Friday, May 20, 2016

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Stop buying things you can easily make at home, peeps!  OK, OK, we can’t do this all the time, however, this is a REALLY easy one and you likely have a regular foaming hand soap bottle laying around your house, either full, half-full, almost empty, or even empty…pull that sucker out of the recycle bin and reuse it! 

Had I known earlier how easy it is to make homemade foaming hand soap, I’d have been saving money for years – but it’s never too late to begin! 

Did you know that aside from the harsh chemical aspect and increased price of “antibacterial” soap – there is no difference cleansing wise between them and a more natural alternative?  It’s true…check out this article from TIME magazine.

You’ll need about 30 seconds of time, a clean foaming soap bottle (you can’t put regular hand soap in these, so don’t even try) and a few ingredients, which are fairly common or easy to obtain and can make endless batches of this soap.  Now go wash those hands!


  • Enough distilled/purified/boiled & cooled water to fill your soap pump with about 1 inch remaining at the top.
  • 2-3 Tbs. of your favorite scent of Castile Soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps 18-In-1 Hemp Citrus Orange Pure Castille Soap, 32-Ounce Bottle)
  •  ½ tsp. of olive or jojoba oil (helps maintain the pump function and also softens skin – bonus!)
  • Any essential oils of your choosing – not necessary but add if you’d like.
  • 1 clean FOAMING hand soap dispenser – you can absolutely re-use the empties you have.


  • Add the water first and leave about 1 inch of space to accommodate the larger foaming pump top.
  • Add 2-3 Tbs. Castile Soap.
  • Add ½ tsp. olive or jojoba oil.
  • Add any drops of essential oils, optional.
  • Secure top on the bottle and gently shake/swish to mix ingredients.

That’s it!  Seriously.  Pump, wash and get your mitts squeaky clean without harsh chemicals!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Our Household

A bit about me and our household – though I really have a hard time talking about myself…I’d rather not be the center of attention!  I am a full-time working mom to a 5-year-old boy and a wife to a very supportive husband…. though he still thinks a few of my brilliant ideas won’t work – they usually do.   We live in the Detroit suburbs in a modest (small) ranch home – which you’d think would make cleaning it a piece of cake, right?  Wrong…. it’s just as full of clutter and dust as anyone’s!  Our tiny family accumulates a lot of STUFF as well as laundry.

I will be completely honest and transparent with you on this little blog of mine.   I am not Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, or remotely completely Eco-friendly.   Up until the last few months, the chemicals I use to clean our home didn’t even cross my mind!  I could do much more to be aware of our family’s impact on the environment.  What I am is trying to do is make baby-step changes in making easy, sustainable and better choices for myself and my family.

Here are some of the small changes around our home and perhaps you can also do some of these!
  • Incorporating as many naturally air-purifying houseplants in our home.  
  • Recycling everything we can and re-purposing household items in different ways (i.e., that big plastic coffee can gets used as a cute catch-all for my son’s junk…. I mean, small toys)
  • Making my own granite/counter top cleaner with natural ingredients and essential oil.
  • Researching products for their toxicity rating before use – and replacing them with a better alternative if possible.  Instead of using bleach/commercial spray cleaners/abrasive cleansers/laundry and dishwasher detergents – I find better, safer alternatives!
  • Growing some of our own fruits, herbs and veggies in a small container garden.
  • Shopping for fruits, veggies and whatever we can at local farmer’s markets during the summer.
  • Utilizing reusable bags instead of getting plastic – honestly, I am horrible about this one, but trying to be better.  At the very least, we always re-use the plastic bags we get for our smaller trash cans so they do get double-duty.
  • Using all natural hair and body products when possible.  I am amazed what our body absorbs in a very tiny amount of time!
  • Learning to cook – all those things you purchase at big box stores and chain grocery stores?  Many can be easily made at home with a little time and some fun effort!  For example, instead of buying bread, buns, or bagels, I learned how to make my own.  Sure they don’t last as long, but I know how to pronounce all the ingredients! 
  • When purchasing meat, we use highly rated organic suppliers with minimal packaging.  (Shoutout to Zaycon Foods!)

 The moral to this story is we have a LONG way to go compared to most people – and I’m fine with that…but we are trying our best to do a little better every day.  If you do the same, we can all make a huge impact!

What is really in your home?

In my various research, I've come across this amazing website that you may or may not know about, The Environmental Working Group.  On this site, they have SO many resources with great tools to tell you the "grade" of what you are using to clean (or apply - makeup/skincare).  A handy way to see this, for your cleaning products at least, is to the following link and check your products:

The EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaners

They are ranked A-F, a common grading scale you should all be familiar with.  I was shocked to learn that most of my cleaning supplies had D or F grades and high toxicity, just from normal contact and use.  What I felt was helping protect us from germs and harm was indeed harming us even more!

Since using this, I have swapped what I use to more natural items - Norwex and water, Norwex chemical free items, Seventh Generation Auto Dish Pacs, Free and Clear, 45 Count Vinegar and a LOT of Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap - (Baby Unscented, 32 oz) soaps.  I just love them!

What products did you search on the EWG site and what were their grades?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Welcome to my Green Clean Home blog - where I will post my findings and thoughts on making my (and your!) home as healthy and chemical-free as possible.  I have been doing a LOT of research into how damaging household chemicals can be for us and our loved ones and really kicked it into overdrive when I began using Norwex products more and more....I am a huge skeptic and these products and claims could not possibly be true.  Cleaning (really cleaning!) your home using a special cloth and only water?  Nope.  Washing clothes in only 1 tsp. of detergent...that had no flowery scent?  Come on!

So I set out in search of horrible reviews, disappointed customers, stories of failures and Norwex dreams totally dashed....but found...nothing.  Sure I've found some people indifferent to the cloths but I still can't find one horrible review of the products.   In my searches, however, I began to dig deeper into ways to make my home as chemical free as possible for my family - so I won't be focused simply on Norwex here (though I do love it so much, I joined on as a consultant late last night!) but all different ways to live simply cleaner.

Do you have experience with Norwex or trying to be more conscious of the chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis?  Tell me in the comments below!