Make Natural Lip Balm                  Supernatural Spring Green Cleaning Recipes & Formulas   

                           automatic dishwasher formula *  castile as a laundry soap *  dry laundry booster  essential oils in mop water    garden soap  * castile & pets   mold spray                           

How to "Go Green" with Class While Going Natural as Well by Deborah Dolen

Of course you separate your empty cans from your glass bottles and make sure paper products also go in dedicated bins meant just for them.  You even bought those hideous looking bags at the grocery store to make a statement that you do not need paper bags.  You are the recycling role model for your community.  But what about you?

We treat our bodies like we have another one.  

Going green is not a theory it is a lifestyle.  Going green does not always mean going natural or saving money, so you need to pick a denomination of the concept that promotes all three.   I have always preached is going green while going natural and saving money.  Possible because I do not sell expensive windmills, not that I dislike windmills.  I think everyone should have a windmill.  Good practices have to "work" in real life and have a great benefit or people are just not going to have any real on-going commitment.  Saving the wallet and protecting health does come before saving the world. 

My largest concern has gone diluted in all of my years of writing.  My biggest reason for going green is my health.    Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs over 60% of what is put on it - which goes right into our blood stream.   The health costs of what non-green products have done to our general health is astronomical.   Do you understand the water you shower with goes right into your body? Get your "green" priorities straight before you are too sick to pick a bin in which to recycle what you are trying to throw out.

Address your water first and what you put on your skin, second.  Work from the inside out in your going green effort.  It is my opinion you cannot filter water enough and that is a complete novel of its own.  And 99% of bottled water is a major farce not to mention a plastics load on the environment, so do not look there.   Filter everything, and twice if you can.  When I opened my first apothecary in Houston a lady asked me what I thought of a rash on her neck and chest-not that I am a Doctor but hers sure did not have a clue.  She said she had suffered horribly for several years.  I simply asked her a question and she came up with her own answer.  "Is that where your shower water hits you?"  I asked her.  And the same situation a few months later with a child who had a rash feet to his trunk.  I asked "does he bathe instead of shower and would that be his general water line?"  I do not sell water purifiers and it is a pity because it is my most important "I was right" moments. Consider this is just bathing not including ingesting.  Read up more on my water articles because I cover a lot of area and will always continue writing on water.  As far as purifiers, I think Consumer Reports listed Amway (of all things)-to be superior in that market.   Once we get past your phenomenological world, then read about going green in the home.  Using cloth towels over paper towels is a huge savings and one of my biggest in my house hold. I think I save over $800 a year while also saving trees.


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Cleaning with essential oils is a non-toxic way to clean the home while lifting your spirits at the same time!  As shown below, the power and energy of an essential oil can be delivered through a variety of systems, alcohol (for disinfecting) and the most common cleaning medium-good old soap and water.   As you may all be aware, we use our own liquid castile soap to clean almost everything. 

Mabel's Miracle Liquid Castile Soap is a vegetable based soap made with 100%  olive oil for its gentle nature and coconut for its lather. It's multipurpose and can be used as a gentle yet effective, fruit and vegetable wash, floor & counter cleaner, laundry soap, window wash, pet shampoo and even straight on the body as the worlds most gentle cleaner. Made in America, it's petrol-free, detergent-free, completely biodegradable with literally hundreds of uses. *Our products are never tested on animals, only on husbands.

Incidentally, bubbles do matter and castile generates beautiful natural soap bubbles.  They are not dramatic, fake and uniform as with the chemical laden SLS surfacants.  We know 60% of what goes on your skin gets in the blood stream.  So go Castile!  (Photo: Castile Bubbles.) 


Cleaning with Liquid Castile Soap & Essential Oils by Staff

We love our Liquid Castile Soap so much we keep a 1/2 gallon by the kitchen sink, in the laundry room and in the bathroom to use as a body wash.    Our cool looking Crane pumps measure one perfect ounce every time! Old fashioned goodness complimented by modern technology.  Beyond great function our method of dispensing liquid soap is definitely a conversation piece.  Everyone wants to know what they are for and what it does!  Our Liquid Castile Soap is now available in Pearly Peppermint and Myers Lemon as well.  The new lemon has  a  natural yellow color from lemon essential oil.  We find the Peppermint great for bath and body.  The Lemon is  more for kitchen/laundry use. 

This article will provide you with easy and uplifting cleaning methods, recipes and Formulas to lift your spirits while you really go green at home base.   *You can use any liquid Castile you can find, although make sure there is olive oil in it and not just all low end vegetable oil components which can be drying to the skin when they constitute 10% of the formula, and they tend to be too watery.  


Cleaning Recipes & Formulas  (excerpts from Maid Holistic by Mabel White)

Every formula has a "base".  In this case we are using soapy Castile water as our base for most cleaning, alcohol 90% or higher as our disinfectant base, bases such as Borax (the Mule Team salts), and/or simple items like baking soda and vinegar.  This also saves substantial money by not having to buy several pricey commercial products to do the time thing. Some of the commercial products we buy we do not even use often-so the overall price is high to you as well as the environment.  

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Automatic Dishwasher Formula

1/4 Teaspoon of Lemon Liquid Castile Soap

2 heaping tablespoons of citric acid

Put the 1 Teaspoon of Lemon Liquid Castile Soap in the soap compartment, and 1 heaping tablespoons of citric shine (citric acid) tossed in the bottom of the unit. It does not matter where. The citric shines everything beyond taking care of the alkaline look when using natural soaps.   Do not use more than 1/4 teaspoon of Castile Liquid Soap or you will have a kitchen full of suds.  This is not going to work without the citric so don't even try it.  To clean residue out of a dishwasher-(we recommend once a year) run 1/2 cup of citric acid through a whole cycle with a 1/4 teaspoon of castile and no dishes in it. This usually will shine your unit.  The same principle works anywhere there is a soap build up, such as bath tubs.  * For wine glasses-just pump a little into each dirty glass and let sit over night.  I LOVE that pump because it saves reaching for a heavy jug when I am already exhausted. Tags: Castile Automatic Dishwasher Recipe. DYI Dishwasher Soap.

Laundry – Making Your Own Laundry Soap

You can use Mabel's Liquid Castile as laundry soap in your 'green routine'. To clean laundry naturally use ¼ cup of liquid castile in the wash.  You can add scent by adding it to the soap you are about to use.  This disperses the scent into the soap first and not directly onto clothes.  The lemon scent will not over ride your choice of scent.  Although uplifting and clean, Lemon is a more "fleeting" scent is one reason why.

1/4 Cup (2 Ounces) of  Mabel's Lemon Liquid Castile Soap

1 Cup of dry Green Laundry Booster (Baking Soda, Borax, Citric Mix)

For serious cleaning power add one cup of a dry booster (baking soda, borax, and citric mix described below). You can add essential oils to the soap about to be used into the soap you poured to wash too! Lavender is a nice choice, Lemon a clean scent, or my favorite, 'Fresh Cut Grass', not an essential oil, per se--but an effective aromatherapy grounding scent. For adding scent we use one pipette full, (1/10 of a ounce) although prudent people suggest only a few drops of essential oil. Either way is fine if it is mixed in the soap first, since the oil disperses into the soap first and not your clothes.  Tags: Castile Do It Yourself Laundry Recipe. Make your own laundry soap. DYI Laundry Soap.

Dry Green Laundry Booster  

2 parts mule team borax

1 part baking soda

1 part citric (Optional)

Borax is a natural salt and helps the soap clean more effectively.  Citric Acid is a great fabric softener. People who try to use vinegar but complain of smell, should use citric acid.  We mix ours and keep it in a reusable one gallon white pail. Many people have tried this entire system and say it cleans just as well as the commercial brands. We agree. They also swear using the soap directly on a stain as a stain remover is as good as the commercial brands. Again, we agree.  Blood, however comes out better with hydrogen peroxide and ink comes out better with hair spray. Something in hair spray lifts ink out really well. Gummy items come off real well with real orange essential oil.  It acts as a solvent. 

Keep hydrogen peroxide in your natural laundry bag of tricks.

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Colds and Flu viruses were reduced 100% in our lab area since we started wiping down after everyone with 90% or higher alcohol over two years ago.  We actually keep it in marked-but pretty hand painted vinegar bottles that have that easy pour spout.  We use the alcohol to disinfect communicable areas, but not until it is cleaned with soapy Castile water. Exceptions to soapy water would be like key boards, but we sure do wipe them down with local.  Alcohol may disinfect (by making germs evaporate with it--sucking the life out of them), but it does not 'clean' an area. Alcohol is not really effective until it's all evaporated, so you need to wait a good five minutes to use an area after wiping it down with alcohol.  Any kind of 90 proof or higher of alcohol is okay; we use the stuff  from the pharmacy, just regular rubbing alcohol.  (Photo name: Stickem Up)

You can add essential oils to alcohol giving it a great scent. Just add a couple of drops of Lavender, Tea Tree (which is a germ busting powerhouse in its own right) per 8 ounces of alcohol. You can even add Ylang Ylang, from the floral family; Lemon, Lime or Siberian Fir Needle essential oils may also be appealing candidates to scent your alcohol. In the autumn you could add a touch of orange and clove essential oils.  The catalytic lamps? This is ALL the base is for fuel.  Alcohol 90% or higher and a few pipettes of scent per 16 ounces of "base." Base meaning alcohol.

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Adding Liquid Castile and Essential Oils to Mop Water

Mop water has never been more interesting!  We use one ounce of Liquid Castile per gallon of mop water, dropping essential oils into our mop water to give it a refreshing, natural and clean scent. Our favorites? Lemon for kitchen and dining areas, Lavender for bedroom areas, Lime or even Peppermint essential oils for the bathrooms.  Siberian Fir Needle is quite pretty and smells like a high class pine. One Mabel Rep told me she loves Spearmint. I tried it and it was seductive.  I know, spearmint seductive? Yes, more so with Lime.

Add up to an ounce of Tea Tree Essential oil to soapy castile water if you need serious germ busting effects-such as areas that are conducive to mold such as showers and toilets.  A few drops of lemon oil can replicate what you may be using to smelling as "clean and fresh."

Mold Spray

You can also make a spray in a spray bottle to specifically target mold instead of using chlorine products. To have that fresh and clean commercial scent, use Lemon essential oil and Tea Tree essential oil for its mold busting powers--shaken with water in a sprayer. Spray all potential mold areas until mixture is gone. This is because certain essential oils do not store well and may melt the plastic pump parts. You may want to "flush out" your pump when done with soapy water made from liquid castile soap. 

What is the Best Mop?

Well sit down next to me and I will tell you!  I have changed mop loyalties.  The Clorox Mop was "OK" even when I made my own essential oil solution to go in their pads. I cannot say it really cleaned much and just became convoluted and expensive over time.  I found a really chic mop that helps me look forward to "mopping" and works!  Under $10 I like the Libman mop.  It does not tend to "hold" micro-organisms in like the cotton mops can-so we need not use Clorox as we would have to really clean the mop.  And with this I am able to drop essential oils into the mop water, switching pretty easily as I change rooms. With essential oils, my time is almost as fun as bath time! Click the photo of the mop to find out where to buy it.



WMD Garden Soap: Spiders and Bug Spray

To make your own natural garden bug controller, add a tablespoon of Mabel’s Liquid Castile Soap to a 16 ounce spray bottle of water.  Adding a few tablespoons of cooking oil to the 'potion' and shaking well will really do them in. Bugs do not really like to hang around soap, and oil seems to suffocate tiny ones. Spray the base of your plants because that is where they tend to 'hop on' and leaves, that they are trying to eat in the first place. If you need extra fighting power, they HATE Geranium Essential Oil, (this is why planting geraniums often protects gardens). So a few drops of geranium and maybe Black Pepper Oil, in your potion, will give you WMD in the garden. Other essential oils they do not like include Lemongrass, Orange, Spearmint, & Peppermint. To make a spider spray for inside the home, you may just want to omit the oil part of the recipe and spray where you think they are gaining entry.

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Pets & Liquid Castile

Rich and creamy, our Castile Liquid Soap is the way to lather Rover and also achieve a clean and shiny coat. Most commercial products in the market are overpriced and geared with heavy scent to make the humans happy. They don't have the proper PH, make the dog miserable as well as rob natural oils from the pets coat as well as cause skin conditions. Also, animals often develop sensitivities to the detergent chemicals commonly used in synthetic pet shampoos. Then we are told they are 'hot spots' as if they are some unexplained phenomena. When your pet suddenly has a skin condition, then they have more high priced products for that too. As far as scent, dogs have 25 more times scent receptors than humans do. It does not take much to overwhelm them. For this reason, essential oils can be used, but sparingly. To use, mix 4 ounces (1/2) a cup of our Castile Liquid Soap too a gallon bucket of water. Mix well and lather away.  (That is Ringo my very spoiled adopted Katrina pooch to the left.)

Essential Oils and Dogs

Never apply essential oils directly to your dogs skin. To repel buds, a dosage of 1 drop per 8 ounces of soapy water of the following essential oils can be used on your pooch: Lemongrass, Lavender, and/or Tea Tree.  Our lemon Castile Soap has enough lemon essential oil to be sufficient. 

Other Natural & Aromatherapy Household Tips

You can spray bath towels with a slight mist of Peppermint for that 'luxurious hotel' feeling. This idea has been borrowed from a Ritz Carlton.  I have said this before and I will say it again. BUY WHITE COTTON TOWELS to rewash instead of paper towels.  That alone will save you a fortune.  I have a "clean" bucket and a "dirty" bucket just for cloth towels.  If you are in the UK you will NOT see a paper towel.  Last I heard they are alive and well over there.

Eucalyptus is another viable essential oil to use in the disinfecting department. 

Orange essential oil will dissolve and get gum off most anything.

Castile for Bathing

Everyone loves the peppermint because it always give a tingly fresh feeling even when entering the hot steamy weather of the summer.  It feels revitalizing.  I look forward to using it as a body wash along with essential oils I drop in the tub.  I know it is natural and will not present toxins into my blood stream. Castile bubbles are also more friendly to those who usually cannot use bubble baths for a reason.  This is because commercial surfactants clean too harshly and strip good bacteria, allowing an imbalance-thus yeast infection.  And Castile Liquid Soap works great in Jacuzzi bath tubs as a bubble bath.  It does not take much-maybe 2 ounces for total luxury!
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See the whole Mabel's Miracles Apothecary Line!

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Making Lip Balm and Power Lip Balm  by Deborah R. Dolen  Basics Updated February 4th, 2010

Yes, I actually still find time to make products for my own family.  This last year I found I was more busy talking about how to live a cooler life and making neat things, but not doing much for myself.  I decided to finally use the beeswax sent to me from the Official Beekeeper of the Queen of England I was sent after my trip to London.  I found the three pound brick of gold with a cute bee emboss could not last forever.  So, I looked at my recipes that were beeswax heavy and I found lip balm was the first plan of usage.  As you may know, most of my balm recipes are 45% SoyWaxTM of an edible nature and 45% most edible oil, and 10% beeswax.  That is a VERY general rule of thumb depending on how hard you need it.  In the winter you will need less hardening waxes and in the summer more-unless you are after jelly which is what would happen in the summer with no extra wax.  The seasonal divergence is about 10% more hardening waxes for summer-defined by when April hits.  After September of each we tend to drop our wax 5%-10%.  I wanted mine firm, but not Lip Balm Stick hard (where it hurts to rake across the lips.)  I decided I also wanted lots of flavor that would compliment the wax.  More flavor this time is why I titled this "power balm."

I mixed our rum flavor oil with our pumpkin flavor oil and used it for 10% of the total formula of the lip balm recipe.  10% more of the recipe was sweet oil because I like mine sweet.  The other 30% was castor oil and the last 50% was the beeswax.   Castor is my pick because it is nourishing.  In that 40% phase I could also swap some castor for shea oil, emu oil, and/or lanolin.  Regarding flavor most flavor oil is used at 5% or less.  This balm with more emphasis on flavor oil came out so awesome, you almost want to drink it!  [A note about Emu oil - I now love Emu oil again as it is the most healing of all oils. I boycotted it for a while because I was worried about the animal aspect.  Emu is a major source of hormone free Jerky and a fact of life-and why I am OK with it again. Humans do come first.  Plus I have never seen an oil so healing and supple to the skin. Lanolin is my second favorite when dealing with harsh weather.  I know this makes Vegans cringe. For vegans there is Candelilla wax.]

My previous teachings discuss just using a few drops of flavor oil, because you typically do not want to knock yourself out.  Flavor oil at Mabel White Supply company is strong as it is.  Be careful, however, if you plan to use very strong flavors such as Lemon Drops, which is really essential oil.  Usually our citrus and mint flavors are essential oils.  They would be way too powerful to do a 25% ratio and I would drop way back to maybe a 5% ratio if using these.   Flavors like strawberry, you may know, just does not come in an essential oil version, so it would be the synthetics that would work best if you want to make "Power Balm."  If you want to use Candelilla Wax instead of beeswax, that is a very hard wax, so make your ratios 40% Candelilla Wax, to 60% oils.

Basically, one 1/2 ounce of flavor oil, 1/2 ounce of sweetener, to 3 ounces of an edible oil, and 4 ounces of beeswax will make 1/2 a pound of lip balm with the need for soy wax.  This makes 32 1/4 Ounce pots.  I still find I like the white pots the best.  They are easy to label and do not fracture on re-use.  The new Altoid-looking flip tins we just got in were a major disappointment, as I found the pour seeped out the hinge of the tins.  Boy am I glad I figured that out before we sold them. They looked perfect for lip balm--but not when they seep.  Finding round tins in general that will actually open has been a major industry issue.  We feel we have found the best there is, with a ledge to help the tin open, but still not with as much ease as we would like.  If anyone has a secret about lip balm round tins, please let me know.    In the meantime, I feel the all white pots are the most sturdy and refillable than any other container.  


Did You Know? Submitted by my cousin Patty a Cornell University!

Peel a banana from the bottom to avoid the 'stringy things'. That's how the primates do it.

Bananas ripen faster if you leave them connected. To ripen slower, separate them.
Store opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil to stay fresh much longer and not mold!
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef to pull the grease away while cooking.
To make better scrambled eggs or omelets, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream while beating.
Easy deviled eggs - Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done - easy clean up.
For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler, pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.
Left-over Snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Chop up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
Reheat pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
To double canned frosting, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount and consume less sugar and calories per serving.
To reheat bread, biscuits, pancakes, or muffins, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
Put wet newspapers in layers around the plants, overlapping with mulch as you go. Weeds will grow through some gardening plastic but not wet newspaper.
To pick up shards of broken glass pieces, use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip.
To prevent mosquitoes, place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
To keep squirrels from eating plants, sprinkle plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
To vacuum heat registers or under the fridge add an empty paper towel or gift wrap roll to your vacuum hose. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
Reduce static cling by placing a small safety pin to the seam of your slip or on the inside seam of your slacks.
To easily remove sticky ingredients from measuring cups (such as peanut butter), first fill with hot water. Dump out water, but don't dry. Add your ingredient and it will come out easily.
To clean foggy windshields, use a clean chalkboard eraser. It works better than a cloth.
To re-open a newly sealed envelope, place envelope in the freezer for an hour or two.
Use hair conditioner to shave legs instead of shaving cream. It leaves legs really smooth.
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, fill a small glass half full with apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. The flies will drawn to the cup.
Get rid of ants by sprinkling small piles of cornmeal where you see them. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains.
Clean your dryer’s lint tray with hot, soapy water and a toothbrush at least every 6 months. Just removing the lint isn't good enough because when using dryer sheets, a film builds up on the mesh screen and can cause your heating unit to burn out and/or cause fire. (You can test this by running hot water into your lint tray, and if it doesn't go through, you have a buildup).

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About Author Deborah Dolen return to home page

Deborah Dolen is the Editor in Chief for Mabel White DIY and author of over 25 DIY books, 1,000 articles and several TV "how to" Films.  Deborah Dolen is also an environmental writer and has her own content syndication.  Deborah Dolen was widowed when she was on her 30's and went on to raise three great daughters in FL up against many obstacles.  This is the time period she generated her most fascinating DIY books.

Deborah Dolen was born in a Catholic Infant Home on Niagara Falls, the U.S. side.  It was known as Our Lady of Victory.  Deborah grew up in the Adirondack mountains in Upstate New York although moved around a lot and always in transition.  Her teenage years were more stable and thoroughbred race horses were her passion. She skipped school a lot in the 70's to walk and groom the likes of Man o' War and Secretariat.  When she was not grooming horses in Saratoga she was hitting the ski slopes of Killington in Vermont, Pikes Peak, or Gore Mountain to name a few.  To this day K-2's are her favorite skis and Head are her favorite bindings.

In her 20's  Deborah Dolen built some 520 legal clinics for the poor from the ground up and ran for 17 years.  People simply needed affordable legal access and that still has not changed much.  Having grown up poor and discriminated against-even disallowed to play with certain toys...Deborah had never been a quiet type and bucked many regimes as an adult.  In the 80's she felt almost all legal fees were oppressive to the majority for no reason and feels they still are.  Her organization helped well over 100,000 people.  Many of those were able to teach other people in turn.  As with health care, Canada does not charge its citizens for most common family law issues and Deborah feels family issues, including financial ones, should not be a feeding frenzy in the states as it still certainly is. No one should profit of the demise of another person.

Fast forward a few decades and Deborah Dolen is very much into flying and canine rescue as well as DIY projects she writes about and films from her Florida home.  Although her passions have always been with horse racing she is very into auto racing, focus and performance in Daytona and Charlotte, NC.  Deborah presently writes about environmental topics beyond DIY subjects that will always fascinate her.  Her dog Ringo, adopted from Katrina, is usually by her side.

You can join Deborah Dolen her on twitter facebook or check out her home page for RSS syndication.    See demos of her work on YouTube here and Amazon here.  Mabel White