Green Cleaning

Best cleaning products already in your house. For those of you who would like to make their own.

These common household food products for cleaning are inexpensive, readily available, safe and work as well or better than many off-the-shelf cleaners. They are: baking soda, vinegar, salt, food-grade citric acid, juice from a fresh lemon, ice cubes and mayonnaise.

Baking soda is one of the most versatile cleaning agents on earth. It is highly absorbent, making it an excellent deodorizer. Best of all, it’s nontoxic.

As a matter of fact, if the thought of your next cleaning project gives you indigestion, half a teaspoon of baking soda stirred into a glass of water works as well as some over-the-counter drugs sold strictly for that purpose. check with your doctor before using this remedy.

Vinegar and water is great for cleaning glazed tile and dark tile grout as well.

Food-grade citric acid is super for dissolving mineral salt that builds up in water heater tanks.

Lemon juice works well in cleaning oil and grease from plastic laminated counters.

A 50-50 solution of salt and vinegar makes a terrific copper cleaner.

Ice cubes are the best first-step in getting wax crayon stains off kids’ clothing.

Mayonnaise and a nylon scrubbing pad work wonders on white-rings on wood furniture.

More uses for Baking Soda:

Baking soda will put out a grease fire, clean scorched food from cookware, absorb odors from the refrigerator, clean and deodorize drains, soften and deodorize laundry, and it will also remove stains from porcelain, enamelware, glass, plastic, carpets, and rugs.

For burned-on food, mix up a paste of baking soda and water. Actually, dry baking soda can be used in lieu of scouring cleanser and best of all, it’s nonabrasive.

Coffee pot stained? Tomato sauce remnants left in the plastic storage container?

A paste of baking soda and water will do the trick. Keep a box of baking soda in the refrigerator to reduce odors. Once a week pour a handful down the drain and rinse with hot water. Your drain will stay clean and smell fresh.

Price of fabric softeners got you down? Don’t use that toxic stuff. Use either vinegar (our recommendation) or half cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle.

To remove stains from carpets and rugs, follow this procedure: While the stain is wet, use baking soda to absorb the excess. Then cover the stain that’s left with another application of baking soda, let it sit overnight and vacuum it the next day.

VINEGAR CLEANER. Having children with sensitive skin, I’ve learned to disinfect my home without the use of harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia. Vinegar in a spray bottle is my cleaner: full strength for the bathroom, and diluted for windows, wood floor, linoleum and tile. I use it to clean my car windows, vinyl upholstery, door handles and vinyl mats. I use vinegar once a month to clean my coffee maker and once every six months to clean my hot tub and dishwasher. Mixed with baking soda, I clean my refrigerator, porcelain kitchen sinks and bathtub.

Colleen, Arkansas

Fels Naptha Soap
Just to let everyone know—it is a petroleum created surfactant, not castile.

Gluten Free and proud of it!

We do not charge extra for this!

We do not use any chemicals derived from wheat, rye or barley.

I stopped using “hydrolyzed” chemical ingredients several years ago. I realized they are created with petroleum chemicals.

There are thousands of chemicals that can cause a skin reaction in a person with a compromised digestive system.

We have taken oats out of almost all of our products. See our ingredients page for the few that still contain oats. When it is there; we grind “Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats”. Oats do not contain gluten, but can be “contaminated” in the mill. By grinding my own oats, I remove a major part of the contamination process.

The amounts I use in my products are small (1-2 Tablespoons in 1 gallon); but they provide great skin care benefits.

Vitamin E
The natural Vitamin E; I use to help preserve our products comes from vegetable sources and is Circle U Kosher.

THE $100,000 QUESTION:

Celiac disease: Can gluten be absorbed through the skin? If I have celiac disease, do I need to be concerned about sunscreens, shampoos and cosmetics that contain gluten?
Answer from Michael Picco, M.D

No. Gluten-containing skin care products and cosmetics aren’t a problem unless you accidentally swallow them. For this reason, avoid using such products on your lips or around your mouth. Also, avoid using gluten-containing dental products, such as certain mouthwashes and toothpastes. If you’re uncertain about whether a product contains gluten, check the ingredient list on the product label or call the manufacturer.

Some people develop a form of celiac disease called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), which causes an itchy, blistering rash. This skin disorder is also linked to gluten intolerance. But although it involves the skin, DH is caused by ingesting gluten, not by skin contact with gluten. So, eliminating gluten from your diet will help clear up DH as well.

If you use a cosmetic or skin care product that contains gluten and you develop a skin reaction, see your doctor or dermatologist to identify the cause. It is possible to have an allergy to wheat or another grain that could cause a skin reaction.

If you are gluten intolerant and have skin issues; you need to get away from toxic personal care products. You also need to detoxify your body. Our Herbal Formulas will help you do this.

Hair Care Tips

Will I have to detox my scalp and hair?

Yes, if you have been using any hair product from whole foods, health food stores, department stores, spas, salons, trader joes.

Maybe not if you have been usng a handcrafted bar of soap. Every soap is different. We created our own soaps because I could not find a real soap I liked that was pure.
We have recently found out that Dr. Bronners soaps have been reformulated. They are not pure and completely natural anymore. This is what happens when others take over a natural company. It happened to Burts Bees, Jasons….

Lather is a petroleum chemical creation.

Nothing in nature lathers like shampoo or chemical detergents.
In ages past; people used soapwort or yucca root. These foam some with little bubbles; but there is nothing in nature like chemical lather.
Castile soaps, soapwort or yucca root are not drying like the chemical lather. Which is why you will not need conditioner with our soaps.
Castile soaps made with coconut oil and tallow foam better; but vegan customers do not want anything made with animal products.
We reformulated our Castile Shampoo/Body Wash to remove the soy oil. We increased the coconut oil. This is increasing the cost of production since coconut oil is $.60 per pound more than the soy.

HELP!! My hair feels heavy, gunky, and greasy!!!
TIPS: Don’t give up! You are getting there! IT TAKES TIME.

You can use a vinegar rinse as often as you want. You do not have to use soaps to use the vinegar rinse. You will love what it does for your hair. It conditions, and help clean up your scalp. Most of that stuff is coming from the pores and follicles in your scalp. If you can use your nails and scrape junk from the back of your head, just think of where it is coming from. Your whole head is in the detox process; not just your hair. That stuff has been building up in there all your life. Now you are getting rid of it.

Here are the hair care tips I give those who are struggling to detox:

If you have long hair it can be a difficult switch to Castile shampoos, but worth it. I really recommend cutting hair short, donate to an organization that helps others and start with fresher non-chemical polluted hair for best results.

Question 1: Are you using our Shampoo and Conditioner the correct way?

You are to use the Shampoo for 8 – 10 washings before ever using the Conditioner. This is to clean the chemicals out of your scalp. Can you scrape gunk from your scalp? That is chemical buildup coming out. It does not work to do these all in one or two days. Those chemicals will take time to work out from the deep dermal layers.

Question 2: Are you lathering twice? Use another dime size amount. More soap will not work better. It will not get washed out and will add to the gunkiness. Work from scalp down. Remember, you are cleaning the scalp; not the hair. This is very important with a natural castile soap.

I can’t stress enough how much the vinegar rinse helps this process. This helps get the gummy chemical residue out of your scalp. Use 1/2 – 1 cup plain white vinegar (apple cider or wine vinegar, if you prefer). After the two latherings, slowly pour through hair. Work through hair. Rinse.

Question 3: Are you brushing your hair? Your hair needs the oils the scalp produces. You need to brush or comb your hair 25-100 strokes per day. Your hair will respond quickly; looking and being healthier. This will not cause you to lose hair. You will be stimulating the scalp; waking up the hair follicles and helping the gunk to get out of your deep dermal layers faster.

Our BAR SOAPS…these seem to help get the detox gunk out easier than our liquid castile soaps.. Part of this is because you can’t use too much of the bar soaps. And, they lather better than our liquid castile soaps, so it is easier to wash out. We recommend the bar soaps for all of our customers.

Clarifying Shampoo…many of our new customers rave about the way our Clarifying Shampoo makes it easier to detox their scalp and switch to our Shampoo. Use this when you really need to get rid of the gunk for a big occasion during this process. Some customers use the Clarifying Shampoo without switching completely to our Castile soap. This is a better shampoo than commercial ones, but there is still some chemicals (the decyl-polyglucoside) in it.

Natural Hair Care Tips

You are here because you found out how toxic your chemical hair products are. Before you buy, remember:
Getting the chemicals out of your scalp and hair can take months; depending on your hair length; how long you have been using chemicals; and what chemicals you have been using. Your hair will feel heavy, greasy, and you will get lots of GUNK off your scalp; especially at the back of the head at the neck area. This stuff has been accumulating in your scalp for all your years.
And yes, you will have this happen! I can’t say how long it will last or exactly what will happen when you do. I haven’t been in your life to know what chemicals you have used.

There is also a LEARNING period while you learn how to use natural hair products.
You have purchased our Natural Castile Soap, Bar Soap and/or Natural Conditioner.

Start weaning your scalp off your chemical products even before you get your order. Stop using anything except your shampoo. Use the vinegar rinse after your shampoo.
It is very important to LATHER, RINSE, and LATHER AGAIN. Natural shampoos clean gently and the second lathering is very important to the cleaning process. Use very warm water to rinse out. Most people will not need to use the conditioner.

As you start using the Castile Shampoo, use it 8-10 times before using the Conditioner. You will need to rinse with very warm water to remove all the soap from your hair. Gently work your fingers through your hair on the second washing while rinsing with very warm water.

Natural Castile Soaps including our Bar Soaps are conditioning!

It can take months using the Castile Soap before you have gotten all the chemicals out of your scalp. Use the Vinegar Rinse and Brush your hair 2 times per day. This will give you healthier hair and scalp.
Be patient! Those chemicals in commercial detergents and conditioners are designed to coat the hair shaft (think polyurethane, like you would use on wood furniture)—this is why they claim you can use their product to instantly repair damaged hair. They also coat the scalp and work their way into all the pores and hair follicles in your scalp.

If you use the conditioner–rinse with very warm water to remove it from the hair. Rinse for several minutes. Enjoy the de-stressing warm water while working fingers through hair to remove tangles.

Your hair will feel different.
If the weather is humid, your hair may feel heavier, thicker. It helps to use a blow dryer during these times.

Your water can affect whether you get a lather and how much lather. It is not necessary to get a lather for cleaning. Remember, you are cleaning the scalp, where most of the oils and accumulated gunk lie.

You need to use a wide tooth comb or brush when working with your hair. It is gentler and will untangle the hair better. This is vital…your hair shafts are desperately crying for those scalp oils…If you are losing your hair; your scalp and hair are not healthy…stimulate them to life with brushing…

It is difficult to switch to natural soaps if your hair is longer than shoulder length. We recommend cutting your hair. That way you will grow healthy hair. Long hair has been “chemicalized” almost too much for castile soaps to reverse the damage.



There is no right way or wrong way to do this.
Use full strength, any type vinegar. Just work it onto the scalp. It doesn’t help much if it just runs off the hair. The best vinegar to use is the Apple Cider, but if you can’t stand the smell, use the White Vinegar.
Use vinegar diluted in water….50/50 more or less.
Work into your scalp and down the hair. Rinse off. You can use the vinegar rinse without using soap. This will help cut the gunk.

Vinegar helps stop itching! Scalp, or bug bites, or poison ivy. Apply alone or make a salt/vinegar paste.
Can sting skin if it is irritated or broken. Vinegar helps heal wounds of all kinds. Been used as a disinfectant for thousands of years. Soldiers and doctors of old used vinegar to clean wounds and heal suppurating sores.
Helps heal Eczema and Psoriasis issues. Gently clean area with wine or apple cider vinegar. Do the same with Acne problem areas.
Use under arms to kill bacteria that causes odor. (These are the sweat-eating bacteria we need; but they can get out-of-control if we are toxic laden.)
Clear slow drains….put baking soda down drain…if needed use a little water to get baking soda down to trouble area….Pour in vinegar….Use regularly to keep drains open.
Clean toilets….use vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray all around. Use cloth or toilet brush to clean surfaces. Pour vinegar into toilet; for extra cleaning power put vinegar in also.

Laura’s (a customer with long hair) own experience switching to natural products:

I absolutely love your shampoo/body wash. I have it in Lavender Minty, and it is one of the best things I have ever smelled. I wanted to let you know of my experience in switching over to natural products with long (waist-length), dry, thick, course hair, since it might help others.
I had planned a month or so in advance for the switch. I stopped using any extra products such as hair spray, gel, and serum in my hair and just used shampoo and conditioner for two weeks. Then for one week, I used shampoo only. After this three week period; I started using your natural shampoo.
After the transition period, I found that I had no problem switching over, and it actually felt like your shampoo was what my hair needed. I didn’t experience a lot of gunk removal and my hair looked and felt amazing nearly right away. I have been using your product for about two weeks now (about 7 shampoos), and have been following every shampoo with a vinegar rinse.
I hope this information can help someone out there, especially if they have hair similar to mine and are a bit wary about switching to natural products.
Thanks! Laura

Want to get chemicals and odd coloring out of your hair faster? Try:

Work baking soda into hair and scalp. Pour (full strength, any type ) vinegar slowly over scalp.
Works best if there are two people. Lean over a large sink. Pour small amount of vinegar to start the foaming action. Let the foaming die down, then pour more vinegar on to scalp. Gradually cover the whole head. When the foaming is finished, wash hair with a gentle castile soap.
You will probably need a conditioner or oil treatment for your hair. The volcano will dry out the hair and scalp.
Great for getting rid of oily buildup and residue. This will not remove all the chemicals that are deep in your scalp. Only time will get all of them out.

This will also work on acne and very oily skin!

Vinegar Showering

I tell everyone how good vinegar is for your hair, body and skin…Everyone asks about details…So here is the attempt to get the details in writing for everyone.

I shower on average 3 times per week…this is all I need. Now if I’ve been working outside or getting sweaty and dirty; of course I shower. How often you need to shower is determined partly by your diet and what personal care products you use. What goes in must come out. A very healthy diet goes a long way to keeping your skin soft and supple. Your skin is your largest elimination organ.

I turn on the water. I turn it on full hot to get the hot water. (I will step in as soon as it starts to warm; (I dislike cold showers). I let the water flow down my body; head to toe after adjusting the temperature.

I work my fingers through my hair to let the water rinse through. After getting all wet, I step back so my head is not getting any more of the water. You can turn the water off for a few minutes. I rub my bar of soap front to back on my scalp three to five times. Then I rub the bar under each arm and down the lower back.

I put the soap down. Then start massaging my whole scalp with my fingers. I enjoy this part. It seems to be a real stress reliever. With my soapy hands; I wash my underarms and the rest of my body. Now I step under the water and work through my hair while rinsing the soap off. (At this point, I usually get squeaky clean hair.) Rinse then rest of your body.

Turn the water off again. Now I get the vinegar bottle….Starting at the front of my scalp with my head tilted back, I slowly drizzle a stream all along the hair line. With my other hand guiding, I drizzle the vinegar it over shoulders, arms, back and legs. I make sure I put some under arms and down the crack. I use full strength apple cider vinegar. You can use any dilution you are comfortable with.

I put the bottle down. Then using my hands I gently work it through my hair and gently rub skin all the way down (if I have time). With my vinegary hands I gently wash my face.

I turn the water on and rinse. Start rinsing with my face and hair, then letting the water rinse it off my body. Turn off the water and TAH DAH! Done! As you can see, I don’t use much soap. Sometimes I will use a Face Scrub on my face if I am having any issues. I will use one of my Body Scrubs on my hands, arms, legs if I get any dry, scaliness….which may only happen in the winter.

Dry off without pulling or stretching your skin. Leave your skin slightly damp so the extra water can be absorbed into your skin. Enjoy a toxin free body. Apply one of our deodorants, a light application of Forever Young Face Oil (on damp skin) and I’m ready for my day! You can use the Whipped Body Butter or the Ultimate Lotion on your skin for silky soft, healthy skin. I prefer using the Butter at night before bed.

Hope this helps…remember to enjoy the journey; looking ahead not back


Recommended Reading List

Interested in how I learned to create wonderful products that work?

On this page is a partial list of books that I studied over the past 12 years. The top 15 are especially dear to my heart and important to my education for this business.

Interested in starting a business like ours in your community:?
Start educating yourself!
Purchase these books (almost all can be found used on or This knowledge is powerful. If we are all educated in herbs and essential oils; we can keep the Pharmaceutical industry and government control where they should be….Chemicals are killing us and killing our children. We have to take control of our health back from the “doctors” and the pharmaceutical chemicals in everything including the drugs they push.

Be willing to go through this whole detox process for yourself and your family.
If you won’t work hard for yourself, you will not able to help others change their lives for the healthier.

Our future plans include helping others start their own business making and selling in their local communities. We do not want to sell to the world. We want to empower families and communities by supporting locally manufactured and sold products.

The Discover magazine has had some amazing articles on the healthy bacteria in our bodies and what antibiotics do to this essential microbial community. Check them out. I love this quote from THE ECOSYSTEM INSIDE, March 2011, by Michael Tennesen: “When you use antibiotics, you essentially drop a bomb on a microbial community.”

The Discover magazine also has many good articles on the chemicals used in modern farming practices. It is a worthwhile magazine to subscribe to.


This is a partial list of the countless books I have purchased and read over the past 12 years of my education and development of my products. The top 15 are the most vital to my education.

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless
  2. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy; Valerie Worwood
  3. Essential Oil Safety; Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs
  4. The Practice of Aromatherapy; Dr. Jean Valnet, MD
  5. The Complete Soapmaker; Norma Coney
  6. Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy and Massage; Len Price
  7. Making Natural Liquid Soap; Catherine Failor
  8. Aromatherapy Healing for the body and Soul; Kathi Keville
  9. Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health; Kathi Keville
  10. The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine; Daniel Mowrey
  11. School of Natural Healing; Dr. John R Christopher
  12. 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy; Carol and Daniel Schiller
  13. Herbs and Aromatherapy For the Reproduction System; Jeanne Rose
  14. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook; Susanne Fischer-Rezzi
  15. Perfumes, Splashes and Colognes; Nancy Booth
  16. Healing Oil of the Body; David Stewart
  17. The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple; David Stewart
  18. Aromatherapy For Health Professionals; Shirley and Len Price
  19. The Aromatherapy Practitioner’s Reference Manual; Sylla Sheppart-Hanger
  20. The Herb Book; John Lust
  21. Medicinal Plants of the World; Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Michael Wink
  22. Cancer Salves; Ingrid Naiman
  23. Healing Home Spa; Valerie Cooksley
  24. Plant Aromatics; Martin Watt
  25. Healing From God’s Garden; Maria Treben
  26. Herbs–The Visual Guide to More than 700 Herb Species from Around the World; Lesley Bremness
  27. Common Herbs for Natural Health; Juliette de Bairacli Levy
  28. Herbal Emissaries; Steve Foster
  29. The Wise Woman Herbals–Child Bearing Years; Susan Weed
  30. The Wise Woman Herbals–Menopausal Years; Susan Weed
  31. Aromatherapy, Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate & Heal; Valerie Cooksley
  32. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients; Ruth Winter
  33. Aromatherapy An A-Z; Patricia Davis
  34. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals; Kristin L Bell
  35. Herbal Cat Care; Dr. Randy Kidd
  36. What’s Toxic, What’s Not; Dr Gary Ginsberg and Brian Toal
  37. A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M Grieves
  38. Aromatherapy Workbook, Shirley Price
  39. Desk Reference to Natural Medicines, Stephen Foster, Rebecca Johnson

While this list seems extensive; there are at least another 20 I own and have read, but that I did not consider vital to my education and Healing-Scents.


Kathleen Hembree

Photo credits: Thomas Leutard