October 2018 monthly Meeting

Thu, Oct 25, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Schubert Centre - 3505 30th Ave

"Make It"

Short demos, with take-home recipes, on making boomerang shopping bags, shampoo, hand creams, all purpose cleaners, tooth cleaning oil, garden pest sprays, and more. Ideas will be low cost, involve safe ingredients, and reuse normally single-use containers. 

If you would like to share your DIY recipes, please contact Julia ASAP.

And, if you can spare calendula flowers for others who might wish to make hand cream, please bring a bag (dried already or just picked on a hottish day)! 

MAKE IT’ NIGHT RECIPES from October 25, 2018

FYI on Sunlight Dish Soap and Blue Dawn Dish Soap

Both these chemicals were mentioned at the initial “Make It’ demonstration evening. They are considered ‘safe’; however the ingredient chemicals have shown adverse effects in some studies, so one would be wise to avoid their use and just use Bronner’s liquid soap (without ‘parfum!) for recipes. Sunlight has a pH of 6.5 which is OK for washing your hair, but Blue Dawn’s pH is about 9 - too basic for hair shampoo (if you wished to use something cheap) unless you add lemon juice to decrease alkylinity.

MSDS sheets show the following chemicals for both: - with warnings mentioned below. So, given the concerns, perhaps Bronner’s natural bar and liquid soaps should be soap of choice (from Scattered Goods in Vernon)

Sunlight Dish Soap – pH of 6.5 – known ingredients


CAS # 

Weight % 

Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate 


20 - 30% 

Sodium lauryl ether sulfate 


5 - 10% 

Sodium xylene sulfonate 


3 - < 5% 

Ethyl alcohol 


1 - < 3% 

Cocamidopropyl betaine 



Dawn Dish Soap.. ‘known ingredients’


  • FD&C YELLOW 5. ... 




  • PPG-26.

  • Methylisothiazolinone High Concern: acute aquatic toxicity
    Some Concern: skin irritation/allergies/damage (The American Contact Dermatitis Society dubbed methylisothiazolinone the “Allergen of the Year” in 2013.) 
    nervous system effects, respiratory effects, biodegradation; Disclosure Concern: non-specific ingredient.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Some Concern: chronic aquatic toxicity, general systemic/organ effects, acute aquatic toxicity

Sodium Laureth Sulfate Some Concern: chronic aquatic toxicity, damage to DNA, respiratory effects, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, digestive system effects, nervous system effects, acute aquatic toxicity, damage to vision, cancer
Sodium xylene sulfonate- The substance may be toxic to liver. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Eye irritant.

Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate– some harm to aquatic life.

FD&C Blue 1 Some Concern: skin irritation/allergies/damage

FD&C Yellow 5 Some Concern: cancer, acute aquatic toxicity, chronic aquatic toxicity, general systemic/organ effects

"fragrance" or "parfum": undisclosed mixture of scent chemicals/ ingredients such as diethylphthalate that disperse a smell. Phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system — particularly the developing testes, is an endocrine disruptor, can cause cancer. Some phthalates may affect human development.


Thank-you John for these first 3 recipes!

  • Weed–Be–Gone - Kills weeds without making the soil sterile. Mix and spray in the morning. Return after dinner and the weeds are gone. 

Mix: 1 gallon white vinegar (from dollarama?) + 2 cups EpsomSalts (drugstore?) + ¼ cup dish soap. 
For a smaller amount, mix 1 quart (4 cups) vinegar. + 1/2 cup Epsom Salts + 1 Tbsp dish soap.
  • Natural Weed Killer (Warning! – It’s aSoil Sterilizer – salt is not good for soil!)

Mix 4 cups white vinegar + 4 Tbsp Salt + 1 tsp liquid dish soap. Soap helps the vinegar and salt mix. Pour or spray on weeds…then no weeds for 3 – 6 months. Avoid spraying plants you want to keep alive!

  • Insecticide Spray Mix 1 tsp liquid dish soap + 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake well and add 4 cups tap water. Use at 10 day intervals for white flies, spider mites, aphids, etc. and for insects on carrots, celery, cukes, peppers etc. OK for ornamentals and evergreens. Test on a single plant first in case of tip burn. I’s a contact insecticide, so spray directly on the pest. 

  • Karen’s Deer Repellent – Thank you Debbie and Ava!

a) Blend well: 2 eggs + 2 Tbsp lemon dish soap +2 tsp HOT pepper sauce + 6 cloves garlic + 1 cup skim milk + 2 Tbsp (olive) oil.
b) Pour into 4 liter milk jug and fill with water.
c) Strain liquid before pouring into small spray bottle for use.
d) Apply to plants every few weeks.
  • Homemade Deoderant – Thank you Debbie and Ava!
a) Mix: 1/3 cup of coconut oil
        1/3 cup of arrowroot powder
        2 Tbsp baking soda
        2 drops essential oil(optional)
b) Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container. 
c) Skin irritated? – reduce baking soda, or check if you have a reaction to essential oils.
  • Rug ShampooThank you Debbie and Ava!
Mix and spray on: 1 gallon warm water + 1 cup ammonia + 3 Tbsp baking soda + ½ cup vinegar.
  • Castile Liquid Dish Soap
a) Add 1/3 cup washing soda to glass jar. Mix in 1 cup boiling water until powder has dissolved then cool to room temperature.
b) Stir in 1 cup liquid castile (+1/2 Tbsp glycerin – optional) until well mixed.
c) Store in glass bottle.
d) Use 2 Tbsp per large sinkful of water.
e) Rinse dishes with water + some white vinegar.
*Vinegar is too acidic to clean acid food off plates so do not add to the dish soap.
*Castile – effective pH 9 alkaline cleaner but may leave spots - hence the vinegar rinse.
*Vegetable Glycerin –helps clean dishes and keeps skin soft.
*Baking soda - boosts cleaning power; softens water, but doesn’t stay suspended in dishwater.
*Washing soda- wear gloves due to high (but effective) alkalinity and rinse well. Do NOT use on aluminum.
*Don’t use essential oils (oily!) or borax (toxic) in the dish soap.
  • Laundry Detergent
a) Mix 1 cup soap flakes + ½ cup borax + ½ cup washing soda
b) For front loaders, add 1 Tbsp to 3/4 cup HOT water, stir well, and use. Use 2 Tbsp for top loaders.
c) Don’t use wash water for watering gardens unless you make the detergent without borax - has respiratory effects and developmental toxicity and banned as a food additive by the FDA.
  • Smile Teeth Cleaning Oil – use daily – Thank you Kiley!
a) Infuse ½ neem leaf into 500 ml of sweet almond oil (use glass jar and let sit for 2 – 6 weeks)
b) Pour oil through cheesecloth to remove neem leaf
c) Add 300ml spearmint Essential oil to the almond oil
d) add 40 ml peppermint essential oil to the almond oil
e) Mix well and bottle in small spritzer bottle or eye dropper bottle for use.
  • Calendula Cream - Thank you Sheila!

Slow (4 – 6 week) method preferred but if not practical, use faster method.

Slow method:

1. Place calendula petals in clean, dry glass jar. Pour in enough olive oil to cover petals with one inch of oil. Petals usually float at first, so watch the bottom of the jar to ensure you’ve added enough - petals expand as they soak in the liquid, so add extra to keep them covered.

2. Cover jar with tight fitting lid. Give a good shake. 

3. Place jar in paper bag (thought to help protect valuable flower constituents from breaking down due to UV light). Store near a warm, sunny window so oil heats up. In winter, stewing at very low heat (fast method provided below) will approximate the warming by sunlight.

4. Give jar a good shake daily.

5. After 4-6 weeks, strain out herbs and pour oil into clean, glass jar. Store in a cool, dark cabinet until needed.

Fast method:

Follow steps 1 and 2 above.

3. Place kitchen towel in the bottom of crockpot and place jar inside. Add enough water to cover half the jar and set to the lowest setting for 2-6 hours. 

4. Use cheesecloth tostrain oil into clean, glass jar. 5. Store in cool, dark cabinet until needed.


1. Measure 1/2 oz beeswax (2 Tbsp grated, packed beeswax) into a stainless steel bowl. Set into double boiler and heat gently… or put into pot of boiling water to melt gently.

2. Add 4 oz calendula oil, let sit 30 – 60 sec. to warm oil, then stir to mix thoroughly.

3. Pour into a clean, dry container and let cool. ( OR… Let cool a bit then add 25 – 50 drops essential oil (optional!) before cooling. The recipe will fill three 2 ounce containers.

Too hard? - liquefy in a warm water bath and mix in a bit more oil. Too soft? - liquify and add a bit more beeswax.

Irritation? Make your cream using either rose petals or sunflower petals instead of calendula petals.

Check out this website for details/pictures … https://www.mommypotamus.com/calendula-salve-recipe/

  • All Purpose Cleaner – Thank-you Kiley!

a) Stuff quart jar ½ full of citrus (orange/grapefruit/lime) peels

b) Fill the jar up with white vinegar. Put lid on tightly and shake. Let sit 2 – 3 weeks – the longer it sits and steeps, the more potent it will get!

c) Don’t forget to record your start date! 

d) After 2 – 3 weeks, remove peels and strain through a fine strainer.

e) Put one part of water (eg ½ cup) and one part of the citrus vinegar (eg ½ cup) into a spray bottle.

f) Use as you would a plain vinegar cleaner.

g) Optional: add 6 – 10 drops essential oil (lemon, grapefruit, or tea tree oil etc) to boost cleaning power.

  • Dishwaher TabletsThank-you Adrienne!

a) Mix 1 cup baking soda, ¼ cup citric acid, 1 Tbsp castile liquid soap + 5 drops INGESTABLE grapefruit essential oil until it’s an even consistency.

b) Place in silicon moulds (from Scattered Goods) and let sit for 4 hours, Remove tablets from moulds.

c) Store in airtight container.

d) Use one in your dishwasher in place of a store-bought dishwasher tablet.

** add 1 cup white vinegar to rinsieagent compartment in dishwasher to ensure glassware comes out sparkling!

  • Basic Hair Shampoo (still testing different recipes -this version is runny - use squirt bottle!)

Combine: 1/4 cup Bronner’s liquid soap (avoid those with parfumin!) + ½ cup water + 1 tsp vegetable oil/glycerine (omit if you have oily hair) + 2 - 10 drops essential oil (optional). If you use strong herbal (lavender? chamomile?) tea instead of water for a scented shampoo use it up quickly or keep refrigerated - may go rancid.