Let me start by saying that this is an extreme picture. Well, for me it's the extreme picture and its taken about eight years of investigation to fully embrace and create. I can, however, safely say that everything I've written below works just as well as, if not better than, its conventional and store-bought equivalent.
I also freaking love it.
Lets start with your inventory list:
Bicarbonate of Soda (I buy between 5 and 25KG's at a time from Bev: 061 974 6617).
Epsom Salt (I can use 12-15KG's a month for my nightly bath alone - also bought from Bev).
Vinegar (about 5-10L per month).
Essential Oil (I adore SOil and Young Living).
Green Sunlight laundry bar (yes, my one little "cheat" for stained clothing).
3 KG glass Jar.
1 Liter spray bottle.
Collection of cloths and old fabric scraps / “Shmatta”.
Natural scour sponge - available @spazastore.
Natural knitted facecloth - available from @spazastore.
Pumice/Fit scrub - I currently use a plastic one and long for the day I find the perfect all natural version. Suggestions welcome.
Now lets start with the home...
I clean my house, clothes and dishes with one of three things:
- All purpose cleaning spray and a cloth or scrub of some nature.
- All purpose cleaning powder (sometimes with vinegar added for froth).
- Neat vinegar.
- Hot water.
All Purpose Cleaning Spray
500ml white spirit vinegar (ideally you should soak a jar full of vinegar for a week with citrus peels to eliminate the vinegar smell and then use...)
10-20 drops essential oil, I prefer peppermint here (not essential).
Windows, walls, surfaces, toilets, showers, bath, basins, mirrors, shelves, tabletops, wood, ceramic, but NOT granite.
Use a cloth soaked boiling water and a few drops of essential oil to clean granite/stone tops.
All Purpose Cleaning Powder
1.5kg Bicarbonate of Soda.
1.5kg Washing soda (made by cooking Bicarb on 180 degrees celcius for an hour).
[IE Raw plus Cooked in equal parts].
10-20 drops essential oil, again I prefer peppermint for this but its not necessary in terms of cleaning power.
Grease stains, floor stains, burnt pots (soaked with vinegar), laundry, dishes (use as dishwasher powder).
*For a full explanation on dishes see my DISHWASHER 101 post. I'm also going to make a LAUNDRY 101 post soon!
Laundry softner (sta-soft equivalent), dishwasher rinse aid, and conditional for you hair. Yes. Your hair.
Now personal care..
This is how I clean myself:
Run a hot bath;
add a cup, or two, or three of epsom salt;
add three spoons of bicarbonate of soda;
5-10 drops of essential oil of choice;
scrub feet with pumice;
wipe underarms and face with facecloth (run under piping hot tap if possible, first).
I must just add here that both my husband and I have totally detoxed our underarms using a homemade deodorant regime for 6 weeks. Doing so is probably one of the biggest proverbial game changers we've experienced so far in this journey. We now no longer wear anything by way of deodorant (natural or otherwise) nor do we experience any form of body odour BH. This is whilst only washing in the way i'v described above - NO conventional soap! Our motto is: you need to sweat, you do NOT need to stink.
On the odd occasion I choose to shower I will dab some bicarb onto the necessary areas before i step in and then "steam" in a boiling hot shower as long as is manageable. for effect i'll spray a few drops of essential oil onto the shower walls to diffuse in the steam while I stand.
After bathing my go-to is coconut oil. I rub it into my face, underarms, body, hair etc. Anywhere needing some TLC. If anything specific needs attention then essential oil will get hauled out too: eucalyptus for a cold, tea tree for a pimple (very rare these days thankfully), peppermint on the scalp for a headache and so on. I view personal hygiene in a continuum along the 24 hour day and I think if myself as "rinsing off" the coconut oil every time I bathe.
My final act of personal care before bed is my essential oil diffuser. I'm currently obsessed with a SOil (available at DisChem or online) blend called 'sleep' which includes Lavender and Vetiver. It's helped my children, my husband and me have a deep and long sleep at night.
In conclusion i would like to say that I highly encourage google. I encourage creativity. I encourage trial and error. find what works for you and have fun! this has been one of the most liberating phases of my life. I hope you can find freedom too!
and a PS,
I've mentioned before that i'm not into getting paid to endorse brands. I adore SOil essential oil, shopping at DisChem and the Epsom Salt and Bicarb i get from my friend Bev. Those are the only reasons I've listed them. I'm into sharing the love, authentically.