
Cleaning the shower is one of my least favorite tasks, and while I love the idea of the daily shower cleaner spray, I don't love the idea of spraying around chemicals on a daily basis. I found a "green" daily shower cleaner at the store, but it was heavily scented so I didn't like that either. So I found a recipe to make my own. I just started using this, so I can't say how well it works yet. If you click on the link to eHow there are lots of different recipes for a daily shower cleaner - I chose this one because I had all the ingredients on hand. We'll see how I like it.