Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Sh!t I Don't Buy (or use)

For the last ten years I have not bought traditional (aka toxic) house cleaners, dish soaps, body soap, shampoo, conditioner, or deoderant. No, I don't shop lift them or get them for free... I stopped using that stuff and here is how it all started:::
When I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease I was told that not only would my diet be changed but also anything I used as a personal care product, on any surface in my home or on my body needed to be gluten free also. Back in the day I already ate organic, and when I sent out nearly 100 letters and far more phone calls to companies trying to search for gluten free & healthy alternatives to clean up with not one company could say they were safe for me to use. Lawsuit worries, combined with the fact that gluten is in nearly every product Americans purchase in ways you would never guess.
What happened at the time was I was really sick, mostly bed ridden, mostly in a wheelchair and I thought 'what the hell, who needs that shit anyway!'
It wouldnt matter if I didn't use shampoo, it wasn't like I had a HAwT date while I was half dead and 80 pounds.
Much to my OCD mother's dismay, I began a life of chemical and gluten free discoveries about ways to naturally keep me and my home clean without creepy goops, sprays, lotions, potions that all came in wasteful packaging anyhow. My hair took a few weeks to adjust. My skin seemed to never care. My mom swore she suddenly could smell my armpitts (even though I had not put on deoderant for years prior to that time)... but I soldiered on.
And now ten years later...
Here are the 'cleaners' I use instead of store bought products::::

1. Shampoo/Conditioner ---> Hot water plus Salt (or) Boiled lemon with lavender (or)Straight lemon squeeze (or) Vinegar (rarely unless i do something stupid like put olive oil in my hair to make it beautiful only to discover I can't get it to wash out for 3 weeks!)

2. Deoderant ---> I do like the europeans. Just wipe um' and go. Covering up your special hormonal scent is going to get ya in bed with the wrong kinda guy.

3. Mopping ---> I mop with water mixed with vinegar and baking soda. Alternately if you are not scent sensitive you can use an essential oil mixed in water to mop with, I use cypress.

4. Kitchen/Bathroom ---> A blender helps with this, cause if you blend ginger & lemon it makes an amazing surface cleaner. The ginger will eat through the nasty build up on your stove too! If you don't have a blender, using a lemon or vinegar straight up is good... i use apple cider vinegar cause it's gluten free.

5. Dishes ---> Hot water with fresh squeezed lemon. When something needs a scrub I use salt. If a pot has something caked/burned on the bottom boiling a lemon with water in that pot and letting it soak helps lift the skank.

6. Detergant ---> Baking soda ( and/or apple cider vinegar) works the best on clothes. Lemons are ok, but I don't think the PH is good for the clothes on a regular basis, especially natural fiber clothing.

Much of the products people use these days are hype. We are led to believe by advertising that if we don't buy these things we will be covered in germs (I haven't caught a cold or flu or any contagious illness in many years), we are led to believe we will "stink" or be a "dirty hippy", or that babies shouldn't be allowed to crawl on our floor... but new studies have shown all our hand sanitizer use, anti bacterial shit, chemical for hair and body, and paranoia of the natural world (dirt & animals) is actually destroying our health. Doctors think that this faux cleanliness is the leading cause for allergies and autoimmune diseases, not to mention epidemic spreading of colds and flues.
The saying is now "cleanliness is next to sickliness"...
and I believe it.
Read about it Here... here and at web MD here.



Kittie Howard said...

Great tips, Leslie. I especially liked the ginger/lemon blend. I've been using vinegar for years...a German friend pointed me in that direction. Vinegar's cheap and a helluva cleaner.

I've also had it with this uber cleanliness hype. When I was a kid, it was unusual for kids to have allergies, asthma and so on. We played outside, got dirty and had fun and stayed healthy.

Wild Canary said...

Hey, Leslie...your tips are great....I am posting on my profile..cause you say things differently than I do and more people may listen! Thanks for exampling a great way to live...fragrance free...paraben free...toxic chemical free. Playing in the dirt gives us good bacteria.

Cosmic said...

Great post Leslie(great minds really do think alike:)!


Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Kittie! :)
Using these things are much cheaper then buying expensive "cleaners". Also, I don't obsessively clean either... mopping my floor today spawned this post though. :)

Wild Canary ---
SO glad you will share!
I grew up in a household full of chemical, my mom is a interior decorator who also has OCD and would clean several times a day with chemicals. She has now made the switch to 'green cleaners' which I think is so cool. She also switched to no VOC paints for her clients.
She still doesnt like dirt. But i always did!!!

<3 xoxox

Joyful Living said...

Clay, sand, mud - all great cleansers and abrasives.

Clay, sand, some vinegar and baking soda will work as a good bubbly scrubber.

How do you heat your water?


Demetrius said...

Nice one and very interesting. How many more people will soon have to go down the same road? You might like this one:


For those of us who remember the 1940's where did all this stuff come from?

Val said...

Great tips, thanks! It's amazing the chemicals we surround ourselves with and I had no idea that gluten hides in all this stuff, too. Yikes! I love your blog, Leslie and look forward to the weekly dance-off.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Joyful Living -

I never heard of clay as a house cleanser! what a neat addition :))

I have a tiny electric hot water heater, which I hope I can change to somethiing more sustainable soon.

Demetrius - Thanks for the link.
I have read that many of the chemical cleansers came when companies had left over by-products during manufacturing and wanted to sell it off as something. I mean, they use to tell women to douche with Lysol!!!

Welcome Val!
I am looking forward to Dance Off picking up momentum myself... two videos up so far for week one, and justa hint next week is Michael Jackson week!! YAY

Stephanie Rogers said...

I love these super simple tips that are so effective. I'm going to try your 'shampoo' boiled lemon & lavender concoction, that sounds interesting. My hair is naturally so oily that I if I don't shampoo it every day, my hair literally looks wet and greasy... ew... but maybe the lemon would be better for it.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Stephanie!
I had the same thing going with my hair, it was total grease blob after one or two days. It literally took a few months for it to fully adjust and stop being greaseball.
Most people don't wanna go through that, i was not in public at the time and so it didnt matter much to me.
It will get gross now, but i have to go over a month without washing it for it to do what it used to in a day or two.
The lemon & lavender takes the grease build up out your hair.
I like the way it smells too. :)))