Friday, November 9, 2012

natural alternatives around the home

Children seem to bring change in more ways than one. For the better I think.  For me, it made me look at everything in a new light, and question things I had never even thought twice about before. Shortly after having Abbie I became interested in Steiner education and philosophy and with this came awareness about natural, organic, biodynamic and sustainable alternatives.

Some of the ways we like to avoid chemicals around our home....

:: fabric softener is made using vinegar mixed with essential oils. I simply keep a bottle of cheap white vinegar from the supermarket in the laundry and bottles of essential oils; I add a good glug of the vinegar, then a few drops of an essential oil. Lavender is my usual. Tea tree oil has wonderful disinfectant properties.

:: kitchen benches are wiped down with a spray bottle filled with vinegar and peppermint essential oil.

:: the kitchen sink and the stove are scrubbed with bicarb soda

:: Murchison Hume Heirloom Dishwashing Liquid for when I am feeling a little indulgent. The amber glass jar is sturdy and looks just a little bit makes doing the dishes more enjoyable. When it runs out I refill with a cheaper eco cleaner that I buy in bulk to save money.

:: toothpaste is made using natural Dolomite (calcium and magnesium), coconut oil and peppermint essential oil.*

:: mozzie bites are rubbed with lavender essential oil

:: when cold and flus are about, Rosemary and Lavender essential oils are mixed with water and used as an air sanitiser - inspiration here and some other great cold/ flu remedies.

:: white vinegar in a spray bottle is used to clean off mould and then a solution of clove oil** and water is wiped on the surface to prevent it from growing back

:: coconut oil is used as sunscreen***, face wash and moisturiser.

:: dish brushes are cleaned in a glass jar with biarb, orange peel, vinegar and water

::wooden chopping boards are rubbed down with half a lemon and salt

:: colloidal silver is used to spray onto burns****. Egg whites are also great.

I'd love to know your favourite natural alternative?


*We stopped using toothpaste with fluoride a few years ago. Recently I have been reading a bit here and there about glycerin and other ingredients in toothpaste (even the natural ones) and how it may stop the remineralisation of your teeth. I have just started reading this to gain a bit more perspective and shall be continuing my research.

**be careful with clove oil and little ones

*** I wrote here briefly about sunscreen. If you would like to learn more, watch this.  In addition to coconut oil, for long days in the sun, we prefer to wear a hat and loose long sleeved top.

**** Thanks Lise x


  1. Thanks for this, what an informative post! Where would one buy natural dolomite from?

    1. Thanks Linda :) Any vitamin store should sell it. You could also use Calcium Carbonate tablets (crushed off course - I blended in the thermomix)


  2. Thanks for sharing! Lemons, vinegar and bicarb of soda are great alternatives in our house.

    I am delighted to see the alternative sunscreen - I will certainly look into that one in further as it is a much needed item for us here in Kenya.

  3. What a great list of ideas! Thanks so much for sharing...I think I may well print this out if you don't mind and pop it into my journal. Our essential oil burner is always on the go with whatever oils needed at the time and I make a paste of bicarb, a whisker of Dr.Brenner's liquid soap and lemon essential oil mixed up with a bit water to make a cleaning paste for the bathroom. Stores in a glass jar for ages and works a treat! Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    Steph :) x

    1. Of course glad that it may be useful. I have woken up this morning remembering a few things I forgot, so I shall update the list later today. Thanks for your tip.....a wonderful idea!

      ps - visited your new blog last night, was feeding Milly so couldn't comment. It's just lovely. I'll be back over today to say hello! x

  4. we are on a very similar path ... thank you for sharing so many wonderful tips {i will be back with pen and paper to write down your wonderful ideas and recipes}happy saturday x

  5. Lovely post Natalie. I buy Weleda toothpaste for the boys and I adore their nappy cream. I make my own dishwasher powder now (on the blog) and use white vinegar as a rinse aid. For teething/restlessness/irritability in the night, I use homeopathic chamomilla and for colds and bad chests I rub an organic eucalyptus chest balm on their chest and feet and stick half an onion in the room overnight. I like a lot of the Brauer children's bottles too. x

    1. Oh I love the Weleda nappy cream......oooo thank you for recipe for dishwashing powder - I am planning to make a batch tonight - will let you know how I go. xx

  6. Wonderful list, I've learnt some new ones here. Vinegar and bicarb are my go-to items. I also make a citrus and vinegar mix for wiping benches.

  7. thank you so much for this list, particularly toothpaste! It's the last thing I'm ready to replace with something more natural :-) So happy to have found your space here. x

  8. dude, you are so great.

    This is such an informative list presented in such a humble/ unpretentious way.

    I'm going to do my best to join you in these ones.

    xo em

  9. love this list too. Where can you buy dolmite?

  10. Love these ideas - we use a lot of baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils at our house too. I want to get into using coconut oil... have heard so much good stuff about it. Thanks for your comment on my blog via Jodi's Project 52 (a couple weeks ago now)... I clicked through and having been reading your blog :) your little girls are such beauties!

  11. Aside from doing most of the above, I also use Soapnuts...

  12. Also, wash my looooooong hair with baking soda and rinse with vinegar - makes for amazing smooth, soft, shiny hair!

  13. I have been looking into toothpaste options for my 14 month old and can't find natural ones without glycerin or silica! How is your toothpaste blend going? And are you using it on your kids?


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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