Archive | Bathroom

Thieves Oil Concentrate: What a Steal!

 

 
 

Homemade Thieves Oil Concentrate

Cold and flu season is upon us.  Runny noses, germs, viruses…  It’s not enough for me to pull out the bleach, but I do like a little extra protection.
 
Have you heard of Thieves Oil?   Legend has it that back in the 15th century, 4 thieves used a secret formula to protect themselves from the plague so they could rob the dying and dead.
 
And of course, you can make this yourself with simple, inexpensive, easy to find ingredients.  Recipes vary, but the common mixture is cinnamon, cloves, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary.  We can’t be sure that thieves actually used this mixture to protect themselves from the plague, but these ingredients are antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-infectious. So give it a go!  It smells great.
 

Thieves Oil Concentrate (Cost: approximately $1.25 per batch)

 
Zest of 1 large lemon (cut the peel off to make it easier to use again)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cinnamon sticks (buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
¼ cup whole cloves (buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil (GNC or online)
 

 

Homemade Thieves Oil Concentrate {TheGreeningOfWestford.com}

  1. Fill a pot with a quart of water and add the first four ingredients.
  2. Heat on the stove top to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Or, once the mixture has boiled, turn off the heat and let it sit for 2 hours.
  3. Strain the mixture and pour the remaining liquid into a glass jar.  Glass is better than plastic for many reasons!  But in this case, the essential oils can react with plastic.
  4. Add the five drops of eucalyptus oil.

 

You can re-use the ingredients for another 2-3 batches. I store mine in the freezer for later use.
 
This concentrate can be mixed with equal parts of water and kept in a spray bottle.  I use mine as a quick disinfectant for the bathroom.  I really like the smell too.
 

A Quick Note On The Ingredients

 
Whole cloves can be super expensive in grocery stores.  Anywhere from $3 – 4 for a small bottle.  Here is where the bulk spices at Whole Foods comes in.  I purchased 2 cups of whole cloves for $6.65.  Which comes out to be about $0.83 for the ¼ cup you’ll need for this recipe.
 
Cinnamon sticks can be expensive too – I bought 10 good quality cinnamon sticks for $0.99 at Whole foods.  That would have cost me $5 prepackaged – maybe more.

Make sure to cut your lemon peel and not zest (grate it).  I learned this the hard way!   See my lemon zest in the picture?  It’s really difficult to get the zest back after straining to use again.

 

How To Use Your Thieves Oil Concentrate

 
Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of Thieves Of Concentrate and water.
Spray on surfaces or in the air as a disinfectant.
 
 
It love the smell as it simmers on the stove. 
 
This quart of concentrate will cost you about $1.25.  From this you can make 2 quarts or 2 full sized bottles of disinfectant!  Talk about saving money!  And you can trust these ingredients.
 

Do You Use Any Homemade Cleaners?


This post is shared at Tiny Tip Tuesday, Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Penny Pinching Party, Simply Natural Saturdays, Seasonal Celebration Sunday

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Coconut Oil Does Triple Beauty Duty

coconut oil beauty treatments

Coconut oil is quickly becoming my FAVORITE ingredient in my beauty routine!  Yes that’s right.  Not only can you cook with it, but it is great for soooo many other things.

I have also found Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil which smells incredible!  If you like the smell of coconuts.  Which I do.  It’s $5.99 for 16 oz.

If you are looking for more natural replacements for body lotion, eye makeup remover and eye cream, I have ONE Do-It-Yourself product that will do the trick.  Yes, ONE

Coconut Oil Triple Play

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1/2 tsp Vitamin E (optional)

Directions:

1. Place the coconut oil and vitamin E in a bowl.  Vitamin E oil is used as a preservative.  however, if you don’t already have some, don’t bother to go buy some.  Coconut oil has a pretty long shelf-life as is.   

2. Whip it (Whip It Good!  I couldn’t resist!)  with an electric mixer.

3. Whip until it is like whipped cream or frosting (about 5-10 minutes).



Place in a pretty (free) jar and you are done!  Fancy up the jar with a cute label and this would make a great gift!  I have actually had friends ask for it.

You could add essential oils if you like, but I like the smell of the coconut.  I have been told by the fabulous woman whom I go to for facials that coconut oil is excellent for your skin!

When I get out of the shower, I put this on my body as a moisturizer.

When I remove my eye makeup at night, I put a small amount on my eyes or on a small flannel cloth and wipe the make-up away.  A little remains which moisturizes that delicate skin around your eyes beautifully.

Not only is this better for your skin, but the price is unbeatable.  That $5.99 jar of coconut oil will last a year at least!

Now, the coconut oil may melt.  Mine did this summer.  But I don’t really mind using it in the liquid form.  It may harden in colder months and you’ll have to scrape at it a bit.  But it melts quickly with the warmth of your hands.  
Do You Use Coconut Oil for Anything?  What’s Your Favorite Use?

This post has been shared at Homesteading Link UpSimple Lives ThursdayYour Green ResourceHealthy 2day WednesdaysFrugal Days Sustainable WaysFrugal Tuesday Tip,  Works For Me WednesdayHome is Where the Heart isWhip It Up WednesdayTiny Tip Tuesday, Weekly Link Up Party, Natural Living Mondays, Wellness Wednesday

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Spring Cleaning: Bathrooms



I hate cleaning the bathroom!  Scrubbing toilets and showers are not my idea of fun.  This Spring Cleaning focuses a little more on clutter clean out ( potentially dangerous items too) and trying to change one thing greener.


So here goes – the Before Shots.

BEFORE: Under the sink
BEFORE: MEDICINE CABINET
 
 

THE METHOD

  1. Open the windows to get some fresh air in there.  Indoor air quality can be much worse than outdoor.
  2. Empty all cabinets and drawers and clean all surfaces.  I won’t go into details here, you know what to do.  Try using at least one, if not all green cleaners.
As you empty, collect the following into groups:

 

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications:   The options for disposal were not impressive, but here is what I found.  Smart Rx advises: DO NOT FLUSH, DO NOT POUR DOWN THE DRAIN.  These methods can cause the medications to enter the water supply or endanger aquatic life as it may make it’s way to rivers, streams or oceans. Do this:
    • Pour medication into a seal-able plastic bag.  If medication is a solid (pill or capsule) add water to dissolve it
    • Add  kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or anything that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat)
    • Seal the plastic bag and put in the trash
  • Old Makeup:  containers can be recycled at any Origins.

 

  • Clean all hairbrushes and combs: Remove the hair, then soak brushes in mixture of warm water and baking soda, rinse, allow to dry
  • Clean Makeup Brushes: 
    • Fill sink with warm water and a few drops of tea tree oil (tea tree oil can be found at most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and GNC.  It is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal)
    • Put a few drops of castile soap on the brush (mild shampoo can also be used)
    • Gently rub the bristles between your fingers
    • Rinse in the sink
    • Rinse with clean water, pat dry, lay flat to dry
  • Toothbrushes:  If it’s been a while, replace them.  Remember to upcycle the old ones and any empty plastic toothpaste tubes with Upcycle It!  Please place toothbrushes in a separate bag.

 

The Results



AFTER: Under the sink
AFTER: Medicine Cabinet
 
 
 
 

I found way too many expired OTC medications.
 
Most of what I had under the sink, did not need to be here.


Note to self – clean makeup brushes more often!  


Personal Care Products

As you are doing all this, note how many different personal care products you use – this includes shampoo, conditioner, soap, makeup, deodorant, moisturizer, hair products, tooth paste, etc.  How many did you count?  I counted 17 for me.  I’m sure I’m missing some.
 
 
I just want to give you some food for thought.  Here are some disturbing facts about personal care products:
 
  1.  There are no real regulations for personal care products.  Companies are NOT required to test for safety before they hit the shelves. 
  2. All ingredients do NOT need to be disclosed.
  3.  Three common ingredients used in many personal care products have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and hormone disruption to name just a few.  These are parabens, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. Did you find these in your products?
  4. Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies and is really good at absorbing stuff.

So think about changing just one item.  I am continually working on this.  During this bathroom clean out, I got rid of the nail polish remover and most of the old polish.  

 
To find better alternatives, check out Skin Deep.   This website provides ratings for over 65,000 products.  



How did it go?  Did you make one thing greener?

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