Tips Tuesday: Top 5 Nontoxic, One-Ingredient-SwapsPosted July 5th, 2011 by Claire Moshenberg
Hey…DIY projects are fun. I love the thought of making all of my own cosmetics and cleaning supplies. I also love the thought of having perfect hair every day and a super organized schedule and a unicorn. We all know the feeling of there just not being enough hours in the day; meanwhile, we all want healthy, non-toxic homes and products for our families.
This week, we’re focusing on one ingredient fixes. These ingredients can be used on their own, and sometimes combined with water, to replace multiple cosmetics and cleaning products. These simple swaps are affordable, nontoxic, and best of all, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a heart healthy cooking oil that’s a delicious alternative to the standard olive and canola options. It’s also a fantastic cosmetics replacement. Use coconut oil as a replacement for body lotion, massage oil, diaper rash treatment, and face cream. You can also work a small amount into wet hair and leave it in for 10 minutes as a deep conditioner. Snazzy bonus: Not only is it natural and non-toxic, but coconut oil’s delicious coconut smell puts artificial coconut fragrances to shame.
Vinegar: Skip the toxic cleaning supplies! White distilled vinegar is more than a kitchen staple: It’s a cleaning life saver. Combine white distilled vinegar with water for an all purpose rinse, or freeze vinegar and water into ice cubes and use them as a garbage disposal cleaner.
Lemons: Brighten your laundry by adding half a cup of strained lemon juice to your rinse cycle. You can also use lemons to ward off morning sickness and replace toxic air fresheners. This versatile fruit even has cosmetic capabilities: Combine a whole lemon with hot water for an easy, nontoxic hair spray.
Baking Soda: Mix this common baking supply with water to create an acne-fighting mask. Combine baking soda with vinegar to make a simple toilet bowl cleaner, or add a ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry as a fabric softener replacement.
Water: We use water all the time, and I’m not going to regale you with tips of how you can get crazy and put it in a glass, or wash a dish with it, or go all out and shower. But there are some uses for water, particularly boiling water, that might surprise you. Whip up a nontoxic acne treatment by steaming your face over a pot of hot water with chamomile, lavender, or thyme. Flush the drains in your kitchen and bathroom with boiling water. Create a home air freshener by adding cinnamon, herbs, or citrus peels to a small pot of boiling water.