Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Category

Never use a serrated knife to cut paper towels: a how-to & how-not-to on baby wipes

“We’re out of baby wipes.” says my darling husband. I take a deep breath, I had just come in from a long day at work and had absolutely no intention of leaving the house again that night. Well, I’ll just make my own. How hard can it be?

Now, I had reason to be optimistic, I had been making my own wipe solution for sometime. The thing is, hubby and I see things differently when it comes to reusable diaper supplies. I believe in them, he doesn’t. He, being the primary care giver, generally gets the last say. On this though we compromise, and by that I mean he buys disposable wipes that he uses and I use cloth wipes in a homemade solution. I had thrown around the idea about making my own disposable wipes for quite a while but I could never find the time or motivation. The thing is, that same morning after I stumbled out of bed to change snuggle bugs diaper I happened to be out of cloth wipes (laundry not being one of my strong points). What I didn’t realize was overnight a blister on my thumb had burst. I reached for the generic store bought wipes, bleary eyed and half comatose, Holy searing pain Batman!!! I threw it down.  What the heck is in these things, hot acid?!? No wonder the kid didn’t like having his diaper changed.  So later when I got home and learned we were out of the skin eating, scream inducing baby wipes, my decision was made.

Ok, here is the recipe for my solution, I have tried a couple different ratios and this is the one that I like the best:

2cups boiling water
2tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (or olive oil)
1tbsp Castile soap (I like the tea tree or rose scented)

Easy enough, easy to double if making a larger batch, AND will NOT sting even if used on an open sore. On top of that both coconut oil and tea tree are naturally anti-fungal and super good for baby’s skin.

Now, what to use for the actual wipes. As I  previously stated I have used cotton wash cloths soaked them in the mixture and stored them in a wipes warmer. Works like a charm. But what about those who want disposable wipes? I had read somewhere that you can use paper towels. To do so you need:

1 roll heavy-duty paper towels
Some sort of sharp object
Empty round wipes container (the center pull out kind)

Let’s see, first things first.  Cut the roll of paper towels in half with afore-mentioned sharp object. Well of course i started with the obvious choice, heavy duty scissors…… Not so heavy duty after all, barely left a mark. Hmmmmm it’s just paper, maybe I could slice through it with my razor sharp chefs knife!…………. Well that got through all of about four layers. *scratches head* Paper is made out of wood and you use a saw to cut wood, (can you see where this is going?) let’s see…… A saw has teeth, this serrated knife has teeth…….. it will be perfect! (insert goofy grin here) ………. Well, it cut, or rather shredded it’s way through the roll. Half way through you would have thought I had taken up shearing sheep in my kitchen. By the time I finished I stood knee deep in a winter wonderland of fluffy  paper towel snow. But at least I had the roll in 2 halves. Victory is mine!

The next two steps are to soak one of the paper towel roll halves by setting it upright in a bowl with wipe solution. Then set it aside and let cool. Once cool the cardboard center should slide out. Gently squeeze excess solution out and place in round container. You should be able to grab the end of the roll from the center (where the cardboard used to be). TaDa you have homemade chlorine and alcohol free wipes for your little persons bum.

On a side note I have so far been unable to find the round wipes containers and so have been forced to unroll the entire roll of towels and refold to fit in a standard rectangle wipes container. It works but is a bit more time consuming.

Thanks for reading:)

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It all started with a boob

Well, two boobs actually, Mine. I know what you’re thinking, “here we go another breastfeeding hippy momma trying to save the world one boobie at a time”. It’s not like that really! It sorta goes like this:

I was the lofty age of 29 and I had been married for a few years. As far as I was concerned I was a pretty earth conscious individual. I mean I tried to remember to turn off the lights when I left the room, or the water while I brushed my teeth. In fact as a family we had gone from only recycling on occasion to recycling about 70-80% of our waste. I thought we were on an ecological roll! Then I got the surprise of my life.

Woah! That changed things a bit. All of a sudden I started second guessing everything. Run of the mill just wasn’t good enough.  Clean just wasn’t clean enough. (this is where you think I’m gonna start cutting out anything toxic) Oddly enough I started using MORE cleaning products MORE chemicals. Skyrocketing our spending and our exposure simultaneously. Oh boy, I was on a roll alright!
I was however doing something right. I was very committed to breastfeeding my darling son Max. It was something I felt very strongly about. Like so many breastfeeding moms I ran into a few roadblocks, and like many others I didn’t have experienced mothers to look to for advice. But what my generation lacks in experienced peers we try to make up in masses of easily accessible (if not as easily sorted through) information. Surprise! I turned to the Internet. Through certain social networking sites I was fortunate enough to connect to a handful of people who would change how I live. People like Jessica (@TheLeakyBoob) and Janelle (@HealthyChild) and many others helped me first with any breastfeeding issues I may have had, but also peaked my interest in living healthier, safer, more cost-effective lives. I learned that you didn’t have to douse your bathroom in bleach to keep it clean, sparkly, and smelling great. I that I don’t have to buy the really expensive pink laundry detergent to wash my sons clothes. That there were other options that were better for him AND our wallets! *insert giant light bulb going off*
Now I am by no means the best example of sustainable living. I am a mom with a full-time job and like most I suffer from the lack of hours in a day. But I AM learning. I AM trying to find ways to incorporate what I learn into our family’s life. Sometimes it works, sometimes in doesn’t, and sometimes we just laugh.

Thanks for reading:)

Tabitha

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