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October 2018 monthly Meeting - 'Make It'

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
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 were low cost, involved safe ingredients, and reused normally single-use containers.


FYI on Sunlight Dish Soap and Blue Dawn Dish Soap
Both products 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’

  • 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 + 2 cups epsom salts + 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 a soil 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 Shampoo – Thank 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 …
  • 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 Tablets – Thank 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.
  • Sheila’s Lotion:
a) Add these three: 6 oz almond oil + 30 oz coconut oil + 1 oz beeswax to pan.
b) Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until fully melted.
c) Stir gently while cooling to body temperature.
d) Warm 9 oz distilled water to body temperature.
e) Put the water in a food processor and add the rest of the melted ingredients while blending. Wait for the SOUND of emulsification (Yes, you’ll hear it!) then blend for 5 more minutes.
f) Optional is to add 80 drops of essential oil or a mix of essential oils of your choice, and stir to mix in before putting into jars. (The sample used for January 19 ’make and take’ day contained 20 drops sandalwood, 20 drops cedar oil, 12 drops patchouli, 20 drops grapefruit, and 20 drops lavender).
Reference List (from Okanagan Regional Library)
The Beeswax Workshop – how to make your own natural candles, cosmetics, cleaners, soaps, healing balms and more. - Chris Dalziel.
101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health, and Home – A nerdy farm wife’s DIY projects using commonly found herbs, flowers and other plants. – Jan Berry
Homemade Beauty – 150 simple beauty recipes made from all-natural ingredients – Annie Strole
The Complete Guide to Natural Homemade Beauty Products and Treatments – 175 recipes from scrubs and masks to moisturizers and shampoos – Amelia Ruiz
Organic Body Care Recipes – 175 homemade herbal formulas for glowing skin and a vibrant self – Stephanie Tourles
Herbs for Natural Beauty – Rosemary Gladstar
The Herbal Bath and Beauty Book – Create custom natural products for hair and skin – Heather Lee Houdeck
Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health – 175 teas, tonics, oils, salves, tinctures, and other natural remedies for the entire family – Rosemary Gladstar
Baking Soda
* carpet deodorizerkitchen sink, stove top, silverware, and shower and shower grouting cleaner
* oven cleaner (baking soda, Bronner’s soap (tiny bit) and vinegar "paint brushed " onto warm surface and left overnight. WAY better than toxic spray oven cleaner stuff which kills indoor pet birds - so what might be the effects on humans?)
* toilet cleaner, sink cleaner, laundry, dishes... and no microbeads to destroy ocean life!
*dish detergent option (NO single use plastic jug to throw out!): ½ bar of Bronner’s grated + 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda. To make washing soda, bake baking soda in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees.
*dishwasher soap option: (NO single use plastic jug to throw out!): 1 - 2 drops liquid Bronner’s in soap container + baking soda sprinkled all over dishes, close door start cycle.
* Tub - make soft scrub with baking soda, vinegar + a bit liquid Bronner’s … or just use baking soda - simpler!
* tooth powder - mix salt, baking soda + a bit of xylitol (not needed but good for teeth health and has some sweetness to entice kids to use!) and grind the three a bit with mortar and pestle. - can add a fave essential oil flavour – mint?
* put out fat fires on stove or in oven (fire extinguisher contents are baking soda + anti-caking agent)
* outdoors plant leaf mildew (usually in late summer)– use a spray of baking soda and water.
*You can avoid using, then disposing of the plastic liquid Bronner’s container by making up a liquid from some grated (Bronner’s) bar soap. One Tbsp of grated soap flakes in 3/4 cup boiling water sets into a solid paste when cool so a tiny amount of that Tbsp (experiment!) would be all that’s needed for washing hair, or dishes, or? 
* window cleaner /bathroom cleaner – mix vinegar, water and essential oil.
* room spray freshener  - just water and blend of essential oils in a glass spray bottle.
* instead of using unhealthy (or smelly, scented) clothes dryer cloths, put a few drops of an essential oil onto a piece of cotton and add to the dryer load – VERY cheap, not harmful! Nothing to throw away - just keep re-using the cotton cloth with more essential oil!

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