Castile Soap All-Purpose Cleaner

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Castile Soap All Purpose Cleaner: While I LOVE my vinegar cleaner (Jess’s recipe) my husband does not like the smell and complains constantly about it. So I decided to mess around with two favorite ingredients: Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap (whew that’s long!) and Essential Oils! In fact this is an adaptation of the foaming hand soap that I posted awhile back…I have tried… this for a week on EVERYTHING from kitchen counters to toilets and WOW it cleans SO well and smells great too…thought I would share!!
***20oz hot water (I feel things mix better when initially warm to hot)
***1/3 c. liquid castile soap
***2 caps full (approx 15-20 drops) tea tree oil
***Mix it up!
Note: I prefer the baby mild because it is unscented and I can buy one large thing of it and use it from hair, face, kids, etc etc and it still cleans well. You can cheat and use the Tea Tree Dr. B’s…that would work as well…or you can use unscented and flavor with a citrus one as those tend to cut grease and sanitize well too!
2nd note: this can get a bit soapy if you use too much, a little goes a long way. After I clean I always go over with a hot damp cloth and dry with a microfiber cloth.
I’m telling you my counters are sparkling, I would let my kids eat off this counter, the smell is pleasant and I am officially in love

 

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Who Owns Organic?

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Finally– the updated version of “Who owns Organic” is out, the previous version was from way back in 2009. ALWAYS eye-opening! “The latest update now includes the top 100 food processors in North America.” What does this mean?  I compare it to the fact that Tom’s of Maine is owned by Colgate, and Burt’s Bees by  Clorox. Many feel different about those products when they find that out. I used to buy Back to Nature organic Mac-N-Cheese, until I found out they were owned by Kraft. Big companies buy up smaller organic companies because as we all know organic is big business. I’ve gone back to buying Annie’s organic Mac-n-Cheese, even though it is $.50 more/box. Some of these big companies oppose GMO-labeling (not positive which ones, but I’m sure some did). It goes back to voting with our dollars, and many choose to support independently owned companies vs all our money going back to Haines, Kraft, etc….

Link to chart: http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/05/who-owns-organics-updated/

Link to Private Label Organic brands: http://www.cornucopia.org/graphics/OrganicPLabelJul07.pdf

Link to Independent Organic brands: http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/themes/Cornucopia/downloads/OrganicIndJan08.pdf

 

Deodorant Crystals- are they safe?

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I’ve had several questions recently about the deodorant crystals, sprays, roll-on’s. I think Naturally Fresh is the most well-known, and I used to use it myself before making my own as I felt it was a safe alternative to Tom’s, Nature’s Gate, etc. It’s readily available at Wal-Mart & other big box stores. BUT, is it safe? Many of the labels list “mineral salts” as a main ingredients. What are these mineral salts? As I’ve stated many times, I’m not a chemist, and always appreciate feedback from those of you who are. I’ve read many conflicting articles on this topic. I always advocate for erring on the side of caution, and since there is a shred of doubt in my mind about these, I can’t recommend them without concern. Here’s some of the issues regarding them, gathered from differing sources:

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll-on: “Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum), Zinc Ricinoleate, Xanthan Gum, Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis Flower), Phenoxyethanol (4 rating via EWG).

Naturally Fresh Spray Mist:  Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum).

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal: Natural Mineral Salts (Ammonium Alum), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Extract).

From Dr. Mercola’s site: “Some of the most popular natural deodorants are the “crystal” deodorant stones and sprays. But most people don’t know that these crystal deodorant products contain aluminum. The crystal deodorant stones are made from alum. The most widely used form of alum used in the personal care industry is potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate. Let’s get this straight. Even though aluminum is widely distributed in the earth’s crust, it is NOT needed in ANY amounts in your body. All evidence to date points to aluminum as a poison that serves no beneficial role in your body and should be avoided. Aluminum is widely recognized as a neurotoxin, which has been found in increased concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants or some deodorants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum. Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants. A review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed. Multiply this by one or more times a day for a lifetime and you can have a massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not meant to be in your body. Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/16/aluminum-lurks-in-crystal-deodorants.aspx.

EWG rates it at a 1, but with limited data: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705178/POTASSIUM_ALUM/.

Concerns listed: Organ system toxicity: Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful by Environment Canada Domestic Substance List.

Ecotoxicology: Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative.

From The People’s Pharmacy, a radio program I catch weekly on NPR: “It will probably take many more years to resolve the controversy about any relationship between aluminum and breast cancer. In the meantime, people who seek to avoid aluminum in their armpits will probably want to look beyond crystal-type natural deodorants. Many people find that milk of magnesia applied to the underarm helps against odor, so that may be an attractive alternative:http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/02/06/are-natural-alum-crystal-deodorants-safe/”

From Naturally Fresh’s Website: Do your products contain aluminum? No, Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystals contain the naturally occurring compound Alum (Potassium or Ammonium), not to be confused with harmful processed aluminum (Aluminum Zirconium or Aluminum Chlorohydrate). Technically speaking, aluminum is a metal while Alum is a compound.  Many of these processed aluminum molecules can be absorbed into the skin and bloodstream. Alum molecules create a barrier against odor causing bacteria and contain a large molecule which does not penetrate the surface of the skin.

Another online article: “Potassium alum is a naturally occurring form of aluminum salt. The difference between potassium alum and aluminum chlorohydrate is that potassium alum is a much larger molecule, not thought to be absorbable through human skin.” http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/make-the-switch-to-a-natural-deodorant.

***I AM NOT posting this to sell my own deodorant, I want to share my concerns regarding this product. As one mama put it, she’s eliminated aluminum from her kitchen & everywhere else in her house, why would she roll it on her skin daily? I want you to know that I do make deodorant, which is safe enough to eat, yet the most effective natural deodorant I’ve ever used. It is available to purchase, and I’ll always share the recipe for those that want to make your own!

–Recipe with tons of Q & A: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=537190792963232&set=a.494009763948002.128085.397517646930548&type=3&theater

–Info on purchasing mine: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/jesss-homemade-deodorant-and-body-scrub-are-now-for-sale/645692072113103

MamaSuds Review

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Original review of castile & laundry soap published May 14, 2013. Updated 8/10/2016 to include automatic dish powder review & current prices.

Review of Castile & liquid laundry soap handmade & bottled by MamaSuds, located in Goodrich, MI. As all of us have different water types & expectations, of course results will vary. These are my experiences with these products, and I don’t expect any product to satisfy 100% of the people who try it…

Laundry Soap- 1 gal= $26, cloth diaper safe. Also a borate-free option for $27. Ingredients: Castile soap, water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium tetraborate. If you’ve been on my page for very long, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of soap nuts. If you’re new to the page, well, I’m a huge fan of soap nuts   However, not everyone who has tried them loves them as much as I do, so I was happy to try out the laundry soap from MamaSuds to have an alternate recommendation for a liquid laundry soap. Normally I don’t use products containing Borax (sodium tetraborate) in my home. Many are fine using it for laundry & even dishes, but the research I’ve done on it has led me to look for alternatives that don’t contain it (many with very sensitive skin have issues with it). However, this recipe uses 1/3 cup per 5 gallon batch, so one gallon has very, very little, and each load has a miniscule amount (many homemade recipes call for equal parts Borax & Washing Soda, so it’s being used in high amounts). So, what’s the purpose of such a tiny amount? Michelle, the mama behind MamaSuds, who was great at answering any questions I had, said this: “it allows clothes to absorb the soap to get out stains and rinse clean (no residue), chemically it raises the Ph of the water. I used a lot trial an error and this was the least amount I could use to get the formula to a 9.5 Ph.”

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I put my soap nuts aside for a few weeks & put this liquid laundry soap to the test on our daily laundry, and cloth diapers. It did a great job! Our daily laundry consists mainly of normal daily wear & tear, and dirt/mud stains this time of year, as Spring finally arrived and we spend a great portion of our day outside. I have no complaints whatsoever about it not getting my clothes as clean as I’d like. It did great on the diapers too. I also was impressed with how soft everything felt when transferring it to the dryer or line, and even after it was done drying (I use dryer balls, not fabric softener). It does not produce bubbles, something I was used to as soap nuts don’t either (bubbles require additional ingredients, I’m fine going without- the fewer ingredients the better is my motto). I used ¼ cup for diapers (2 oz.) and 3/8 cup (3 oz.) for a large load of laundry.  I have a top-loading regular (not HE) machine.

Info about the liquid laundry soap from MamaSuds website: Enjoy a chemical free, all natural laundry soap product made by hand and bottled by hand. We first developed this product to clean our cloth diapers and use it for all of our household laundry. Using our all natural castile soap developed by MamaSuds, we now offer a low cost high quality alternative laundry soap for cleaning cloth diapers and everyday laundry.

For normal loads of laundry – use two ounces of our MamaSuds Laundry Soap per load. For cleaning cloth diapers use two to four ounces of MamaSuds Laundry Soap per load. Do you have a High Efficiency laundry machine? Then MamaSuds laundry soap is a must have – only ONE OUNCE PER LOAD!

Castile Soap- $10.50/ 16 oz. bottle, can add essential oils for an extra $.50. Ingredients: olive oil, saponified lye, distilled water. “MamaSuds Castile Soap is perfect for cleaning ANYTHING around the house… From babies to toilets! 100% vegan, not tested on animals and made of pure olive oil. All natural, chemical free, bottled by hand.”

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I am (and I know many of you are) a huge fan of castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s is the most well-known brand, and what I normally recommend for an all-purpose soap. Several of you have commented in the past that you feel Dr. Bronner’s is harsh on your skin (although many making such comments weren’t aware of the need/ability to dilute it). Dr. Bronner’s does contain Citric Acid (EWG rates it a 2), an ingredient I was happy to see this castile soap doesn’t!  The same size bottle of Dr. Bronner’s (16 oz.) costs a little over $10 on their website, compared to $7 for a bottle from MamaSuds. Dr. Bronner’s does use a combination of 4 organic oils vs. just the olive oil in MamaSuds, but again, less ingredients isn’t a bad thing, especially considering MamaSuds doesn’t use Citric Acid. How does it work? I feel it works just as good as Dr. Bronner’s. I diluted some 50/50 with water in my foaming hand soap dispenser, and was very impressed with the lather it produced. I used it for a few other things I would normally use Dr. Bronner’s for, like shaving my legs, and as a body wash, and it honestly worked just as well. I have no hesitation recommending MamaSuds castile soap, or laundry soap (which has their castile soap as a primary ingredient). I know many of you are looking to support fellow mamas vs. large companies, and this is a chance for you to do so.

Here is a list of uses for the castile soap, from MamaSuds website (not all-inclusive): Can Be Used To Clean Everything! From Babies to Toilets!

•Body Wash

•Shaving “cream”

•Baby Wash – This also works great as a head to toe baby wash. You do have to be a little careful with it around their eyes because it’s not tear-free, but especially if you dilute it, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. •Hand Soap

•Baby Wipes Solution– I use castile soap mixed with water as a homemade solution for my baby wipes. These wipes are great for changing diapers, but also great just to use for wiping hands and faces after eating, for cleaning spots of spit-up or other stains off of clothing, just about anything you would use a disposable baby wipe for.

•Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner

Added 8/10/16 AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER POWDER:

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$16/ 30 ounces net weight / 60-90 loads. Ingredients: non-GMO citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate.

The dish powder works amazingly well for me, and I have very hard well water & no water softener. I use vinegar in the rinse compartment as instructed. I’ve not had great luck with natural auto dish detergents, but am very, very pleased with this. As with all products, results will vary from household to household. The outcome greatly depends on your machine, water type, and expectations. I HIGHLY recommend starting with a sample as they are available for only $5 & you can try several loads out! One other thing that really helps is I clean my filter after every other use, it really makes a difference in how sparkly my dishes come out!

Michelle has greatly expanded her line since I 1st did my review 3 years ago. Other popular items are her toilet bombs and lotions. She also has a pet shampoo, body wash, deodorant, bug spray, sun cream & several other items that are all made with minimal, safe, yet effective ingredients.

From their website: A little bit about us MamaSuds was the vision of a mother of two who was always seeking for an affordable yet safe way to clean her home and family. Michelle (mama) wanted to find an affordable cloth diaper detergent that rinsed, cleaned, and actually got the soil and stink out of the diapers! Michelle started searching detergents and wondered, why is everything that is natural, safe, and chemical-free come with a hefty price tag? After several recipes, she started giving it to friends and family to try. Shortly after Michelle started making all the soap in the house, and her husband Jim thought if their family benefited from the soap, why wouldn’t other families? MamaSuds was born!

How MamaSuds got started. From Michelle: ” I just finished watching the documentary Food, inc., and while it really enraged me at the core, it really reminded me of how I started this journey that I am on. I have struggled a little bit along the way because I didn’t know where my path was leading me, and my Type A mentality was having trouble understanding how to go down a path without having a plan or a backup plan. The journey started when I began learning about essential oils and their natural healing ability. Then I decided to make my own baby food which led me looking into cloth diapers. While I was informing myself about cloth diapers and convincing my husband of all the benefits we had purchased new nursery furniture for our second baby that was on the way. I had left a bottle of Name-brand baby soap on the nursery dresser and it had fallen over and leaked a tiny amount onto the furniture. After I noticed it, I wiped it off to see it had eaten the varnish off of the new furniture. I remember thinking, huh- if it does that to furniture what’s it doing to the skin of a baby. This of course sent me straight to the Internet to research baby soap and I opened a whole world that I was not prepared for! I bought Castile soap off the Internet and was pretty happy with it except for the fact that it was expensive and I thought, hey let’s look to see if I can make it myself (I don’t have enough to do as it is, haha) Turns out, you can make it yourself but it’s daunting (potassium hydroxide is not easy to find or fun to work with) and it takes hours to make. Nonetheless, I made a few batches and was extremely satisfied. At the same time I was trying out recipes for laundry soap that would clean my cloth diapers.

My point is, sometimes you just have to let the path lead you, even when you can’t see around the corner. I just kept “making it myself” because it felt gratifying and it was for the good of my family. So after watching that riveting documentary it made me realize my Journey is really a path of Getting Back to Basics. Our Earth is an amazing place that really can provide us with everything that we need to be healthy! If I can make it and feel gratified and proud to use it on my family, I feel like it is good enough for yours!”

Please check out her website & Facebook pages:

Website: http://www.mamasuds.com/

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MamaSuds/257240647659779

Voting with our dollars

I say it often– every dollar spent is a vote, I know many of you feel the same. But how do we know our votes/dollars are making a difference? Well, Poofy organics has had so many orders coming in that they’re hiring a 5th person!! They make their products the day they are ordered, as they don’t use harsh preservatives this is very important! They made 200 tubes of sunscreen just yesterday! While I know not all orders are from y’all on this page, Kristina feels many of them are. WE helped create another US job. WE ARE sending a message about the products we want for our families. Change is change, no matter how small!! This all puts a huge smile on my face!!

What I use in my home (cleaning & personal care products)

I’ve been asked to provide examples of what I use in my home, so here’s an overview:

All-purpose cleaner– orange peel-infused vinegar: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=494009793947999&set=a.494009763948002.128085.397517646930548&type=3&theater. I also recently reviewed Poofy Organics all-purpose cleaner, which works great, is completely safe for your family, and a great option for those that don’t love the vinegar option (review of Poofy’s all-purpose included here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1367958624.&type=3&theater). A thread on the numerous uses for both white & apple cider vinegar: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=630823000266677&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater

 

Laundry: EcoNuts & wool dryer balls: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/truly-natural-laundry-solutions-soap-nuts-wool-dryer-balls/556789574336687

 

Dish soap:  After years of looking for the perfect, safe, effective dish soap, I’ve finally found it & am thrilled!! Poofy Organics has just come out with one, and it’s the ONLY one I feel comfortable recommending or using!  http://www.poofscloset.com/servlet/the-638/*I-AM-goddess*-VESTA/Detail

 

Shampoo/Conditioner: In the last year I used Dr. Bronner’s baby mild, diluted 50%, for several months, went No Poo several months (info on that: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=626628940686083&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater). Most recently I’ve been using shampoo/conditioner from Poofy Organics as I wanted to try to find a great product to recommend to ya’ll, as I know the No Poo method isn’t for everyone. I’ll likely go back to No Poo after my Poofy bottles are gone, but recommend Poofy products 100% (link to my review of several of their wonderful products: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1367958624.&type=3&theater). Josiah’s Oils also just released one that is available in samples sizes, and Fiddlebump’s has one as well. I have reviews of all of these in my reviews album.

 

Other soap needs: shampoo/body wash for babe (starting at ~18 months, I used nothing but water on him until then)- Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild, diluted 50% with water. I also use it as handsoap & to shave with. Here’s a link to our FAQ album with numerous suggestions: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=646440585371585&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater. MamaSuds also makes a liquid castile that has very minimal ingredients & doesn’t include citric acid, so is even milder than Dr. Bronners- here’s my review of this product & her liquid laundry soap: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=660935610588749&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

 

 

Moisturizer: Coconut oil! If that ever isn’t doing the trick, shea butter for extra nourisment, both are great products to have around the house! I also LOVE the face food from Fiddlebump’s for myself: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=640223369326640&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=1&theater. A thread we have on the many uses for coconut oil: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=629106867104957&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater

 

 

Toothpaste: Earthpaste! Here’s my review on that: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=620889077926736&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater. For those that want a certified organic toothpaste, Poofy Organics offers the only one Made in the US currently on the market!

 

 1st aid- (bug bites, sunburn, burns, rashes, the list goes on & on) Bentonite clay is a must have all-purpose solution. I use Redmond Clay, here’s my review with lots & lots of info on uses & how it works, etc: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=687531201262523&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1372946086.&type=3&theater

 

Deodorant: I make my own, and now offer it for sale after numerous requests. Here’s the link to the recipe to make your own, with the most recent comment including the note to purchase mine. If you want a traditional stick form, Poofy Organics, Josiah’s Oils, and Fiddlebump’s all make them.

 

Facial cleanser/astringent– Witchazel or Fiddlebump’s makes an awesome foaming face wash that I love! I’ve also heard great things about Poofy Organics Flawless Face Cleanser. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=640223369326640&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

 

Sunscreen/bugspray- Last summer my babe was 15 months in June. I used Badger baby sunscreen on him, and on my face occasionally as well. I also used the Badger Balm stick as bug repellent on his exposed skin, and the Badger spray on his clothing. I feel they all work well! I still have some of all those left from last year, but also have samples from Poofy Organics that I’ll be using this summer. Spring has been very late in arriving her in WI this year, so I haven’t had much of a chance to test either out but recommend them based on the safety of the ingredients. Here’s a very good note about issues related to sunscreen: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/sunscreen-spf-is-it-just-a-numbers-game/656768194338824.

Update (6/18/13) I have now sampled & reviewed 3 lines that make sunscreen and/or bug spray that I recommend- here are links to the reviews

–Fiddlebump’s review (bug spray) : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=640223369326640&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

–Josiah’s Oils review (sun stick & bug spray): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=678783912137252&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

–Poofy Organics review: (sunscreen & bug spray): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

red-approved

I’ve been asked to provide examples of what I use in my home, so here’s an overview:

All-purpose cleaner– orange peel-infused vinegar: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=494009793947999&set=a.494009763948002.128085.397517646930548&type=3&theater. I also recently reviewed Poofy Organics all-purpose cleaner, which works great, is completely safe for your family, and a great option for those that don’t love the vinegar option (review of Poofy’s all-purpose included here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1367958624.&type=3&theater). A thread on the numerous uses for both white & apple cider vinegar: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=630823000266677&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater

 

Laundry: EcoNuts & wool dryer balls: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/truly-natural-laundry-solutions-soap-nuts-wool-dryer-balls/556789574336687

 

Dish soap: After years of looking for the perfect, safe, effective dish soap, I’ve finally found it & am thrilled!! Poofy Organics has just come out with one, and it’s the ONLY one I feel comfortable recommending or using!  http://www.poofscloset.com/servlet/the-638/*I-AM-goddess*-VESTA/Detail

 

Shampoo/Conditioner: In the last year I used Dr. Bronner’s baby mild, diluted 50%, for several months, went No Poo several months (info on that: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=626628940686083&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater). Most recently I’ve been using shampoo/conditioner from Poofy Organics as I wanted to try to find a great product to recommend to ya’ll, as I know the No Poo method isn’t for everyone. I’ll likely go back to No Poo after my Poofy bottles are gone, but recommend Poofy products 100% (link to my review of several of their wonderful products: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1367958624.&type=3&theater)

 

Other soap needs: shampoo/body wash for babe (starting at ~18 months, I used nothing but water on him until then)- Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild, diluted 50% with water. I also use it as handsoap & to shave with. Here’s a link to our FAQ album with numerous suggestions: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=646440585371585&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater. MamaSuds also makes a liquid castile that has very minimal ingredients & doesn’t include citric acid, so is even milder than Dr. Bronners- here’s my review of this product & her liquid laundry soap: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=660935610588749&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

 1st aid- (bug bites, sunburn, burns, rashes, the list goes on & on) Bentonite clay is a must have all-purpose solution. I use Redmond Clay, here’s my review with lots & lots of info on uses & how it works, etc: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=687531201262523&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1372946086.&type=3&theater

Moisturizer: Coconut oil! If that ever isn’t doing the trick, shea butter for extra nourisment, both are great products to have around the house! I also LOVE the face food from Fiddlebump’s for myself: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=640223369326640&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=1&theater. A thread we have on the many uses for coconut oil: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=629106867104957&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater

Toothpaste: Earthpaste! Here’s my review on that: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=620889077926736&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater. For those that want a certified organic toothpaste, Poofy Organics offers the only one Made in the US currently on the market!

Deodorant: I make my own, and now offer it for sale after numerous requests. Here’s the link to the recipe to make your own, with the most recent comment including the note to purchase mine. If you want a traditional stick form, Poofy Organics is my recommendation, included in my recent review here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=pb.397517646930548.-2207520000.1367958624.&type=3&theater

Facial Cleanser– Witchazel  or Fiddlebump’s makes an awesome foaming face wash that I love! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=640223369326640&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

Sunscreen/bugspray- Last summer my babe was 15 months in June. I used Badger baby sunscreen on him, and on my face occasionally as well. I also used the Badger Balm stick as bug repellent on his exposed skin, and the Badger spray on his clothing. I feel they all work well! I still have some of all those left from last year, but also have samples from Poofy Organics that I’ll be using this summer. Spring has been very late in arriving her in WI this year, so I haven’t had much of a chance to test either out but recommend them based on the safety of the ingredients. Here’s a very good note about issues related to sunscreen: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/sunscreen-spf-is-it-just-a-numbers-game/656768194338824. Update (6/18/13) I have now sampled & reviewed 3 lines that make sunscreen and/or bug spray that I recommend- here are links to the reviews (I’m in the process of seeing which bugspray is the most effective, as bugs are just starting to get bad here in WI:

Fiddlebump’s review: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=640223369326640&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

Josiah’s Oils review (sun stick & bug spray): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=678783912137252&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

Poofy Organics review: (sunscreen & bug spray): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657087054306938&set=a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548&type=3&theater

Poofy Organics Review

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As all of us have different skin/hair/water/expectations, of course results will vary. These are my experiences with these products, and I don’t expect any product to satisfy 100% of the people who try it… AND, I did become an “official” affiliate of Poofy Organics as of 6/15/14 after more than a year of recommending these products every, single day. So, I truly appreciate your support if/when ordering your Poofy products, by using this link:  https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/

THANK YOU in advance 🙂

Poofy Organics has been on my “approved” list for several months, after it was suggested I check out the line by someone on my page. Looking them up in EWG put a huge smile on my face, as did reading several of their labels. EWG lists 115 products rating 0-3. You have to scroll a really long way to get past the products that rate at 0 (nearly 2 pages) to even find ones that rate at 1, only 7/115 they list rate at 2. And, as always EWG is not all that up-to-date, and I noticed several products listed that aren’t currently offered via Poofy’s website. Indeed, the 4 products that EWG rated at a 3 have been eliminated from Poofy’s line! There are no harsh preservatives to be found, the ingredient lists are minimal, and the array of organic ingredients used in each product is astounding. I liked what I saw & added them to my list. But, I hadn’t tried any of the products, so was always hesitant to recommend anything specific when asked for recommendations for frequently asked questions such as shampoo/conditioner, etc. I am SO thankful that Kristina, the owner of Poofy Organics (and one of the 4 employees in addition to her mother) agreed to send me several samples. I’m well aware that companies such as Poofy get multiple requests a day for product samples from bloggers such as myself, and would go broke if they agreed to all of them. Kristina knew she could count on me to give my honest opinion of her products, and that you all place great value in my reviews, so she agreed to send me several samples! The amazing thing about dealing with a very small company like this is any time I had a question (and I ask a LOT of questions!), Kristina had them answered beyond satisfaction within hours. She knows everything there is to know about these products. Why? Because she makes them herself. I wish I could say the same for experiences I’ve had with other companies. I’ve had questions go unanswered for a month as the person selling them is so far removed from actually making them.

So, here’s a list of products I was sent, their ingredients, prices, and my thoughts on them. Followed by additional info on this company and their products that I enjoyed learning about, and hope you will too.

Dish Soap– A safe, effective dish soap is one of the most FAQ I get on this page, and I’ve been very frustrated with the options, even the safest ones have ingredients of concern. The ingredients in this are fabulous, and it works SO well The 1st time I tried it was with a tiny sink of dishes, just to see how it worked. I did the dishes, went outside for an hour or more, and came back & there were still bubbles in the sink! Then I let the dishes build up to the point where I had 2 sinks full and put it to the test again, the bubbles lasted through the whole load, and it was a pretty greasy load too! Last night hubby did dishes & without me asking for feedback he said “Wow, this stuff gets them squeaky clean”, and it really, really did. The dishes were so clean, no leftover grease or grime that I’ve experienced with some of the more eco-friendly brands I’ve tried. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and hope many of you are as excited as I am. Ingredients: Purified Water, Saponified Organic Oils of Coconut, Olive & Jojoba, Decyl Polyglucose ( EWG rating of 0!), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Xanthan Gum (EWG rating of 0), Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Essential oils of Lemon & Rosemary, rosemary extract. Price=$10.00/16 oz. bottle. Many brands say just use a tiny amount, but I always find myself squirting quite a bit in for desired effect, but you honestly just need a little squirt of this stuff. AND, it has a wonderful, clean, fresh scent! he Xanthan gum and Decyl Polyglucose are from non-gmo corn and the glycerine is USDA organic from soy.

Shampoo– $13/ 8 oz.  I was sent Orange Sweetness (I’m a huge citrus-scent fan). One of the most frequently asked questions asked on the page is about shampoo & conditioners. I had been using the No Poo method for several months (largely due to my frustration at finding a safe option), and was quite happy with it, but really wanted to have an answer to this question when asked, as I know the No Poo method isn’t for everyone. I had been pointing those asking to my list of ~15 ‘Approved’ companies & telling them to choose one from there, but that can be daunting too. So, I was really happy when Poofy Organics agreed to send me samples of these 2 products! Yes, the ingredient labels look great, but I always hate to recommend a product without trying it, as it’s nice to know if it really is effective. I now know that I can recommend them without hesitation. A little bit goes a long way (I did chop my hair shoulder-length recently though), it lathers, it smells great, it has all the features we all want shampoo to have. I used it a few times without conditioner, and my hair felt great, as apple cider vinegar is an ingredient that conditions also. My hair felt clean & not weighed down. I’ve been using this for about a month and have used ~1/4 of the bottle. The ingredient label is one of the most minimal I’ve seen on any shampoo: Purified Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Essential Oil, Xanthan Gum. Here’s the link to the page with all shampoo/conditioner options:

Conditioner– $15 for 8 oz. I was sent the Hair Hero Intensive conditioner. As the name implies, it’s very intensive, and not recommended for everyday use. If you have wonderful, healthy hair, this may be too much for your needs, but if you have dry/damaged hair, this is the one for you! This works well with my hair washing routine which stems from my No Poo experience, which is washing it just a couple times/week. Also, $15 may seem expensive, but HONESTLY, you need a teeny, tiny dab of this stuff, any more & you’ll have greasy hair. I literally use a pea-sized amount, rub it around in my palms a bit, and gently finger it through the ends of my hair. I did recently chop my hair to shoulder-length though, so you’ll need a bit more with longer hair obviously, but still this will be the most minimal-use conditioner you’ll ever use. It leaves my hair feeling so soft, healthy & shiny-looking, I truly love it. I was also sent a spray/leave-in conditioner which is different from the one they are currently offering. The current formula was a bit greasy, so Kristina reworked it to make it less greasy, and appropriate for kids & adults alike. I’ve only sampled it a couple of times but loved how my hair felt after drying. It was soft, yet not oily or greasy whatsoever. Kristina is putting the final touches on this product & it should be available in the next month- I’ll surely let you know when it is! Ingredients for Hair Hero Intensive Conditioner: Distilled Water, Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Organic Rosemary Extract, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (Kimchi Seaweed), Organic Lemon essential Oil, Organic Rosemary Essential Oil.

Toothpaste– First USDA Organic toothpaste on market!! $8.00 for 3.4 oz. tube. The search for safe, effective toothpaste has not been easy. So many of the “natural” ones on the market (Tom’s, Jason, etc) contain ingredients such as SLS, carrageenan, and others that I don’t want to use myself, let alone let my toddler put in his mouth. If you’ve been on my page for any length of time you know I’m a huge Earthpaste lover. But, it is not certified organic, which I know many of you care about—so this is the paste for you! The version I sampled leaves your mouth feeling incredibly clean & fresh, cardamom & cinnamon are the overwhelming tastes that are left in my mouth. It is too intense for my toddler, he made quite the face when sampling it, but they have a cherry flavored one for kids ($6 for that version, it does contain organic glycerin which some like to avoid in toothpaste, others are fine with, I encourage you to research this & decide for yourself).  Ingredients: Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Organic Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Powder, Bentonite Clay, Aluminum-Free Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Organic Erythritol, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, Organic Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Essential Oil, Organic Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Essential Oil, Organic Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Essential Oil. This link provides more details about the ingredients used and their purpose/benefits to your teeth:

Deodorant—$10 for 2.65 oz. stick. I was sent a Peppymint tea, other scents include Piña Colada, and Patchouli Citrus Clove in stick form. They also offer a spray, and cream. This is one of the few products my hubby has been excited to have some input on. I make my own deodorant, it’s a very basic recipe that doesn’t work well as a stick so you need to apply it with your fingers, which he just isn’t thrilled about (I don’t mind it at all). Also, I’m not a huge peppermint fan, but hubby is, so this was the perfect product for him to try out. My husband is a very active outdoorsy-type, and has been using this deodorant for about a month. He really likes it! He feels it is very effective at eliminating odor and preventing sweat. Arrowroot powder is a natural moisture absorber. The beeswax and other butters seem to help clog pores to reduce sweating also, at least that’s the conclusion we’ve come to. I don’t know that that’s a scientific fact, but the stuff really works!  Ingredients: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Aluminum-Free Baking Soda, Organic Essential Oils of Peppermint & Tea Tree

 

Argan Oil– 100% pure & raw, USDA organic. $30 for 2 oz glass bottle. I’m totally new to this product. I’ve been seeing it pop up more & more in products recently, and recommended often by others, so was very happy when this item was sent for me to review- I always love to try new products as long as I have no concern over their ingredients/source. I’m assuming many of you are as unfamiliar with this oil as I am/was, so here’s some info on it that I gleaned from Poofy’s site: “The Argan, a Moroccan tree exist no-where-else in the world! Very rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E and more, AO is famous for its pure natural hydrating and revitalizing properties. An anti-wrinkle product that is made by mother nature.” They give many suggested uses for it: revitalizing oil for face and body, strengthening soft & brittle nails, emollient (capillary mask for beautiful hair), massage therapy, and I’m sure there are plenty of more uses for it. I have mainly been using it after washing my face before bed as a moisturizer. YES, it is expensive. BUT, it comes with a dropper, and you honestly do just need a drop here & there. I put a drop on my finger for under each eye, 2-3 drops on my chin/neck, and a couple of drops for the rest of my face. I’ve used it in my hair a few times after shampooing with no conditioner. I let my hair dry, drop 3-4 drops of the oil in the palm of my hand & lightly run my hands through my hair. It does a wonderful job taming dry, winter, static hair.

Sunscreen– $14 3.4 oz tube– SPF 30. Safe for the whole family! The only other sunscreen I’ve used on my babe, on the occasion when covering up isn’t practical, is Badger Balm. Poofy’s sunscreen is very similar to Badger’s, both contain non-nano particle zinc (a must!). The one difference that many of you who’ve tried Badger will like is that Poofy’s isn’t as thick so it applies easier & smoother. Spring has been very, very late in arriving here in Wisconsin this year, and I’ve only sampled this on my babe once so far when we went to the park for a few hours on a nice day. As it was some of his 1st sun exposure of the year I was nervous about him turning pink quickly. He kept his hat on for 1 hour, and the other hour I left the hat off to let him absorb some Vitamin D, and applied the sunscreen to his face, which didn’t turn even the slightest shade of pink. I will update my post on this as summer finally gets here & I have more occasion to sample it, but I have no doubt it is an effective, safe sunscreen that I have no hesitation recommending. Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Zinc Oxide, Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Natural Vitamin E.

***And here’s an article Jolene just wrote about all things sunscreen-related: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/sunscreen-spf-is-it-just-a-numbers-game/656768194338824

All Purpose Cleaner- $8 for 17 oz. I usually use orange peel-infused vinegar as my all-purpose, but this happened to arrive right as I was at the end of a batch of that, and I didn’t have the next batch soaking yet which takes a couple of weeks, so the timing was perfect to put this to the test. I have used this on numerous surfaces in my home: everything in the bathroom & the kitchen, mirrors, anything you would use an all-purpose cleaner on. In addition to working great, what I love about it is being able to spray down my bathroom & get some cleaning done while my toddler is taking his bath right next to me with absolutely no concern for what we are both inhaling in the air. The spray has a wonderful, clean smell, and really, truly works on all surfaces I’ve tried. Ingredients: Saponified Organic Oils of Coconut, Olive & Jojoba, Organic Aloe Vera, Essential Oils of Peppermint, Lavender & Tea Tree, Rosemary Extract. h

Bug spray– $10 for 2.8 oz. I know many of you live in climates where you do have pests year-round, so wanted to bring this option to your attention. I live on the banks of a river and it’s just a matter of time before mosquitos are a real issue here. I will update this post & let you all know as soon as I’ve had a few opportunities to put this to the test. I can tell from the ingredients that it should be an effective, yet very safe option for our families! Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil, Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil, Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Organic Geranium Rose Essential Oil, Organic Clove Essential Oil, Organic Rosemary Essential Oil.

Kristina loves making new products, and I have samples of a couple more products en route that she would like feedback on. I’m excited to try them out, and be part of this growing line of great products. Other categories of Poofy Products, with several options in each category: Holiday Gifts & Baskets, Baby & Mommy, Bath & Shower, Body Butter, Lotion, & Scrubs, Cosmetics, Deodorant & Toothpaste, Eczema Relief & Natural Remedies, Essential Oils, Facial Care, Hair Care, Henna for hair & body, Lip Balm, Nail Polish & Remover, Soap & Sanitizer, Sunscreen & Bug Spray, and their I AM goddess line.

Additional info about Poofy Organics that I’d like to share with you:

You’ve now got two lines – Poofy Naturals and Poofy Organics. What is the difference (from interview: http://www.healthybeautyproject.com/beauty-space/understanding-organic-certification-poofy-organics/)? “Poofy Organics is entirely USDA organic.  EVERY product in the line is certified USDA organic.  On the other hand, Poofy Supernaturals uses USDA organic ingredients; however, because technically the organic standards are not separated for food & personal care products, any ingredients not allowed in food are not allowed in personal care either.  So, ingredients such as decyl polyglucose which is a corn sugar (non-GMO) is not certifiable.  Rest assured, it is a completely safe and benign ingredient and used as a saponifiying agent in our shampoos. NSF allows it in their certification process, but the USDA does not.  Because of this, we have Poofy Supernaturals.  I think what makes Poofy Supernaturals different from your typical company trying to use organic ingredients with conventional ingredients is that we still uphold the strictest standards in those products.  With some companies, you can see organic ingredients mixed with chemicals.  We feel that defeats the purpose of the organic ingredient and would never do so!”

*They actually have 3 lines, with a teen line in the works! The I AM Goddess collection is a direct sales/middle-level marketing/home party line, I’m sure you’re all familiar with this idea. Here’s what Kristina had to say about this approach: “So far, with our Direct Sales portion, we have 12 DIVAs- they are doing a great job spreading the word… we do not have all the same products in the I AM goddess collection- it is much smaller in comparison to POOFY… it’s just that at the time, people were asking to do parties, so I gave in”. For $150 you can buy a starter kit & get started selling these great products from home!

Are these products only available online? The do have one retail location in Rutherford NJ. Otherwise you will find them stocked in select Whole Foods locations on the East Coast, and they also have outlets in 6 states (one in WI even, I’m hoping to make that 2 as I work to get the line on the shelves of my food co-op!). This may lead you to believe this is a large company. Poofy Organics has only 4 employees 2 of those being Kristina (the owner) and her mother. Which leads me into my next topic which I absolutely LOVE about this company. Most people think only huge companies can take the necessary steps to become organic certified. Not true. Poofy Organics is a great case in point that anyone with enough determination can make this happen. It’s not an easy process, but one I’ll gladly support by paying a couple extra dollars per product to reward. The following paragraph discusses why they decided to go for the certification, and there is a fabulous article attached that discusses what the entire process entails.

Why did you decide to get USDA certification? We wanted to show our customers what we already knew! Anyone can claim organic status. We wanted our customers to have peace of mind. I know when I look at a product, I feel better when it has a seal on it- otherwise, it’s just hearsay. There are a lot of bath & body companies who have recently launched in response to the realization that the government allows such horrendous ingredients into our products. We wanted to stand out from our competitors. Plus, I wanted my company to be the best it could possibly be. I looked at it as a challenge that I wanted to complete! To read the entire article which discusses organic certification and so much more, please follow this link: http://www.healthybeautyproject.com/beauty-space/understanding-organic-certification-poofy-organics/

I LOVE this Q & A from their FAQ section:

Q: How quickly will I receive my products?
A: We do our best to create your product the day you order it. Because all of our products are fresh, we cannot overstock our items. (How many companies can say that?!)

As you can tell, I’m VERY impressed with the products & the company philosophy of Poofy Organics. This line truly has something for everyone. I hope you found this info useful & it will help you when making future decisions regarding safe products you need for your family. For more info, please visit their Website and/or Facebook page.

Website: poofyorganics.com/ecofriendlyusa

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poofy-Organics/137445399609077

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