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To make or not to make … that is the question.

July 23, 2012

For months now I have been debating on making the conscious effort of having a green home and making my cleaning products not only just environmentally friendly, but handmade as well.  And of course, it wasn’t something I wanted to buy from someone else.  I spent months reading, perusing the internet, looking at blogs and talking to friends.  And I eagerly waited to run out of something in the house before turning my kitchen into a laboratory.

Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve been at home for too long and am looking to fill my time with yet another project.  It could also be that I am a mother now, and that the longevity of not only my child, but the world in which she inherits is of great concern to me.  I am not perfect by any means, and do not claim to stand on a pulpit and spew self-righteousness.  I simply do what I can with what we have and try to make the best of it.

After researching and reading, I made a list of the ingredients for my first attempt and tramped to a multitude of stores.  I literally sat cross-legged and huffed bottles and bars of Castile soap.  All natural is one thing, but some of the smells I just can’t stand, no matter how organic or pure.  I even contemplated making my own soap, but after reading about the process and the importance of lye and measurements I decided I was beyond intimidated about it.  Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a pro at math and was afraid I’d seriously injure myself or a family member by not doing the equal parts required.  Maybe it’s simply because I watched Fight Club entirely too much.

The downside?  Trial and error.  Just as there is a great amount of information out there, there is also a great amount of variations of the same recipe.  The final decision-making was determined by what was best for our family.  Especially since our little one has delicate parts and can get an irritation at the drop of a dime.

I started off with something as safe and as simple as dish detergent and rinse aid for our dishwasher.  I figured this was the safest, as the worst that could possibly happen would be self-inflicted food poisoning.  I made 1/8th of what the recipe called for (yes, this entailed Googling how many teaspoons are in an ounce).  I did it, washed a load and waited patiently for my other half to come home to inspect.  Pleasantly surprised it was perfected on the first time.  In fact, I made such a small amount the first time that I just recently had to make a second batch.

Then I started to get brazen and did the laundry detergent and fabric softener.  Another great response – because not only did no one get an allergic reaction, but it went above and beyond my wildest dreams.

You see, ever since I’ve had our child, my skin has never really been the same.  The blessed third trimester left me itchy – no ointment or cream could cure it.  One of the great reactions to pregnancy, unfortunately.  Sometimes I would take a hot bath, and after soaking take a pumice stone (ya, I said it) to my skin because my nails wouldn’t do the trick.  Pink?  Understated.  But it was totally worth it as the scratching itself was borderline orgasmic.  The downside?  The relief was short-lived.  It got so bad at one point I would itch while I was sleeping to the point I was bleeding and woke up as a very surprised individual in the morning.  Bringing it up to my midwife was pointless, because all she ever just said  “It’s pregnancy.”  You do not what to know what I said to her.

After that joyous third semester it got better.  But Peanut is going on almost five now, and I can still get carried away with scratching.  If I give in and use a lotion because I love the smell and not because it’s a good one, the pumice stone threatens to come out again.  Even waiting too long to shave will do it.  And just to clarify I have not gone completely Bohemian with getting out of the Army, becoming a mom and learning to weave, knit and spin yarn, contrary to popular belief.  I still shave 2-3 times a week.  But if I decide to only do it once, Lord help me.

With that being said …. razor burns!  Well, I thought it was razor burn.  Not too much , just the occasional dot here to there.  But it never really went away.  I just figured it was something having to do with being a Mommy and always rushing.  Never taking the time for yourself that you really did when you were childless, let alone single.  God forbid I forget to lock the door while doing it – then I’m not only totally rushed, but asked a million questions and forced to think and edit what comes out of my mouth.  Maybe the blade was just too dull because I just completely kept to replace the blades every time and never remembered until after I was done.

My point (and I do have one, it just takes a little bit)?  They are gone!  After three weeks of using the homemade laundry detergent I didn’t even realize they were gone until after it was said and done. Just thinking about the amount of money spent on well-known detergent and paying the additional money for HE and fragrance and dye free for sensitive skin … it makes my grad student loan account twitch a little bit.

In fact, I have been so happy with it all I have been thinking of offering it in my small corner of the world.  So if you happen to go to Peaknits and see it, please know it was done with a lot of care and thought, and is not some random kitchen experiment that I am trying to hustle to you!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Jen Cohen permalink
    July 26, 2012 4:33 pm

    You have peeked my curiosity

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