Chemical-Free Living, Part 1

There are a couple of reasons why I am going as chemical-free as possible. First of all, it saves packaging, in fitting with my new low-waste lifestyle, because its much easier to buy a single gallon of castile soap (recyclable container) and white vinegar (recyclable container) and use it for ALL THE THINGS than it is to buy individually wrapped:

1. Facial cleanser

2. Facial toner

3. Facial cream

4. Moisturizer

5. Body wash

6. Shampoo

7. Conditioner

8. Laundry detergent

9. Spot remover

Need I go on. 

Second of all, I have decided that the government is not to be trusted. Don’t worry, I’m not cleaning my shotgun (well, I don’t even have a shotgun) and peering suspiciously through a hole in the tin foil that I have covered all my windows with. Specifically, I have a serious beef with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Here’s a couple of suspicious things they’ve done recently:

1. Antibacterial Hand Soap: Hey, remember the days when you could buy just plain. old. soap? And then all of a sudden, the FDA decides triclosan (the active ingredient in many hand sanitizers and antibacterial hand soaps) is A-OK, and overnight, everything has triclosan in it. Here’s where it gets tricky (tricky…triclosan…get it? Ha!). Triclosan has been banned in the E.U. (those smart people across the pond) since 2006. It’s considered a potent hormone disruptor that can cause infertilityearly puberty, and other hormone problems in humans (Huffington Post). This “newsflash” hit the FDA in 2013, a mere SEVEN YEARS after it had been banned in the E.U. 

2. Labeling Fails: This has been a very sad and ongoing struggle for the FDA. I’m not even going to get in to things like Yaz (a low-dose birth control that was found to cause deep vein thrombosis, stroke, and death) or other drugs that were obediently rushed onto the market only to discover they were either ineffective or downright dangerous. But the FDA has consistently failed to produce a labeling system that would alert people to the dangers of some of the things they consume regularly: partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, tobacco…


Just an example, but lists GMO soybean oil! Ever seen something like that over here?

Want more info? Read this article.

The point is, I don’t believe much of anything they say anymore. I’m sticking with things that HAVEN’T given humans giant tumors for centuries…like castile soap, coconut oil, and other things derived from purely natural sources. 

This has not been without some fairly humorous disasters. Homemade shampoo for my luxurious, long locks? Absolute utter failure. I managed somehow to look greasy and dry at the same time, and reek of apple cider vinegar. My patient and loving boyfriend held his breath for two weeks as I stubbornly resisted returning to store-bought shampoo. 

Who remembers the Oil-Cleansing Method disaster? I decided to cleanse my face with a mixture of oils and steam. And I received for my troubles the worst cystic acne outbreak OF MY LIFE. Like, seriously, people were assuming I was a teenager. I still have scars. Both emotional and physical. 

But this post is about: 

1. Homemade laundry detergent

2. Homemade all-purpose cleaner

And the next post will be all about homemade deodorant that really works, what I settled on to break my dependence on ProActiv skin care, and best and most successful of all, homemade super simple bar soap that is very popular amongst my family and friends. 


So simple. So effective. Good for all fabrics because its gentle!! My boyfriend has extremely sensitive skin. He loves this stuff. I washed silk in it the other day, and no ill effects at all. I even wash my work uniforms in it (hot/hot), and it gets the stink out. Major win! 

1 cup castile soap (recommended unscented because then you can go crazy with the essential oils later)

1 cup baking soda

2 cups water

1/3 cup salt

Essential oils that make you happy. I love lavender best of all. 

You shake it up. Dump it in the machine (recommended about a 1/4 cup per load. I use less than this because I have a high-efficiency machine). BAM. 


This one is so simple, I almost feel bad for posting it. 

White vinegar


Essential oils to taste

I keep mine in a spray bottle, and I use about a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. You can put more vinegar in for more cleansing power, more water for less vinegar smell…its up to you. I use this on everything. My hardwood floors, my kitchen floors, my kitchen counters, my stove, even my windows. Bathroom still gets some bleach, but nobody’s perfect. 🙂 

Happy cleaning! 

3 thoughts on “Chemical-Free Living, Part 1

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