Monday, July 29, 2013

D.I.Y. Foam Soap Recipe

Are you like me, love foam soap, but hate to pay the price?  Here is an easy solution for you. Make your own foam soap refill.  Instead of paying $2+ dollars for another small size soap, just refill it yourself.  Here's what you need:

3 Tablespoons of a good grease cutting dish soap
2/3 cup water

That's it.  Nothing special. No magic ingredients. Heat the water for about 1 minute in the microwave (in a heatproof container), and stir in the soap until dissolved. Allow to cool and add to the pump container.

You can do the same thing with handsoap in the pump bottles.  Buy a big refill container of Softsoap, add a couple of drops of essential oil, for scent and there you have it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

When the Trees Give You Lemons...

Here in SoCal, lemon trees are just another tree in the fabulous landscape. It seems like everywhere you look, the lemon trees are loaded with this lowly and oft overlooked fruit. No one offers their neighbors lemons, because well, everyone has enough of their own.  Kind of like zuchhini in a summer garden, one or two are a treat, but you can only eat so much.

So, what else are lemons good for besides lemonade or garnishing fish? Glad you asked.  I have scoured the internet and present you with the following additional lemon uses.  I do not guarantee any health benefits, so please use common sense...

· For a sore throat or bad breath, gargle with some lemon juice.
· Clean discolored utensils with a cloth dipped in lemon juice. Rinse with warm water.
· Toss used lemons into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh.
· Use one part lemon juice and two parts salt to scour chinaware to its original luster.
· A few drops of lemon juice in outdoor house-paint will keep insects away while you are painting and until the paint dries.
· Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on the scratches with a soft cloth.
· To make furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.
· To clean the surface of white marble or ivory (such as piano keys), rub with a half a lemon, or make a lemon juice and salt paste. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.
· To renew hardened paintbrushes, dip into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water.
· To remove dried paint from glass, apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.
· Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.
· Fresh lemon juice in rinse water removes soap film from interiors of ovens and refrigerators.
· Create your own air freshener: Slice some lemons, cover with water, and let simmer in a pot for about an hour. (This will also clean your aluminum pots!)
· Fish or onion odor on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.
· To get odors out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse: The wood will absorb the lemon juice.
· Save lemon and orange rinds to deter squirrels and cats from digging in the garden. Store rinds in the freezer during the winter, and then bury them just under the surface of the garden periodically throughout the spring and summer.
· After a shampoo, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine. Mix the strained juice of a lemon in an eight-ounce glass of warm water.
· Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt to make a rust-removing scrub.
· Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh.
· Get grimy white cotton socks white again by boiling them in water with a slice of lemon.
· Clean copper pots by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the cut side with salt until the salt sticks. Rub the lemon onto the metal, rinse with hot water, and polish dry.
· Suck on a lemon to settle an upset stomach.

*In the '70's, my friends and I always smelled like lemons because we used them to lighten our hair.

. Natural Cleaner

Similar to Citrasolv, lemon juice works as a natural household cleaner. You can use lemon juice or squeeze a lemon directly on kitchen or bathroom surfaces, and wipe them with a wet cloth to remove the sticky residue. For stains and really dirty areas, mix in some vinegar and water with the lemon juice.

. Skin Care

For dry skin, you can use a lemon-sugar scrub, or rub a cut lemon on particularly dry areas, such as knees, elbows, or heels. Be careful when applying to cracked skin. You can also make your own detoxifying body wash with this recipe for sea salt and lemon body cleanser.

Laundry Detergent

You don't need bleach or chemicals to brighten your whites. Try using lemon juice instead of detergent for cleaner and naturally scented clothes. Lemon juice is also good for removing stains. You can directly apply lemon juice to the spot before washing it, or for bigger stains, it is recommended to soak the clothing in a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and lemon juice.

Lemon Cubes

You can freeze fresh-squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays to preserve in small amounts. It's nice to have on hand when you forget to buy lemon for a recipe and don't want to go to the store for one item.

Lemon Peel is considered a digestive.  It contains a bitter principle that is said to be effective in helping to stimulate the digestive tract and promoting good digestion, and it has long been used to calm an upset stomach, ease colic and indigestion, and also stop vomiting.

Lemon Peel is highly nutritional and loaded with important minerals and vitamins (especially ascorbic acid/vitamin C) that are beneficial in cases of vitamin deficiency, such as scurvy, etc., as well as helping to strengthen the immune system and build immunity against infection.  Moreover, Lemon Peel is said to reduce permeability of blood vessels, which may be helpful in relieving the discomforts of phlebitis.  Reducing permeability of blood vessels may also increase the body's resistance to invasive infection and malignant disease.

As a diuretic, Lemon Peel is thought to help promote urine flow and work to cool the body.
Lemon Peel is thought to improve peripheral circulation that helps to stimulate blood flow to the hands and feet, which can be of great relief to older people with poor circulation.

When used topically, Lemon Peel is thought to help stop bleeding gums after vigorous brushing.

What some simple skincare recipes with lemons?  Click here.

Want more skincare and body tips? Click here.
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