I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Castile Soap

I recently discovered castile soap. I had seen it before, but didn't have a clue about it, and honestly, it wasn't on the top, or near the top, or my priority list until a couple of months ago. Then there is was, and so. Castile soap is oil based, and the purist of the pure is made from olive oil. Essential oils scent it. Its versatility is what really caught my eye. People use it for everything from cleaning themselves, to cleaning their homes, their dishes, their laundry. My thoughts on each (liquid castile): 

Cleaning self: Um, ok. It's so-so. Using the liquid soap on the skin is good. It's gentle and cleans well. I use it in the hand soap dispensers. I'm lazy about using it in the shower. As a shampoo, you really need to mix it so that works for your hair type. Castile alone left my hair very, very soft, but also limp and feeling filmy. I mixed it with baking soda as someone online had suggested. The results were much better...much better. But I have to say I have been quick to grab store bought shampoo instead. I'm working on myself to pursue this more. We'll see.

Cleaning the home: Excellent. I use castile soap, baking soda and vinegar to clean the house. That's it, and it's great. Baking soda and vinegar are excellent at clearing plugged drains, too, and no scary fuming chemicals. Love that.

Dishes: I've read many accounts of castile soap leaving a film on the dishes. I haven't even tried it.

Laundry: My absolute favorite use. I got a recipe (there are many) online for laundry detergent using castile soap, baking soda, washing soda and vinegar. I have used nothing but for weeks now. It cleans at least as well as the store bought laundry detergent (to my surprise!) and it's easy to make. It reduces cost and plastic containers. I reuse a coffee can (plastic) to make and store it. 

Castile soap is completely biodegradable, safe, natural, the works. You can use it on babies! I love it. As I said, I don't love it for everything, but I use it for a lot of things, and feel good about it. 

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