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Home Made

Posted by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:09 PM
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1 mom liked this

OK, I seem to be on a Hippie Mom kick tonight. But I thought it might be cool (though I believe we've done these way back in the day before) to do a post listing some of the cool, money saving, home-made tips we've accumulated over the years. I've come to realize no one knows how to pinch a penny AND spend a grand better than a HS mom (as we all like to get a good deal, but also seem to share a collective addiction to homeschool supplies....go figure!) 

So, don't hoard the goods, give us your recipes, techniques, processes, etc! 

 Home Educators Toolbox  / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:09 PM
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by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Gift Baskets - 

these contain home-made lotions, soaps, etc

by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:14 PM
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:15 PM
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Home-Made Pet Remedies - 

Home-made Pet Products

Pet Stains

Soak stained area in warm soapy water. Sponge with equal parts of water and white vinegar. Blot dry.

Home-made Dog House Flea Repellant

Wash dog houses with salt water. Scatter fresh pine needles or cedar shavings under your pet’s sleeping pad. Keep bedding clean.

Natural Cheap and Safe? Flea Remedy

Do your own due diligence here in particular. There are special safety considerations before exploring these options...

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

I have read many pet experts swear by "Diatomaceous Earth" (what the famous "White Cliffs of Dover" are composed of). It is a white powder composed of microscopic silica skeletons of dead diatoms (single-cell algae) usually found in ancient marine deposits.

Other names for Diatomaceous Earth are: "KieselguhrMake", "Kieselgur", "Diatomite", or "D.E." It has many uses in agriculture, research, household products, and various other industries.

Most who advocate its use recommend only using the form classified as "Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth", and also application to a pets fur outside to limit how much might otherwise get into your indoor air. Safety precautions should be heeded. I am not sure I would risk trying this because of the possible inhalation hazard that could result (see safety warnings below). If you have experience with this please leave a comment at page bottom. Thanks.

Some have suggested that Medical-grade Diatomaceous Earth may have some effectiveness as a de-wormer for animals and humans, though efficacy is questionable.

Due to the sharp edges of diatom skeletons and the affinity for it to absorb fats and moisture, Diatomaceous Earth has been used as a non-toxic slug repellent in the garden.

These physical properties may also make it an effective natural insecticide for roaches, fleas, and other small garden insect pests because it has abrasive properties that damage their exoskeletons while absorbing lipids and moisture at the same time.

This abrasion/absorption causes a weakening of their outer shell, thus causing them to lose moisture and therefore makes it more likely for them to die from dehydration.

Even if Diatomite were to not kill the pest, you can be sure that slugs, fleas, roaches, aphids, cucumber beetles, and stink bugs (to name but a few pests) will probably know to avoid it. A good analogy is to imagine what would happen if you rolled around in ground up glass. So it's no wonder it may be an effective natural bug repellent as well as non-toxic insecticide.

BUT, like any finely divided silica powder, Diatomite should be treated as an inhalation hazard to anyone. It is also a powerful drying agent. So respiratory protection and gloves should be used while working with it.

Certain heat-treated forms (such as that used in pool filters) may contain a larger proportion of highly crystalline silica which is particularly dangerous to inhale, especially for babies, the elderly, or someone who already suffers from a respiratory condition.

OSHA regulates workers' exposure to crystalline silica, which may cause lung cancer, silicosis, or other respiratory ailments. So be sure to do your own safety due diligence before thinking about using Diatomaceous Earth in any way, shape, or form. You have been warned.

Home-made Flea Remedy

Many pet owners claim that an effective flea repellent is to feed pets food into which Brewer's Yeast has been mixed, or to give them Brewer's Yeast tablets.

by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:18 PM
1 mom liked this

Home-Made Deodorants - 

An effective homemade under-arm deodorant is something I have been desperately searching for not so much to save money, but rather to find a less allergenic deodorant after the serious skin problems my store-bought Antiperspirant / Deodorant has been causing.

I have never had skin problems or suffered from skin rashes, except as a result of using "speedstick" deodorant or the chalky white deodorant / antipersperants. I react badly to all of the leading brands. They all make me itch badly and this usually results in seriously bad dermatitis.

I have developed such a sensitivity to the chemicals in these deodorant products that when they touch my skin I develop a serious rash under my arms which last it developed almost sent me to the hospital because it would not heal until I stopped applying these deodorants.

You may be thinking duh, find a safer alternative. Well, that is not so easy because most homemade deodorants are not strong enough, especially in summer.

I have tried many alternatives which work for about an hour, but that's about it. The brand name antiperspirants / deodorants use a very tacky resin and potent fragrance chemicals that is hard to wash off. In chemistry, we'd call it Hydrophobic (or water fearing). Sweat does not easily dilute or wash it away so it keeps working where applied.

This is why it lasts all day. But as it kills bacteria quite effectively, so too does it probably slowly kill us. Most bacteriacides attack the same Biochemical processes also found in our own cells. We just happen to be much bigger and can "absorb" more damage without obvious side effects, except in my case and many others' who have developed chemical allergies to Deodorants / Antiperspirants.

I am looking at the back of my Deodorant / Antiperspirant stick right now and there are several warnings that clue me in to how toxic the chemical ingredients really are not only for the skin outside, but also our organs inside. It can be a systemic poison to us.

For example, the words found on most Deodorant sticks, "Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney problems" tells me that an ingredient in this deodorant actually enters the bloodstream through the skin and travels through the kidneys where it does kidney damage to everyone who uses it, which is especially dangerous for those people who may already have weakened kidney function.

Of course I already knew that whatever chemicals we touch or apply to our skin usually ends up diffusing into our bloodstream. This is why you should never try to lower fevers in children by covering their body with rubbing alcohol, as they used to do when I was a kid (when alcohol evaporates it absorbs heat energy - like the evaporative cooling that occurs when you sweat). I think a child died after this was done.

So chemicals can easily enter our blood through our skin. In other words, you skin is a permeable membrane.

This is why so many chemical ingredients in beauty products and cosmetic makeup can be found in most humans' blood and fatty tissue and why finding a non-toxic deodorant is so important.

Of course for me, blood contamination aside, the visious skin rash the chemicals cause is reason enough to avoid store-bought deodorants.

The main culprit is probably the active ingredient known as "Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY 17.8%" which is the main antiperspirant ingredient and is also the ingredient some say may be linked to Alzheimer's Disease, which is fatally incurable and has already affected several relatives.

Following is the most effective recipe I have found yet. Please let me know how it works for you or share your own safe and effective homemade Deodorant recipes at page bottom. I look forward to your thoughts on this.

I recommend starting with a small batch of this home-made Deodorant so you can first test how it works for you. Then you can make larger batches. This will keep for a long time, up to six months or more and can be applied in your old washed out speed stick applicators.

Here are the ingredients you will need for this easy recipe:

  • Baking Soda

  • Corn Starch

  • Coconut Oil

  • Tea Tree and Lavender Essential Oil

  • Mix thoroughly together a quarter cup of Baking Soda with a half cup of Corn Starch. Then combine this dry mixture with a quarter cup of Coconut Oil and a few drops of Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil. Essential Oils should be used very sparingly because if too concentrated they can sometimes irritate the skin.

    Chemically speaking, the Baking Soda kills bacteria because it is Sodium Bicarbonate. High sodium environments are generally unpleasant places for most bacteria (why canned goods are so salty. It is a cheap preservative).

    The Bicarbonate ions are also pH buffering which can help control odor by controling bacterial growth.

    Just another science tid bit for ya...Ever wonder why you salivate before vomitting? That is your body's mechanism of reducing tissue damage in your throat from stomach acid about to come up. The saliva contains bicarbonate ions which neutralize the stomach acid.

    The Cornstarch is a binder which helps hold it all together and also helps to absorb moisture. Bacteria like moisture.

    Arrowroot is probably a good substitute if you do not have Corn Starch in house. And Canola Oil can probably be substituted for the Coconut Oil as well.

    The oils, besides binding it all together, also have antimicrobial properties. This is why peanut butter can be stored for so long outside of the refrigerator and why bottles of oil do not have to be refrigerated. Bacteria find high fat environments inhospitable, generally speaking.

    The Essential Oils are also anti-bacterial because they are oil based and contain anti-bacterial plant compounds.

    So there you have it. It's mostly about creating a dry, saline, fatty acid coated environment that bacteria will find to be a hostile place to divide. No bacteria...No odor.

    by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Home-made Pest Repellants

    Home-made Pest Repellant / Bug Spray

    Home-made Mouse or Rat Repellant

    For rats and mice: Again, prevention may be the best cure. Holes in exterior or interior walls should be closed off and storage spaces kept orderly. Garbage should be kept tightly covered. To catch rodents, the most efficient system is the oldest: a cat. Next best are mouse and rat traps.

    Stuff all cracks around gas and water pipes with steel wool to keep mice out.

    Homemade Ant Repellant

    Ants navigate by following their fellow ants' chemical trails, so just about any aromatic herb or ingredient will disrupt their ant pheremone trails.

    Sprinkle red chili powder, cinnamon, bay leaves, black pepper, paprika, cream of tartar powder, dried peppermint, salt, borax, or sage near ant infestations.

    Also try spraying diluted vinegar or peppermint oil.

    Home-made Roach Repellant

  • Place bay leaves in cracks around room.
  • Mix by stirring and sifting 1 ounce TSP, 6 ounces borax, 4 ounces sugar, and 8 ounces flour. Spread on floor of infested area. Repeat after 4 days and again after 2 weeks.

    Homemade Flea Repellant

    Feed your pet brewer's yeast in powder mixed with food or by tablets.

    Home-made Insecticide

    Mix dishwashing liquid and water, spray infected area.

    Homemade Moth Ball Alternative

  • Place cedar chips or blocks in desired area.
  • Air clothes well in the sun; store in airtight containers, and scatter sachets of lavender, cedar chips, or dried tobacco in with clothing.

    Anti-Insect Air Spritzer

    2 cups vodka, 1 tablespoon citronella essential oil, 1 tablespoon eucalyptus essential oil, 1 teaspoon geranium essential oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary essential oil, 1 teaspoon orange essential oil, 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil. Mix all ingredients and shake well. Mist into air to keep bugs away.

    Home-made Bug Repellant, Body

    2 tablespoons citronella essential oil, 2 tablespoons rosemary essential oil, 2 tablespoons geranium essential oil, 2 tablespoons eucalyptus essential oil, ½ cup olive oil. Mix all oils together. Dab on clothing and skin. Avoid eyes and mouth.

    Home-made Termite Repellants

    Any wooden parts of the house should be at least 18 inches off the ground, as subterranean termites cannot tolerate being exposed to air and light. They have to build easily visible mud tunnels to get at available wood. However, most existing houses have only about an 8-inch clearance between wooden parts and the ground, which makes the wood vulnerable. Metal shields may help discourage termites, but they cannot prevent infestations.

    To treat existing termite infestations, there are a few nontoxic alternatives: the "Extermax" system, available in California; and the use of a particular species of nematodes to eat them, a system available from N-Viro Products, Ltc.

    by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

    How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Option 1:

    This homemade liquid laundry detergent is simple to make, much safer, and much cheaper than name brand detergents.

    To make a 5 gallon bucket of this cheap detergent first get a large pot and heat on medium about one half gallon of water in it. While your water is heating up, grate a whole bar of Ivory soap, or Castille soap, or Fels-Naptha soap.

    Add the grated soap to the hot water and heat on medium heat. Stir continuously until all the soap melts into the water. Remove the pot from heat after soap has totally dissolved into the water.

    Into a 5 gallon bucket add about 3 gallons of hot tap water and then add the dissolved soap mixture, plus three quarters of a cup of Borax, and 1.25 cups of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. Stir this mixture well until all solids dissolve.

    Then top off the bucket with more hot tap water and stir well again. Let set up over night. It should coagulate into a gel or just thicken somewhat, but that depends on what type of soap you used. Regardless of whether it is watery or gel-like the next day, it should still work well.

    Get a clean container and dilute the laundry detergent by filling half with water and half with the detergent. If you want to make it more aromatic you may wish to add several drops each of one or several of your favorite therapeutic grade essential oils such as lavender essential oil, rosemary oil, vanilla essential oil, or jasmine essential oil.

    Add 5 to 10 drops of Teatree Oil (Meleluca) for extra antiseptic power.

    Shake this detergent mixture very well in the container and use about 1 cup per load. Experiment to see whether more or less will work better for your washing machine type, load size, or degree of dirtiness. This will last a very long time and costs only pennies per load.

    by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Home-made Laundry Soap - --

    Tip for those with sensitive skin:
    In place of the Fels Naphtha or Castille soap bars below, you may want to give Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap a try instead.

    by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    How to Make Home-made Laundry Detergent Option 2:

    Heat 1 grated bar of Dove, FelsNaphtha, Castille, or even homemade soap in a large pot to which has been added about a half gallon of water. Heat and mix until soap melts into water. Then remove from heat and add 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and mix well untill solids dissolve.

    Combine mixture with water in a large bucket until the total volume is at approximately 2 gallons. Use around a half cup for a full load. For extra fresh scents try adding a few drops of your favorite Therapuetic grade essentials oils 

    by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap Powder

    Tip to avoid solid soap on clothes:
    In the below washing powder recipes one of the most important steps is making sure your bar soap is ground up finely enough so it dissolves in the wash. This will help assure it does not leave soap nodules on your clothes after washing is done.

    You can use your food processor to make sure it is ground fine, but then process it some more with the other ingredients added to the food processor to get it as fine as possible. The more surface area, the better; and I would say that goes for a lot of things related to making a frugal living.

    Homemade Laundry Soap Powder Option 1:

    Mix together very well 4 cups of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, 4 cups of Baking Soda, 4 cups of Borax (20 Mule Team Borax is what I happen to have right now), and 2 bars of Castille Soap, or Ivory Soap, or FelNaptha Soap grated up. Use a few tablespoons to one forth of a cup per load of laundry. Experiment with amounts to suit your laundry load size.

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