Category Archives: Green Cleaning

Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

Today’s post marks post #100! Its crazy how time flies and how blog posts add up! I’m so thankful that I started this blog, it gives me something that I really care about to pour my heart and soul into (since my 9-5 job doesn’t give me that) and I’m even more thankful that I’ve discovered so many like-minded people out there who enjoy reading and sharing their ideas with me. The blogging community is such a vibrant and welcoming place. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

As my blog grows, I’m always trying to make improvements so if you have any comments or suggestions – please feel free to email me or leave a comment on this post. I’ve been mulling over the idea of transitioning the blog from a “.wordpress.com” account to an official “.com.” I’ve heard great things about wordpress.org (the plug-ins! the design freedom!) but I’m also heard horror stories about the transition. I don’t know much about html coding and blog design beyond the bare necessities so I’m scared taking on the transition could completely destroy my site – plus the cost of the transition is a little hefty. Has anyone out there gone through this change and want to share their story?

Now on to the post I originally sat down to write (before discovering it was post 100! :-)): homemade sugar scrub!

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I love sugar scrub! For a long time, I bought mine at Bath and Body Works but then I discovered through the genius of Pinterest that it’s incredibly easy to make at home! I love to keep a container of scrub in the shower – and this past Saturday I used the last of my mix. I was sort of glad to finally be at the bottom of it as I was dying to try a new recipe!

The first time around I used olive oil based on this recipe, and while it worked fine – there are much better uses for olive oil than in a sugar scrub. Like for dipping bread. Since then, I’ve discovered the crazy goodness that is coconut oil (both for cooking and homemade beauty products) so I knew I wanted to use that in my next batch.

First up, all scrubs are a basic ratio of 2 parts sugar/salt (exfoliant) to 1 part oil. I decided to use a combination of salt and sugar since I feel like sugar can sometimes dissolve a little quickly. I put ½ cup sugar and ½ cup salt into an old sugar scrub container that I re-use for my homemade versions.

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Next, I measured out ½ cup of coconut oil into a bowl. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but melts at 75 degrees so it doesn’t take much to melt it. I knew I wanted to melt it slightly to make the whole concoction easier to mix together, but I didn’t want it to warm because I was worried it would dissolve the sugar/salt. I ended up blasting it in the microwave for about 7 seconds and then stirring it together and it was just melted enough!

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I added the melty coconut oil to the container with the salt/sugar mixture and stirred it together (gently – the container was very full at this point!). Finally, I added 15 drops of sweet orange essential oil for the nice, invigorating scent. You can use any essential oil you have on hand, I just used one that I don’t tend to use very often from my variety pack.

Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Sugar Scrub
Makes approximately 1 ½ cups

– ½ cup sugar
– ½ cup salt (or use all sugar or all salt)
– ½ cup coconut oil, slightly melted
– 15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Enjoy! This scrub does a great job of exfoliating, and you can feel good that it’s made from all-natural, healthy, ingredients! I love the idea of beauty products that are safe enough to eat (not that I’d recommend it – I bet it wouldn’t taste good! :-))

Speaking of, I found this hilarious post 20 Signs You’re a Wellness Junkie on the Gaiam Pinterest board the other day! It’s hilarious! Mostly because so many of them are true. I’ve definitely taken a side in the juicer/blender debate, and I use coconut oil for some many things I buy it in a big 5 pound jug.

You’re turn! Do you relate to any of the things in the ‘Wellness Junkie’ post? Any more you’d like to add? I think drinking a ton of green tea should be mentioned in there somewhere! 🙂

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Homemade Make-Up Remover Wipes!

The other day I found a wonderful pin on Pinterest about how to make your own baby wipes/make-up remover wipes – you could even use this method to make disinfecting wipes! (Which I plan to do as soon as I run out of the store-bought ones!)

The original blogger wrote such a great tutorial, that I’m just going to link to her tutorial at White House Black Shutters. Plus, I was sort of rushing when I put these together so I didn’t stop to take pictures along the way.

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Homemade Make-Up Remover Wipes


– 2 cups filtered water
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 10 drops tea tree oil (optional)
– ½ roll of Bounty select-a-size towels
– Medium-sized plastic container (about the circumference of the roll of towels or larger)

Mix the water, oil, and tea tree oil together. It’s best to do this at room temperature or slightly warmed as coconut oil has a melting point of 75 degrees. Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a knife (this was easier than it sounded) and place in the container full of the water/oil mixture. Let the towels soak for 5-10 minutes before squishing down into the container and putting on the lid. It looks like it won’t fit – but it does!

Turn the container upside down and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes. Then turn back over and open and remove the cardboard paper towel center. Tada! Pop-up wipes!

Coconut oil makes a great make-up remover so these wipes work really well! I also use coconut oil as my “face wash” (using the oil cleansing method) so I’m using these as face wash wipes as well. My favorite part is that you can pull out a few and place them in a ziplock bag for travel purposes. I’m definitely using them on my trip next week!

Green Cleaner: Bathroom Cleaner

One of my all-time least favorite chores is cleaning the bathroom. I’m sort of a neat-freak, so it still gets done, but I definitely avoid it for as long as possible. In contrast, I’m a big fan of doing dishes. I don’t know what it is – but I find the process calming. And it’s the solution to one of my biggest pet peeves – dishes in the sink. 🙂

So last weekend I knew I needed to get around to cleaning my bathroom. I won’t say how long it had been, but it had been too long. Living alone allows you to procrastinate like that. I had officially used up the last of my conventional shower cleaner – which meant it was time to find a green cleaning solution for cleaning the shower. And I sure picked the perfect shower to test it on considering how dirty it was! I should have taken a before picture, but I didn’t have a ton of faith that green cleaning was going to work as well as it did. Boy was I impressed!

After scanning through Pinterest and Google, I found that most sources agreed on using a mixture of 50% warm vinegar and 50% blue dawn dish soap (they are all very adamant about the ‘blue’ part, oddly enough) to clean the shower. It can’t be that easy, can it?

Well let me tell you, it is.

I microwaved a cup of vinegar until it was just warm (about a minute) and then added it to my spray bottle along with a cup of dawn dish soap. Dawn dish soap really is a miracle worker as it’s also an ingredient in my homemade spot remover and the first recipe for my homemade laundry detergent. I shook the spray bottle to combine and then sprayed it all over the shower (walls/faucet, shelves, everything) and the sink, for good measure. I let the mixture sit for two hours (while I ran out to do some errands), and came home and wiped everything down with a combination of a scrub brush and a sponge. It did require a little scrubbing in some of the dirtier areas, but I don’t mind that. And considering how dirty the shower was – the mixture really cut through the scum like magic! This will definitely be my go-to shower cleaner from now on!

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The mixture can’t be made ahead of time since I think the vinegar being warm is a key component, but I also don’t think it’s overly time consuming to mix up a batch right before you need to clean. The 2 cup portion (1 cup of each ingredient) I made was completely used up cleaning my shower and sink, so none of it went to waste.

I’ve heard a few people say that they don’t like completely switching to green cleaning products because using them doesn’t make the house “smell clean.” Unfortunately, that “clean smell” from most conventional cleaning products is usually bleach and/or other harsh chemicals. That smell isn’t necessary to know that something is clean! And I don’t know if those people haven’t smelled hot vinegar but – whoa, does that smell clean to me! 🙂

What is your least favorite chore?
Do you have any surprisingly favorite chores?

New Homemade Laundry Detergent

This weekend I decided to try a new laundry detergent recipe. I like my current homemade laundry detergent just fine, but using that process I store two gallon jugs of laundry detergent (water already added) and use about 1 cup per load, so I feel like I go through it so fast. Plus I just can’t wrap my mind around the concept of storing detergent with so much water in it. There’s water in the washing machine! It just seems like a waste of time and space.

The main thing that has deterred me from so many homemade laundry detergent recipes is the need to grate and boil soap. The idea of grating a bar of soap on my box grater seems 1) like it would damage my box grater (it didn’t) and 2) like it would make a gigantic mess (turns out it’s only a moderate mess). But I decided to go for it after reading several blogs that swore it wouldn’t damage my grater. It is just soap after all; I don’t know what my paranoia was all about.

Step 1) the dreaded process of grating the soap. My game plan: place my box grater on top of a large paper plate and grate the Fels-Naptha soap using the larger grating holes and (hopefully) the plate will catch all the bits and then the plate would serve the dual purpose of allowing me to funnel the pieces into my storage jar. Quick shout out to my mom for donating the jar for me to use. She has no shortage of empty glass jars around the house (seriously – where do they come from?) and I have no shortage of uses for empty jars. It’s quite a symbiotic relationship.

Grating the soap was a success! I was also secretly scared that my weak little noodle arms wouldn’t be conducive to soap-grating but the soap turned out to be the texture of semi-hard cheese, like cheddar, and was a breeze to grate. There was a good bit of soap that did not obediently land on the paper plate, but instead was all over my coffee table, but I just scraped it off the side of the table and onto the plate with its brethren. Problem solved!

Next, I added the soap to a large mason jar along with 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda (both ingredients in my old recipe), closed up the jar and shook to combine. The ingredients do have a tendency to separate when the jar sits for a while, but just shake it up before using and you’re ready to go! 🙂 I of course had to do a load of laundry right then to try it out and it worked great – and smelled wonderful! The Fels-Naptha soap has a real “old-timey” clean smell going on. Perfect for someone like me who doesn’t like artificial scents. Note: I still use my homemade spot remover on any visible stains before throwing items in the wash.

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Here’s the easy-to-read recipe:

    – 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
    – 1 cup borax
    – 1 cup washing soda

Mix all ingredients together in an airtight container and store. Shake well before using. Use 1 tablespoon per load.

Using one tablespoon per load means you can do approximately 36 loads of laundry with this one jar! And the ingredients are super cheap and will make you many more jars in the future. Also, the washing soda and borax are both ingredients in my homemade dishwasher detergent so they do double-duty. 🙂

How to Clean a Yoga Mat

As I mentioned before my wonderful mom bought me a yoga mat and carrying case last weekend when I went to visit her. 🙂 She really is the best! It was such a nice surprise in the morning before her and I headed to yoga class together. Now I can look like a “professional” on my journey to becoming a yogi. When I got to class my bubble burst a little bit when I found my hands (and sometimes feet) slipping and sliding through my asanas. When I got the chance, I went to my trusty know-it-all Google to figure out the problem.

After a little research, I found that new yoga mats can be a little slick until the top layer is essentially “worn down” with use. But, I did find a few tips on how to clean your yoga mat and, in turn, speed along the “wearing down” process. I found posts that recommend cleaning your yoga mat after every practice, and some that said only once a week. Currently, I only go to class once a week (I’m going to start trying for twice) so I’m going to go with once a week for now.

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Combine equal parts water and vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar – my favorite cleaning product – but I saw some recipes that used apple cider vinegar too) in a spray bottle. Mist your yoga mat, and allow to air dry before rolling back up for storage. It really is that easy! I have already noticed that my mat is a little easier to use, and I already use vinegar as a cleaning agent due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-mold properties so I know it’ll be great for disinfecting my yoga mat as well! 🙂

How to Clean Your Dishwasher!

The other night when I was emptying the dishwasher, I noticed that my dishwasher was looking a little, well, disgusting. There was definitely a “not-clean” feeling going on with it. I think it has something to do with all the smoothie cups/mugs/etc. that I wash out on a weekly basis and smoothie bits do not clean up easy, let me tell you. Whatever the cause – it was time to clean the dishwasher!

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Yes, that’s right, clean the thing that cleans things. It sort of reminds me of that episode of Friends where Monica used the handheld vacuum to vacuum the normal-sized vacuum and then makes the comment: “If only there were a smaller one to clean this one!” I did always feel a kinship with Monica.

So I made a plan to clean the dishwasher. A combination of vinegar and baking soda is my favorite way to clean most things so I thought it would work for this occasion – but I knew better than to put them both in the dishwasher at the same time. That would result in a flood of suds in my kitchen. Actually, I will still nervous about my approach of running two cycles – the first with vinegar and the second with baking soda – but it worked out! And it worked brilliantly! My dishwasher is sparkly clean now.

So step one, empty the dishwasher and remove any food debris or other items that may have accumulated around the drain. Place a large bowl (I used a glass mixing bowl) of vinegar (I used about 3 cups…I didn’t measure but that’s pretty close) on the bottom rack and run through a full cycle. When the cycle is over, remove the bowl and scatter a cup or so of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher, then close the door and immediately run it through a second full cycle. Voilà! Clean dishwasher! 🙂

Green Cleaning: Homemade Stain Remover!

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So today was my first day at my new job, so of course I had to have a crisis while getting ready. I’m sort of a spaz – and from time to time my hands decide they just don’t want to cooperate with the rest of me. Well, this morning I was putting on mascara when I dropped the wand directly onto my brand new, never worn, white lace shirt that I had decided to wear to my first day of work. Ugh! My first thought was that I couldn’t believe I was going to have to buy a new shirt – but then I figured I’d give a little homemade spot remover a shot. As I mentioned in my post on homemade laundry detergent I haven’t had too much of an occasion to need spot remover but of course I no sooner wrote that – then the occasion arose.

I mixed together the following concoction from what I could remember from a mix of articles and blog posts:

Homemade Spot Remover

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dawn dishwashing soap

I mixed the above together and dabbed the resulting liquid on the spot on my shirt with a clean, dry, paper towel. And hallelujah! It worked! I was seriously SO impressed. It can’t be that easy, can it? But here is the result:

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I circled the approximate area of the stain – but I can’t be sure because I literally can’t see any mark any more! Now, this was a fresh stain so I don’t know if it would be as successful on one set-in but I’m sure going to try if I find one!

This recipe is definitely going in my rotation of green cleaners. I hope it works for you too! 🙂