Step One: Add 5 TB of Calcium Carbonate and 2 TB of Bentonite Clay to a non-metal bowl. Only use a ceramic or glass bowl when working with bentonite clay. Never use metal when working with bentonite clay.
Step Two: Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly allowing the dry ingredients to absorb the water completely before adding more water.
Step Three: Add enough water to make a thin toothpaste consistency. Some lumps are to be expected.
Step Four: Add 10 – 15 drops of a mix of peppermint, cinnamon, and tea tree essential oils. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a glass or plastic container with a lid. Store at room temperature for up to 6 months.
When I tell people what I do I usually get hit with an arsenal of questions. People are curious and I LOVE answering these questions, so please never stop asking! I've compiled a list of a few of the most common inquiries. Enjoy!
Q: Is vinegar as effective as bleach?
A: The short answer is no. Vinegar is 90% effective against bacteria and 80-83% effective against virus and mold and mildew. Bleach kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and mold/mildew. Bleach is great if you live in a hospital, buuuuttttt the average household doesn't need it. Is vinegar an effective cleaning agent for the average household? Yes.
Q: I hate the smell of vinegar, what else can I use to clean with?
A: I LOVE this question. Mostly because it often comes from my fellow rebel friends that don't want to follow the popular crowd. ;-) Let's start with the basics, use a microfiber cloth to clean with. Microfiber cloths have tiny strands that are meant to pickup and trap dirt, bacteria and viruses. Some studies have shown the microfiber cloth to pickup 99.9% of bacteria on hard surfaces. I often use a damp microfiber cloth to clean my stainless steel appliances, inside and out....super easy with no odor. Now that you're armed with a new snazzy microfiber cloth, grab some vodka. You heard that right, mix half vodka and half distilled water in a spray bottle and follow these directions carefully. First, spray the solution on the hard surface item you're cleaning and wipe clean with your microfiber cloth. Second, add one full spray in your mouth. Repeat. :-D Vodka has a low odor and is an effective cleaning agent. Bonus: this vodka solution can be used to refresh fabrics and eliminate odors.
Q: Can I mix soap and vinegar together?
A: I wouldn't recommend it. Mixing soap and vinegar together cancels out the effectiveness of both the soap and vinegar. Here's a great explanation.
Q: When I use vinegar to clean my bathroom, the odor remains, unlike when I use commercial cleaning products. How can I get that "clean" smell?
A: In my experience, that nasty odor is coming from the toilet, especially if you have young kids. The first thing I would do is add a little scrubbing power to the bowl of the toilet by using Borax or baking soda. Sprinkle a little in the bowl and scrub. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Second, add a couple drops of tea tree, lemon, and sweet orange essential oils to the above vodka cleaning solution. Spray the vodka cleaning solution in and around the toilet, wiping everything down with a microfiber cloth. Lastly, stand back and admire your sparkling clean and delicious smelling commode.
Q: I want to ditch all the commercial cleaning products, where do I start?
A: Starting this endeavor can be a little intimidating. There are tons of recipes out there, it would take forever to wade through them all. Start by committing to one thing. Maybe that's an all-purpose spray cleaner or a batch of laundry detergent. Don't try to replace everything at once, just pick one thing you're most comfortable with and make it. Try making the vodka cleaning solution above and see how you like it. If it's a win for your household, go on to the next recipe you want to try. Be prepared to fail, you will try a recipe that doesn't work for you, don't let that discourage you. After lots of successes and few fails, you'll be an expert before you know it. Still unsure? Take one of my hands-on classes.
Have you ever found a luscious looking DIY body butter recipe online only to make it and find out it's greasy enough to lube up a 1950s Chevy? Well, this recipe will sooth dry skin without the grease. I've selected oils that easily absorb into the skin and paired them with arrowroot powder to help those oils absorb even faster. Want to add some smell goods? Try mixing in a combination of lavender and geranium essential oils (2-3 drops) at the last step. Happy body, happy mind.
Melt two teaspoons of beeswax in a double-broiler. I use a metal bowl over a sauce pan with 2-3 inches of water.
When beeswax is completely melted, add one tablespoon of avocado oil, ½ tablespoon jojoba oil and ½ tablespoon of grapeseed oil.
Add ½ teaspoon of arrowroot powder and mix thoroughly with a metal whisk.
Remove from heat carefully, 'cuz that bowl is scorching hot! Let sit for a minute or two; until the wax starts to solidify. You know it's ready when it starts to coat the sides of the bowl.
Annie started A Kitchen Story to invite like-minded people to come together and nerd-out about all things DIY. She is lucky enough to lead classes in the Seattle area where people explore new ingredients and learn from others in their community.