Homemade Wipes: Household, Personal Care & Baby Wipes (Disposable and Reusable options)

When my babies were babies… which they definitely aren’t any more, things were tight. Not necessarily that they HAD to be, my hubby had a good job, but I had left a good job to stay home with our kids and wanted to do my part to make sure we didn’t get stretched too thin. Plus we had a goal of being debt free, so we chose to buckle down.

I was a budget crunching, penny pinching coupon clipping mama.

I also wanted to use the best products for my babies with the least amount of artificial fragrance or bad chemical mojo possible. I made my own baby powder, baby oil and baby wipes (for a fraction of the cost, I might add.)

Homemade wipes are incredibly simple and versatile.  The same method works whether you’re making baby wipes or household cleaning wipes.

So here we’ve got instructions and recipes for both household cleaning wipes and baby wipes; disposable and reusable variations.

Solution Recipes:
Thieves Household Wipes:
2 cups water
2 capfuls Thieves Household Cleaner

*Add thieves essential oil, lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil for an extra punch of cleaning power.

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Baby Wipes/Personal Care Wipes:
2 cups water
2 Tbl Baby Wash or Body Wash (I prefer to use 1 Tbl Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap)
2 Tbl Baby Oil or Skin Care Oil (Like Almond, Grape Seed or Apricot Kernel oils)

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Instructions for homemade wipes:

Disposable Wipes:

The most important thing you need is paper towels. Preferably good quality paper towels or they will tend to fall apart.

  1. Cut a paper towel roll in half vertically.  (Serrated blades do not work well here.)IMG_0316
  2. Place your new, short roll in a plastic container.  (It’s okay if its a tight fit.)
  3. Pull the cardboard insert out from the center.IMG_0318
  4. Pour your solution over the roll and pull up the center paper towel. (Sometimes the towel will pull up on its own when you remove the cardboard roll.)IMG_0333
  5.  Put your lid on top and cut an X in the center.IMG_0335
  6. Pull the new wipe up through the X and viola!

*If you don’t have a container that will fit for this method you can also cut the paper towel roll in half horizontally and use a plastic shoebox container or even just use a zip-top back if that’s all you have.  Lot’s of options here.

My amazing cousin, has found the perfect sized wipes container & I had to share the idea with you.  She eve get’s all pinteresty , spray painting and adding a chalk label.  I think they’re stinking adorable, but alas, my husband refuses to drink anything but his brand of coffee so I can’t use these.

 

Instructions for Reusable Wipes:

If all the paper towels are gone too, you can use the same concept with squares of cloth.

For household cleaning wipes, lint-free scraps of material work best.  Tea towels & cloth napkins are my favorite but you can even cut of an old pillow case or sheet and it will work just fine.  Just soak your cloths in the cleaning solution, wring out,  wipe your kitchen, bathroom, door knobs or whatever and throw into the laundry.

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For personal care or baby wipes, any material will work if you are in an emergency. But squares of a soft fleece material is ideal. Soak your cloths in your solution, wring out, use the wipe and drop in a bucket lined with a trash bag (and lid) or in a zip-topped bag.

Here are some TMI details, if you are out of toilet paper and ready to embark on this journey.

*Important notes about washing resusable cloth:

Do not wash the cloths with other laundry.

You don’t want any of that left in the bottom of your washer. You’ll need to shake off (in the pot) any excess “soil” before putting in the washer (or better yet, use a peri-bottle or squeeze bottle with a narrow spout for a make-shift bidet effect before wiping which will dramatically reduce the mess.

2 Simple Steps for washing reusable cloth toilet paper. If you use cloth diapers, you already know the drill.

  1.  Run them through a COLD rinse cycle first.
  2. Wash in hot water WITHOUT fabric softener. (Fabric softener will effect the fabric’s absorbency)

 

I hope you will find these ideas useful in time of need! Happy Wiping!!

Homemade Wipes

Homemade Healthy Ranch Dressing

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I love making ranch dressing in the summer with fresh herbs from my garden but in Alaska we are zone 3 and our growing season is pitifully short. I don’t always get to use the fresh herbs that I want but that doesn’t slow us down on flavor around here.

This is the recipe I have developed using dried herbs and I am just as happy with it! In fact, my skeptical hubby even approves this one.  And believe me, I tried a LOT of other homemade ranch dressing recipes before he became a convert.

It couldn’t be simpler to throw together!

Start with equal amounts of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. (I make my own Greek yogurt) I do not have a blog post up for that just yet but hopefully will get that up for you shortly and I will update this post when I get it done.

Here’s the recipe

Healthy, Homemade Ranch Dressing


3/4 of a cup Greek yogurt

3/4 of a cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon mineral salt

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/2 teaspoon dried chives

2 to 3 tablespoons milk (Go easy on this- you don’t want to make it too runny and a little milk will go a long way.  This dressing is best when it’s made very thick.)

Mix all your ingredients in a mason jar and stir well.

Refrigerate before serving, preferably overnight.  It can be served right away but the longer the flavors have to soak the better.

5 Ways to Support your Immune System during CORONA-MADNESS 2020

Everyone is in a panic.

Toilet Paper, hand sanitizer and water are flying off the shelves like it’s a zombie apocalypse.

(And the media-hype fear mongers have you right where they want you.)

Fear.  It’s a powerful, tool in the hands of those who would want to control you.

CHILL.

Is it possible for a  major pandemic illness to sweep the country or the world?  Well, yes. It is possible…

Is this is the next black plague?  No.

However, it seems to be all anyone can talk about, so I’m here to share what my family is doing to avoid the the Corona Virus, Influenza, the common cold, the Black Plauge … and to keep the zombies at bay.

It’s very simple.

Keep calm & use common sense.

You don’t need more toilet paper. You need to KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS BOOSTED AND HEALTHY

The most important thing you can do for you and your family is support your internal health, your immune system. Yes, it’s important to wash your hands, try to avoid touching your face, etc. But if you are proactive with your health it will pay off in the long run.

I’ll break it down to 5 basic things:

  • Try to get a good nights sleep.
    •  Shut down electronics an hour before bed.
    •  Turn off your wifi before you go to bed.
    •  Diffuse (or apply topically) thereputic grade Essential Oils like Cedarwood, Lavender, Vetiver, Patchouli, & Chamomile

sleep

  • Get lots of vitamin C – Don’t underestimate this. 
  •  Eat Healthy
    • Reduce your sugar intake (and quick sugar carbs like white bread & white rice)
    •  Focus on vegetables, fruits and protein.
    • Avoid processed, junk food

eat healthy

  •  Take Elderberry Syrup (or gummies) It’s super easy to make your own!
    • Click Here for more info and my super easy recipe.

Elderberry Collage

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And let me just add one more thing. Call it a bonus.

STOP STRESSING

Stressing about this and giving into fear will actually compromise your immune system even more. Our body and brain are in constant communication and it has been proven that psychological upsets can result in physical symptoms. Our immune systems are affected directly by our stress levels.

So take a deep breath and chill out.  The zombies aren’t coming for your toilet paper.  You just need to support your overall health and immune system.

 

Essential Oil Cold & Flu Bombs

Whether you are sick and looking to kick something or wanting to get ahead of an illness you’ve been exposed to, these bomb-diggity cold & flu bombs are what you are looking for.

We use these bad boys faithfully whenever the mountain man or I start to feel any inkling of under-the-weather symptoms coming on.  My kids aren’t able to take the capsules just yet, so for them I put this same mix in the diffuser and on their feet (mixed with a carrier oil.)

The combination of this oil blend and my elderberry syrup recipe has kept us well through many near-miss brushes with sickness over the past two years.  I have actually been using this blend off and on for several years, but the honest truth is, in years past, I tended to get a big cocky from time to time, and convince myself that I didn’t need to take them or didn’t have time to make a big batch.

“Oh, you’re fine, you’ve got this.”  –  What do I think I am, a magician?

“You don’t need to waste the oils.” – Why else do you have them?

“I’m too busy to make them right now.”  – A capsule seriously takes 30 seconds to make.

These times when I’m feeling too stubborn to make the darn capsules are the only time I get sick. So if you wait too long, and really let a bug take hold, you may have to deal with some of the consequences. These bombs help to support a healthy immune system. They can play a huge part in helping to take the edge off of your symptoms and shorten the duration of an illness, but they don’t always just kick the cold out the door.  IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG.

However, I have learned that the morning I wake up with a sore or scratchy throat or yucky feeling coming on. I go strait for the oils.  I try to keep a batch of these on hand in a jar at all times to be on the safe side but seriously, it’s 30 seconds to make a capsule, just do it.

Here’s what you need.

  • Vegetable capsules
  • Carrier oil (I prefer Young Living’s V6, but any culinary oil is also fine)
  • Thieves essential oil
  • Tea Tree essential oil
  •  Frankinsence essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil

Depending on the size of your capsule, you can usually fit 2 drops of each oil in a capsule. Oh sure, you could make it complicated and use 3 drops of this and 1 drop of that but do you really want to have to stop and think about that kind of thing? No. Just keep it simple.  2 drops of each, and top off with carrier oil.  (Preferably not on an empty stomach & don’t forget the carrier.)

Recommended dosage:

If you know you were exposed to an illness or are wanting to keep all your bases covered, before a big vacation or event, I recommend 1 capsule in the morning and at night (with food.)

If you are already feeling symptoms coming on, take a capsule 3 times a day for a few days until you feel completely in the clear.

If you are definitely under the weather give yourself a bigger boost by taking a capsule every 4-6 hours until you have been in the clear for a few days.  It can double back on you if you quit too soon!

*IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don’t have every one of these oils, make them any way.  I have needed to leave one or two oils out from time to time when I unexpectedly ran out, and they have still worked fine, but if you have them all, USE THEM ALL for the most effective results.

**ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Regardless of the ads that pop up at the end of this blog post, do not ingest any essential oil that is not labeled ‘Therapeutic Grade’. And for heaven’s sake, DO NOT BUY YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS FROM AMAZON. I only use Young Living because they have by far surpassed all others in their efforts to offer the cleanest most pure essential oil on the market with their Seed to Seal process.

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If you have questions about Young Living, feel free to comment on this post, email me at homesteadstateofmind@gmail.com or check out this post.

***Disclaimer: These bombs are NOT meant to fight off a stomach bug. Think, common cold, flu, etc.

****Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other form of medical professional. The content of this blog is based simply my own experiences and opinions and have not been evaluated by any government agency. This information is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Natural Homemade Shampoo (with a crazy secret ingredient)

Many, many, moons ago, I decided to take yet one more step on my journey to a healthier home.  Let’s be honest, going chemical free is not something that can be done over night. If you even tried you would go broke, drive your husband miserable and loose your ever-loving mind in the process.

It is an important goal. It is a goal worth putting your time and effort in to.  The average home has over 60 toxic chemicals. They are in cleaners, paints, cosmetics, lotions, soaps and perfumes. Studies have confirmed that within 26 seconds of being exposed to cleaning products, traces of these chemicals are found in every organ in the body and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 150 common products have been linked to birth defects, cancer, allergies and psychological issues.

But if you are here looking for a DIY shampoo recipe, you probably already know that.  Because, who would be wanting to take the time to brew up their own shampoo rather than dropping it in their shopping cart.  With their floral essences and silky smooth talking commercials, you’d have to just be one of them crunchy hippies to resort to concocting your own.

Or maybe you’re just smart enough to put your foot down and take your health (and your hair) into your own hands.

So, back to my original story, after taking baby steps of making my own household cleaners, baby products and toothpaste, I decided to go for the “no poo” crunchy mama badge.

My hair has always been a problem.

Back in my traditional shampoo days, I had to wash it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. In the morning. Without fail. Or I would be left with an oily, limp, wet spaghetti mop.  And for a girl who spends 10-12 weekends a year camping and hunting, that’s just not something I could do.  I spent our time in the woods cringing as I tucked my oily mess under a ball cap and couldn’t wait to get in the shower the second we got home.

So the baking soda and vinegar route, sounded ideal.  I had read about these women who were going 2 weeks without a wash! I had also read some bad reviews from those who had done it for a few years and really felt like it wrecked their hair, but in order to get away from the chemicals and the daily demand of a hair wash, I figured it was worth the try.

It did okay.  Really it did. At first.  I couldn’t go 2 weeks without a wash, I was lucky to go 4 days but even then it was looking grungy. Day one would be great, but over time it just started to look sad. The volume I was getting started to feel more like build up and I started to have a serious problem with a bad, dry scalp.  Like cradle cap bad.

I knew my baking soda days were over. I even tried to go back to regular shampoo, but I was faced with the same limp locks and oil factory that I always had dealt with before.

That’s when I got really brave.  I decided to take the plunge and start experimenting with my own recipe using castile soap as a base.

There were some definite fails, but by George, I found it.  I mean, I really found a fantastic option for a natural, homemade shampoo and I’m NEVER going back.

My hair has NEVER looked like this before.  Not even with that fancy, store-bought, chemical-laden stuff. I have never had volume like this until now.

And guess what? I don’t have to wash my hair every day anymore.  It is quite happy to go 4 days, with just a dry shampoo boost on day 3 or 4 if needed. (Don’t worry, I SHOWER EVERY DAY.  I just leave my hair out of it.)

NOW … for the super crazy secret ingredient … A teensy, tiny smidge of Young Living’s Thieves Household cleaner.

I warned you it was crazy, but it makes all the difference. I found this out by accident when I once mistook my bottle of Thieves Cleaner for my bottle of ACV rinse in the shower one day.  The results were magical and the rest is history.  You SHOULD already have this in your chemical free arsenal. If you don’t already have it, YOU NEED IT.  Seriously, an amazing smelling, incredible, plant based household cleaner for less than $1 per bottle?  You’re crazy if your not using this stuff.

If you don’t have the YL Thieves cleaner, you can replace it with vegetable glycerine, but I honestly do prefer the Thieves.

Without further rambling, I’ll lay the basics on you and get you to the recipe.

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Here are some things to take note of:

  • If you don’t have oily hair, you can probably get away with significantly more oil in your shampoo mixture.  Most recipes I have seen online use more.  But if I use the tablespoon they call for, just call me Severus Snape for the next week. –When trying out your homemade shampoo for the first time, it’s better to start small with the added oil and work your way up to find what works for you.
  •  Start with a small batch in case you don’t love my version, adjust it to suit your own hair.
  • If you are switching over from traditional shampoo, be prepared to have your hair freak out for the first week or so.  As our body learns to balance with the new shampoo, sometimes it goes a little oil crazy. Don’t give up.  It WILL find it’s balance and you’ll be pleased as punch with the results.
  •  I use an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition my hair.  I typically don’t apply it to my roots, due to my oil issues, but most folks can.  I will rinse the entire scalp with the ACV mixed 50/50 with water about once a week or so to keep my scalp healthy though. — I also use a (homemade/healthy) conditioner spray on my ends as needed if I feel like my hair is feeling a bit dry or do a natural, deep conditioner occasionally if my ends are starting to feel dry.  Again, if you are able to use a bit more oil in the shampoo base, you probably won’t need to worry about that.

Here’s the recipe!

DIY

1/2 cup liquid castile soap

1/2 cup strongly steeped chamomile tea

1/2 tsp grapeseed oil or jojoba oil

A few drops Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner concentrate (It’s crazy, I know.)

(Replace Thieves concentrate with 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerine if desired)

Cedarwood, Lavender and Rosemary essential oils

  1. Add all ingredients to a plastic bottle with a small spout (the only time you’ll hear me say, NOT a mason jar. You will use too much shampoo and waste it!)
  2. Shake well before using.
  3.  Drizzle just a few drops here and there, all over the scalp.  It will not spread well throughout the hair, so you’ll need to strategically place your drops in each quadrant of your scalp.  But it lathers like CRAZY, so you don’t want to use too much!
  4.  Gently scrub scalp.
  5. Follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse for conditioning.

And as always, if you have questions about the recipe or the essential oils products I use, please reach out to me in the comments here or at homesteadstateofmind@gmail.com.